September 2020

So, we've been reading stories from the July submission window. It's been slower going than usual. Donald typically does most of the first round reading, but he's been busy with his day job. In the BC era (Before COVID), he would read submissions on his phone during his commute, on the subway. But now he needs to drive into Boston for work. It turns out you can't read stories on your phone while driving in Boston rush hour traffic (or shouldn't, at least (don't worry, he hasn't tried)). Of the 277 submissions we've received, we've read about 90 and rejected 77. That's a bit behind the third of the way through that we should be at this point. On the bright side, Kristin is starting to have more time for reading, so that would accelerate progress; except that Donald's work is picking up even more, which slows it back down.

We do always manage to choose the stories in time (late November is the absolute latest we can leave it), but are often closer to that deadline than we'd really like. So, although our Submission Guidelines still say that we try to respond to everyone within 3 months of the submission window ending (i.e., before the end of October), don't be too alarmed if you haven't heard from us by early November. 

Unfortunately, due to these time constraints, we mostly have to use form rejections, and can't take the time to offer feedback on everyone's story. Sorry, but if you reply to a rejection letter by asking how we think you could improve your story, we probably will not respond.

We've also been working on the reprint anthology of stories published on the website in 2018-19. The ebook is done, but we're still tinkering with the print layout. Since Kristin and Donald have never done print layout before (we hired someone for the original anthology) it's taken some time. Fortunately, we got helpful tips from our friend, author Sarah Smith (find out about her books here!). We've been following the basic format of our first anthology, with some slight differences, and a whole lot of grinding (as gamers say) as we print out formatting options and compare them before reaching a decision. It should be faster next time we need to do it, since we'll have a template worked out.

At some point, you'll be able to buy this reprint anthology from Amazon and other online retailers, in either ebook or paperback. Of course, all the stories in it are also available to read for free on this very website! But, for anyone who prefers the additional features that come with the ebook format, or with having an actual book you can hold in your hand or put under the Christmas tree for someone (hint, hint), this is for you. (And the original Mysterion anthology is still around too--most of these stories aren't available anywhere else.)

Coming to Mysterion in September and October, we have science fiction and historical fantasy. Here's the lineup:

September 28th: "Michael", Em Liu. The Sojourners have found refuge on Earth, but only one still seeks a connection with the inscrutable Humans among whom they've landed.

October 26th: "The Original Sin of William Blackhand", R. Keelan. Haunted by betrayal, William makes a name for himself as an executioner of those others won't touch.

Both these stories are available to read now through our Patreon site, depending on your support level.

Speaking of Patreon, our monthly support has dipped below $200 again, so we've had to cut back on new artwork for the site, from four pieces a year to only three. If you appreciate what we're doing and aren't supporting us yet, please consider doing so! Every little bit helps, even $1 a month. If we get back above $200, we'll be able to bring you new art every three months again instead of every four. And our next goal after that ($275 a month) would allow us to publish 16 stories a year instead of 14.

Wishing everyone a safe autumn, and thanks for reading!

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