• Thomas Gaffney

What in the World am I Thinking?

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

So I found out this past Sunday (via a retweet on Twitter) that Nightmare Magazine is open to submissions until this coming Sunday (3/21/2021), and I was ECSTATIC. And scared. And wondering to myself, Who the HELL do you think you are?!?

I'm not going to pretend I've known about Nightmare Magazine forever; I've literally only been turned onto it during classes at SNHU. But HOLY SHIT. When it came time to choose short stories to read for my creative writing classes, I (naturally) stuck with my bread & butter—the horror genre. And those short stories I chose, not only were they written by some masters, but they were overwhelming found in Nightmare Magazine. Now, I'm not going to pretend that any of my stories will be read by students in the future, but as I poured through back issues and read as many fantastic stories as I had the time for, my mind kept coming back to the same thought, What if one of your short stories ever made it here?

And here it is. My chance. An opportunity to try out with the major leaguers. And between you and me… I don't think my story will be accepted. I've seen some of the Bram Stoker nominees ask Wendy Wagner questions about this submission period—and they write AMAZING stuff. I'm still learning my way. That being said, I'm going to go for it. I have two short stories that aren't published at the moment. One (that was for school) is on its 3rd draft, and that's the more polished of the two. The other might be better in the long run, but I don't know if I can get it cleaned up in less than a week—and I would need a sensitivity reader to make sure I got everything right and respectful.

This is going to be awesome either way, I think. Nightmare Magazine might be the most known of all the publications I've submitted to (no offense to the others!) and the thought that they're going to read one of my stories makes me giddy. If I was a betting man, I would put money down on them passing on my story, but you're damn sure that rejection letter is getting hung at the top of my Wall of Shame (aka my Wall of Motivation).

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