I’m tidying up a couple of stories, wrapping them with a neat little christmas bows, and sending them out to publications that… pay for writing. Yes, indeed, it is time to face rejection. To date, nothing I’ve submitted anywhere has been rejected. (At least since Junior High – those ninth graders so totally should have used my column in their underground rag. Probably it was just too sophisticated for them. Not that it bothered me.) While Piker Press has been berry berry good to me, I need to take a few baby steps out of my comfort zone and find more competitive markets.
There are several factors that make a market competitive. One of the biggest factors is the pay rate. Not surprisingly, the more a periodical pays, the more quality submissions they receive, and the more writing they reject. Although there have been some very promising new writers over at the Piker Press lately, it is a weekly, and therefore has a voracious appetite for content. The editorial quality over there is steadily improving and they have some promising new writers, but there’s no denying that they have a long way to go to compete with some of the other magazines out there. Ironically, one of the ways I can help them out the most is to become known in other venues.
So, what the hell, it’s time to get rejected, and I intend to start out by getting rejected by some of the top magazines in the country. Heck, why not?
Well, there’s one reason. Most of these publications still want submissions in the dead-tree format, and with double-spacing and huge margins even a modest short story can consume a lot of pages. Between my short stories and my submissions of novel manuscripts to agents, an acceleration of the deforestation of Canada and the Pacific Northwest is inevitable. (I’m told they can plant new trees, so future generations can chop them down once more, in a process known as ‘agriculture’. I find this encouraging.)
So ask your stockbroker for tips on paper companies, and maybe put a little into the toner cartridge market as well. Maybe you can find a paper-and-ink mutual fund. If there isn’t one, there ought to be.