Posts Tagged ‘submissions’

01
Jul

June Recap, July Plans

June was tough, because of less time and shifting priorities. I knew it would be, and even considered downgrading from the weekly to the monthly W1S1 (1 story/1 sub a month, as opposed to 1 a week). I didn’t, however, and still had hoped to meet the goal of 5 stories written in June. Didn’t happen!

While the competitive, but-I-said-I-was-gonna! part is a little frothy about the mouth at the idea of not hitting that goal, most of me (about 98%, I’d say) is okay. I feel like what I did write this month–2 stories of the hoped-for 4–were good stories. I enjoyed writing them, and look forward to seeing where they might end up, and who might enjoy them. I’ve also come to the decision that for July/August at least, I can commit to the monthly W1S1, but not weekly. I may write more than 1 story (in fact, I am hoping for at least 2) but I can’t commit to more than that right now. And I feel pretty good about the switch.

So my May plans are to write 1 new story, sub as much as feels right (which will be at least the required 1, but probably much more), and spend any other fiction-writing time revising the dozen stories written this year that are patiently waiting for their turn.

I’ve had a great 6 months, so I feel nothing but positive about the whole experience. June stats:

Wrote: 2

  • Submitted: 17
  • Accepted: 4 + 1 first place win (Shock Totems bi-monthly flash contest)
  • Published: Poem in Niteblade, short story in Luna Station Quarterly
  • Rejections: 7
  • Withdrawals: 6

 

I’ve only ever withdrawn something once before, because the email kept bouncing. Probably wasn’t even a withdrawal, since they never got it. This month, I had 5 micro-shorts at a market for a long time that seemed kind of off, so I queried twice, about a month apart. Couldn’t get the dude to say boo, so I withdrew them. I also had submitted to a market some time ago that hasn’t been replying to anybody in months. I didn’t query, I just pulled it, resubmitted, and it was accepted within a couple of days elsewhere.

So, that was June. Today is July 1st, and I do feel a sense of relief and not having to produce a completed story each week this month, knowing how I’m going to feel as the month wears on (which won’t be great). But I also feel optimistic about getting stories revised and submitted.

I hope everyone else feels the same!

 

30
Jun

Success! At Least for Today

Yesterday: I added over 5,000 words to a story that had stalled out at less than 1,500 words. In doing so, I finished the first draft. It’s in pretty good shape, only needs some tweaks and a solid one-pass edit, and I think it’s ready to go. That’s tomorrow.

Today: I wrote a story this morning. This afternoon I edited it. And this evening, I submitted it. I feel accomplished. Jury will be out, of course, about whether that’s justified, until the response comes back.

When the stories have been pinballing around in my skull for a while, and I have bits written, notes, dialogue, snippets, they can come out fast and it feels pretty good. I just wish I would learn to get them out fast before the day before a deadline.

I’ve developed a very unfortunate feedback loop, I think. I ponder the story for a long time, until the 11th hour. Then I write it fast, smack it around a little and pound it into shape, submit it and get this incredible little rush from beating the clock. Fun, satisfying, but tiring as heck.

Those  two stories are the only two I wrote this month, far short of the 5 I had hoped for, so it’s the first month I haven’t hit my W1S1 goals. I knew the month would be crazy, however, and so I’m not surprised. I’m not even bothered. Because those two stories make me happy. 😀

22
Jun

Thinky Thoughts on 6 Months of Write 1 Sub 1

With just over a week left in June, I’m pretty sure I’m coming up on the end of the first month in which I probably won’t meet my W1S1 goals. I’ve made plenty of submissions this month, but haven’t finished a single thing. I still have 2 stories I feel I must finish before the end of the month, and I’m committed to doing so. But that will still leave me 3 short for June.

While I’m disappointed, I’m not upset, if that makes sense. And I’m facing the fact that, while looking at the few months that are coming, I’m probably going to have to dial back to the 1 story a month version, rather than 1 weekly. There may be months where I write more than 1, but I think trying to commit to more than that will unravel the already frayed threads up in here. 

Whatever happens come July 1st, I’m thrilled with what I’ve accomplished. And I’m thinking that committing to just 1 a month while working on getting my backlog polished up and out the door might be a better approach in the last half of the year. I’m really proud of some of those still in-revision stories, and want to send them to some pro markets I haven’t ever tried before, which, to be honest, is all of them but one.

My statistics so far this year (which I mean to jump by 2 stories and 2 submissions before the month is out):

  • 28 new stories (#29 is a novella that’s still in progress)
  • 17 of those submitted
  • 9 of those accepted (including one accepted twice, and a first-place, non-publication contest win)
  • a whopping 11 still “in revision” and not sent anywhere
  • only 3 of those currently under submission somewhere
  • several more ideas for stories that I haven’t had time to write yet, but will!

