Sold “The Days When Papa Takes Me To War” to Beneath Ceaseless Skies

This is my first sale to them.  I don’t write many secondary world fantasy stories, so I’ve only had thirteen prior rejections by BCS. It’s also the first “real” story that I submitted to my MFA workshop last fall (we had an initial assignment to turn in on the 2nd week, but those weren’t workshopped in depth). It was also workshopped once through the Codex Online Writer’s Workshop. But, honestly, I didn’t make many changes after the CWW; the real rewrite was after it came out of the MFA meatgrinder. It’s the first MFA workshop story that I revised and submitted. Hopefully this mean that good things will happen for the other five that I have in reserve! This is also my first professional novelette sale. And I’ve had 111 rejections since my last sale! That’s my longest rejection-interval since 2010! That happens, though.

Thanks to everyone who read and critiqued it! I remember that during the MFA workshop I couldn’t stop smiling, because it seemed so absurd to me that Alice McDermott–a National Book Award-winning novelist–was really giving me comments on a story in which Hemingway fights Nazis with his half-insect lovechild.

Comments (



  1. Widdershins

    Bravo! … Alice knows talent when she sees it!

    1. R. H. Kanakia


  2. debs

    Excellent. See! Feels good, eh? I haven’t sold a novelette. I don’t think. Eeek. One forgets. I’ll go and check.

    No, I’m pretty sure I haven’t.

    So hoorah. You’ve got one up on me. Congratulations

    1. R. H. Kanakia

      Yes, it’s a bit odd to sell one. For like five years I never wrote anything above 6k words because I thought it’d be unsaleable.

  3. Becca

    Actually I feel it a grave oversight in National Book Award procedure that a story in which Hemingway fights Nazis with his half-insect lovechild HAS NOT YET WON one.

    1. R. H. Kanakia

      Haha, maybe someday soon…

  4. mattllavin

    I remember this one! Glad to hear you sold it!

    1. R. H. Kanakia

      I showed it to you too? Wow, this is a much-workshopped piece. Thanks for looking at it!

  5. Ben Godby

    I am going to read this so hard. The title makes me think it will give me shivers.