Penumbra Submissions

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Penumbra Submissions

Postby george nik. » Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:06 am

Does anyone here submit to Penumbra? I need some help with the guidelines, urgently! wotf014

I've submitted a story to Penumbra for the June issue (call ended Jan 31st). I want to submit one for the July issue (call ending Feb 29th) but I'm afraid that by the time a reply comes for June I'll have missed the deadline for July. I am not really satisfied with the June story, I think it is not actually a proper fit for Penumbra, but I don't want to withdraw it -- if they don't like it, that's for them to decide.

So my question is: Penumbra, like almost everyone else, doesn't accept multiples. But the rational interpretation for this is that they don't accept multiple submissions for the same issue. Logically they should accept a submission for the next issue, even if they haven't replied to the previous one yet. The same applies for WOTF, really; when we submitted for Q1 the results for Q4 were not out yet, if I remenber correctly.
But logic does not apply here - the question is what do they actually want. I sent them a query but they have not replied yet, and if they take long in replying... well, I'm in a very tight schedule and I don't think I could write a story in less than five days.

So... has anyone been in the same situation? Do you know if they would accept a submission for another issue when they have a pending one for the previous issue?
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby MJNL » Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:14 pm

Hmm, I know they're a fairly new venue. I believe their parent publisher is Musa Publishing. I don't have any experience with them myself, but I do know that the Absolute Write forums has a thread dedicated to Musa in their background checks section--and I think Musa's founder is a member of AW. That might be a good place to look for an answer.
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby E.CaimanSands » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:08 pm

I submitted to Penumbra though I have no idea whether they'd mind submissions to two issues.
Marina is right though, there is info about Musa on Absolute Write here: http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=221640. They arose from the ashes of another small publisher called Aspen Mountain Press that crashed and burned.
http://accrispin.blogspot.com/search?q=aspen+mountain
I only discovered all this after I'd submitted, got past the first reader and thought I should look into who on earth I had submitted to! I was a little alarmed at first, but they seem okay! wotf013

I guess none of this is much help though. wotf017
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby george nik. » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:07 am

Thanks a lot, Marina and Elinor! All this was useful information. wotf008

I've decided to start writing the story now and submit it to them right at the deadline -- unless they finally reply to my e-mail and tell me that I shouldn't. Their themes are very broad, anyway, and stories written for them could just as easily be submitted anywhere, so even if I don't submit to them it will not be a total waste.
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby WriteToLive » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:12 pm

george nik. wrote:Thanks a lot, Marina and Elinor! All this was useful information. wotf008

I've decided to start writing the story now and submit it to them right at the deadline -- unless they finally reply to my e-mail and tell me that I shouldn't. Their themes are very broad, anyway, and stories written for them could just as easily be submitted anywhere, so even if I don't submit to them it will not be a total waste.


If I remember correctly, they normally make you wait three months if your story is accepted by them, which is why they may not take multiple submissions in general instead of per call.

You could always write the story and submit it, saying in the cover e-mail "I submitted X-Piece for your call ending Jan. 31." Then, the slush editor may get a faster response back to you. Worst case senario, you can't submit it there and you get to submit it somewhere else. wotf017

But, I believe a bunch of those rejections just came out, if I'm reading Duotrope correctly (the Jan. 31 call one, that is).
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby george nik. » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:12 am

Well, I did get an e-mail from Penumbra this morning - in fact I got TWO e-mails.

The one was the answer to my question. It seems that they DO accept multiple submissions for different themes - but they also accept multiple submissions for the SAME theme, which I certainly didn't expect. They just don't want the same story submitted multiple times.

The second one was the announcement that my story was passed on to the next round of evaluation (final round, I hope) where a senior editor will review it for consideration. wotf007 wotf007 I am very excited about this, not only because it's the first time I get a response to a submission (and it's most definitely positive) but also because I was almost sure that this particular story would get a straight rejection from Penumbra as it seemed to me that it was not fit for the issue's theme. Which only goes to show that "you should never self-reject" is very good advice.
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby Grayson Morris » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:42 am

Ooh, congratulations, George! I hope we hear even better Penumbra news from you soon.
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby george nik. » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:45 am

Thanks, Grayson! wotf007 Not there yet, but it's a start, at least! wotf008
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby s_c_baker » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:10 pm

George, I got an e-mail like that for a piece I submitted to them in December. I still haven't heard back on that round! wotf001
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby george nik. » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:11 pm

Oh, I'm sure you will, eventually. And I expect I will, also. The main point is what we will hear. wotf017

But getting to round 2 is a big step, especially for me - since I haven't yet had a story either accepted or rejected, it's the best thing so far! wotf008
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby s_c_baker » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:59 pm

Well, I finally heard back from Penumbra about my fracutred fairy tale submission. A very nice personal rejection, too--almost as good as publication, right? wotf001

It was about what I expected, considering it was a story I'd already written, and that didn't entirely fit their call for publication...

