I just started submitting short stories again. No excuses—I stopped sending stuff out to focus on my novels. Okay, that was my official excuse, and I’m sticking with it. Looking back, it wasn’t the best plan. Be that as it may, it’s been a few years since I submitted stories. I’m guessing I’m not alone in disliking the submission process. Well, I used to really dislike it, but now it’s so much easier. Everyone has gone to online submission forms. I like it!
Still, Something about the word submission irks me. What does it mean exactly? I decided to see what old Merriam-Webster had to say, and because I’m rather simple, I opted for the kid’s definition:
1: the act of putting forward something (as for consideration or comment)
2: the condition of being humble or obedient
3: the act of giving in to power or authority
I recognize that the first definition is appropriate for this discussion, but why does it feel like the other two seem to hit closer to the mark? No matter how thick-skinned you are, or how well you handle rejection, it feels like you are submitting a piece of yourself along with your story. Then you have to be humble when you receive said rejection, and obedient to the whims of the publisher.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think it is a conspiracy. Sending in your story is called a submission to put you in the right frame of mind. Be prepared to submit to the authority of the publisher, all yea who enter here! It can’t be a coincidence.
Anyway, I’ve sent out three submissions: One was rejected within a day, one was accepted within a day, and the last is still out there. Not bad odds. Maybe I should have started submitting again sooner.