An Update

First, I want to extend another heartfelt thank you to all of you for the reception of Proton Reader so far. I was incredibly overwhelmed with the support, the submissions, and the response to our first issue. I loved every story we published and I’m so glad you did too!

Second, I want to apologize for the radio silence for the last few weeks. When we started this, I was pretty up-front about it being run just by two neurodivergents, one of whom already has a full-time job. This is 90% my baby, and the biggest endeavor into anything professionally not-mom-related in years I have undertaken. And, y’all, I did The ADHD Thing.™ Something big came up that put me off my initial plan, I got really overwhelmed, and I anxiously avoided everything related to PR until I felt able to tackle it again.

So here’s where we’re at:

I am pushing the publication for Issue #2 back a month, shooting for an August 1 release date. I have about 80 submissions left to get through from our initial round, and if I don’t feel we’ve got enough for the issue I’ll open submissions back up, probably with a general theme to help narrow down what you decide to submit.

I’m also removing the no-simultaneous submissions requirement for Proton Reader. We included it because it seemed like the industry standard thing to do, but honestly, it doesn’t make much sense where we are at and it’s not an inconvenience for me if you pull your submission because it gets published somewhere else before I’ve gotten to it. It’s also something that was adding to my anxiety, knowing I was the only one holding on to your babies. I understand that doesn’t help too much if everyone else still has that limitation, but it helps my brain to know I’m not adding to it. 

I’m still working on my flow for getting through submissions. I see a lot of editors and slush readers who talk about just reading the first page or first X number of paragraphs and moving on if it doesn’t grab them, but I’m just not there yet. I want to read it all. I enjoy reading it all. I did not give myself time to read it all. I see the care and love and work that goes into writing these stories and it still feels like the least I can do is read them all the way through. Will I become an experienced editor who can dismiss a story after a page if I’m not feeling it? Maybe one day, but to be honest with you I’m not in any rush to get there. 

I will also be re-doing our submission page to more accurately reflect what we’re looking for. This is, of course, an evolving set of criteria, and may internally change based on what we’ve contracted so far for a specific issue, but I think I’ve read enough to be able to better articulate what we are and are not looking for at this point. 

For those who are curious about what came up, we are buying a house! Which, as millennials in this economy is nigh impossible, but empathetic sellers who intentionally chose us over an investor have given us the opportunity to get into our dream home and it simply was not something we could pass up, even if the timing was awful for also starting a new endeavor of this magnitude. I had to focus all my energy on getting us to closing, and now that we’ve gotten there I can take a breath and turn back to PR to clean up what I’ve dropped. There may be a few more bumps in the road – we still need to move and get our current place ready to sell, but the most unexpected and difficult part has passed.

Again, I appreciate all the support and patience as we move forward, and am so excited to share the next batch of stories we have coming!

Stay tuned ~
Sami Lawson