Almost overlooked (again)

I’m not sure if I mentioned earlier that I sent another of my short stories out to a magazine I found through Duotrope’s Digest at the beginning of this month. The response time was not indicated, so, of course, I checked my email every single day for the inevitable acceptance letter (full of praise).

And nothing came. Still, I kept checking my email for any news. Granted, two weeks is hardly sufficient time for an editor to respond on an unsolicited submission, but I still remember the surge I felt when a different editor accepted one of my stories the very same day I submitted it, so I kept checking.

Then I remembered a little incident I had maybe a year ago when I sent a query letter to an agent who was known for responding quickly. She hadn’t in my case, but there was something familiar about the two incidents. And it finally dawned on me. Both sites used electronic submission forms rather than email.

Then I had the good sense to check my email spam bucket. Sometimes the responses coming from these systems aren’t recognized as friendly by my email system. Just as with the agent before, the response from the magazine regarding my short story had been shunted to the spam bucket.

It wasn’t an acceptance letter (yet), but it was an acknowledgement of receipt. (I entered that in my submission tracker page at Duotrope’s Digest, which I’m coming to like more each time I use it.) So maybe I’ll remember to look at my spam bucket more often. Sometimes there are pleasant surprises there.

(If you go to the link for my older short story above, you need to know that my hometown, Kansas City, has a reputation for not appreciating its history and art. It was with that in mind that I wrote the story.)

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