Despite the fact that my writing has been quite well back on track since the summer, it’s taken me a bit longer to get myself back into a routine of submission. A few years ago, I was pumping out submissions most days, but lately I’ve been sending out a few here, a few there. It’s probably why I’ve only had one acceptance so far this year.
But I’ve made a concerted effort to get back into it recently. Which is why I’ve fired off three submissions over the weekend, and probably will send another tonight- after all, if you’re not sending it, they can’t accept it, right?
One of my submissions was to TTA Press’ stalwart of British science-fiction, Interzone. Just as some background, I will consider myself to have “made it” if I get a piece printed in Interzone– such is its esteem in my background. Anyway, I had a story I was reasonably proud of, so formatted it, printed it and sent it off.
Six days later, a lovely handwritten (by myself) envelope drops through the door, with a neat rejection slip. Blimey, they’ve speeded up their turnaround! Back in the day, it used to take a month for those little slips of paper to reach my door. But no matter, it was always a long shot. My next target was John Joseph Adams brilliant Lightspeed Magazine.
It’s a running joke between myself and a number of other genre writers that Lightspeed takes its name seriously with submission responses. In the past, it’s only ever taken a couple of days for them to get back to me (which isn’t to slight Mr Adams, he is one of my favourite editors in the genre, and always puts together quality publications- probably why I always received such prompt rejections). Yesterday morning I received this acknowledgement from Lightspeed‘s submission’s system:
(I’ve blurred my email address, to try and avoid a spam tornado). Note the time-stamp, highlighted in red. Now look at this:
Yes, that is less than 7 hours turnaround time! It’s quite amazing if you think about it. Between submission and rejection, which I know isn’t that big a period, Gareth L. Powell joked to me on twitter that the Gran Sasso neutrino discovery would see Lightspeed eventually rejecting submissions before they’ve been sent. It’s a funny joke, but after that rejection turnaround… Is it just me who sees responses from them this quickly?
At any rate, the piece is now in the hands of Clarkesworld‘s slush readers (the first piece I’ve sent to them, I think). They’ve already taken more than 7 hours on it, which is reassuring. God knows, too much of that would do bad things to a fella’s ego.