Dear Great Snarkish One,
I recently submitted a story to a literary magazine, the readership for which is very specific and exactly the one for which my story was written. The fiction editor e-mailed me back saying that she liked the work and that although she couldn't reasonably ask me to hold it for her, if I'd be willing to do so anyway she'd have a chance to talk to her managing editor and see if they had room for it in their upcoming edition. She said she'd get back to me in a couple of weeks.
After a few weeks passed, I looked her up to find her e-mail address and thank her for her consideration and withdraw my story from consideration. You know, standard SOP. My Google search pulled up news articles revealing that she had died three days after talking to me. Trouble is, I have no idea whether she passed the story on before she--um, passed on. Given the tragedy that her agency is going through, is the standard professional conduct of the "Thanks for your consideration" letter still appropriate, or would it be more respectful to silently move on? Or, since the story audience is so specific to this magazine's readership, should I file it for a year and re-submit it to them later?
Thanks oh Snarker.
Your faithful Not-quite-a-Snarkling-but-still-amused-and-enlightened-by-your-blog-reader
You write to the managing editor. You offer condolences. You don't do anything more for a bit. This isn't time sensitive OTHER than you want to get a move on with stuff.
Chances are with an unexpected staff vacancy they are not moving at full speed ahead either. If they have seen your story, this will jog their memory. If they haven't, you don't look callous.
Give them some time, then write again and explain you in the middle of things when Ms Editor passed away. They'll figure out what you mean.
Meanwhile, you write other things and query other places.