I'm going to try to keep this out of rant territory though occassionally my frustration may show through. Recently I sent in a short story to a company I have been trying to get in with for over a year. I love their books and the quality is top notch so getting in one of the dozens of anthologies they put out each year would be a writer's dream come true for me. I write what I considered a wonderful story. A bit of humour, a bit of drama, a nice dose of scalding hot lesbian sex, along with two characters that really developed for me. I had my two closest author buddies beta the piece, put the finishing touches on it and emailed it off to the submission addy. As always I cc'd a copy to myself. I started doing this recently when I lost a very important draft I sent to my editor and now I cc everything to my personal addy. It's also a nice way to prove it went through, or at least it was until now.
I waited until the deadline had passed and then I waited some more. The few friends I knew that submitted had already heard their yays or nays so I was starting to get a bit worried. Finally, three weeks after deadline I sent in an email to the sub addy and asked if I had missed an acceptance or rejection email. I was very professional and curteous with my email becuase the last thing an authopr needs to be is pissy to someone they want to accept their work. The reply I got was:
"I never received a submission from you and the anthology is now full. Sorry we couldn't work together this time. Maybe in the future we can."
I was mortified. To me losing the story was even worse than a rejection. Now I'll never know if the story would have been accepted or not and I won't get that chance. I'm going to publish it as a short story elsewhere at one of my other publishers but it still burns me up inside. I wanted the chance to prove I could write the caliber of story they are looking for and I didn't get a shot at all. The sad thing is that I never got a mailer error and the copy I cc'd to myself came through instantly. Now what? How do you politely inquire if they received your story without bugging someone or pissing someone off? How do you know they got your work? Is this just another thing that will bug me while I wait for my yes or no? Ugh, I worry about enough things already.