Finalizing September

I did my final reading early for TCLJ 2015.3 and I picked way too many pieces. It’s going to be hard to make an editor’s pick.

I found that there was a definite theme not just in what people submitted but in what appealed to me. The pieces I gravitated toward seemed to be about loss, promise, and time. So apparently that’s one way to get to me. I even had to give a “no” to pieces I liked. Overall, if everything I chose went in, it would be a beautifully-themed edition of the journal.

I’m eager to see what the other editors choose.

TCLJ 2015.2

I love every issue of TCLJ and our latest is finally up (June is always a jam-packed month for us all). I did another Snark Zone, I helped to judge the Spring “Three Cheers and a Tiger” entries (that was a lot of fun), and I made an editor’s pick in addition to all the excellent pieces we had.

Sometimes the hardest part of making final choices is narrowing down my Editor Pick. It’s a piece that would be cut unless salvaged by a single editor. I chose “Fat Peanut” because it captured the Florida I know and each time I opened the story to reread it, I fell right back into it. For me, that’s always a good sign. If memory serves, I had three good pieces on my EP shortlist.

So if you submit something that makes first cut and ends up not getting in (whether it’s to TC or another journal), please don’t be discouraged. Yours may have been the heartbreaker I had to set aside simply because another submission touched something different in me on the day I made my choice.

Keep writing!


As I read the last batch of May submissions for Toasted Cheese, I was moved to tweet about what I was reading:

PLEASE grammar-/spell-check what you submit for publication. No matter how good it is, at a certain point I say “enough” w/errors #amediting

Another tip for #submissions: don’t use unreadable/small font in the body of your submission. We read on mobile devices ya know. #amediting

Given the volume of #submissions that @toasted_cheese receives, we can’t give feedback. We do have free forums for fb. #amwriting #amediting

Please don’t quote “Aladdin” in your fiction like it’s original. Esp when it’s a good story & you don’t need to do it.¬†#amwriting #amediting

We also had a writer ask us not to notify her if the submission was rejected. That’s not our policy. You will always be notified about the status of your submission. I tweeted about that one when I saw it and linked to our piece about writing fears.

Except for the last one, these are things I see very commonly in submissions (several each month). As for the last one, I’ve caught people lifting from films, books, history, you name it. It only really bugs me when the story is strong and doesn’t need the crutch. For the record, the piece that used the Aladdin line (with one noun switch), made my shortlist. I wonder if the writer even realizes it happened.

I had a really high percentage of submissions make my first cut (just over 40%) and there’s usually a second cut before the month’s notification letters are sent out (once Theryn and I confer on our picks). Because we have a new issue this month, we’ll send notifications for the previous month’s submissions¬†ASAP, which may be a little later to your inbox than we like. But we’re working on it very hard.

Damn, that’s a line from Amadeus.