publishing / rejection / short stories / writing

Submitting Stories While Blindfolded

So I wonder if I should include a little disclaimer on my cover note when I send out my next batch of story submissions:

If you’ve already seen a version of this story—or, worse, have it in your slush pile and haven’t gotten around to rejecting it yet—please forgive me. My hard-drive died and I lost all record of where I sent things. Also, I have a horrible memory. Also, I tend to stow rejection slips in weird places all over the apartment, so if you sent me one already I may have lost it forever, or destroyed it, or fed it to the mouse.

p.s. I am not as much of a flake as I may sound.

p.p.s. Fine. Maybe I am.

p.p.p.s. But would that matter if you like the story?

In reality I’m just going to avoid mention of it and hope I don’t make a fool of myself, or annoy any important people, in the process.

I also lost all my literary journal research when the hard-drive died. I had been researching good venues (print mostly) and keeping a list of journals that read during the summer. Now what?

Please, if you know of some good resources for literary journal markets, email me at the address in my left-hand sidebar or comment here.

5 thoughts on “Submitting Stories While Blindfolded

  1. God, Nova, I have the same problem. It’s been over a year since I sent stories out and there is a whole batch I submitted to quite a few literary magazines and deleted the records. I’ve been thinking of submitting under an alias and then, if they are accepted, disclosing my real name. A better idea, I thought, might be to change the titles of the stories, since they probably only keep records of the titles. I’m still contemplating how to resolve this. I have a record somewhere of literary journals in a Word file that I organized by, believe it or not, circulation, so I could submit from top to bottom. This work of art, too, may have disappeared. I’m afraid to look. But if I find it, will send.

  2. I think duotrope is terrific for this kind of thing. There’re a lot of ways to search for appropriate markets, accurate information about what markets are open for submissions, and there’s a feature on the site for tracking your submissions. It can also be a huge time suck. (But I think you probably know all this already.)

  3. Yeesh, that sucks. And who said computers were going to make our lives easiers (not to mention paperless)?

    I like to check out the latest Pushcart Prize and 100 Best anthologies to see where the included stories were originally published.

    Have you submitted to “Tin House”? Oh, right, you may not remember!

  4. Loss of hard drive: reading this made me feel a flash of visceral empathetic terror.
    I’ve been keeping a list of places that allow email submissions; a good idea to have a list of summer submission places, too.

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