By now, all the folks in Hold-for-Voting should have heard from us with the possible exception of a couple acceptances. (It takes a little while to get the contracts together.)
Even if we didn't take your story, you should feel proud to be in Hold-for-Voting. All the Hold-for-Voting stories were publishable.
Acceptances are asked to acknowledge the contract, send us their bio info and Paypal account info. Once we get the contracts back we start editing. We send the resulting edited story back to the author for his/her approval. We may repeat this step as needed. Eventually, we send the story to our copy-editor and the final step is posting the story on the preview page. The author has a final chance to check it over there. Finally, we publish. This quarter we go live on November 30, 2014!
I've passed along our hopefully-objective ranking system for the production meeting in the past, so I won't go into it again here. For the current issue we ended up accepting the top five stories. Thus, we had time to discuss stories in general. We agreed endings are particularly problematic for authors.
Short stories are works of art and authors can do whatever they like. However, for our market we like emotionally satisfying endings. Stories we publish have endings that wrap things up (good or bad); they do not just stop. This means in your story:
- Something has to happen.
- Something should be different at the end.
- Your ending should relate to your beginning.
- You should be able to state clearly what your story is about.
Soon, I'll start bragging, er, blogging about the November 2014 issue. Stay tuned!