East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

An evening with Mr Shunn


A story bounced back, about one hour before dinner. Polite, cold, standard editor’s mail: good story, not our genre, worth keeping on the lookout for a publisher, good luck.
Oh, well, it happens.

As we dined it started raining again – there’s storms passing across the skies of Astigianistan – so no after-dinner walk tonight.
I sat down and started tweaking that story – it’s been so long I had forgotten a lot of things. I revised it. Cleaned it up.
Cut about 150 words. Nothing major, on an 8000-words number.
Tightened the dialogue a little, made some minor adjustments.
Checked for American vs English spelling.

It’s a good story.
OK, so I say so myself, sue me.
A crime story. A story of the Corsair.
A little noir, a little John D. MacDonald.

And I said to myself, why not try Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine?
What can they do, bounce it back?

And so I got myself their guidelines, and then I got a hold of the classic Shunn’s manuscript formatting standards as per instructions, and spent some time reformatting my manuscript, and tweaking LibreOffice’s settings to do what was needed.
Then I polished a cover letter, and now I’ll sleep on it and tomorrow morning I’ll mail it.

Let’s see what happens.
Wish me luck.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

8 thoughts on “An evening with Mr Shunn

  1. There’s nothing wrong with AHMM, or the sister magazine Ellery Queens Mystery Magazine. I’ve had a subscription to EQMM for several years now and they put out some decent short stories. I wouldn’t seeing you either magazine.

    Good Luck!


  2. If I can recall correctly (I’ve read this information on a nonfiction book about mystery fiction published in the seventies: Murder Ink: The Mystery Reader’s Companion, considering how AAMS and EQMM changed their publishing company from Davis to Dell, maybe the things are changed) a short story sended to AAMS gain a double possibility of publication since it also taken into consideration by his sister magazine.


    • Based on their guidelines it is no longer so – but should the editor find the story more suitable for the other magazine, they’d suggest to send it again, and alert the other magazine’s editors.
      Let’s say it’s a step back, but still a positive thing.


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