The first time my worth as a writer truly, madly, deeply resonated within me was when FIYAH Literary Magazine published my ahistorical speculative fiction story, “Bondye Bon.”
I was so surprised, shocked, delighted, and literally freaking out (in a positively good way) that I had to ask my mom and then my husband to read the submission acceptance letter.
Mind you, this was after I had already read it seven times. I didn’t pinch myself, but I did pat my dimpled cheeks in wonderment and a bit of anxiety.
To this day and always and forever, I will be grateful to this magazine’s editors for validating my hopes and dreams. I still keep in touch with this wonderful group of people via social media and/or email.
About a year later, I noticed an email from an unfamiliar address. I assumed it was spam or even a scam! When I read the body of the email, my suspicions brightened to an elegantly and curious “Huh?”
Why? Because sometimes I can be a little dense, insecure, and mirror Eeyore’s temperament from Winnie-the-freaking-Eternally-Positive-Ball-of-Effing-Sunshine-Pooh.
Although I knew that FIYAH magazine was making storms and shockwaves throughout the literary world, I didn’t think that my story would find another home. Why? Because sometimes I’m an idiot. 😐 🙄 😥
You see that?! Lol.
Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies.
Often times we must believe our own worth, and act on it!
The irony. The contradictions. The very heart and soul of what it means to be human. In flux. In motion. Adapting.
And there are times when others will recognize your worth and reach out.
I’m glad I was wrong about the email being spam. 🙂
As a courtesy and wanting to share my Happy Dance Moment, I contacted Troy, the editor at FIYAH to let him know about the latest and greatest developments. Depending on the contract agreement you make, it’s important to hold true to it. For example, if a second market wanted to purchase one of my stories that I had already sold to another BEFORE the contract expired (i.e., publishing rights were not yet reverted back to me) then I would need permission to break the contract early. This was not the case in this situation, but it’s a great best author practice to share with your publisher when the literary gods and goddesses have shined on you. 🙂 Why bask in the glow alone?
After “Bondye Bon” was published for a second time, Bertrand, the acquiring editor for Rivière Blanche sent me two copies of the anthology. He also gave me permission to submit an excerpt of the work for a scholarship application.
In late November of last year, I was contacted by The Dread Machine’s acquiring editor, Monica Louzon (what a lovely name!) who wanted to reprint “Bondye Bon”. 🙂
Since its inception, The Dread Machine predominantly published horror and science fiction. I expressed that although my short story fits specifically within the speculative fiction genre, some horror elements such as slavery, trauma (sexual and physical abuse, for example), is clearly present, I thought it would be a good fit for this publication, provided that there was a clear distinction about what was horrifying and what was not in this ahistorical story.
I also learned from Monica that The Dread Machine is actively looking for “work that pushes the boundaries of what might be considered speculative fiction” (cool!) and their desire to show “potential contributors and readers that breadth of [their] editorial team’s taste” and “encourage would-be contributors to submit a wider range of pieces”. The executive editor, Alin aka Cult Leader, is friendly, funny, and supportive. If you are looking for markets to submit to or to become familiar with, consider the ones I have mentioned in this post.
I’m happy that my story is reaching more and more people and other platforms and audiences.
Yeah, I think this is awesome! 😎