Clarkesworld: A trip down submissions queue hell

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Oh Clarkesworld.

I know I don’t stand a family man’s chance in a war movie. I know when I submitted, I was all “well, at least they’ll reject me quickly”. I know that I should just let it rest and do something student-ey, like binge watch series or Facebook stalk my classmates.

(Or my 30-day-no-sleep novella. See previous posts.)

And yet, here I am, playing the ‘refresh’ game. Clickety clickety click.

After I had filled in all the online forms and uploaded everything in the correct position, I was pleased to discover there was a ‘queue’ system.

“How excellent,” Past Me thought. “What a clever thing this is.”

How very wrong you were, Past Me.

I started out 45th in the slush pile queue. I subedited some third year articles for Artbeat and when I looked again, I was 29th.

“Oh God,” Past Me thought. “That was really quick. What just happened?”

“What time is it in America? Did they just wake up?”

“Will this now create a landslide?”

I shared this news with my mother, who told me to stop being obsessive. Fair enough. I will be obsessive more quietly. Refresh the screen. 28. Refresh the screen. 27. Refresh the screen. 24? Sorry to 25 and 26. I presume you wrote about zombies.

And then there was 23.

I don’t think I have ever hated a number so much. It did not change. For hours and hours and hours. I was like a heroin addict craving a fix. Moving numbers were my drug of choice. This will sound like genuine insanity to 90% of the population, but I am not alone in my craziness. There are whole forum posts dedicated to people like this, with titles to the effect of: “Am I nuts for checking this page every 30 seconds?”

I went to a House Committee meeting, watched Maties lose a hockey game on the antique residence television and returned to my room.


I took a shower.


Read some stupid Buzzfeed posts.


Cranked out more novella.


That is where I am at. That is also, apparently, where I will stay. 14 stands to be the new 23.

I will update this post once something happens. Or possibly not. Because alcohol will probably be necessary.

Clickety clickety click.


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