Submitting Stories to Magazines: Long Response Times

During the Writers of the Future event last month I had the chance to talk many writers, including my fellow winners as well as more established authors.

One thing that came up a couple times was that most (all?) of the other writers I spoke with don’t submit to markets that have very slow response times listed online (such as at and other places). The exact definition of very long varied but most seemed horrified when I talked about waiting for over a year to get a response on a story. My longest wait has been just under two years and that was a rejection.

This has certainly got me thinking. I already prioritize so that the slower response markets don’t get to see stories right away but several of my favorite mags have very slow reporting times…

Just checking my current submissions I have two stories out with response times over 430 days. One of those I recently got a rewrite request. I have several stories out there with response times greater than 350 days.

I think I’ll continue subbing to these markets but they may get knocked down down a bit, with slightly lower paying markets maybe getting priority going forward. Thoughts?

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  • Jordan Lapp

    After 3 months, I >will< sim-sub. I've been burned once with a 465 day rejection. Never again.

  • Brent Knowles

    Yeah I’ve been thinking of doing that too… if every long wait turned into an acceptance I’d be more okay with it!

  • Fraser

    Yeah, I have a kind of subconscious algorithm that crunches pay, prestige and response time into a knee jerk decision where to submit.

    Then there is Black Gate. When they start taking submissions again, I will submit there and I will wait.

  • Brent Knowles

    Fraser – I know what you mean. Whenever Black Gate opens I always submit. I have one 400+ day story with them now.

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