Thursday, April 8, 2010

Long Time Gone

No, I haven't left the dark side. I've just bleached the blog. How's it look? Does black type on white work better for reading? Should I go dark again?

I feel like a good cleansing after receiving a 300+ day form rejection this morning. Although it's an honor to be held by the particular publication, 300+ days and a form rejection leaves a foul taste in my mouth. Kind of like I swallowed bleach.

I just sent a query for a 120+ day rewrite request (the original piece has been out...are you ready for this...783 days). No one is holding his breath (namely me).

What's been your longest wait to hear about a story's fate? How long is too long?

24 comments:

Jodi Lee said...

I only wait six months before querying, now. I had a publication repeatedly tell me they were reading the story - for eight months - and wanted to hold onto it. It was under 5k in length, and they couldn't read it within their reading period?

After a year, I told them thanks, but no thanks and withdrew.

Jodi Lee said...

PS - the white/black looks good!

Aaron Polson said...

Jodi - My 300+ day wait was for a 1,400 word story. I just don't want to be a hyper-query puppy, y'know? Six months sounds like a good rule.

Jamie Eyberg said...

I have one story out for 13 months at this point. I have emailed them but they haven't responded so I have ended up sim subbing it for now. they have notoriously long waits as is but it is a market I would love to get into.

Amanda C. Davis said...

My current longest wait is sitting at juuuust under eleven months. I have queried other places in as little as three months, but will hold off much longer if I know that the place has notoriously long waits, or is holding all subs until the end of a reading period, or posts any kind of update regarding response times. Long waits aren't a problem for me; it's the suspicion that my piece (or their response) has been lost or forgotten.

Alan W. Davidson said...

I think that it's very unreasonable to leave someone hanging that long only to send out a form rejection.

I like the bleached look easier to read, but it doesn't have the ominous presence that the black background had.

Sophie Playle said...

Ahhh but white just isn't YOU my dear! I jest, it looks fine, but I'm gonna have to get used to it. I recently re-vamped my blog too. Feels good :D

I think the longest I've waited is... six months, maybe? Not sure. I'm terrible at keeping track of my submissions.

Any longer than 4 months is too long, in my opinion.

K.Hinny said...

That sucks on your rejection Aaron.

I don't know when to query, the last time I did the magazine didn't even answer *That!* so I try to pay attention to the requirements and so on...

The bleach... it shocked me for a moment and my eyes are still getting used to it, but I believe it will be a nice change :D

Aaron Polson said...

Jamie - That's the trick. Some of the best markets have the longest waits.

Amanda - I've had that happen, too (a piece being lost). Sucks.

Alan - Glad it's easier to read. All the white kind of bugs my eyes out.

Sophie - For short stories, especially short-shorts, four months+ seems like an eternity.

Hinny - It sucks less than it used to. ;) I'm a nervous query-sender, and usually just wait.

katey said...

I like the bleach, and I like how it contrasts with your banner.

I usually query after six months unless specifically directed not to, if only because I have lost responses to the net goblins before and I hate to think I'm sitting here waiting for something that won't come. Makes it hard to move on, huh? Plus, I keep detailed excel files of queries and subs because I'm crazy. I like to update them all periodically.

As of today I've had one thing out for 400 days, but that's a novella and the full was requested maybe 8 months ago. So that's, you know. Totally forgivable. If it was a short story I'd have given it up for dead by now.

And anything over a year with a form/half-assed rejection feels mighty unprofessional. :/

Joe L. Murr said...

My longest was a rejection after two years, almost to the day. I also try to query after about six months. That seems like a reasonable wait.

And even after acceptance, it ain't over. I queried an editor about the status of an anthology they'd accepted a story of mine for about a year earlier. Got no reply. Turns out they'd folded ...

Brendan said...

1043 days (2 years, 10 months, 8 days) between Dorchester's request for a synopsis and the first three chapters and their rejection.

Their loss, my friend. And I like the white. Nice change.

K.C. Shaw said...

It's so...stark, this white background! Like snow.

Depending on the market, anything over about four months for a short story response is nuts. Some markets do get tons of submissions and take a while, so I'll cut them a little slack (or just not sub there). Still, anything creeping up and over the year mark for a short story is just stupid.

Once a market has held a story for more than about six months without response, I figure they never got it and go ahead and sub it elsewhere.

Natalie L. Sin said...

Four hundred plus was my longest, I think. I always get paranoid that I did something wrong, and my story came through messed up!

Cate Gardner said...

I've had a short story out for almost a year, queried about 5 weeks ago and was told I'd hear by the end of the week, and then nothing. I like Jodi's six month rule, though I like Clarkesworld's swiftness even better.

White good, but kind of miss the black.

Michael Stone said...

It's nuts how some of these markets keep us hanging on.

PS I prefer the old black look.

Aaron Polson said...

Katey - I'll take note not to be half-assed/unprofessional. ;)

Joe - I've had the same situation (folding after an acceptance). I don't always announce sales anymore, just for that reason.

Brendan - Wow. 1043? Their loss, indeed.

K.C. - I wish I could say "no" to those markets...I just can't sometimes.

Natalie - Pushing "send" can be frightening.

Cate - I miss the black, too.

Michael - I think I do (prefer the old black look), too. We shall see if this sticks.

Benjamin Solah said...

I think it looks good, the black on white look, but I'm feeling slightly isolated in the white on black camp now.

I've wondered if it turns people off reading. But I prefer it.

I've waiting around 3 months for a rejection, or more. It's part of the game I think for some markets - and there's a plus side if it gets rejected because it forces you to leave that story alone for a while and come back to it.

Cathy Olliffe said...

It's all about egos, really, why they hold your stories so long.
They do it because they can.
Pfft.
Sorry you feel crappy.
If it's any consolation, I feel crappy, too.

BT said...

Just on 600 days from submission to finding out the market had died. During that time I queried twice and both times was told they were still holding it for consideration.

The story is only 1000 words long.

My rule is to find the market's response time listed in the submission guidelines. I give them two weeks after that nominated time before querying. Depending on the response, I give them the same amount of time listed in their sub guidelines plus another month and then query again.

I've never had anything out longer than that...yet.

I've now added that story to the pile that needs revising before going out - all of which will be done once Dark Pages finally wraps up.

And I preferred the black ;c)

Danielle Ferries said...

I'm still waiting to hear back on a story I submitted last June.

The white background makes it easier to read but I agree with Alan - the black background looked more ominous and yet somehow more cozy.

K. Allen Wood said...

Jesus! No writer should have to wait that long for a response. Ever. All publications should be able to respond within six months—and it really should be no longer than three.

Aaron Polson said...

Benjamin - I've compromised. Hope it works.

Cathy - Egos. Arrgh.

BT - I love your measured approach to all this.

Danielle - Hopefully I've gone for the "claustrophobic" middle ground.

Ken - It is short fiction we're talking about, right. ;)

Benjamin Solah said...

I like the compromise. When going from black on white to white on black for my template at the end of last year, I was looking to do it this way but couldn't quite work out how to do it.

I might look into how I can now though.