Submission Caws

“Submission Caws” received an audio production by the Centropic Oracle in January 2021!

centropic oracle, thlush a lum, rebecca gomez farrell

Their website also reprinted the story, which first cawed its way into the world at Defenestration humor magazine in August 2019. Jill Raymond performed the audio version, and I quite enjoy her take on the story — the character of Betty, a bubbly and annoyingly successful composer of magical recipes, comes through loud and clear. To listen to or read “Submission Caws,” head to the Centropic Oracle’s website here.

Or of course, you can read “Submission Caws” at its original home at Defenestration, right here.

“Submission Caws” was a lot of fun to write, especially if you know me well enough to know I’m not a huge fan of self-referential or so-called meta writing — I prefer my fiction to be more about the story and characters than about the craft of writing itself. So what is “Submission Caws” about? Well … it’s about the craft of writing! I admit my hypocrisy. More specifically, it’s my chance for a fictional rant about the process for submitting manuscripts out for publication. It is indeed funny, particularly if you are also a writer undertaking this process on a regular basis. And it’s a fantasy take on the concept, with recipes for magic spells subbed in for manuscripts themselves.

The first few lines to entice you onward:

A black crow swoops onto the open window ledge, and yearning gushes from deep within me. I tamp down the emotion swifter than the crow can deliver its charge: a rolled parchment that bangs against the bookshelves as it flips toward the floor. The crow musses its feathers and launches into the air, off to retrieve its next assignment. Soon, someone else will receive fresh misery. I retrieve the parchment, find it quaint that the Gate Keepers use it for correspondence when they could just place a call by sandspelling. The parchment’s seal displays a sentinel guarding a mountain of scrolls piled behind an ornate, locked gate.

And some photographic inspiration: