A Very Kind and Encouraging Rejection

Thank you for sending us “Wax-Wire Wings”. Your story reached the highest level of consideration, but we’ve decided not to accept it. We’d love to see more stories from you in the future.

So kind and encouraging! I really appreciate it, even while I’m of course bummed that the story didn’t make the cut. Editors who take the time to send this kind of rejection light up my heart.

Today I went through some market lists and added a few short-story submission options to my queue; about half will get existing stories that meet their themes, and the others prompted me with a new idea while reading the guidelines. I’m still not putting short stories at the forefront of my attention, so if I don’t hit the latter group of submission periods I won’t be crushed. But it’s always good to have ideas percolating and words in motion.

Second Round of Consideration

I got an email notice today that one of my recent story submissions has been kept for the second round of consideration at that market, which is exciting! I’ve been trying to find a home for that particular story for several years (and several laptops) now; I’m actually not sure when I wrote the first draft.

Nothing very interesting going on writing-wise; just grinding away on various projects and putting words down. I may use today’s writing time to do some organizing and prioritizing, actually. Getting words down is the most important thing, but having a plan and goals to finish things is in the top three.

Revise and Resubmit 2

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores requested a revise and resubmit on my story “Old Bones” after their December submission period. I did so and resubmitted in March; just heard back from them and they requested another round of revise and resubmit for the June reading period.

This is exciting! They clearly like the story, and are giving me feedback to help it get better. While there’s no guarantee that it will be accepted, the opportunity to do some more work and resubmit isn’t one that comes around all the time.

Another Sub Day

Sent “Wax-Wire Wings” off to Fireside Fiction today. This story was in limbo for a year and a half with the market that unfortunately closed down, so this is its first trip out the door in a while.

I’ve been working on a few short story ideas in the brainstorming/early drafting stages; these ones are raw ideas instead of being designed off a call for submissions, so that’s fun. Still trying to primarily focus on the longer-form stories, though.

A Very Active Sub Day

Yesterday I got on a bit of a role and submitted four things and pitched another.

  • Pitched a hockey writeup to Deadspin (nonfiction)
  • Submitted an essay to The Establishment (nonfiction)
  • “The Saltwater Kind” to Apex (fiction)
  • “The Beastmasters Guild” to Clarkesworld (fiction)
  • “The Death Edda” to Beneath Ceaseless Skies (fiction)

I’m happy with myself for the burst of energy and self-confidence that made this happen, and very aware that I need to switch up my story titling scheme.

Vacation and Status Updates



I went to Florida for a long weekend and had a wonderful time with a good friend. I got a sunburn, but the above was worth it; nothing soothes and relaxes my brain as much as going to the ocean.

While I was away I got a few updates on story statuses; “From The North” was passed on by Lightspeed and “The Price of Wool and Sunflowers” was held for further consideration at the specfic economics anthology. They plan to make final decisions in the next few weeks, and I’m very excited to hear back.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my novel outlines/ideas/works tentatively in progress, and have firmed up my resolve to move those into higher priority status once I wrap up the handful of planned short story submissions in my queue. Not that I’ll stop keeping an eye out for short story ideas and markets, but I’m ready to re-prioritize a bit, and the rush of enthusiasm I feel when I think about it tells me it’s the right thing to do.

Stories in Circulation

Here’s a look at what I currently have in circulation, with title, market, and how many markets that particular story has been to.

  • “From The North”; Lightspeed Magazine; 6
  • “In Bloom”; Abyss and Apex Magazine; 8
  • “The Price of Wool and Sunflowers”; Strange Economics anthology; 1
  • “Wax-Wire Wings”; Persistent Visions Magazine; 6
  • “Out Stealing Horses”; Hex Gunslinger anthology; 3
  • “Screens” (reprint call); Uncanny Magazine Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction special edition; 2

I have two drafts in progress for other calls, one story in revise-and-resubmit mode, and two stories waiting for submission to magazine markets when they open for subs next; those will be those stories’ third and sixth markets.

It’s interesting to watch the life cycle of completed drafts and see what happens with them. Seven rejections and still chugging along, go “In Bloom” go.

Sub Day and Pep Talk

This has been a three-rejection week, which is always a bummer. My stories for the Economic Security Project/Into the Black contest and theĀ  Trouble the Waters and Guilds and Glaives anthologies did not make their respective cuts.

I just sent another story out, though, to Abyss & Apex magazine’s reading period. Keep on keeping on!

Additionally, I missed noting here that while the story kept for further consideration at Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores was rejected, they did invite me to revise and resubmit it at their next reading period, with feedback for the revisions. So I will definitely be doing that. It’s pretty rare to get that sort of feedback and invitation, so it’s a bit of encouragement to hold on to when a bad week rolls through.

Another Sub Day, and 2018 Plans

I sent another story off to a call for submissions today; the Strange Economics anthology. This story’s idea is one I’ve been batting around since a few years ago, when I worked at an economics think tank. It was fun to get a chance to apply that idea to a speculative fiction setting, so I’m very glad I came across this call and had a chance to set the story down.

I currently have a list of three more anthology calls to which I would like to submit stories, as well as a few magazine open submission periods that I plan to try for existing stories. After those are cleared off I think I might take a small break from actively hunting open calls in favor of working on ideas that have been sidelined, and on longer story forms. I have a good backlog of finished short stories that I can submit here and there as seems appropriate, but writing stories from raw ideas instead of shaping them to a specific call will be a nice change of pace.

I spent a chunk of this weekend making a round of edits and making outlines for revisions on a novel draft I originally wrote in 2008. Hopefully this will be the year that draft reaches some kind of conclusion! It’s been living on flash drives and external hard drives for a decade and I’d like to let it get some fresh air this year.

Double Sub Day

I sent two stories off today: “Screens” for the reprint call at Uncanny Magazine’s Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction special issue, and one I wrote in 2016 that hasn’t found a home yet to Radiant Crown Publishing’s Hex Gunslinger: A Weird Western Anthology.

The Uncanny call is also open to new stories, nonfiction essays, and poetry. I’m looking forward to seeing the final outcome of this call; the “[X group] Destroy Science Fiction” issues are always good. The reprint call is being edited by Judith Tarr, an author I like and admire, so I’m excited to see what she thinks of “Screens.”

The story I sent in to Hex Gunslinger was originally written for a different “weird West” call. I love sub-genres like this, and the creativity of the spec fic community that goes into building them out. It’s so much fun to play in the different sub-genre sandboxes.