I have a story in the newly-released Dead Red Heart anthology. Most of you will know that I wouldn’t touch a vampire over-my-dead-body, and am not particularly fond of the trope in fiction either. OK, I’ve read the Twilight series. Yes, all of it *gasp*. I have to admit that was an aberration.
Anyway, Quarantine is a story I purpose-wrote when Russ invited me to contribute to this anthology. I set myself a challenge to see if I could write something about vampires. I was surprised at myself, and pleased, that I succeeded to write a story I was happy with, although I took a SF-nal approach to the theme.
But what if the story wouldn’t have been accepted? What would I have done with it?
I’m sure that, if they didn’t already know it, most semipro magazines will have found out recently that someone in the world must have been putting together a vampire anthology. I’ve seen a number of stories in the slush.
Is this the right thing? Do you submit those rejected stories everywhere?
I wouldn’t. Because many magazines will be aware of the anthology, they’re sensitive to the subject. Sensitive in the sense that they’re probably more likely to reject the story as soon as they figure out that it is a reject from someone else’s anthology.
Therefore, I would let the story rest for a while. That is, if I didn’t decide to change it. Because purpose-written stories are just that: purpose-written. Also, if the story is a reject, it gives you the opportunity to see if you can improve it, and possibly make it less-themed.