Discussion: Paying Markets
Danielle L. Parker
Danielle’s story has been told often by many. But — as always with Danielle — it’s lively reading, and her experience bears heeding:
Re all the comments on BWS vs. paying markets:
I have submitted quite a few things to paying markets, and (ahem) looks like I sold my first one — “Galen the Deathless” — to a small circ print quarterly magazine in L. A. At least I hope so. The editor sent me a message saying they loved it and he was passing it on to the final authority for OK. I still await the Final Authority.
So I suppose I finally broke through. But you know what? There were so many rejections — of “Galen,” too — behind this that I wince to think of it. And if you submit, be prepared to wait endlessly for a response. Black Gate, which is a glossy print magazine, held on to a batch of my stories for over six months before they deigned to reply — and turned me down. Weird Tales holds on to stories for about three months. I submitted to a Canadian rag, forget its name now, which replied with a nasty, gratuitous “I couldn’t get past the first page of your boring story” answer. Most editors are professional, but you get some who are not.
It’s great experience to submit, all the same, and there are some (such as The Leading Edge: look them up in Spicy Green Iguna — a great resource site) which actually take the time and courtesy to respond with a decent critique. (Weird Tales also says a few words, but they are overstocked and aren’t buying, as they told me). So I’d suggest looking first for those decent editors/magazines that offer feedback. At least you’ve gotten something for your effort in submitting. And if you get any feedback from a pro editor, consider it a compliment.
Submitting to paying magazines was so frustrating for me that I almost threw in the towel, and probably would have, except for the recent “Galen” success. Personally, I think BWS is a great zine run by folks with a sense of fun. It’s underrated right now. I think of it almost as an on-line community... and it’s getting better as we grow!
Copyright © 2005 by Danielle L. Parker
Thank you, Danielle ! Here at Bewildering Stories we make no pretense of omniscience, but at times we have helped contributors make their stories more effective. We consider it a cooperative venture. And that’s why the Critics’ Corner is a welcome addition: the readers can pitch in and have their say, as well.
Your last paragraph sums up exactly the way I’ve always thought of Bewildering Stories. We’re a meeting place, not a museum. In this “library” talking is not only allowed, it’s encouraged.
Copyright © 2005 by Don Webb