Thursday, April 10, 2008

Great News

I got a real booster of an email this morning:

Sorry for the impersonal email, but it's much quicker to bcc everyone than to send a bunch of individual emails.

I just wanted you to know that your story is still under serious consideration for an upcoming issue of Flash Fiction Online. I don't want to make anyone too optimistic -- we'll only be able to accept about 25% of the people who are receiving this email -- but I wanted to make sure you knew that we hadn't forgotten about you or lost your story in the mail.

Jake Freivald
Flash Fiction Online

I know I don't have a one in four chance of getting published.  This isn't gambling, after all.  It'll measure up to the other stories, or it won't.  

There's an additional artistic factor.  Many editors end up with conscious or unconscious themes to the stories they choose for a particular issue, even if it's 'I want all these stories to be completely different from each other.'  Every year that I coordinated the writer's workshop for OryCon, I had only one year where I had trouble grouping a story with another (I put the writers into pairs.)  For whatever reason I had one Mech Warrior story and no other robot story or military SF or franchise story, but I did have a pro author with experience in writing for Mech Warrior (what are the odds? heh) and so I made a quirky group with that pro and another pro that had deep experience in short stories.  The other submitting author had a short fantasy that was about the same writing level as the other submitting author in the group.    

The point is that fiction writers and their stories tend to come together in a serendipitous fashion, and serendipity may not be on my side this time.  Still, I'm happy and honored to have made it this far.  Publication with Flash Fiction Online would be a real feather in my cap.  By the way, if you don't read them, do.  I never have enough time to read, which makes Flash Fiction Online particularly wonderful.  

Mr. Freivald didn't have to send out the update, and I hope he didn't get a bunch of emails back (except quick thank yous, although even those might be considered clutter) pestering or abusing him.  You'd be surprised, or maybe you wouldn't, at what people send to editors given the slightest excuse, which they take as some form of provocation.   Anyway, it was very nice of him to take the time.  The email certainly made my day.  Now, on to writing, and tiling, and cleaning, and all that.  I'm sure my work will be particularly flashy today.  


Oliver House said...

I got a few thank yous, which I don't mind at all, and a blog post that led a few people to the Web site. (And of course I followed the Web site log back to the blog post, which led me here.) :)

Thanks for the kind words, and I'm glad it helped your day.

Jake (as his alter ego, Oliver House)

The Moody Minstrel said...

Ladies and gentlethings, Kami has been FLASHED!!!!!

(And there was much rejoicing...)

That's definitely great news. I think it's still a feather in your cap even if your story doesn't finally make it into publication.

Wow...Jake seems like a very decent sort! Not at all what editors tend to be made out to be! My respect for Flash Fiction Online just went up several more notches!

Kami said...

Gee, I'm normally the flash-ee ... Heh.

I'm glad that my thanks didn't cause aggravation, and that Flash Fiction Online got a few more well-deserved hits. I know it's not natural to think that a thank you note might be annoying, but there's that volume issue that can be hard to imagine. I've heard quite a few editors and agents mention that a thank you is appreciated. They're in an odd line of work where they're hunted like prize game but are at the same time under-appreciated, and common courtesy can help offset that. On the other hand there are some agents and editors who'd rather not hear anything from the author unless it's solicited. The extraneous correspondence just adds to the work load. However, even the most bedraggled apparently still like a thanks when they go out of their way--and I felt the email fell under that category. Another time is when you get a personal rejection, especially if there are comments or insights on the manuscript. Rory says he doesn't send a thanks, he usually just sends another manuscript, but you know, if it's sincerely felt and you're not purely using it as a marketing ploy, I think adding "Thanks for your comments on the last manuscript I sent. They really helped," isn't out of line.