I have two stories out on submission right now, to two different markets.  I sent “Dear Mr. President” out at the end of July to an online magazine; its submission guidelines say that writers should not expect a response for at least three months.  I hardly think about this story at all; I’ll start wondering about it if I don’t have a response in another month or so.

I sent TTB to a different market.  This outlet does not provide any guideline for response time; instead, it provides detailed statistics, like Duotrope, but counting every single submission and response.  I can check the numbers, and see that for short story submissions, they sent their most recent response on Sunday of last week, and the earliest story submitted that has not yet been rejected or accepted was submitted back in June; the average time for a rejection is just over a week, but the average time for acceptance is four months.

If I hit REFRESH, maybe the statistics will update.  Not this time, at least, not for responses, but four more short stories have been submitted since the last time I checked!  More competition!  Arg!

This is ridiculous.  When the editor has reviewed my story, and has made a decision about my story, I’ll get an email.  Finding out when the last response was sent out to someone doesn’t tell me anything, because if I don’t have an email, then it wasn’t sent to me.

REFRESH.  Nothing.  Crap.

Thanks for the detailed statistics.  In addition to getting me to push that damn button like a lab rat trying for cheese, those numbers have given me something worse than a jammed right index finger (REFRESH – ow!):  hope.  See, the average rejection time is just over a week.  The editor has had TTB for 24 days.  So is TTB an outlier?  So damn long that it takes a while to turn it down?  Or is it possible that it’s been shortlisted, and weighed against the other stories coming in?

REFRESH.  Ow.  Nothing.  Crap.


4 responses to “TMI.

  1. Keep plugging away sooner or later you will get an acceptance letter. I recently had an article accepted for publication, but won;t really believe it until I see it.

    I was getting very frustrated, but then keep trying. I read Stephen King’s “On Writing”. His novel Carrie was rejected over 500 times before it was accepted. He had given up, but his wife urged him to keep at it.


  2. Totally, totally relate … I would take it as a good sign, though, that your story wasn’t immediately rejected. I think it’s at least being considered. It has risen from the slush pile, which means even if it doesn’t have a publication future with this market, it probably will somewhere else. Keep at it (I do sometimes wonder if those refresh buttons are some type of dharma initiative like test on impatient writers).

  3. I feel for ya. In the meantime, though…try putting a band-aid on your thumb. It makes it a little less sensitive when you hit the button for the thousandth time. :)

    (I hope your submission is being held for a good reason!!)

  4. Hey – Wandered over from AW to check out a fellow Chicago blogger!

    Oh, my Refresh button and I have a love-hate relationship. Mostly hate. I totally feel your pain. Hope you hear something soon.

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