 

Of the old stories of mine that I pulled out, revised and sent, I find myself even more pleased:

  • 6 submissions
  • 5 acceptances
  • 1 still under submission

 

I even pulled out some old poems, a few of them previously published, some never submitted, and a couple humor pieces that don’t really qualify as fiction:

  • 11 submitted
  • 3 accepted
  • 2 still under submission

 

I’m happy, even if I don’t make the 5 stories this month, believe me. In less than 6 months, I’ve had more acceptances (17) than I had in all the years prior, simply because I made myself submit. I probably wouldn’t have submitted nearly as much without my participation in W1S1, even though I was committed to doing more this year. The challenge gave my goals an automatic number and structure, which I feel helped beyond measure. It’s been fun so far, and I’m looking forward to the last 6 months just as much as the first, even if my goals aren’t quite as ambitious.

08
Jun

Shiny Things Won 1st Place!

I entered the bi-monthly flash fiction contest at Shock Totem in May, and my story won!

From what I understand, the winners of the bi-monthly contests over the course of the year are in the running for publication later. So winning this one doesn’t mean it’ll be published, and I have no idea what the prize actually is, but it doesn’t matter. I feel all wound up like the old man in A Christmas Story. Christ, maybe it’s a bowling alley!

For anyone interested, the next one is in July. You get a week to write, revise and submit your story after the prompt is given. Then 3-4 weeks, depending on the number of entries, are alloted for voting and feedback.

New and nervous writers should consider it, because you get several different comments on your story that might prove helpful during revision. You’ve certainly got nothing to lose. It was challenging and fun, even though the prompt dealt with spiders, and I’m arachnophobic.

There’s also a bi-weekly flash challenge that’s just for fun. I haven’t been around to try that one yet, but when I am I’m going to give it a shot. It’s Saturday nights, so if you have a free couple of hours every other Saturday, give it a whirl. I believe you get a prompt and an hour to write, then voting occurs immediately after. This Saturday is the next one (I think). Details about that and the bi-monthly contest, as well as the magazine and other fun things, are at the Shock Totem site.

I was all prepared to do everything I could to distract myself from any low feelings the results might cause (you get to see how many votes you got, and you get criticism…) so winning is a thrill!

19
May

Sold a Story to Books of the Dead Press!

I’ve written about this one–it’s the one I said would hurt if it didn’t get accepted.

For anyone new to submissions, pleased don’t ever do this. Counting on a story’s acceptance so much that you know you’ll be truly upset if it’s sent back, well, that way lies madness. Submit so many and write so much that you don’t have time to focus on just one story, and when the inevitable rejections come in, send them back out and don’t get discouraged. This is what I do most of the time.

This time, though, something was different about this story. It’s the longest original short story I’ve written, and the first one that really got to me as I wrote it. It made my daughter cry, and halfway through had her aggravated at me for pausing (I was reading it aloud to check for errors and goofiness, and she was in the room). I felt, for possibly the first time ever, that I’d written an entertaining, effective story that achieved what I wanted it to do.  That story and one I wrote the following week felt like turning points for me.  (That story sold, too.) Had it been rejected, I know I’d have had a bad few days, especially since it was written specifically for the anthology.

I didn’t open the email for 2 hours, because I’ve already had a bad few days, and didn’t want to make them worse. Then I realized that spending 2 days convincing myself it was a rejection to ease the blow would be the same as facing a rejection for the next 2 days anyway. I told myself to get it over with. And it was accepted.

Thrilled! Some of the names in other Books of the Dead Press anthologies include Ray Garton, Simon Clark, Tim Lebbon, Tim Waggoner, Mort Castle, Michael Laimo and Gary Braunbeck. People I’ve read in horror anthologies and places like Cemetery Dance for years and enjoyed. I don’t know who will be in this anthology, but I recognize names in every BotD book, so being accepted there is a genuinely big thrill for me. 😀

I’ve been so busy, and knew I would be, that I’m aiming for writing 4 stories this month whenever I can squeeze them in. One went down the first week, three still to go.

And so many stories to edit and get out the door. I’m discouraged with myself for sitting on so many for so long. I still have two written in Januuary I haven’t submitted yet! Out of the 31 separate things I’ve submitted this year, I have 13 acceptances.  Almost half of what I’ve sent out has been placed. I’m super pleased with that, so the odds are in my favor of placing at least a couple of the ones waiting to go. 

I’m at my lowest rate of circulating stories in a while–8 pieces to 4 markets, and 5 of those are Twitter-length, 2 are less than 1,500 words and one is a short humor non-ficcy/fic thing. It’s seriously time to get my full-length stuff out there! This is my goal every month, and one I keep falling short of time after time. Time to stop procrastinating those edits.

I can’t feel too badly about it today, though.  Yay, Books of the Dead Press!