Visiting the twentieth century

. . . it has been a remarkably long time since I printed out and mailed a short story somewhere.

Partly this is because I’ve put so few stories into submission the last two years. (And of that half-dozen, three have sold to the first place I sent them. Another sold on Try #2.) But it’s also because so few markets these days insist on paper submissions. They’ve mostly either gone digital, or gone away. Which phrasing makes it seem like I think there’s a connection; I don’t. But all the new markets I can think of take electronic submissions. And bit by bit, the paper places slip further down my priority list.

Yeah, I’m part of that generation. Make me walk to the post office, and odds improve that I’ll try somebody else first. There’s other places that pay as well, don’t require printouts and envelopes and paper clips and stamps, and frequently respond faster to boot. And by such means does the new crop of writers drift away from the old guard of magazines.

0 Responses to “Visiting the twentieth century”

  1. nojojojo

    (Up stupidly early to take my father to the airport; trying to wake up here. Apologies if this sounds incoherent.)

    Yeah, I don’t even try to submit to those markets anymore. I was willing to do it for awhile, and still do it for one market overseas… though I don’t submit to them often, partly because of the paper requirement and partly because of their sluggishness. (Everything I send there sits around for 6 months, then gets rejected. Figure I’ll just skip a step, and send it elsewhere.) But it’s the year 2010; we should be making contact. Electronically.

    But this isn’t all about e-subs; for me it’s also just convenience. I ran into a market the other day that wanted something other than standard manuscript format — they wanted no double-spacing after the period, Times New Roman instead of a fixed-width font, etc. But then they still wanted it in paper. I can understand converting something to easy-to-read-on-the-net format, but for paper? I decided this market was too much trouble, and weirdos to boot, so skipped it.

    • Marie Brennan

      There are basically four that I ever submit to anymore, plus two others that might possibly get something once in a blue moon if it’s really appropriate for them and hasn’t sold somewhere else already. Of the four, two (Lady Churchill’s and On Spec) are also pretty rare because I don’t have much that’s up their alley (and On Spec has the added hassle of Canadian postage to mess with).

      The remaining two, of course, are F&SF and Realms. The former, at least, is quick, and I used to “baptize” every new story by sending it there first. But now there are other really fast markets I can e-mail to, so F&SF has fallen further down the list. (Especially since I doubt they’ll ever buy anything from me, though I keep trying.) And Realms lost priority when they went defunct for a while; now I’m not in the habit of sending to them anymore, and it’s paper, and it takes a pretty long time (since novel sales = an automatic pass up to Shawna) . . . I’m not going to scratch them off the list, but however much prestige they have, they’re just not my top target anymore.

  2. cloudshaper2k

    *scratches head*
    Who actually walks down to the post office anymore? (Well, except for me – but I work there . . .) I’d be buying my stamps from the USPS website and having them delivered.

    • Marie Brennan

      I have the stamps for the SASE already, but what I’m mailing is a large flat envelope of indeterminate weight that won’t fit into the outgoing mail slot of my apartment complex. Hence the walk to the post office.

  3. elizaeffect

    Less competition for me, then! Muhahahaha!

    • Marie Brennan

      I am also a good example of the generation the newspapers never captured. The one and only time we’ve ever subscribed was when had just moved out to join me and was job-hunting. Once he had a job, no more newspaper.

  4. diatryma

    I’ll send to Asimov’s and maybe Realms. The rest? Eh.

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