Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Publishing takes FOREVER, don't panic.

I didn't exactly panic, but I'd given up on a submission - one of Shroud magazine's Arkham Tales anthologies - horror poetry in a Lovecraftian vein.

Since I wasn't too invested in the piece (I shot together the poem in fifteen minutes, specifically for that submission - thanks again to the kind person who made me aware of it in the first place) it was a bit easier not to obsessively check my email for updates.

I completely understand the compulsion - try not to do it. Forget about the submission, work on something else.

After not hearing for a month, I was a little disappointed. Shrug, and move on. About a week later, I got an email asking if I was willing to edit the poem structurally - the editor didn't seem to care for the quatrains, and wanted to break them into random pieces.

Personally, I felt that it weakened the piece - but at my stage in the game, I felt that being easy to work with and willing to compromise is important. You may feel differently, and that's fine. Artistic integrity is a funny thing, and the line for each person is different.

What I did, was break the poem up three or four different ways, mentioned how it seemed to weaken the rhyming and the rhythm, and said I'd love to see how he (the editor) saw it being broken up, because I couldn't see how it would work.

Then I spent a few days worrying about being presumptuous, obsessively refreshing my email, and hoping that I hadn't inadvertently pissed someone off.

Two more months go by. I figure I must have annoyed someone, get a little down, and forget about it for a while. (Where else would I be able to submit a poem so specific?)

Then, I get an email informing me that I've made the first round of cuts, the editor is going on vacation, and will be in touch in September.

WOOHOOO!!!!! (For those who don't know, Shroud is a pro-rate paying publication, and counts toward membership in the Horror Writers of America.)

And more waiting, but I feel better about it now.

Look at it this way - four or five months of waiting, just to this point. Publishing takes an eternity, so don't sweat it, and keep working on something else, or you'll drive yourself nuts with the wait.


  1. hey congrats !

    those people sure move slow :(

  2. :) Thanks.

    I found out that the pace is actually pretty typical, so relax and work on something else while you're subbing.

    Don't be an idiot like me.