(81 days, for anyone who's keeping track.)
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby WriteToLive » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:17 pm

Mine's been about 85 so far.
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby george nik. » Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:27 pm

s_c_baker wrote:Well, I finally heard back from Penumbra about my fracutred fairy tale submission. A very nice personal rejection, too--almost as good as publication, right? wotf001

It was about what I expected, considering it was a story I'd already written, and that didn't entirely fit their call for publication...

(81 days, for anyone who's keeping track.)

That's a pity, Stewart! I wish you better luck next time.

I'd been about to ask you one of these days if you had any news about your submission and when you had actually submitted.
And I'd just seen you on Duotrope a little while ago (only I didn't know it was you, of course).
So you submitted on December, for the May issue. You made the final round, then--I saw two acceptances reported the same day, as well as two more rejections.
Meaning I still have one month to go, probably, having submitted for the June issue. Oh, well. So I'm waiting for three replies on March, three on April, plus WOTF some time in between.

It's nice knowing you made the finals and was almost published. On the other hand, it's not nice to have to wait so long. Plus the mixed feelings you always get about ALMOST making it. Well, I don't know if I'd take this advice myself, but try to look at it from the bright side. wotf008
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby WriteToLive » Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:27 pm

Is that the Politics issue? I can't tell because they have the acceptances so sparced out.

If I get in, I hope it becomes a qualifying market. It would be good to sell now to a SFWA market.
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby george nik. » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:26 am

WriteToLive wrote:Is that the Politics issue? I can't tell because they have the acceptances so sparced out.
The one of mine that they're holding on to is June issue (Greco-Roman Myths). Politics is July and the current theme is Dreams (August issue).
The acceptances were for Fractured fairytales (May issue).
WriteToLive wrote:If I get in, I hope it becomes a qualifying market. It would be good to sell now to a SFWA market.
Well, they're paying pro rates, so why not?
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby Grayson Morris » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:36 am

george nik. wrote:
WriteToLive wrote:If I get in, I hope it becomes a qualifying market. It would be good to sell now to a SFWA market.
Well, they're paying pro rates, so why not?


Where do you see that, George? On the website, they say they offer no payment to authors.
http://www.penumbramagazine.co.uk/submit.html



Never mind -- different Penumbra, I see: http://www.penumbra.musapublishing.com/submissions.php
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby george nik. » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:25 am

Yes, I know, two Penumbras and so a possible misunderstanding.

I was always referring to Penumbra (Musa Publishing), not Penumbra (UK).
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby WriteToLive » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:39 am

They do, but they also need to meet the quals for getting into SFWA. As of right now, they're not listed.

I may also be working with McCourt at AE to try and get it qualified. 6 cents per word and at the current exchange rate, it's definately a pro market.
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby s_c_baker » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:47 pm

WriteToLive wrote:They do, but they also need to meet the quals for getting into SFWA. As of right now, they're not listed.

I may also be working with McCourt at AE to try and get it qualified. 6 cents per word and at the current exchange rate, it's definately a pro market.

I don't think Penumbra (Musa) has been around for long enough to qualify yet. Also, it's something like a 6-month process to get listed, IIRC. They definitely meet the pro-payment standard, though.
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby WriteToLive » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:49 pm

I think so, but don't they retrodate any publications during the fledgling state as long as the criterium are met?
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby s_c_baker » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:56 pm

WriteToLive wrote:I think so, but don't they retrodate any publications during the fledgling state as long as the criterium are met?

Criteria?

