To the writers’ workshop this evening, where many a glass was raised to the memory of John Hellon (see previous post). I am reproducing my ‘exercise’ tonight here because it is a graphic illustration of what budding writers are always told at workshops and the like: if at first you don’t succeed (and you almost certainly won’t) then try and try again. “In December 2010 I fell ill with flu. Instead of going to Tunis, I went to bed. But once the initial fever had passed I found it impossible to do nothing and so I wrote a short story, The Garden of Eden, which brought together a few ideas I had had. It was an experiment in a genre, sci fi, that I wouldn’t normally touch. Because I was ill, I had the time to finish it and was not unhappy with the result, so I submitted it to the writers’ workshop. They liked it. So, with the workshop’s encouragement ringing in my ears, I did a google search and came up with a list of the ‘top ten science fiction magazines’. Interzone (number one on the list) rejected it on 4 January. Asimov’s Science Fiction (number two) rejected it on 16 February. The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (number three) rejected it on 26 April. Analog Science Fiction and Fact (number four) rejected it on 16 June. Not One of Us rejected it on 9 July. Clarkesworld Magazine rejected it on 16 July. Our World and Another Realm no longer existed. Strange Horizons rejected it on 26 September and Challenger rejected it the same day. However, some kind soul at that particular magazine told me that the story, though not quite right for them, was the sort of thing a friend liked. This friend was the short fiction editor at another magazine. So I submitted it to that other magazine on 14 October last year and heard nothing. I wrote in December. The short story editor wrote back apologetically to tell me that they had a long backlog. And then, just last Friday, I received the following e-mail: “Please review the attached HTML-formatted and slightly-edited version of the story and let me know if any changes are required, including expansion of the minimalist author biography at the end. The story will go online within the next week or so as one of a handful of new items in our “Best of 2011″ edition.” Bingo! When the story is published I’ll provide the name of the magazine and the link.