There is a website - tied in with a publisher - which runs articles and short stories from their authors. I contacted them to ask if they accepted submissions or if all the short stories were commissioned.Not necessarily. If that's really the only place you'd like to see that story published, there's no harm in letting some time go by.
I received a lovely response from the webmaster explaining that the stories were in fact commissioned but that the editor had agreed to take a submitted story under consideration if I felt it would fit the website.
I had a minor heart attack and wrote a short story specifically for the site and submitted it about 6 weeks after receiving the email.
3 months later, I had not heard back and I sent a follow-up mail to the webmaster - really checking to find out if it was a silent rejection.
She apologised for the delay and explained that the editor was VERY busy. She confirmed that the editor always responded to submissions but that currently there were a lot of projects happening and she could not make any promises as to how long it would take for my story to get read. She ended the email saying that there would be no hard feelings if I wished to withdraw it due to the length of time it was taking.
I responded, agreeing to leave the story with them.
It has now been 6 months. I feel I should not get in touch again unless I wish to withdraw my (exclusive) submission - nagging is clearly not helpful. I could just leave it with them forever (selling one short story will not pay my rent!) but I'm starting to worry that I'm looking a bit sad and desperate. If the editor hasn't read it by now, it clearly isn't a priority (and why should it be) and maybe I should just move on?
From your side of the desk:
* is leaving it (as an exclusive submission) with an editor who has expressed no interest pitiful?
And the ideal author (from an editor's point of view) is one who keeps her/himself very busy--spending time working, creating, and submitting rather than worrying. So try to be that kind, or, failing that, simply try to give the editor that impression.
* is withdrawing it after 6 months (or a year or whatever) due to lack of response acting like a primadonna when I was offered a special opportunity to submit?No. If that's what you want to do, feel free.