First publication!

Aphelion Webzine, a free webzine running for the past 20 years, has published "Dip" in issue 222, out today.

What is this story? The basic idea is: we have a highly-educated lab technician at the cutting edge of physics research, the creation of pocket universes; and she's spending her career and her creative energies underappreciated, not taken seriously, and stuck working on what she sees as a profanely frivolous application of a beautiful subject. Please check it out and discuss it on Aphelion's forums!

I'm incredibly excited about this and I'm thankful to the editor at Aphelion, Dan Hollifield, for giving me my first publication. My work getting out there is a huge boost to my enthusiasm and I hope it will be just the beginning of lots more publications.

A lot of this particular success I owe to advice I got at the Worldcon 75 panel on getting short stories published, namely:

  • I tried a number of markets. "Dip" was submitted elsewhere and rejected before it went to Aphelion. Whenever I got a rejection, I'd look for another place to submit.
  • I found a lot of places I'd never heard of on the Locus magazine list of outlets.
  • I checked out what a given market was about before submitting, to see if what I wanted to submit was a good fit.
    • And when I was getting ready to submit, I reformatted the story to match the submission guidelines
  • After I wrote the story, I paused and left it alone for a while, sending it to a few friends for comments. Then I came back to it and revised. Then I put it down for a little while longer and didn't touch it while it was out with magazines.
But let's be fair: Aphelion has a markedly higher submission rate than, say, Clarkesworld. This does not make it an unworthy venue, but my sights are still fixed on publication in the few remaining professional magazines, not for the money (god knows, writing SF does not pay) but rather as a result of the thing a writer needs to put themselves forward for publication in the first place: arrogant ambition.

Edmund Schluessel

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