Internal Feedback Information: Literary Magazine Edition.

On July 30, 2019, David K. Slay published an incisive, revealing article, CRITICAL FEEDBACK AREAS FOUND WHILE REVIEWING SUBMISSIONS. It is an original analysis of submission to Craft Magazine.

Hear are just the first gems:

STRUCTURE (54 percent)

  • Narration
    • Unclear, inconsistent, lacking form (arc, pyramid, or otherwise); or structure too apparent, too visible; internal inconsistencies, illogical
  • Pace
    • Narration moves too slowly, too quickly, or is irregular
  • Beginning / Ending
    • Starts too soon; ending weak, contrived, or telegraphed
  • Orientation
    • Confusing time or tenses; reader not grounded in time and place
  • Point of View (POV)
    • POV choice doesn’t facilitate the narration

IMPACT (39 percent)

  • First line, paragraph, or page confusing or missed opportunity (see discussion below); story unengaging, unremarkable, little at stake, lacks tension; or impact is “unearned,” using “surprise” endings, melodrama, gratuitous violence, sex, profanity, etc.

CREATIVITY (37 percent)

  • Too familiar theme, plot, or story; uninspired figurative language; overreliance on adverbs or adjectives, clichés, or stereotypes

LANGUAGE / PROSE (35 percent)

  • Irregular or unnecessarily complicated syntax; limited vocabulary; distracting rhythm, comma misuse; run-on sentences; excessive amount of grammar or spelling errors

EXPOSITION (16 percent)

  • Too explanatory, telling more than showing, or too cryptic—suggesting rather than showing; sacrifices clarity for style; imbalance of scene/dialogue and exposition

VOICE (15 percent)

  • Distracts from the narration, is affected, inauthentic; doesn’t fit the character(s) or narrator; or indistinct from that of other characters

ECONOMY (14 percent)

  • Overly long, needs to be pruned; repetitive or superfluous words; lacks clarity and concision

You can read the entire piece at:

Huzzah for Another Acceptance: Fiction

Lifeguard Chair
The Summers of Carefully

Man, when it rains around here …

Although this newly accepted short-short is about the beach**.

Actually, it is about healthy lust.

Actually, it is about female sexual autonomy. And imagined sexual normalcy. And, oh, the way lifeguards smell.

The Summers of Carefully: July or August in Right Hand Pointing, one of those small, electronic publications I discussed in my previous post–the sort of  journal that could reach millions of readers if I promote correctly.

**Actually, this newly accepted short short is also about the beach.

Ya Da-da-da-da-dada, Submission!

SubmissionIn general, it takes 3-6 months to hear back on a writing submission. During this time, I am reading magazines to compare what they publish against what I write, and arranging  my pieces in the order in which I will submit them after I receive me “NO.”

The healthiest way I have found to look at the process is to expect a “NO.”

Naturally, I have my hopes. At least one a year, those hopes pay off with a literary publication. (2017: twice. 2016: thrice.)

However, when I expect a rejection, as soon as I receive my “No” I send out another piece.

At times, I have maxed out the places I can send pieces. (I try to keep it to ten submissions at a time, per piece.) Or, the magazine I want is taking a break from reading.

However, when I receive a NO and send out post-haste, I can have my “Submission! Boo hoo hoo-hoo-hoo-de hoo” feelings with another piece in already in the submissions process.

As a result, I have between 10 and 40 submissions under consideration at all times.