13 January 2015

What happens to your story?

The submission deadline for the Feb 28 2015 issue of Electric Spec is this week: Jan 15, 2015! Get those stories in. I highly recommend you peruse some of our "Tips from the slush pile" that I listed last week here on the blog. If you have sent in a story, you might be wondering what happens to it. Well, I'll tell you...

Hopefully, you followed our submission rules, which are given here. Notice it says, "Use the following subject line: SUBMISSION:Story Title by Author's Name". If you do not put "SUBMISSION" in your subject line you may get caught in our spam filter and then who knows what the heck will happen? We do not guarantee we read stories caught in the spam filter. :(
Technically, we aren't supposed to read stories with no cover letter, or which aren't in *rtf format--but we may let these last 2 rules slide.

Anyway, assuming your story makes it into our Inbox, I randomly assign your story to one of our editors: Nikki, Betsy, Dave, or me. Thus, it doesn't do you any good trying to address your story to a particular one of us. I don't have time to read each cover letter before I assign the stories.

We editors are supposed to read the stories in a timely manner and get back to you with a 'No Thanks' or a 'We'll hold this one for voting.' I'm sorry to say "timely manner" can vary. A lot. Apologies, if you've been waiting to hear back for a while.
Sometimes, an editor is on the fence about a story and then we'll email it to another editor and ask: What do you think? I do this with genres I know the particular editor really enjoys.
I've blogged a lot about opening a story with a bang, e.g. see set the hook. After a decade of doing this, I don't read your whole story if it hasn't caught my attention by the end of the first page or so. Sorry.

Once a decision is made, your story either goes into the hold-for-voting folder or ...the trash. :( We don't keep any kind of records of rejected stories.

Then, we have the production meeting. I've blogged quite a bit about the production meetings in the past. Our next production meeting will take place in about 2 weeks. To prepare, we summarize and rank each story in hold-for-voting. Based on the individual editor rankings, I compile a numerical ranking of the stories. Interesting fact: usually each editor gets their favorite story published and usually they get to edit said story and interact with the author.

The editors email the lucky authors with the good news. I email the unfortunates with the bad news and then delete the stories. On the bright side, if you made it into hold-for-voting your story is publishable.

Presumably it will start its adventure all over again at another market...

No comments: