My first brush with Rejectomancy

March 21, 2014

I’ve heard a lot about rejectomancy, the practice of puzzling over a rejection letter and trying to figure out what it means. I even critiqued a very fun story where the term was taken literally and the MC could always tell what was on somebody’s mind from any sort of rejection, be it verbal, electronic, or printed. But I guess I’ve never really gotten into the act until today, where I sorta tripped over it backwards.

I’m not going to share the market with you all, but it’s a pro market that takes science fiction and fantasy. I submitted ‘Tough Love’ to them a week ago, and got an email back this morning saying no thanks, it didn’t push enough boundaries for them, and actually suggesting that I read what they publish to get a better feel for it. (D’oh!) I did read a few stories from this market before I submitted, but I guess I didn’t pick up on how much they liked really weird stuff, or I put it out of my mind because I thought ‘well, I can’t tell how weird my own stories are.’ Maybe that’s true to a certain extent, but now that I’m really thinking about it, I have to admit that Tough Love is not particularly weird.

One of my Odyssey friends suggested that I should write something weirder next time, but I’m not sure if I can be weird on command. My natural inclination is just to not bother submitting to this market again until one of two things happens: either somebody else suggests them to me as a market for a particular story, or I spontaneously think, “Oh wow, this story is so weird I have to submit it to [Market]!”

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Grinding through markets

March 1, 2014

First, a minor note: The official NaNoEdMo boards appear to be off-line for 2014. I’m still going to go for the 50 hours challenge, and Elizabeth Twist is apparently joining me. What about you?

Something else I’ve been working on lately is an item I put on my 2014 goals list: “Become familiar with plenty of possible markets.” I figured I needed to get organized for that, so I drew up a plan:

  1. Pick a good market search engine; I went with the Diabolical Plots Grinder┬ábecause it was free and I’ve heard good things about it.
  2. To start with, I’m working on a simple list of criteria: Markets that take fantasy of about 1600 words, at pro rates. The first two criteria are specifically because of ‘Tough Love’, the first story I started submitting after Odyssey, which I’ve been scrambling to find markets for. (I also wanted to focus on fantasy markets because I know of some good markets like Analog and Asimov’s that will take science fiction but not fantasy.)
  3. Working off the list that the grinder spit out, I visited the website of each and built my own spreadsheet, listing how familiar I feel with the market based on my own reading and secondhand news, if I’ve ever submitted to them before, general notes, and the various options and price structures for reading what they’ve published in the past, if any. A few of the entries on the list are one-time anthologies or magazines that haven’t published an issue yet, so I suppose with those I’d just have to read the submission guidelines and hope.

Having gotten this far, I should be able to dive into the actual reading soon. I’ve been enjoying the stories I’ve been reading out of Strange Horizons, as well as the usual magazines on my Kindle; Asimov’s and Analog had new issues out a week ago, and F&SF for March/April just hit the stands today. And I still have plenty of Escape Pod and PodCastle to catch up on!


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