I just received word that my story, “The Land of Rainbow Greetings,” will appear in a new journal called With Candlelight. This is especially welcome because when I first wrote this story, I wasn’t sure I liked it. I wrote it in a hurry for a deadline at a place that rejected it, and at the last minute I Hemingwayed it big time–cut three quarters of what I had written. Initially, I’d had a whole dinner party, but I pared it down to just the two main characters. I also didn’t know if I liked it because it is based heavily on an idea, and I wondered if the idea had taken over the story and made it a dull fable.
I liked it so little, that for a year, I just left it here or there at places that seemingly forgot about it. Then a few days ago, on Submishmash, I think, I saw that With Candlelight was looking for material. I went there and had a good vibe from the editors’ statements. This story seemed right because it is basically literary with a slight element of horror, and they like horror but are open to various genres and cross-genre work. Still, was the story good enough to bother them with?
I reread it and liked it a lot better. I even felt bad that I had consigned it to limbo for so long. I felt it might merit the $15 honorarium With Candlelight was offering. And luckily, the editors agreed–in very short order.
I draw a couple of conclusions from this: 1. Keep your eye on those newsletters. Some opportunities will pan out. 2. Revisit your work once you have some distance on it. It might surprise you. And 3. The editors of With Candlelight are cool people with great taste.