I’ve just been told that my story, ‘Like Clockwork’ has won second place in SQ Mag’s current Story Quest contest. The theme of the contest was ‘Punkin’ the Train’ – though my story isn’t specifically steampunk or dieselpunk etc and I’m not sure which classification might include a Martian sand-sculpted steam train… This nostalgic version of Mars features in several of my stories, but this is the first that’ll be published. I’ve always liked the idea of threading a story/world across several publications, so fingers crossed for that. I don’t yet know which issue of SQ Mag will include ‘Like Clockwork’.
So that’s good news, and offsets a rejection email (for another story) that came through at around the same time. Despite the harshness, I’m very much in favour of this kind of blunt feedback: “The high quality of the writing camouflages that this is a very dull story. It’s very dry, slow and neither inspires fear or wonder.”
Swings and roundabouts.