Submitting stories

I submitted a science fiction story, ‘Harry and Mars’, to a magazine yesterday. I feel somewhat good about having actually gone and sent something in somewhere, but I’m also waiting for the rejection shoe to drop.

The magazine that I sent to is called “Title goes here”, and it seems like an interesting market. I found it through the Duotrope engine.

I’m not really sure if the story is where I want it to be, but I included it in my applications for Clarion and Clarion West, so I figured that it was worth a shot. Then again, Clarion and Clarion West both rejected me already, while Odyssey, which didn’t get a look at this story, put me on wait-list. Hmm.

In a weeks time, the critters get a chance to look at ‘Harry and Mars’, so I guess I’ll see what they think then. And it’s probably a good habit to not let myself wait for a piece to be perfected before I start sending it out, at least when it comes to short fiction. Maybe one editor will like something about a story that I might change if I get a chance to do another draft. It’s more important, in the long run, to be actually getting my work out there, instead of chasing after a shining diamond standard that might be an illusory and unreachable goal…

Right? What do you think??

10 Responses to Submitting stories

  1. roguemutt says:

    usually you want to get things the best you can before you send them out.


  2. Trisha says:

    I really need to get some short stories out there…or try, at least 😛


  3. Susanna says:

    I think your mss should be the best you can make them before you send them out. You definitely want to send out your best work. That said, it seems like you can nit-pick and tweak forever, and I’m not sure any writer ever feels that her work is perfect, so make it the best you can but do get it out there – don’t sit on it forever! And like you said, you might get valuable feedback that actually helps your writing.


  4. Michael says:

    I agree with mutt and susanna


  5. What is “perfect,” exactly? I know you’re responsible about formatting and grammar and spelling and your manuscript is pristine. Beyond that, we are all still learning, and there is always more to improve, but there is no point in sitting on a manuscript.

    I say send out your stories, as many as possible. When they come back, take a peek through them and see if you can make them better. They do you no good sitting on your hard drive.

    There will always be another chance to make it better – unless it gets accepted, in which case just say “Hallelujah!” and move on.


  6. Good luck with the story..I think it is great to try new places to get published.


  7. Donna Hole says:

    Absolutely you should submit. Post the link when your story is up and I’ll check it out.

    And hey, An Honest Lie is still accepting submissions for their third anthology. Deadline is 5/15. The link with the guidelines is in the sidebar on my blog.



  8. Well I’ve polished my rhyming MG instead getting someone to read it earlier and it may not be suitable for MG and I might have to cut back substantially to be PB (that would be heartbreaking) so perfection is important but knowing when to get an eye on it is too. Tough one!


  9. Margo Kelly says:

    I agree with both sides – – while your work should be the best possible, you could work on it forever and never have it be perfect. So:
    1. Polish it
    2. Have writing buddies critique it
    3. Polish it more
    4. Submit it
    5. Learn from it
    6. Go again

    Happy writing.


  10. Lauri says:

    Good job on submitting. You do want things to be good and polished, but some of us can get a little obsessive about making it perfect.


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