Wednesday, October 2, 2013

IWSG & Links

It's that time again! First Wednesday of the month means Insecure Writer's Support Group (or I Was Seeking Gary in some circles...Hi, Gary!).

The IWSG is a support group for writers, run by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Check out the new website at the link above!

What's my insecurity today? Well, I'm sort of in a quandary and I'd love some feedback.

Several months ago, I had a short story accepted into a magazine. We hammered out some details, but I didn't sign a contract yet. I was told I would get edits and a contract in September.

Instead, I received an email from the editor sent out to everyone who had a piece accepted into the magazine saying she thought there was a good chance our stories would not be published, as the owner of this magazine and others had gone bankrupt. She said she was resigning as editor, and recommended that those who could should start submitting our work elsewhere.

My dilemma is multi-fold: 1. I like the umbrella group this magazine is under, 2. I haven't heard from anyone other than the now ex-editor and don't know anyone else who was accepted to see if they've found anything out, 3. I am wary of shopping my story elsewhere just to find out everything is fine. I have no idea who to contact to check on any of these details.

The good thing is that I hadn't signed any sort of contract, though I had accepted placement of my story in writing (my acceptance email). So...WWYD? I'm inclined to shop some other things around for now and see if anything new develops, but I like this story, and I hate to have it moldering for another year because my publication date doesn't go down when it's supposed to.

So far, I've not had the best experiences with fiction publication, and I'm trying not to get discouraged by it.

This entry was longer than my usual IWSG posts, so I'm going to skip [M]WW and jump straight into the links for this week.

Accepting Submissions:

Whitefish Review is accepting submissions for their "Hunger" issue through November 1. Pays $10 per printed page, with a maximum of $50.

Written Backwards is producing an anthology entitled Chiral Mad 2. Viral invite only (consider this your viral invite). Deadline around November 1. Pays pro-payment ($.05 per word). Psychological horror. All profits go to charity after writer payment and payment of publication costs.

Room Magazine, a women's magazine, is seeking submissions. Pays between $50 and $250 for various length pieces. Deadline October 31.

Match Books is putting out two anthology calls right now. One for urban fantasy (deadline December 6), one for romance (deadline November 1). Payment unknown. They also accept novel submissions.

Blog Challenge/fest:

Jane Ann McLachlan's October Memoir and Backstory Blog Challenge has started, but I think you can still sign up.

Denise Covey at Write...Edit...Publish has a monthly blogfest with a different theme each month. This month, the theme is "haunting," to be posted October 30. Sign up now to participate!

Anything of interest to report? Any acceptances or publishing news? WWYD in my current situation? Had anything like that happen to you? Any of these publications interest you? How about the blog hops?

May you find your Muse.


  1. What a bummer! I'd find someone else at that magazine and get the real story. Let them know about the email you received so they don't think you are just bugging them.

  2. Like Alex, I'd email another contact at the magazine. Have you Googled the name of the magazine to see if other people are complaining about them on forums etc? You can usually get some of the info that way, if there is info to get.

  3. I agree with Alex. Get the straight dope from someone else at the mag. And perhaps send the story out to other mags that are still doing well! Good luck!

  4. I would think there'd be someone else at the magazine or umbrella group who would have some info. Try Googling, like Annalisa said, and maybe try Preditors and Editors and/or the Absolute Write forums. (I would think they would come up during a Google search....)

  5. Have you checked with Writers Beware? She (Victoria) seems to hear about the publishers and editors to avoid. If not, she usually can get the scoop.

    Good luck with the story. I'd be doing what you are doing. If your gut instinct is suspicious, then I'd try to find out more details.

  6. (Waving at fellow Colorado friend and writer!). I recognize you from the Peak but I think this may be my first time visiting your site. Must add.

    Anyway,I freelance and have had multiple magazines fold and delay payment (even with a contract). Ah bugger, it's a pain. I say shop elsewhere with a free heart and conscience. Sorry you're going through this.

    Julie Luek
    A Thought Grows
    Co-host IWSG October

  7. Agree with what others have said: Spam every contact you can find at the magazine (phone #s, e-mails, etc.) until you find someone else who confirms what this person told you.

    Keep writing and submitting to other places in the meantime.

    This is becoming a huge problem in the digital publication and internet age btw. I have numerous writing acquaintances who have told me something similar: I have XYZ with XYZ publisher and they just went belly-up over night.

    It's happening with journals/magazines and novel publishers all the time I'm afraid. I guess the best thing to do is research the heck out of them before hand and make sure they have a lengthy and good track record.

    Truly sorry you're having to deal with this, Shannon.

  8. Wow, what a disappointment. I think Alex gave you the best advice, and you need to do some more digging.
    Hope this finds you well and fine!

