This weekend I read half the stories in my inbox and I did hold a couple. My favorite? One in which unrelated elements all came together at the end, building the character and world into a cohesive whole. In other words, I never saw it coming.
Based on yesterday's reading session, I would also suggest writers take a close look at lengths. We are well aware we accept stories longer than comparable zines, and heck, we like 'em. Many markets prefer to cap at 5000. Remember, though, to only use the words it takes to tell your story. In my experience, many rejected longer stories are so long not because more events fill the space between A and Z, but because of narrative and exposition that does not further the plot. We have, and will continue, to accept longer stories. But remember you do have to hold my interest longer.
I think our response times are longer this summer, for a few reasons. First, it's summer. Everyone moves slower. Also, submissions are better in quantity and quality, which is exciting because it only makes for a better magazine. Thirdly, we're entering Conference Season here in Colorado. First up, World Science Fiction Convention, fondly known locally as Denvention, held in Denver 6-10 August. The Electric Spec staff will be there every day promoting the magazine, so if you want to meet any of us, keep an eye on this space and the main Electric Spec site for forthcoming details.
Next up is Colorado Gold, 11-14 September. It's a great conference, well worth attending. A bit more intimate, and the agents and editors are always top notch and generally available for smoozing (including yours truly). I'll be speaking, so come on and see me.
Then MileHiCon, our local SciFi Con, held 24-26 October. There's always a great writing track, and the Electric Spec staff are still working out details of our participation.