I recently had a story published with Radon Journal called “When Gods Walk”, and I thought it might be interesting to detail this story’s journey toward publication. It’s one of those pieces that’s been all over the place and, I think, it’s submission record illustrates the unpredictable nature of the publishing industry and one of the most important concepts for new authors to embrace: good stories get rejected, too.
Let’s start with the raw numbers. Below is a table featuring the date, market tier, time on submission, and result for each submission of “When Gods Walk.”
|Submission||Sub Date||Market Tier||Days Out||Result|
|1||2/19/2021||Pro||22||Final-Round Personal Rejection|
The submission journey for “When Gods Walk” started out with a bang. That first rejection was from Flash Fiction Online, and though it didn’t make the final cut, getting that far gave me the confidence to keep sending the story out. I mean, every time that’s happened with FFO, I went on to sell the story elsewhere in short order. This time, well, that wasn’t the case.
Riding high on my almost from FFO, my next five submissions were all to pro markets. The personal rejection was another close-but-no-cigar, so that convinced me to keep submitting. Unfortunately, none of these submission panned out, and I sent the story to its first semi-pro market soon after . . . which folded after holding my submission for over three months. After that, I let the story sit for a while before sending it to two more semi-pro markets, where it was rejected, and then to another pro market where it was also rejected. I tried one more pro market roughly a year ago, got close, got rejected, and then took it as a sign that the story was probably not gonna sell.
Fast forward to eight months later when I was thinking about stories I could send to Radon Journal that might fit their dystopian/transhumanist/anarchist themes. I dug “When Gods Walk” out of the trunk, found that it’s subject matter might be a good fit, and fired it off. They liked it, and it was lucky number submission thirteen for the win!
So, what can we learn from the submission journey of “When Gods Walk”?
If you’d like to read “When Gods Walk” along with a whole bunch of other excellent stories and poems, check out Radon Journal #4, which is free to read online.
I love seeing this story’s journey. Thanks for sharing, Aeryn. I believe I’ll go knock the computer dusk off some of my stories and get them back out there.
Awesome! I’m glad my little tale of submission perseverance was inspirational. 🙂