Zombie Bites

Anatomy of a Fantasy Magazine Submission

by Grayson Bray Morris ⋅ 2011

Thanks to the awesomeness that is Neil Clarke’s story submission software for science fiction and fantasy publishers (which Fantasy Magazine also uses), the obsessive writer can plunge into rejectomancy of heretofore untold depths. I present to you the blow-by-blow of my most recent submission to John Joseph Adams at Fantasy.

(Actual sleep occurs)

(Actual writing occurs)

(Succumbs to the plaintive cries of the toddler, wandering in suspected orphandom through the second-floor hallway)

(Eats chocolate, cleans house to impress babysitter)

(Cleans more house, showers for husband’s birthday bash tonight)

(Hissing, bubbling sound as brain overheats)

(Stares vacantly into distance with look of horror, until husband wraps her fingers around newly arrived glass of wine)

(Several hours pass, in which the words “hey, no news is good news!” are repeatedly uttered to several confused party guests)

(Several confused party guests try to select the proper facial expression to deal with “they rejected me! But look! It’s an awesome rejection! Look at this load of awesome in my inbox! I am so psyched!”)

People outside the world of story submissions don’t understand how rejection can be so thrilling (or why this rejection actually means I’m a decent writer instead of a lousy one). This is just the fifth story I’ve sent out since trying my hand at this professional fiction writer thing, the third that’s gone to Mr. Adams; with every story, I see myself improving. Apparently he does, too, and that is incredibly encouraging. Who knows? Maybe my next story will be one he loves. And that’s what’s so awesome about this rejection: he thinks there’s a chance it might, too.