“Tadpoles,” coming out next month in Wizards in Space, has had a super-long, fraught journey to getting published. I first drafted it 10 years ago, right after leaving an abusive relationship. I wanted to submit it, but I’d just started teaching & decided to put writing on hold.
“On hold” turned out to be a decade. I never did manage to juggle teaching & writing together. 1.5 years ago, I quit teaching to SAHM and pursue writing again and dusted off that old draft. It needed a lot of work.
I pared it down to bare bones, rewrote the rest, and submitted it to a bunch of outlets. It was accepted by Canary Lit Mag—but that’s the editor who refused to print a singular “they” pronoun in my bio, so I pulled the story.
In the fallout of that kerfuffle, I resubmitted it to about ten different mags, and waited. I was THRILLED when @wzrdsinspacemag, my top choice outlet, accepted it for publication.
So now, 10 years after it was written, “Tadpoles” is going tobe published. So don’t necessarily give up on your old stories, the really hard ones to tell. It might take a decade of distance to talk about the most raw experiences of your life.
Rilke says writers must have the patience to wait until memories “have turned to blood within us, to glance, to gesture, nameless and no longer to be distinguished from ourselves” and I think that needed to happen with me and the memories in Tadpoles.
Note: If you discuss or message this writer, please do not refer to them with female (or male) pronouns! They are non-binary.