Monday, September 28, 2015

Cyber Stalking & I'm Back!

Okay, I'm not talking about the serious bad kind of cyber stalking. I'm talking about what happens when a story I've submitted is out past Duotrope's listed average time for a response (*see below if you aren't sure what Duotrope is.) Specifically, it's what I end up doing when I've submitted to an anthology, which has a more concrete run time.

And I'm doing it right now.


I try to not visit Duotrope more than once per week, if that frequently (it depends on what publications I've submitted to, and how fast they are at responding.) If I've got nothing nearing when I should be hearing, I'll go much longer without checking it. But submitting is such a hands off thing once you put that work out there, that I end up feeling a bit helpless. When I have something out to an anthology, I have that minute amount of control by looking at the website, blog, Facebook, etc. of that publication. Many anthologies will keep a running update on where they are in the submissions process, and it helps me to know if I've had something out long enough to really start feeling hopeful.

On Duotrope, you can see recent responses from the market, so if your story has been out for 45 days, but there are a bunch of rejections within two weeks of when they are submitted, you have an idea that perhaps yours is being held for extra consideration. This is by no means a definitive thing, but sometimes it gets me through a little bit longer as I wait to hear back. They also show the average response time for acceptances vs. rejections. All helpful data when you're obsessing about whether your piece stands a chance.

Hello, my name is Shannon, and I'm a Duotrope cyber stalker.

By the way, hi! I've been absent quite a bit lately due to chronic migraines. However, I changed my medical treatment for them and am feeling much more human now. Though it doesn't completely rid me of the permanent migraine I have, it radically reduces the level of pain and discomfort. It also helps significantly with my insomnia, which makes everything better, right? So hopefully I'm back to regular posting now!

*For those who don't know what Duotrope is, it's a database of publication listings. I highly recommend it if you're actively submitting. There is an annual cost associated, so if you aren't submitting it probably isn't worth it. In that case, however, there is a free database called The Submission Grinder.

Do you cyber stalk Duotrope? Publications you have stories out to? Or are you able to walk away and forget about it until that email comes in?

May you find your Muse.

Image by OCAL, clker.com

18 comments:

  1. Fingers crossed for you, Shannon!
    Didn't know about Duotrope. I'm not submitting now, but it's good to know it's out there if I need it.

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    1. Thank you. I'm always glad to spread the word about Duotrope. I've found it to be an invaluable service.

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  2. Good luck to you and your cyber stalking! I'll save the link in case I am going to submit in the future.

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  3. When I have submissions out there, I check my email so many times a day! Good luck and have a great week.

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    1. Yes! And right now I'm in the middle of something that means I have five billion emails coming each day, so I'm constantly checking and having to delete them all to make room.

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  4. Glad to hear you're feeling better! I haven't heard of Duotrope, but I do visit my email way too often while waiting to hear back...actually, I'm doing that now. Makes writing hard too. Good luck with yours!

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    1. It can definitely be a distraction. And thanks!

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  5. I had not heard of this, but I do know your pain. Right now we're waiting to hear back from our agent, and every time my smartphone dings with a new e-mail I get super excited...until I see it's another one of those lame "we can search engine optimize your website!" spam mails. Talk about double disappointment.

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  6. Glad you're getting the migraines under control. I didn't know about duotrope but I'm pretty sure I would stalk it in your situation too.

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    1. It's a great resource, and certainly stalk-worthy. :p

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  7. There were a couple of times when I submitted to an anthology and would check back in frequently to see if they've updated any dates or released the next one. I have my fingers crossed for you! :)

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    1. Yes! And two of them were updating the number they'd gotten through, what round of judging, etc. Each time I saw I'd made it through another round, I'd get that much more nervous and hopeful.

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  8. Yeah, that's not a thing I'm gonna do.

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  9. I had one story out on submission so long I gave up; and then they contacted me and said it took so long cuz they liked it but didn't at the same time, so they ran it by their reader panel first before accepting or rejecting. The editors got the same mixed comments, so decided to publish it. Shocking!!

    It is hard not to cyber stalk a short story submission. I hope your response, when it comes, is favorable.

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    1. I had two submissions out for more than 200 days. One got accepted, one got rejected. That's way too long!

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