I’ve been pursuing publication for over a year now, but there’s always a first time for everything. Case in point, the following request for a rewrite from editor Jennifer Dawson and associates:

“Thank you for your submission to Flash Me Magazine. We’ve decided it needs a bit more work before it’s ready for publication. Following are some of the editorial comments for your consideration. If you feel like tweaking the story and resubmitting, we’d love to take another look at it.

EDITOR 1: Maybe. There’s a few spots where the author started a sentence with ‘And’ that could be fixed (to make it stronger), but other than that, it’s a good solid story.

EDITOR 2: No. I need to know why people need to be smuggled.

EDITOR 3: Maybe. I like the film noir style and voice of the piece. It does need smoothing (overuse of adverbs, etc), but I’d read a re-write.

EDITOR 4: No. I’d like to know how old the boy was and who the “she” is he can’t live without. I first assumed it was a girlfriend, but the mention of his mother confused the issue. Also, I’d like to know how he thought he could get the money after he’s crossed over. Too many unanswered questions, but I’d consider a rewrite.

EDITOR 5: No. We’re never told what a ‘soul-smuggler’ is and why souls need to be smuggled anywhere in the first place. I liked the dark feel of the piece, but I think there needs to be a little more information about the child’s situation/request & the smuggler for the story to really work.”

I took this challenge head-on and made the revisions, and I think the final product is now a tighter, stronger piece because of it. Awaiting their response with fingers crossed…
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