Story Behind the Story – Moth{er}

Story Behind the Story – Moth{er}

Another story, another story behind the story post!

Story: Moth{er} [links to buy]
Published in: The anthology Another Name for Darkness
Length: 2,700 words
Brief synopsis: Have you ever been gaslit gatekept girlbossed so hard that you lose your grasp on reality? Have you ever thought about how those moths stuck in the light fixtures felt? Have you ever critically examined your childhood memories?

How the story came to be:

So this is the first story that I finished to be submitted to pro markets. It’s also one of the first short stories I started writing (barring the ones from my creative writing minor, which were mostly unfished and all terrible. Unmedicated ADHD does that to you). I’d open up the file, look at the story, and say, man, this is sooooo good how the hell did I write this. I’m not at the level to finish this and make it actually good.

I don’t know what it was about 2022 that made me say “okay I’m good enough now” but I did do it. I saw an anthology call that was perfect for this story, so I put everything into finishing this and getting it ready for that. It got rejected, but it was a personalized rejection, and a very nice one, actually!

PUBLISHING THE STORY:

Relative Confidence Level Before Submitting: 7? 8? All the feedback I had gotten was very promising and people loved it, and it fit the anthology call well. So I was pretty confident.

Rejections before finding a home: 21 form, 4 presumed, 3 personalized (one of them being very demoralizing 🥲). I submitted this to 35 markets, the first in May 2022 (so 17 months) and it was accepted on the 27th submission.

The eventual home: Sans. PRESS’s Another Name for Darkness. They’re an Irish publisher and I really like the other stories in it! I looooove the cover art (it is very fun to tell my friends “the artist made these Magic cards, too!”) and the whole vibe of the book. Super happy where it ended up 🙂

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