In a delightful early Christmas surprise, I received an email yesterday telling me that my submission to Dimension6, “Red in Tooth and Claw”, had been accepted.
Dimension6 is a relatively new market, but in 2014 they published 3 issues featuring stories by:
Robert N Stephenson
As you can imagine, I am absolutely delighted to share a magazine with names like those!
So, a sale to Dimension6 would be a great thing in itself, but added to that is the fact that the magazine is edited and published by Keith Stevenson though his press, coeur de lion publishing–one of Australia’s premier publishers. This means that this sale is a significant milestone for me.
(Incidentally, all the previous issues are available as free downloads from the site, and the annual collection is extremely cheap given what you get inside. It’s well worth taking the time to check it out)
When I first decided to start taking my writing seriously, and begin submitting, I looked around the Australian scene and there were a few publishers that stood out from the rest. Like most writers I know, I have a list of markets I want to crack, and coeur de lion publishing was right near the top of the Australian list. After all, this was the publisher responsible for, amongst many other great books, X6, one of Australia’s most lauded anthologies (and containing one of the creepiest stories I have ever read. I’ll let you guess which one).
One of the first markets I ever submitted to was Anywhere But Earth. A look at the spectacular TOC would tell you that I didn’t make it, and looking back I didn’t deserve to be in it. Still, I made getting into a coeur de lion one of my goals. Along the way, I have ticked off a number of publishers on my list, and it is incredibly satisfying to have finally been able to do the same with coeur de lion publishing.
The story itself has an interesting history, and acts as example of why you shouldn’t give up on a story easily. “Red in Tooth and Claw” started out as “Adaptive Immunity”, and one of the other Dimension6 authors, Steve Cameron, critiqued it for me before I sent it off into the cold loneliness of submissionspace (funnily enough I critiqued Steve’s D6 story for him, too!). It did okay, getting held for one anthology, and then shortlisted for another, but obviously it was falling just short.
I was lucky enough to get into the AHWA Mentor Program (something I would definitely recommend as value for money), and it was one of the stories my most excellent mentor, Jason Fischer, had a look at and he made a number of suggestions of how to improve it.
After a slight reworking and some tweaks, I sent it off to Dimension6, where it found a home. So, a big thanks to Steve and Jason for their contributions! One of the foundations of writing success is perseverance (or bloody mindedness), and I am glad that I persevered with this one.
In another delightful convergence, my story will appear in the July issue alongside my mentee sister, Stacey Larner (Jason’s other charge during our year of the program). I am very happy to be appearing alongside such a talented writer as Stacey.
It’s also an example of why rejectomancy is a black science to be avoided by virtuous writers. Of the three stories I subbed to Aussie markets over the past three months, there was one that I thought had a great chance of acceptance, one that I thought was worth a try but unlikely to succeed, and one that I thought didn’t have a hope in Hell. The first was rejected, this was the second one (the third is still out there like Schrödinger’s story, neither accepted or rejected).
Just goes to show you never can tell.
So, as you can see, there are all sorts of reasons why I am absolutely thrilled by this sale. I’d say it is a great way to close out the year, but I still have a few announcements left before I can close the books on 2014, so..stay tuned!