Friday, November 25, 2011

Writerly Tip: Organizing Story Submissions

Her first submission log was a bag she'd sewn from a jeans pants-leg and then affixed with an iron-on image of an old-fashioned girl.  Here is where she collected all her rejection letters.  Likely the bag is still being stored by her mother, in her old bedroom, in a box full of other rejection letters and notebooks.  No doubt, for a keepsake, this is a lovely way to keep no-track-whatsoever of the writing you have submitted for publication.

Typically, she uses a spreadsheet to track the submissions.  She finds it best to keep everything as simple as possible so that she's more likely to use the log/calendar. 

Story Magazine Submission Type Notes to Self Date Replied
Every Road New Fangled Review submishmash - pdf from August 2010 folder query after four months 11-13-11, form letter, don't send again, response too quick
Every Road Next Journal email to editor, Jane Doe pays penny/word
The Snow-Cone Stand Lulu Story Contest  Contest requires e-book creation, uploaded on site mid dec results announced

She places the date submitted in the story column and highlights it.  This is also helpful for tracking the last time she did a large batch, and it's easier to compare response times of journals.  

Until a magazine rejects a story, she keeps the row in bold.
When a magazine accepts the story, she highlights the row in purple.

Why keep a submission log for writing?
  • To know when it's time to query about a submission that's been held longer than the magazine's stated response time.
  • To have the information necessary to write a professional query, e.g. I'm checking on the status of my story, "The X to the Y", which I submitted on such-and-such date.
  • If you're a gambler, to keep track of how much money drained in contest entry-fees.
  • To keep track of postage, envelopes, paper for tax purposes (or in hopes that one day these can be claimed on taxes)
  • To keep track of writing; for example, sometimes she'll subconsciously give up on a story, forget about it, then find its title in the submission calendar
  • To rally one's spirits or realize that the number of a rejections a piece of writing has had may mean you need to open it up for revision.
  • To keep track of editors - a cordial or personal note from an editor means that, even if rejected, this is a person you would want to work with in the future and, thus, to submit to again.

For an article regarding rejections, 
how to interpret them, and 
the current situation 
with online rejections, 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Human Day!

One must try not to imagine what will be served at the dinner these turkeys are going to (or what they've already eaten).

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

"The Skydivers" Forthcoming in Emrys Journal, Spring 2012

Emrys Journal logoEmrys Journal has accepted her story "The Skydivers" for publication in their Spring 2012 issue. This will be her first publication with Emrys.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"The Rabbit" Forthcoming in Big Pulp, March 2013

logo Big PulpHer mini-story "The Rabbit" (not to be easily mistaken with her story "Rabbits" from The Floating Order) will be published in Big Pulp in March 2013. This will be her third publication with Big Pulp, which is lovely because it's one of her favorite venues.

Pringle-Toungate's previous publications with Big Pulp are "Every Good Girl Does Fine" and "Palestine, IL".

Update 3/30/13: The Rabbit is now available to read. Click here or copy/paste this link into your browser: 

Friday, November 4, 2011

E-story Experiment: The Snow-Cone Stand

Cover The Snow-Cone Stand
With the rising popularity of e-readers, she has now and then considered self-publishing a single story. She has romantic ideas of photocopying thousands of copies of a story and dropping them on a city or handing them door to door. It's ridiculous, of course--that much paper.

Certainly, the music industry has been changed by the user's ability to download single songs, and she has wondered how that might bleed into the publishing industry--or how that might provide her a little more control, now and then, of getting her work to her readers by self-publishing a single story. She found her valid excuse with's 600-word short-story contest.

Basically, writers submit a story of 600 words or less, convert the story into an e-book, and upload it on Lulu. Later, Lulu judges will declare whatever story the winner.

The contest is not dependent on how many times the story is viewed, and she also couldn't find anything about not charging people for a contest story (so Lulu will be making money off contestants who do sell their contest entry). Regardless, she's giving her story away for free.

After taking several hours to format a tiny story, she thinks she'll go back to her old-fashioned route of letting editors do their jobs and she hers. But that doesn't mean that she wouldn't like you to have it, dear reader.

Download and read "The Snow-Cone Stand" at, iTunes, or Barnes & Noble.--Especially since she might have disqualified the story by putting an image on the cover. Ah, well.

Cover photo by Keoni Cabral,
used under a Creative Commons License

Post Update 4/20/12:

Project Retired