The problem with having a story accepted for this anthology was that I live in Delaware. Residence in all but a few states made one ineligible. The first year I was encouraged to submit because after all I was born and raised in New England, considered myself a New England writer and the story was set in New England. The rejection came with the caveat: no non New Englanders need apply.
Two years ago the small press changed hands and opened submissions to anyone who wanted to enter. The only restriction was that the story had to be set in New England.
This year I began with a running start. In January I vowed to write and submit a story a month. This one was number three. I wrote a story set in, of all places, Somerville, Massachusetts in the 1890s. I sent it out to a couple of my readers and incorporated their comments. I was ready with a revised manuscript the minute submissions opened.
The way it is supposed to work is that you send in the story, then you go on to something else and forget that you are waiting for a response from the publisher. That's easier said than done. I waited with some degree of decorum for submissions to close. I knew lots of writers revise until the last minute and then submit, or hear about the call for manuscript late and work up to the last minute. There would be a flood of manuscripts close to the deadline.
The first job of the editors is to go through and sort out all the unsuitable ones, those that were not set in New England, those that were poorly written, those that aren't mysteries. Yes, editors do get a number of manuscript that don't fit the call in any way, that are written by beginners who don't realize becoming a writer takes practice, or don't meet the requirements for length, formatting or inclusion of the authors name if it is a blind submission.
It is usual for me to submit a week or so before the due date. This time I sent it in as soon as submissions opened. That meant that I had to wait the whole length of the submission period plus how ever long it would take the judges to make their decision.
I knew I would hear nothing for at least a month. Nevertheless, I went to my email first thing each morning to see if the acceptance or rejection had arrived. Since I sent this manuscript out into to the universe, I've started two stories and written a whole one that still needs revising, so I haven't quite given up on my resolution of a story a month.
I can give you a fist full of reasons why it should not be accepted. Subject matter, setting, character development. I can give you more based, not on my writing, but how well written the other submissions are. I'm a good writer but not a great writer.
So here I sit at the end of June waiting for a response. I know I will be happy to get the email, but I wonder how long I will stare at it before I have the nerve to open it and see if my writing measures up.
Either way I will let you know.