Apr 3 2009


I finished my edits on ‘A Legion Blade’ last night (5,998 lovely words), and sent it off to Fantasy Magazine this morning.  It’s been awhile since I submitted something to them, which is unfortunate.  The last story I sent bounced, but it got a nice ‘please send more’ rejection.  And I would have loved to, but I’ve been mostly doing sci-fi lately and the fantasy stories I did have were way outside their word count.

So since then, they’ve gone from being a semi-pro market to a pro one, upping their pay rates and getting a very pretty website.  They also implemented a new submission system, which is very slick.

Stories are submitted through a web form, which asks for the basic info and gives you space for a brief cover letter (Hey! Hey!  Somebody else once bought my stuff!  You could do worse!).  Then you attach the story and send it off.  They spit back a ‘received’ email that has a tracking number with it.  You can use that to see where your story is in the queue.  Their response time is suppose to be within  72 hours.  Which is hella fast.

I wonder if they’re using a tiered system, where they bounce most stories fast, then throw the maybes in a bin for a longer mull.  Hopefully, I’ll get to find out.

Postscript:  72 hours?  That was less than 12.  And a bounce, so I guess I won’t find out if it is a tiered system.  Well, I applaud their efficiency, though it’s a bit unsettling to get rejected that fast.  Maybe I should have left in those last two words…

Apr 2 2009

700 Words

My short stories have a distressing tendency to be not-so-short.  What’s the problem with that?  Most places pay by the word, right?  Yeah, but most places have word count limits too.  4000, 6000, 9000… sounds like a lot, but my not-really-shorts sometimes sprawl past even the 9000, drifting from novelette out towards novella.  Which means that sometimes, in order to make a story ready for submission to a certain market, I have to get out the cleaver and go chasing words.

Early this week I took a story called ‘Changeling Fall’ from 9500 words to 9000, so that I could send it out to Strange Horizons.  Tonight, ‘A Legion Blade’ is under the knife, so that it can go to Fantasy.  6700 words going to 6000.  It’s painful, but good exercise.  It forces me to justify every word, which is important in a short story.

And not a bad idea in a novel, either.  I mean, does every fantasy book have to be over 500 pages?  Books are for reading, not for killing marmots.