08 August 2007

Like molasses.

1. I ordered a bunch of books from Amazon. When the one from the British bookseller arrived first I started wondering, so I looked at my order. Estimated ship date November 8th? WTF? If I have to wait until November I can probably go without. So I cancelled. Humpf.

2. It's like 200% humidity here in Akron today. But thank the lord, our front steps are now rebuilt and beautiful. Hooray for blue skies (finally).

3. How long do you wait before querying a journal regarding your submission? I've been dealing with some antsy BOR fiction submitters even though it's only been two months. I never query unless it's been over nine months, which seems to be an adequate gestation period for a manuscript. Any thoughts?

4. Know what isn't like molasses? The way time is going by this summer. My classes start in a few weeks. Holy heck!

5. Jay Robinson interviewed me over at the Barn Owl Review blog. I was a bit verbose. Many apologies.


J. Newberry said...

With poetry, I try to wait about four months--or, I'll wait two weeks beyond the posted reading date. For example, if a journal says they'll get back to you in in three months, I try to wait three months & two or three weeks beyond before I query.

With fiction, I'll go up to six. I still will query if it's beyond the posted time, however.

Fiction's harder to submit; harder to wait on. It takes a long time to write & even longer to revise. I'm an antsy fiction writer myself. I've probably pissed off the people over at one *unnamed* journal. I hope not. I really admire this *unnamed* journal.

BTW, it's something like five and half million degrees in South Georgia today. I think I see the neighborhood children & their pets bursting into flames.

jeannine said...

I mean to query at six months, but usually don't until 9, or sometimes 12, depending on how busy I am.
Another mention of "You Are Happy" - I must get ahold of this book!

Adam Deutsch said...

6 months sounds good to me. But I've only queried twice, and I wasn't aggressive about at all. However, I wasn't responded to.

But fiction might be different than poetry. I'm pretty certain that's got to be a longer reading process.

Brent Goodman said...

Duotrope.com is awesome for gauging when to follow up with any particular zine. You probably know from BOR that they list response times (real and projected) on each journal's page. Hope that helps!

Anne said...

I tend to wait at least a month beyond stated response times. Sometimes more, depending on what I know about the journal. I don't think I'd query ANYone after two months though! That just seems to beg the editor for a little "oh, you want your story back? okay, then, here's your story back" action.

Penultimatina said...

Anne, that's exactly what I was thinking. ;)

I wonder if the rise of the electronic mag (or at least mag with an email address) will create a generation of writers expecting quicker responses.

I don't think I have ever received more information on ms status when querying. Just an eventual rejection. But I'm patient.

One mag in Chicago *still* has a story of mine (according to my records) submitted in 1998. I wonder if they're going to take it. Maybe I should query! Nah.

Steven D. Schroeder said...

I have a pretty hard line on both ends of the querying issue. Anyone who queries after only 2 months is either a hopeless newbie (I did it once or twice back when I was) or needs to get the self-importance stick out of their ass. On the other hand, I query after six months regardless of what the guidelines say (like Smartish Pace's "don't query until 8 months have passes" and even more ludicrous ones). I usually get no response when I query, regardless of the place or their stated guidelines. And as often as not when I get a response, it turns out not to be true.

By the way, if you bitch to Amazon about their delivery times, they'll often expedite shipping for you, presto!

John Guzlowski said...

I don't query.

And it's not because I'm patient but because I'm sloppy. I've been sending stuff out for about 40 years and have never come up with a good system for keeping track of what I send out.

For all I know, I have manuscripts that have been sitting on some editor's desk for 40 years.

Imagine that: old manuscripts, typed badly, yellowing paper with coffee stains and dried tear drops.

And what are those poems like? I never used to save copies of things I sent out. It was before computers, and even xerox machines were hard to come across, and typing was even hard. You had to hit the keys hard and correct mistakes with chalk.

Hard times back then for writers.

John Gallaher said...

A few times I've waited so long I've forgotten about it. When it starts getting close to a year, I begin to wonder what's up.

I know it's different for fiction writers, but isn't everything?

Lee Herrick said...

I usually wait about a year, although I rarely query. I think I've done so once or twice. This entire question depends on their stated response time though, right? ZYZZYVA, for example, responds within a month usually. Others state 3 to 6 months or longer. If a person were anxious about it, I'd say to wait %50 longer than the outside time. In other words, if they say six months, query in nine. I founded a print magazine about ten years ago, so I can feel your pain about the two month queries.

John Guzlowski said...

People waiting a year or six months to query? Other people never sending out a query?

I think it's time for a revolution!

How about we all pledge to query immediately after sending out the poems or stories?

Better yet, how about if we query before sending the poems/stories out?

Anonymous said...

I used to query after a publication's stated response time, then extended that to about two months after the publication's stated response time.

Now that I'm mother to an active toddler, I usually forget where I've sent to and when. I don't usually get around to sending an inquiry until the poems have been under consideration for about 10 months.

If I don't get a response to the inquiry in two months, I make a note to never send to that publication again and start sending the poems elsewhere.

If a publication has had my poems for more than 10 months and can't even bother to respond to an inquiry, they apparently don't need more submissions and I don't want to waste my time sending to them.

Take on May

It's the first day of finals week and I already have that loopy off-my-routine feeling. Waiting for things to grade, and when those ...