Counting Fiction Chickens…

            I’m usually very good about NOT counting my fiction chickens before they hatch. Assuming anything in the land of writing fiction is a recipe for disappointment. I’ll admit to the usual bestseller daydreams, but I don’t let those hopeful musings get in the way of real work and concrete victories — however small. That’s why I’m suffering from an unexpected case of disappointment whiplash.

This post was supposed to be about one of those small triumphs, a stepping-stone for unknown writers like me. Late last year I heard that Huffington Post was asking for short fiction submissions. I asked a couple of friends with literary, as opposed to genre, taste in fiction which of my stories to send and I was thrilled when it was accepted.

            Emails flew back and forth. I sent a bio. I sent a headshot. I discovered that the Huffington Post offices were a few blocks from my home. I was also informed that my story would run on or about April 28 and that they would let me know if there was a change.

            Early in April I sent an email to verify that my story was still scheduled to run on April 28. No reply. I tried again. I also noticed that, although the date at the top of the page was current, new stories had not been added in recent weeks. Did they stop the program a few weeks before it was my story’s turn?

            I tried again. The nice guy from my earlier correspondence simply didn’t respond. As he’d made a point of saying how much he enjoyed my story, receiving no response felt like a rejection.

            Now what? I’m not sure. There doesn’t seem to be anything I can do except to go back to my general policy of not counting my fiction chickens until they hatch.


  1. I’ve run into times like this with some non fiction. Emails asking for the work and such, even been told when it would go up and then nothing. I don’t bother with the person in question any more. It isn’t worth the time or aggravation.

    • Candy Korman

      In my freelance writing life I’m used to delays, cancellations of projects, sudden switches and the dreaded, “We decided we don’t really need a writer on this one.” But to have a non-paying gig dissolve without a word, was a bit strange. Huff Post does not pay and they sent out the call for stories. Why stop posting what you already have on hand? Strange, disappointing and the rest. I’m moving on now. You’re right. It’s not worth the aggravation.

  2. What miserable luck. 🙁 You’re more than entitled to feel cheated, but perhaps you can take that story and submit it somewhere else? -hugs-

    • Candy Korman

      I have an inventory of stories that I’d like to place in anthologies or publications, but so far it’s been a tough slog. Some of my stories don’t meet the criteria and I’ve yet to find a good outlet for others. If you or anyone you know has suggestions… I’m OPEN! I even have a, relatively long, vampire short story written to meet the specifications of an anthology that rejected it.

      I think I’m over it — now. Back to working on the novel-in-progress and not worrying about what might have been.

  3. Maybe they’ve just reached a minor hiccup and the stories will resume shortly. At least you did everything you could to follow-up on the matter. I’m trying to enter one or two writing contests a month, and I’ll let you know if any seem like a good fit for you. If my currently literary short story doesn’t find a “home” with the top-tier places I’ve sent it off to, I’ll be looking at over venues. Again, if I see one that looks like you would be a good fit, I’ll send it your way.

    • Candy Korman

      Thanks so much for keeping me in mind! My stories seem to fall between genres or between a single genre and a literary category. They can be hard to place.

      Maybe you’re right about the hiccup. I’ll monitor the page and see if there’s a change in a week or so. It’s very frustrating but it’s life in the fiction lane!