Having now finished a third draft of the fantasy piece I wrote the other day, based on feedback from friends and from the Absolute Write forums, it’s time to find a home for this little beast. Now, this is fast for me, but I think it’s appropriate for a few reasons:
- It’s much shorter than what I usually write, and so the turn-around time is faster. I’ve been through several drafts and gotten a number of critiques in the time it usually takes to get just one draft.
- It’s much less intricate than a mystery, so it wasn’t nearly as difficult to write.
- If I set this one aside, because it’s so different, I worry that it’s going to get lost and forgotten. But it’s not really what I want to focus on right now — I’m working on a couple other things that have a bit larger mental load, so to speak, and I need to get this one off my plate.
- It’s a good piece, I think. Weird, but good. I don’t think it will reflect poorly on me to shop this around.
As a result, this piece is good enough to go out the door, and out the door it shall go. But, to what destination? There are considerations here. I need to make a list, and because simultaneous submissions are rather unprofessional, I need to rank that list.
I have a handful of favorite markets right now, folks who publish stories that I like to read or listen to:
- Strange Horizons is near the top of the list, I’m very fond of them, they pay well, and this one is right up their alley, I think. However, they are somewhat slow, so I may not send it to them first.
- Clarkesworld is another favorite place to read. This piece isn’t as good a fit for them, but they pay very well and have a fast turnaround time. It might make sense as a first stop if it’s on the list at all. I’ll need to think about it.
- Fantasy & Science Fiction might like it, but they don’t take electronic submissions — I’d rather try the markets that don’t cost me money and a trip to the post office first. However, they do have a fast turnaround, I like the magazine, and the piece would fit well, so it should be on the list. Just nearer the bottom.
- PodCastle would be a great fit for it in terms of tone and subject, but they vastly prefer reprints. They’ll take something that’s been printed elsewhere, but I think I’ll put this down the list a bit. Besides, with so much dialogue, this piece might be a pain to record.
So much for the markets I read regularly. Everything else I read regularly would be a poor fit: either they’re not as interested in stories like this or they don’t take fantasy at all. Then there are a few markets that I don’t regularly read, found through Duotrope. The most interesting of these is Daily Science Fiction, a new market that, despite the name, takes fantasy. And they pay very well. However, they have not yet started publishing, so it’s tough to tell whether it’s a good fit, and I wonder whether their model will let them last long enough for this to retroactively count as a professional sale. Either way, I look forward to it opening, because it sounds like a great one to subscribe to.
So much to think about for such a short piece! A lot of good options. I’ll decide after dinner where to send it, then give it one quick read-through and edit with that market in mind, then: off it goes!