The little story that could…if I gave it a chance.

Posted on 15 February 2011

“This has such a nice, creepy edge I’m surprised more lit mags didn’t snatch this one up.”

A beta reader wrote this comment on an older story of mine that I recently submitted to our workshop. It made me kind of sad — not that the story hasn’t found a home (besides my collection) but because I never really gave it a chance to find a home.

I’ve discussed my whirlwind submission cycle before. Basically, in 2010, I sent out lots of submissions and was fortunate to have some success. But the story referenced above? I think I only sent it to two journals. Two! Of course that’s not enough. I was more focused on other stories from my collection.

This particular story is one of my older ones, and despite recent edits to freshen it up and make it stronger, I let it linger in my files instead of sending it out into the world. Now I wonder if I should have given it a better shot. Time is basically running out — my collection comes out sometime late this year, and it would have to appear in a journal prior to that, which is a really short, if not impossible, time frame for most literary magazines.

Ah well. There’s not much I can do now. What about you? Do you have an older piece of writing you’ve discounted not for its quality but just because it’s, well, older? Have you ever considered dusting it off and sending it out into the world?

Photo: Leandro


4 responses to The little story that could…if I gave it a chance.

  • margosita says:

    I think many journals are nearing the end of their submission periods. You may get lucky if you send it in now and hear back in a relatively short time period. Of course by “relatively short” I mean by the end of the academic year, when many journals affiliated with universities and MFA programs tend to close down as their readers are out of school.

    Maybe use Duotrope to narrow down some magazines with shorter average turn around times?

  • amyg says:

    maybe it’s the start of your new collection of stories, you know, the follow-up to Living Arrangements!

    i like creepy edges.

  • Downith says:

    What about an online publication? They might have shorter turnaround times?

  • Thanks, guys. I definitely should still try to submit this story (as well as a few other still-unpublished stories from Living Arrangements). I have been in kind of a submission funk lately, though. But I should try, especially with some online journals.

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