Get your writing out there…

Four rejections, so far, and no acceptances…

Starting to feel like a real writer.

For other the creative writers, there are many opportunities for publication – the first step though is to get your work out there. Here is a wonderful list of Opportunities for Writers for October and November 2014, from Aerogramme Writers Studio.

Good luck!

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A little bit of rejection…

3009247448_7d517ab7d0_bI am pretty new to this multiple rejection kind of thing, so it is a little bit painful, and that is only with two rejections, so far.

The rejection letters have been very sweet. Seizure sent a nice one about working your writing muscles. Word Riot said the piece was not right for them but I could try with something else. They are so nicely worded, it makes me wonder if they have different degrees of rejections they send out, from do try again to what the fuck were you thinking, give up, you stink, etc, etc.

Submittable is a new thesis avoiding obsession, as I check it everyday (Ok, several times a day, you never know when it could change), and watch as my stories go from received to in-progress, and then finally declined.

To cheer myself up I did the google thing and found this fabulous post on rejection, which I may read again (and again) whenever necessary. It is a bit daunting to know I have all this rejection ahead of me. Better get on with it I suppose…

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David Harold Tribe Fiction Prize – now open

University_of_Sydney_Main_QuadrangleHere is another competition – open to all Aussie residents and conducted by the School of Letters Arts and Media, The University of Sydney – The David Harold Tribe Fiction Prize. There is also a poetry prize, but it is not currently open.

There are big rewards for the winner – $12,000 – for a piece of short fiction between 3,000 and 3,500 words, with the winning piece published in Southerly.

Entry is free, but you are allowed one piece only, so make it a good one. It must be unpublished, and not have won, or be under consideration anywhere else. Entries close 3rd October.

Good Luck!  

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Sending Out Creative Work to Publishers

00x09910I am challenging myself to send some creative work out to publishers, so yesterday I sent out four pieces, and it took me most of the day. Here’s why….

1) I had no idea where the best place was to send each story.

All the pieces I sent out yesterday were short short (flash) fiction, which has a less traditional market. I have been reading many of the online journals who publish Flash, but felt like I needed to read more to work out the best fit for my stuff. And there are so many really good ones, so it took a lot of time.

I found my favourite stories, and looked up where those writers were sending their work, and followed their lead. I got a bit bogged down in some of their selection criteria, but looking at the actual stories each one published made it much clearer. 

Finally, I chose Seizure (Flashers)WigleafMonkeybicycle (I had one very short one for their one sentence stories) and Smokelong, as my top four for these particular stories, but I could have easily chosen others.

I am not sure how I will go sending to the American ones. I would prefer to start closer to home, but the choices here are limited. 

Some of my choices were also based purely on who was accepting submission at the time. Kill your Darlings will be open for fiction in September; The Lifted Brow is going through some changes, so no submission right now. But I will try these ASAP.

2) This could get expensive.

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I’m going lateral with the images today

There are the traditional high-end publications here in Australia, like OverlandThe Griffith Review, and Meanjin and Southerly who publish literary fiction, with big name writers, as well as newbies. Anyone I have met who has any sort of recognised career here has published in one of these. These are the foot-in-the-door, people-are-taking-me-seriously big guys. But I have read their stories and my work doesn’t seem to fit here. So, I am a bit scared.

Also, another stumbling block right now is the expense. They don’t charge a reading fee for submissions, but subscribers get preferential treatment, and this is a bit more money than I have spare at the moment. So I’ll just read them at the library and dream of a future when I will have my subscription, and the right kind of story to send them.

So, for now, I have made the decision to send only to those that do not charge anything. I am testing the waters, to see if my stories are really of a publishable standard. If I get a few hits, I may change my policy (a form of problem gambling in my future, maybe?) but for now, I will back myself in a non-financially draining way. 

This also means I have accepted the fact that there is no chance of getting paid for my writing at this point.

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Fingers crossed gets a bit scary on google

3) Do I send out one piece to multiple places?

For now, I have sent just one piece to my number one preference for that story, in the vane hope that they pick it up.

