East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Oh, well…

A story I submitted last month just bounced back… because the magazine I submitted it to went out of business. This is the second time this happens to me – in the first case, it was a story I had already sold – between the acceptance letter and the publishing, the publisher went belly up.
I could be cynical and say that’s the reason why you should always aim at paid-on-acceptance markets, but really it’s no laughing matter.

Every time a magazine or a publisher goes out of business, we, as writers and as readers, are a little poorer.

The only up side of this last sorry matter?
I had mistakenly mailed the same story to two prospect markets at the same time. Now tat problem’s solved.


Real Writer’s Essentials

I have finally achieved one of the mainstays of the Real Writer’s curriculum: a fine collection of rejection slips. The gist is the same for all of them: the editor really enjoyed my story – great ideas, nice twist, quirky language – but they did not enjoy it enough to publish it.

In the last 24 hours two stories bounced back.
Flash fiction, little more than 1000 words between the two.
One was instantly revised and sent to another possible market, the second is still here, all 300 words of it, while I look for a suitable venue.

I’ve been writing a lot this last four weeks, work for hire mostly, and this has caused a lull in my submission process. I need to write more stories to submit, I need the time to write them.
Which is funny, because as a writer full-time, I now need to find short snippets of free time to write my own stuff.

Meanwhile, the bills pile up.
Isn’t this writing business a hoot?


Rejection slips

Last week a publisher informed me that a story I had submitted for their next anthology is not good enough to be included.
Oh, they were much more tactful, but the bottom line is just that – the story is not good enough.

And re-reading it, I must agree.
I could make a lot of excuses – I rushed the job because of the deadline, it was my first English-language story in almost a decade, the word-limit was very tight, I had no time for availing me of my indispensible proof-reader and sounding board, or call on beta-readers.
But that would just be making excuses.

not deadI’m much more interested, at the moment, in revising and rewriting the story as much as possible, without time or word constraints, and then try my luck again.
What’s more, I like the two main characters, and I’d love to do at least two more stories featuring them.
And anyway, submitting that story, for all its weaknesses, was absolutely indispensible – it was necessary to overcome the stagefright one feels facing a new market, a new public, a new world.

Which leads me to the interesting part – the fact that my first English submission bounced back caused some parties to get into told-you-so mode. Continue reading