Also, at just over 14,000 words, it's kind of a whopper. For those of you who keep track of such things, a Novellette is roughly 7,501-17,500 words in length - too long for most magazines, and too short for most book publishers. Which means that even if I can find a magazine willing to publish a story based on the world created by Lovecraft (which I have; The Lovecraft eZine is one of a few catering to that genre) the damn thing's just too big to fit! And, except for horror anthologies specializing in Lovecraftian themes, it's not long enough for even a short book (novella).
Nor is that the only problem I've had trying to find a home for my babies. In addition to stories that are too long, or too short. I have stories that are too graphic, or not graphic enough. I have ghost stories that are just the right length, but have children as the main characters - a no-no for some. I have found magazines that are fine with the length and with children as the main characters...but are not currently seeking ghost stories, unless the ghosts are historical figures dating back to the American Revolution. Or contain Chinese hopping vampires. Whatever.
It's easy to see how one can find oneself so stuck in a quagmire of guidelines and rules that submitting at all seems like a fool's errand. I mean, I have a day job; I struggle just to find time during the week to write, with little leftover for the business side. But it has to be done, if you're a serious writer. And here are some bits of advice I have garnered from those in the position I hope to one day be in:
1) Do your research: If you have a story that is, say, based on the Cthulu mythos, you are more than wasting your time by submitting it to a magazine that considers anything based on the work of Lovecraft a deal-breaker. Your best means of determining where to submit a story is to read back issues of the magazine you're considering. This will give you a feel for the type of stories the magazine or book publisher is looking for. Also, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the submissions guidelines of each publisher. This is where you find out exactly what is acceptable, and what isn't. I can't stress this enough: READ THE FRIGGING GUIDELINES!!! Nothing paints you as an amateur faster than submitting a story to a magazine that has already said it won't accept. For them, the submissions guidelines are sort of an IQ test, Darwin's literary survival of the fittest. Ignore them, and you become extinct.
2) Keep at it. Magazines sometimes get temporarily overloaded, and stop accepting submissions. The key word is "temporary." When you enter the marketing phase of your writing, keep a list of potential markets for the piece, and submit to each in turn. Make note of those that are suspending submissions for the moment, and submit at a later date. The pub that wouldn't read your story in January, might be open to it in June. So stay on top of it. Also, just because a magazine rejected one story, doesn't mean the magazine has rejected you as a writer. It may very well accept another story from you, that has a better fit. Nor should you feel that the story that was rejected has no merit. Re-evaluate it, determine if it needs work. If you feel it's strong enough, fix what needs fixing, and keep submitting.
3) Be open to change, or submit anyway. If you have a story you think is perfect for a magazine - with a little tinkering - be open to changing it to fit, especially when it comes to word count. Many magazines that instruct you to submit stories of up to 5,000 words may be open to your 5,500-word story. In other words, "No" means "No..." unless it doesn't.
4) Finally, my own advice is to write a LOT, on a variety of subjects, and in a variety of genres and styles. At one point, I had to face the realization that it wasn't the lack of vision in the magazines I was submitting to that was keeping me back. It was the fact that I only had 4-5 completed stories that I was trying to force-fit into the small number of venues that those stories fit. The more stories you have, the more variety, the more likely you are to find a home for them.
This is a learning experience for me, as much as for any of you. I'd love to hear from anyone who has other advice. Till then,