Friday 2 March 2012

Where I'm sending stories, and why

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

1 comment:

  1. Many congrats on such lovely acceptances - and good luck with the subs!