But, next week, I will send  another piece out to a few different ones, to see how that feels too.

Just check that the ones you are sending to are happy to accept pieces submitted to multiple places. It will state it clearly on  the guidelines usually. I don’t want to piss them off this early in the game. 

So now I sit back and wait, anywhere between a few week and six months apparently. I’ll let you know how it goes. 

Fingers crossed……

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Feats of Strength by Ravi Mangla

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Here’s another great short I came across recently, too good not to share, by Ravi Mangla – Feats of Strength, published in Tin House.

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Glimmer Train – Short-Story Award for New Writers

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The next round of the Glimmer Train Short-Story Award for New Writers closes August 31st – so if you have something sitting in the drawer, why not give it a go.

It cost $15.00, but there is an open submission section as well for those writers who are financially strapped (it is looked at at a different time).

Good Luck!

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Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos

9083244495_fe847438f1_zI have been busy writing and editing this week, so here is a timely post, in Wired, about why we miss typos in our own work. Typos happen all the time to me. I read something over and over, and often miss even the most obvious mistakes.

Not surprisingly the brain is to blame again, always making ass-umptions.

Hope it makes you feel better, especially if yours made it to print.

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Post Conference Depression

DSCF1055PCD is not usually something I suffer from.

Usually, post conference feels more like information overload, which feels like a combination of excitement and dread. The Yay! I have just learnt so much, along with the Oh Shit! I know so little. Combined with a little bit of WTF  just happened?

When I woke up on Sunday morning, there was a bit of the latter, but generally I just felt lonely (like donkey at the beginning of Shrek). And it was more than just being on the other side of the planet without my family. All my like-minded short story lovers, who had been my community for the past 5 days, were gone, scattered back across the globe, dispersed and diluted.

DSCF1060Still, I set off determined to enjoy my last day in Vienna, cycling down along the Danube. Lonely. Riding back into the city with all the tourists. Lonely. Wandering the museums. Lonely. Discovering fabulous painting and painters and stories. Lonely. Lonely. Lonely.

So I gave up. It was hot and unpleasant and I went back to the flat to veg out and wallow.

I cooked up all the left overs in the fridge, because the supermarkets were closed. Sat down and thought I might as well start to read the anthology. And it was great. Not just because the stories themselves were great, but because I could hear the voices in the stories. I could see the mannerisms, hear the tones, and the accents, of all the writers I had met. It was like being at the pub again, listening to them talk, but getting to know a different side of them.

51fSg16YxrL._SL500_AA300_There were fabulous images, that resonated for days. Chen Cun‘s wonderfully amorous elephants. Anna Solding‘s young boy left collecting his lego blocks scattered on the footpath.

I played Tan Mei Ching‘s fraught game of chasey. Rebekah Clarkson had me trying to use eyes 2 instead of eyes 1. And Ida Černe and her neighbour made me want to stay in my Viennese apartment building forever.

On a more structural note: Paul McVeigh‘s kick in the guts short-short reminded me of the power of one lone sentence. I thought I knew where Clark Blaise story was going, but then he took me somewhere else entirely (and it should be compulsory reading for all Australians, particularly in our current climate of intolerance). I need to ask Cameron Raynes how he did so much in such a short space of time, and made it seem so simply. And I hope I get to have another beer with Alan Weiss, because he left me with so many questions. And Andy Kissane‘s fabulous Chagall inspired story made me want to pull it (and his brain) apart, to find out how he achieved that brilliant pacing. Shit!

There were many other excellent stories in the book that I read later, but these were the few I took to bed with me that night.

DSCF1088My usual response to such work is to be inspired and, not just a little, intimidated. But these writer’s had welcomed me with open arms and I wanted to rise to the challenge. So that evening, I also wrote down my first new story idea. And, after that, they came thick and fast. In a week, I had filled a whole notebook and it feels like I am actually on to something. Like I know what it is I am trying to do and, more importantly, how to recognise when it is working.

Writing is lonely. And it is often confusing. But now, I have a new feeling when I read other people’s stories -Community.

Thanks.

And I promise my next posts will be less sappy.

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