Monday, July 28, 2008

Jim Baen's Universe

I read Jim Baen's Universe's (magazine) submission guidelines sometime last year. I thought that the "new author" slots sounded squirrely. Posting a short story on a message board seems low class. Then last month I decided to follow the guidelines and submit (Killing Words).

I have to retract everything I ever thought about JBU's process. The stupid thing is that the submission guidelines, which outlined exactly the kind of thing that authors want, were staring me in the face all those months. The editorial staff reads the stories and offers comments to help improve the story. The author can then continue to work on the story, posting revisions and receiving more comments.

The new writer's problem is the form letter rejection from almost every magazine. Was the story not interesting? Did the magazine see this story as similar to something they published three issues ago? Does the editor strongly favor "idea" stories over "character" stories? Did the story have two adjectives on the first page that seemed excessive? Did the editor think that the story's Gods "Gader" and "Vozer" sound too much like Vader (as in Darth) and Gozer (from Ghostbusters)?

JBU is golden.

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