Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dead Words

On February 6, 2006, I got a letter from Rogers State University saying that one of my stories had been accepted for publication in their literary journal, Cooweescoowee. It was the first story I'd had accepted, so I was excited. Later that same day I got an email from Quick Fiction, accepting a different story. The Quick Fiction story came out two months later. The Cooweescoowee story still hasn't seen print.

I waited about six months, and then emailed Cooweescoowee, asking for an update. The magazine's editor sent me a friendly note saying my "poem" was scheduled to appear in their Fall issue, in November. She said she'd happily mail me a few copies when it came off the press. I felt a bit uneasy reading that, since my piece wasn't a poem, but I didn't bother to respond for fear of irritating her with excessive emails. I'd only published one piece by this point, and I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize the chance of getting another piece in print.

Time passed. I published a few more things. After six more months without any news from Cooweescoowee, I sent the lady another email, and left a voice message on her phone's answering machine. She replied with the following email:

"I assure you your story is coming out. We're reading the third edition of the galley proof now. As soon as we're done with that the Coo will go to the publisher. There have been several production problems with this issue, primarily due to training a new layout and design editor. As soon as I have copies in my hand I'll mail copies to you personally. "

It's been six more months by this point, about a year and a half since the story was first accepted, and a year since the editor said it'd be in print. I've had two more stories accepted for publication, but I still haven't heard a thing from Cooweescoowee. I just sent them another email. Unless I get a response saying the thing's already been published, I'm planning on telling them they've lost their chance.

What bothers me most is that just after the story was accepted by Cooweescoowee, I found out it had also been accepted by Transfer, a literary journal for San Francisco State--at least that's what one of the fiction staff told me when I wrote to tell them I placed the piece elsewhere. That issue of Transfer came out a year ago.

I found Cooweescoowee by looking through the Classifieds section of Poets and Writers Magazine. Anyone out there now a better way to find journals seeking stories?


brandon said...

craigslist sometimes, i got published by nanofiction and by the alchemy review through craigslist

the best is to go to an online lit mag and go to the links section, look around in there.

have a good day

mcmfs said...

Thanks Brandon