I received word back yesterday, an email from the publisher Darkscribe Press, that my short fiction submission for an upcoming anthology has been rejected.
Thank you for submitting your short story for our consideration in the Unspeakable Horror: From the Shadows of the Closet anthology. We gave “Nightmare on Valencia Street” a thorough read.
Our biggest concern with this is that the story is neither scary nor unnerving. This comes across as a straightforward coming-of-age tale with a dark twist versus horror. You missed a golden opportunity with the Harvey Milk angle – you have the makings of a great queer ghost story centered around the mural of Mr. Milk that Johnny finds in the store and that you refer to in your footnote. That said, we’d also recommend that you watch when shifting from one setting to another – you need more than a new paragraph to do so successfully without throwing the reader off.
At this time, we’re going to pass on this with our best wishes that your story finds a suitable home.
So one down, many more to go. I’m at Ritual Roasters on Valencia this morning, working on a new piece now, but will go back to ‘Nightmare’ and do some further editing and rewriting, before sending it out again.