June 25th, 2010


(no subject)

occamsnailfile asked: If you've written two short stories, is it okay to submit both to the same publisher or should you wait a while? How about to two different publishers, one story each?

No, you shouldn't submit both stories to one publication at once. It's really better to just submit one story, wait until you get an acceptance or rejection, and then submit the next. And it's completely acceptable to submit a different story to a different publication. Magazines don't ask for exclusive rights to your body of work, they're only interested in their rights to the single story they just bought.

And it is really better to submit to different publications. If someone reads a story they like in one online magazine, they may search on the author's name and find other stories in different online magazines, which is good for both the author and the magazines.

Important thing you should not do: never submit the same story to two different magazines. With print magazines, often by the time they send you the acceptance and the check, the story has already been scheduled and may even have been sent off to be copyedited or illustrated or even typeset. If you sell it to another magazine in the meantime, it's going to seriously inconvenience and permanently annoy one of the magazines. I don't know how tight the schedule is for online magazines, but I suspect it would cause similar problems and similar permanent annoyance with you.

Also, always check the magazines guidelines as to what kind of stories they're looking for, the length, type of story, etc, and make sure your story fits those guidelines. The guidelines are sometimes very specific. And sometimes the guidelines will have notes on what they specifically don't want to see any more. Like one magazine may be overbought on zombies and never wants to see another zombie story again, and if you send one you're just going to be wasting your time, when a different magazine may be looking for stories for their all zombie issue.

Still taking writing questions here, about publishing or writing in general or my writing.


I had a scare yesterday with our cat, Harry. He's about twenty years old now, and has kidney disease and arthritis, but is still getting around and doing pretty much whatever he wants. Yesterday he was sitting up behind my head on some pillows while I was working, and I started to notice that he was making some odd breathing sounds, like a little wheezing and gurgling in the throat. (I realized later that since our dog Spike died of throat cancer, I've been extra alert to how the other animals' breathing sounds.) He also wasn't sleeping like he usually does in the morning, and one of the other cats, Bella, was awake and sitting with him. (Bella is the only cat I've ever seen give a crap about how the other cats feel.) So I called the vet, got told I could bring him in and drop him off, and did that. He was actually weak enough that they were able to take him out of the cage and examine him, then he abruptly got tired of it and tried to kill all of them by eating their faces, which is his normal vet behavior. It turned out he did have a fever and the beginning of an upper respiratory infection. He got an antibiotic shot and I got him back home in the afternoon, where he slept like a very relaxed stuffed animal for the rest of the day. He seems better today, so that's a relief.

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