A peek behind the curtain

Galaxy Galloper Press Editor-in-Chief here!

This post is just so you can get to know me and my vision a little better, because I think sometimes it can be uncomfortable to submit your creative genius when you don’t know something about the editors who will be reading your work.

First of all, I want you to know that I am not some big, bad, scary publisher. I’m just a reader and writer who decided to fulfill a dream. I wasn’t born an entrepreneur washing gravel and selling it as diamonds. A few years ago, I talked about wanting to publish novellas after seeing what the market lacked for authors and readers. And now that I am growing more keenly aware of how precious and short life is, I decided to not just talk about what I want to do but to actually do it. I left teaching to pursue my Master of Fine Arts and am focusing a great deal of my time on elevating the press while I am in school so that it is fully sustainable by the time I graduate. So, that’s my story. Nothing crazy. I don’t know everything. I’m not imbued with divine knowledge of the literary arts. But I do know some things. And I know I want to publish great novellas.

So what does “great” mean?

When it comes to submissions, I am looking for those stories that shine, not gravel or diamonds but something that I have to puzzle out for a little while, something that leaves me hungering for more, that makes me think, makes me feel. Pretty vague, huh?

As a writer, I, too, do the intimidating business of submitting my work. Researching the journals and publishers. Reading through their works carefully to learn what it is out there. Stumbling on a journal that lights my brain on fire. Gathering the courage to craft a cover letter. Pressing the upload button. And maybe, just maybe, submitting my creation. Not to say anything of the writing process up to that point. After submitting so many times, I have gotten a little a numb to the process, but there is something wonderful about the sparkling personalized rejection or the rare marvel of an acceptance.

Here’s the thing: I get it. Some publishers are scary. If we reject your work, it is by no means a reflection of you as a writer. (They all say that, right? “It’s not you, it’s me.” Sure, sure.) But seriously, I am a graduate student living off the remains of my former career as a public school teacher. I am putting everything into this press, and for that reason, I can only accept a very, very small portion of the novellas submitted. And I would imagine many other small presses are in similar tricky financial situations. That says nothing about you or your writing. It’s just a fact of where we are right now. And one thing I’m learning as a submitter is that if you get a personalized rejection, SUBMIT AGAIN. That especially applies to our press. If we tell you we like your writing, we mean it. We want to see more.

The truth is great writing is subjective. For this reason, we have many different kinds of readers with many different leanings. I want to allow room for different voices. To me, art should be a medium of unhampered expression and exploration where voices raise us up and transport us to new worlds. And just from the contest submissions we have already received, I can say that you all are contributing to that mission— so many different kinds of characters and styles and ideas. Needless to say, the upcoming months of reading submissions, giving feedback, and selecting the winner will be spectacular!

Also just a note about general submissions: Wow. Wow. Wow. We have SO many impressive general submissions, so our response time is a little slower than I anticipated. (Sorry!) I want to ensure each novella gets the consideration it deserves. Thank you to everyone who submitted during our general submission period! We will likely reopen general submissions after The Novella Spectacular Contest, so be on the lookout for that if you missed our earlier general submission period.

All these words to say: I understand. I’m human, too. I’ve been rejected, too. I know it sucks. I know waiting for a response is as exciting as it is scary. I’m not perfect. I am not the goddess of literary arts who casts down final judgment upon your novellas. I’m just a reader who is excited to review your work. And I believe in the power of your writing.

Happy writing and submitting!