Woman's Weekly say they take about four months, so each month that went by without a rejection letter was a good sign. Previous submissions had been rejected earlier.
As I was a week off the four month point I was hopeful that I stood a good chance of success this time.
But it was not to be.
Thursday morning my SAE dropped through the letterbox, and attached to my manuscript was the standard rejection letter.
I was gutted. Four months and then rejection.
Sadly it's common currency for writers, and after a few hours disappointment (and sympathy from writer friends) my rationality returned and I decided that next week I'll look at the story again, and if I'm still happy, then I'll be looking for a new home for it.
But it's frustrating too. Unlike a novel that can be submitted to more than one place at the same time, you really can't do that with a short story, so you have to wait for a yes or no.
For writers trying to get their first woman's magazine acceptance- to a paying market- it's getting harder. Over the past two to three years the number of magazines accepting submissions has fallen rapidly.
My Weekly and Candis have moved to accepting stories only from writers from whom they've bought from before. Others have dropped fiction completely.
Only this week on Womag's blog, it was mentioned that the Australian magazine Woman's Day was no longer publishing fiction. You only need to look at the list of magazines in the sidebar of her blog to see how few are left.
Obviously magazine editors get hundreds of submissions each week and can't comment on each one; writers understand that.
In an ideal world, those fiction departments which have readers first, would do something as simple as mark an 'x' or a '√', so the rejected writer knows how far along the system their story has actually gone.
Something as simple as that would help both the writer, and the fiction department.
No writer wants to waste either their own time, or an editor's, submitting stories that aren't of publishable standard, so it remains hit and miss until that first acceptance.
So finding a new home for my story is now on my to do list. And find one I will...