In the last few months I've sent stories to the Commonwealth, HE Bates (Northampton) and Grace Dieu competitions. Now I've sent to Exeter, Bristol, and Nottingham, and once I've bought a toner cartridge will send to Frome, Bridport, Yeovil, and Weckin Writers. It will cost me over 50 quid. Why have I done it?
- I want to clear the decks. I want to get out of re-write mode and start something new
- The alternatives aren't always free. For example Narrative magazine charges $20 per submission (except for 2 weeks in April), and Glimmertrain is competition-driven. Magazines that use submishmash sometimes charge $3 to cover costs. And some US magazines still only accept paper submissions, which aren't cheap.
- I've looked through my old stories and feel that some have been unjustly neglected, or spoilt by a fixable flaw. I've significantly re-touched old ones, expanded/combined some Flash, and have written a new story from scraps.
- I think getting a prize or getting published in a competition anthology will do at least as much for my writing as a 50 pound course would
- I entered my local writing group's in-house story competition. 26 entries. I wasn't in the top 10.
- I thought I was sending loads of stuff off, but I noticed on Writing Stats that in one (admittedly non-typical) year Tania Hershman did 155 submissions and Vanessa Gebbie 75. I've been lazy.
- The odd acceptance makes it all worthwhile. Here are my most recent 2
- Wow. Is there much more to say? I can't even imagine putting such a piece together. I can't imagine the time and work you put into it. Incredible. We're all astounded, and we're honored to publish it in our journal!
- Many thanks for XXX - a real pleasure to type out