Yes. But they can only apply that once it does actually qualify. Until then, Bob's your writer.
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby preston » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:23 pm

Well, Penumbra didn't think my story for their "Lost" theme was a good fit. Oh well. I kind of already suspected that. The good news is, I just finished a new story for their "ocean" issue and I'm really happy with it. Hoping to enter early and increase my chances of acceptance. Not sure if entering early helps, but I've heard that it does.
Ocean, it's a good theme choice. Lot's of room to explore. Best of luck to everyone diving in. Meet you at the deep end!
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Last edited by preston on Sat Feb 02, 2013 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby AlistairKimble » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:55 pm

preston wrote:Well, Penbumbra didn't think my story for their "Lost" theme was a good fit. Oh well. I kind of already suspected that. The good news is, I just finished a new story for their "ocean" issue and I'm really happy with it. Hoping to enter early and increase my chances of acceptance. Not sure if entering early helps, but I've heard that it does.
Ocean, it's a good theme choice. Lot's of room to explore. Best of luck to everyone diving in. Meet you at the deep end!
Preston Dennett
(HM x 4)


Sorry to hear that, Preston. I submitted one for the "Lost" issue as well, but got the same response. I'll probably skip the "Ocean" issue--I have too many other things to get done. Good luck with that one!

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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby jkenton » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:56 am

I hear you. My submission for the "Lost" call received a rather curt "this doesn't fit," where my submission for the "Space Opera" call received a delightful and profoundly encouraging "I enjoyed reading your story, and would be glad to read more of your submissions in the future..." (Or words to that effect.) Smells like a particular dislike for the "lost" content (and honestly, I did have my protagonist lost in the worst, nastiest, most vile place I could imagine...)

In either case, I'd kill a panda to find out if the rejections were due to technical, quality issues, or simply Content Vs. What We're Looking For. Ah, that New Writer's Dilemma.

Ok, I wouldn't kill a panda. But I'd at least say something cross to it perhaps, if I thought that would get me the level of feedback I need. (Pointless, I know. It would just look at me and continue munching bamboo.)

Unfortunately, I'm keeping my writing confined to one story-universe, so everything is either a seed-crystal for later events in the WiP, or backstory that helps me with current character development & worldbuilding. And very few of the rest of the year's theme calls cross paths with my story universe. It's a pity, because I rather like what I've seen about Penumbra, and Musa as a whole. It feels like they're just the place I'd like to my non-WoTF story's in the door. Ah well. Hopefully my storylines will wander to places they're looking for at some point in the future.

Well, back to the typing I suppose. :)

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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby austinDm » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:56 am

preston wrote:Well, Penumbra didn't think my story for their "Lost" theme was a good fit. Oh well. I kind of already suspected that. The good news is, I just finished a new story for their "ocean" issue and I'm really happy with it. Hoping to enter early and increase my chances of acceptance. Not sure if entering early helps, but I've heard that it does.
Ocean, it's a good theme choice. Lot's of room to explore. Best of luck to everyone diving in. Meet you at the deep end!
Preston Dennett
(HM x 4)


I got the same response for my "lost" story, so it's good to know I'm not the only one that didn't fit their expectations for the theme. I took a risk with a more figurative interpretation of the word--a loss of hope rather than being literally lost in the woods. I got an "enjoyable to read" with my zombie submission, and I have an idea for the ocean issue, so I'm not giving up on Penumbra just yet.

Does anyone know what their policy is regarding multiple submissions? A couple times in the past, I've had two stories that could work for one call. I don't see anything in their guidelines against multiple submissions, so I wonder if I would be able to submit one story early, and then follow up with the other one if the first gets rejected before the deadline.

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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby liz » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:46 pm

My 'Lost' submission was rejected--in under 14 hours! It's off to another market for that one.

As to multiple submissions:

george nik. wrote:Well, I did get an e-mail from Penumbra this morning - in fact I got TWO e-mails.

The one was the answer to my question. It seems that they DO accept multiple submissions for different themes - but they also accept multiple submissions for the SAME theme, which I certainly didn't expect. They just don't want the same story submitted multiple times.



Best of luck to everyone with the next issue wotf008

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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby preston » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:43 pm

Just heard back from Penumbra. My little ocean-themed story has made it to the second round and is under consideration. Yeah! I'm super excited and very hopeful.
Good luck to all other submitters!
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby Rebecca Birch » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:52 pm

preston wrote:Just heard back from Penumbra. My little ocean-themed story has made it to the second round and is under consideration. Yeah! I'm super excited and very hopeful.
Good luck to all other submitters!
Preston Dennett
(HM x 4)


Excellent! Good luck. wotf007
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby morshana » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:02 pm

Good luck, Preston!
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Re: Penumbra Submissions

Postby LDWriter2 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:02 pm

preston wrote:Just heard back from Penumbra. My little ocean-themed story has made it to the second round and is under consideration. Yeah! I'm super excited and very hopeful.
Good luck to all other submitters!
Preston Dennett
(HM x 4)



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