Friday, June 15, 2007

When You Assume ...


Do you know the rest of the saying from the post title?

According to Asimov's submission guidelines if I have not heard back within three months then I can assume my manuscript was lost in the mail.

I'm a bit disappointed. It was over a month ago when I sent them another SASE with extra postage for the impending rate hike. I'd think the least they could do was use it to say: "Mmmm-no sorry, can't locate your work."

I'm welcome to resubmit it, the guidelines offer. After three months I think I'd like to try it somewhere else. What do you all think? Have you had similar experiences?

14 Comments:

Blogger Steve Buchheit said...

Huhn, normally I would send a query email, "Say, I sent this in back here, I got the postcard back, but haven't heard. Are you still considering?" But written much nicer.

"We do NOT keep a record of submissions, "

It seems simple enough to do that. I think the editors should take a look at other magazine submission sites, like those that accept email submissions. They track subs like crazy.

Well, they're the Big Dogs. I say if you think they might accept, resubmit (I'd do a cover letter that it is a resubmission, just in case they're running behind their own schedule and your story is still in the que), after all, an Asimov acceptance is a good feather in your cap. But you're free to send it elsewhere.

I think the last I submitted to Asimov was five years ago. Given Asimov's current guidelines, for me they're pretty far down the list of where I will submit so I guess it'll be a few years before I submit there myself.

June 15, 2007 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

Well, I'm always sure my story will be accepted (just like I'm always sure I'll win after buying a lottery ticket).

Curiously, the day after sending a story out, I'm equally sure I've just submitted a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad piece of [storytelling]. Some days are like that.

Okay, I've printed it out, going to review it this weekend. On Monday, it goes to another publication.

June 15, 2007 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger littlebirdblue said...

After three months I think I'd like to try it somewhere else. What do you all think?
I think those experiences make feel the same way, and I think the "big dogs", as Steve calls them, are just fine with that response from us small-fry.

Have you had similar experiences?

Yes, with Strange Horizons & poetry (I submitted Feb 4th--and they have no auto-responder for poetry subs).

June 15, 2007 at 4:48 PM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

Well, we won't let it get us down, right?

Because there are [insert inspirational analogy that involves 'little dogs' without mentioning fire hydrants or trees].

June 15, 2007 at 10:17 PM  
Anonymous Merrie Haskell said...

Not to get hopes up, but it should be noted: when Asimov's accepted "Almanac," the response took 137 days. Another datapoint: I've had other rejections from them (and other places) take longer than estimated, because my work got passed out of slush. Not a few of the estimated response times out there seem to be aimed at that 95% of people who don't make it past the submissions editor.

How much past 3 months are you? Because if today is day 120, I'd give them 2 or even 3 more weeks.

June 16, 2007 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger littlebirdblue said...

Merrie's very right, of course. About the slusheteria, but also about the hopes.

June 16, 2007 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

[White knuckles gripping red pen.]
Thanks Merrie, and LBB. Okay, I'll give it another few weeks.

The guidlines say at three months, assume lost. As of right now, we're at day 99 - I suppose, numerologically, I ought to pay attention to that one.

June 16, 2007 at 11:28 PM  
Anonymous Merrie Haskell said...

*squints* Oh, yeah. 120 days is four months, not three. Sorry about the bad math.

Doesn't change anything though, and I'll note that Duotrope lists the average rejection time from Asimov's is 96 days. And I checked, I have had a 117-day rejection from them.

Anyway, it's normal to be anxious, and I applaud the mindset that says, "Give me my rejection so I can get *on* with it." It is, without a doubt, a superior mindset for this sort of work. :)

June 17, 2007 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger littlebirdblue said...

It is, without a doubt, a superior mindset for this sort of work...

Uhm...this sort of addiction?

June 18, 2007 at 12:21 AM  
Blogger Steve Buchheit said...

LBB, oh yes it is an addiction. But I can quit anytime I want. Really. Okay, maybe not today. And tomorrow isn't looking good either. But soon. Yeah, soon. (hand starts shaking from the heebee jeebees)

June 18, 2007 at 9:15 AM  
Anonymous Merrie Haskell said...

I tend to think of the writing as the fun and the submitting as the work. And while you might be addicted to writing, I have a hard time believing that anyone is addicted to getting rejections. However, given how much editors appear to hate slush and how much writers hate being *in* slush, maybe the process is an addiction, because we're all clearly co-dependent.

June 18, 2007 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

I agree, co-dependent, with a lot of enabling behavior on either side.

The trick is to get more people hooked.

"Hey, kid. Want to read a book? C'mon. Everyone is doing it."

June 18, 2007 at 7:10 PM  
Anonymous Merrie Haskell said...

"the first one is free..."

And that makes Cory Doctorow the biggest drug lord, yes?

June 19, 2007 at 6:32 PM  
Blogger Todd Wheeler said...

What a wonderful world that would be.

June 19, 2007 at 8:47 PM  

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