Friday 14 September 2012

Sending stories to the States: a beginner's guide

In the States there are many magazines that print stories, and many Creative Writing students/teachers trying to appear in them. UK authors might as well give it a go, but it can be hard knowing where to begin. If you've had a few stories published, you may as well aim high. Literary Markets suggests a magazine ranking. The Rankings will show you how magazines fared in recent Best American Short Stories anthologies, Pushcart etc.

Many magazines don't accept submissions during summer. Word limits tend to be longer than in the UK. Submission procedures vary. Here are the details for a few magazines that I like reading.

Thursday 13 September 2012

My most popular posts

Earlier I listed my least popular posts. Here are the most popular ones, the ones with at least 1000 hits

Tuesday 11 September 2012

The Bridport Prize

"The 2012 competition winners have now been notified"

Oh well. I thought I might have had a chance of being long-listed this time. I sent in 2 very different stories - one Realist, in sections, the other SF or psychological, depending on how it's read. I don't think I can write much better than that. I fear I might be grumpy when I read the winning stories.

So it's back to the singles bars. A new start. America maybe.

Saturday 8 September 2012

Free verse book festival

On Saturday 8th September I went down to London to "meet my publishers". HappenStance was doing a roaring trade thanks to Matthew Stewart's freshly imported Ibérico ham, free with each poetry purchase. His "Tasting Notes" was launched at the event. Like some other HappenStance publications, it will reach parts that other poems don't reach. Marion Tracy's pamphlet "The Giant in the Doorway" was launched too.

Nine Arches Press was upstairs (there was more room than last year). I gave up waiting for the stall to be clear of customers, so this photo's the best I could do. I got some books there. I also bought books by Peter Daniels (Mulfran) and Judy Brown (Seren), and "Adventures in Form" (Penned in the Margins). I would have liked to be in the latter. My forms are more difficult to execute than many in the book, but less experimental I suppose.

I'd intended to go to several readings. In the event I only attended the HappenStance session. Readings were in an atmospheric setting with a mirror as a backdrop. I made the most of the day (27 degrees) by popping to the Saatchi Gallery (a Chess display), Portobello Market, and Church Street Market

Wednesday 5 September 2012


I listened to some interesting talks about e-publishing yesterday. One speaker had found a publisher who acted much like a traditional publisher. Another had paid for a cover and for proofreading/formatting. A third had done it all himself.

I didn't realise that there's a support industry built around e-writing. If you want editing/graphical/translation services, you can put the task out for tender and get samples and references from free-lancers.

Marketing's a slog, but it's never easy. No one sounded keen about Twitter or even Facebook - not worth the time you need to invest. Fiction Press and Goodreads provided more efficient links. It was suggested that writing more books was the best form of marketing - books sell each other ("If you like this book, you might ...."). Repackage books. Find new markets abroad (France and Germany) or produce an Audio book.

The cover's especially important for online sales (it has to look good when shrunk). Even if you do it yourself, you may well have to pay for artwork.