I submitted a short story today to a brand-new quarterly dark fiction magazine called Dark Valentine and shortly after I did, something happened that I have never before experienced. Literally within minutes of sending the email containing an attachment with my story, I received a personal response from one of the editors.
I'm not talking about one of those auto-response email things that says something like, "Thank you for your submission to [insert name of magazine here]. We consider all of our submissions with the seriousness they deserve, which means you may not hear from us for months or possibly years. Maybe not ever. Again, thank you for submitting to [insert name of magazine here]."
It wasn't like that. This was an actual email from an actual editor, introducing herself, referencing comments I made in my submission regarding the magazine, and advising me that it might take up to a week to respond to the submission, and hopefully that would be all right.
For a minute I thought I was being Punk'd. I looked around for Ashton Kutcher.
A week? If that's all right?
A week, as you know if you've ever attempted to submit anything of any length to a magazine, publisher, agent, or just about anyone in the publishing industry as a whole, is like the blink of an eye. Publishing is an industry in which time passes with excruciating slowness, like glacial progression or anything under consideration by the U.S. Congress.
I have no idea whether my story will be right for Dark Valentine. From what I can tell, it should fit well with the magazine's general dark and disturbing theme, but who can say for sure what they are looking for?
I'll tell you this, though. In a business where most of the contact between authors and editors, or authors and agents, or authors and publishers, tends to be cold and impersonal, this was such a refreshing change it makes me root for the survival and success of Dark Valentine whether they ultimately accept my submission or not.
Honestly, the last twenty-four hours have been rough, personally, and this completely unexpected occurrence made my day.