I have a submission tracker doohickey to help me keep track of what stories and novels have been sent to whom, at what time, and to what effect. It’s a handy little thing, that stops me from sending a story to editor X that he already rejected several months ago, selling a story that has already been sold, and so forth. It also tells me how long a story has been with a particular market. I have one coming up for a year at one market, another couple closing in eighty days, a couple a week or so old, and so on.
I have one story that has been in the slush pile of the same market for 1200 days. I noticed, because today is a nice, round number.
You may think it’s crazy, not pulling this story and trying somewhere else with it (especially as I think it’s a good story, with an emotional heft to it that packs quite some punch). Perhaps I am, and I’ve certainly pulled stories out of unreasonably long slush piles before. It’s one of those judgement calls you make though – I think this market is worth waiting for a decision from and, hell, I’ve other stories to write and submit in the meantime. I also knew from the start that I was going to be waiting for a long time for a response.
Okay, so perhaps when I sent the story out, on the 7th of March 2005, back when I lived in a small flat, and my current soon-to-be marriage was a burgeoning young relationship, I wasn’t thinking quite so far ahead as shiny, futuristic 2008, but still…
I could hear something any day now. Really. I’m sure a decision is just around the corner.