Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Hard Part III: Out the door

Well, my manuscript is out the door and on its way to Mr. Van Gelder at F&SF (Well, probably to Mr. Adams, who I gather reads the slush pile) I picked S&SF for a couple reasons: they explicitly take long stories, and in fact earlier this year had an issue that I think was nothing but novelettes. They've published sci-fi/mystery type stories recently (I think this is a plus, hopefully they're not sick of them). And, I've run across GVG and JJA online a few times, and both gentlemen seem to be pretty classy -- in other words, the thought of them reading it doesn't fill me with visions of my bescissored manuscript being set on fire to the sound of gleeful laughter.

I'm still not sure about my cover letter. I've read a lot of conflicting advice online, so I would up briefly describing the piece ("murder mystery set on a space station where certain implications of faster-than-light travel represent a critical plot point"), mentioned that this is my first fictional work but that I've had scholarly work published in a scientific field. Etc, etc. This leads me to the last reason I sent to S&SF first: GVG has said that he reads the cover letters last. :)

Having spent the last few days psyching myself up to firmly believing that it will be accepted, I'm now trying to convince myself that it is certain to be rejected, and indeed added a folder to my filing cabinet for "Rejection Slips". Seemed like the prudent thing to do.


  1. Congratulations on getting it out the door! I'll cross my fingers for you.

    How do fiction submissions work? Do people ever get an acceptance right out of the gate, or is there usually a "revise & resubmit" stage?

  2. I have no idea! I suspect that there are some of both -- I've heard of editors working with authors to get manuscripts ready, and I'm sure even the most polished story gets some feedback, and an opportunity to revise.