I spilled the beans on Twitter a while ago, but today I’m pleased to formally announce that my story “The Leviathans Have Fled the Sea” will be published by Diabolical Plots, in December 2017.
Sixteen more months feels like a long wait, but long waits are not terribly unusual for short fiction. When a single story submission can wait as long as four to six months before being read and either accepted or rejected, with submission to only one publication at a time, time horizons can stretch.
Every part of the writing and publication process can stretch out. Heck, I wrote this story in November of 2014. The draft languished on my hard drive untouched for about six months before I sent it to my writers group for critique, and it was October of 2015 before I revised my draft. Between then and July, the story was almost constantly on submission and racked up six rejections during that time. (This also isn’t an unusual number; my 1st-place Writers of the Future story, “The Star Tree,” racked up nine rejections before it won the contest.)
With a hold notice in July, followed by acceptance and subsequent announcement this month, and another sixteen months until publication, I feel it’s safe to say that writing and publishing short fiction is not for the impatient! This isn’t to criticize David Steffen, editor at Diabolical Plots, or any of the other wonderful editors I’ve worked with. It’s just a reality of the business, one that astonishes many people from outside the industry, who don’t understand the flood of submissions or the complexity of subsequent work that occurs between acceptance and publication.