Happy Anniversary, Niteblade!
To celebrate the longevity of this fabulous fantasy and horror mag, I'm taking part in the Niteblade blog train. The last scheduled stop was here.
I remember the first piece I ever had accepted by Niteblade. I especially remember writing it.
I was a newly published poet who stumbled through a dry spell.
It happens to every writer. Once you get a taste of being accepted, you realize that you want only one thing--to have every last piece immediately welcomed into journals. It’s as if because we had a few things accepted, the entire publishing world should be witness to the wisdom of those editors and greedily grab up our work.
Ah, the arrogance of a writer.
Anyways. I had that notion kicked out of me pretty early on. Wave after wave of rejections flooded in. Stupid reality, why do you have to burst my bubble?
One day I decided to switch tactics. Instead of writing what I wanted to write and search for the right home for it, I did the exact opposite. I decided to read a few journals to see what they published. I'd then write things that needed to be in there.
In hindsight, there was a certain logic to doing that. Each editor of every journal has a style, a vein of philosophy that is reflected by the pieces they collect for the journals pages. Just about every set of guidelines I’ve ever read encourages writers to read the journal, see what they like, then submit the same.
I just took things a step further--I'd craft a piece with the unfailing faith that the editor would love it.
Trouble was…and there’s always trouble…my optimism was stained with my sardonic spirit. Basically, my spiteful side was showing when I sat down to write something for Niteblade.
Sitting in the kitchen, I wrote “What’s for Dinner?” and sent it off to Editor Rhonda Parrish.
Five days later, I received her acceptance.
Huh, I thought. So that’s how it works.
She must have really liked it, too, because she picked it as one of her six Pushcart Prize nominations for the year.
To this day, it remains my proudest moment--and a most valuable lesson. Respect the editor. Woo them with your words. Send them what they want most to read.
And if you really like their journal, make something just for them.
Happy Anniversary, Niteblade. Salut!
Go on to the next stop in the Niteblade Blog Train by visiting Marge Simon at http://niteblade.com/news/ when she posts on August 15th.
Read "What's For Dinner?" and other intriguing poetry in Niteblade Issue 18: The Poetry Issue.