  9. I would try to contact someone at the publisher. If you don't hear from them soon, I would shop it around. Don't wait.

  10. Well now that sucks. Sounds like you got some good advice, though. Best of luck buddy!
    Tina @ Life is Good

  11. Good luck with your story! I hope it gets published somewhere in the end, it's bad luck that this happened so last minute.

  12. I don't think there's any reason not to shop it around while you're trying to get details about what happened.

  13. Publishing.

    That's suck, Shannon. I'm sorry.

    Have you checked into the publisher itself? Maybe contact other editors or the owners to find out more info?

    Since you didn't sign a contract, I'd shop it. It's passed the time they said you'd get edits, so work under the assumption, they are going under.

    On the bright side, it was accepted once, it will be again. Just don't share that info with anyone you submit to.

    I'm proud of all your accomplishments this year. You are on the verge.

  14. Sorry to hear this Shannon.
    There's some good advice posted above.
    I say, take it elsewhere... and good luck!
    Writer In Transit

  15. What a pickle. I would shop it around again. I wouldn't waste anymore time.

  16. I would find another way to contact the magazine and ask what's happening. A lot of this sort of thing has been going on lately. I hope you find a great home for your piece so I can read it.

  17. Ohhhh... what a disappointment! At least it shows your talent though--that you were accepted! I would DEFINITELY shop it elsewhere. For sure. Get it out there! :)

  18. Alex, good advice. I put this post together last night and ended up looking around after. Found a statement from the owner of the entire shebang saying all magazines were suspended until April 2014. Now to figure out precisely how that applies to me. But I think it comes down to it being time to shop around.

    Annalisa, that's a good idea. I did find a brief statement from the owner, but want to hear what more established authors who'd been accepted are doing, as well.

    Catherine, thank you! I definitely need to figure out what's going on for sure.

    Madeline, those two places are a good idea to try. I will check them for sure.

    D.G., no, I hadn't checked with her. Will go see what there is to see. Thanks!

    Julie, ~waves back~ I recognize you from the Peak and RMFW blog. Nice to see you here! I like that advice, thank you. In the letter I was sent it was stated that those who had already been published by related magazines were not getting paid and were still pending those payments.

    E.J., that's good advice for certain. It's rough, too, because so much can happen in the interim when your pub date is a year away.

    Sandy, thank you, yes, it is a huge disappointment. I was so excited.

    Susan, thank you for the good advice!

    Tina, thanks! I think I need it. I truly hope it was a good sign that the first place I shopped it to picked it up. Plus, I was encouraged by the list of names being published in the same magazine. Man, it would have been awesome.

    Laura, definitely bad luck, for me and the other authors. Thank you for your good wishes!

    Andrew, thank you for the advice! I tend to agree at this point, but wanted to float it out there and see what the cumulative thoughts were from all the writer peeps.

    Julie, good advice. I won't mention that it was anywhere else for any time. That was my next question, but I really think it would work against me to tell someone else.

    Michelle, thank you for your vote and advice! The consensus appears to be to start looking, but to also look more deeply into what's going on.

    Em, glad it's not just me that thinks it's a pickle! I looked around on the magazine and umbrella publication's Facebook pages and everyone seems to have just accepted it.

    Mary, I definitely hope you get to read it some day! Thank you for your advice.

    Morgan, it so is! It hit me hard when I opened that email thinking it was my edits and getting broadsided. Thank you for your advice!

  19. I'm no expert on such matters, but it is my understanding that these things happen. Sorry to say, I would take the second email as the official you're-not-being-published-here message. If I were you, I would start submitting your story to other places, especially if it's one you love.

  20. I'd say just keep shopping it around. They have nothing binding you. You might even find a place that's better.

    What you described (minus the bankruptcy) sounds exactly like our experience with Random House. We pretty much had everything minus the contract signed, and right before we were going to sign it, everything folded. "You should start submitting elsewhere" is just a nice way of saying it's not going to happen, so take your story elsewhere. Trust me, we were told those exact same words right before they clarified that the contract folded and nothing was going to come of it.

  21. Looks like you've gotten lots of great advice from others that have stopped by. Best wishes with whatever you decide your next move will be.

  22. I'd go with your gut (though I know it's nice to get affirmation, too!) and best of luck with the submission :)

  23. That is a rotten situation to be stuck in. I'd strongly recommend querying the ex-editor for updates and offer a grace period before shopping the story elsewhere. If you really want it published with them, then you can extend a long grace period, but they don't have the right to tie the story up indefinitely.

    I still feel you deserve retro-congratulations for that acceptance while the appreciated umbrella group was up, though.

  24. Hello Blogging Friend...Isn't it nice to have cooler weather now that 'Fall' is here.   The changing season isn't the only thing happening in Blogland.  Here on CollectInTexas Gal, I've done a bit of a 'MakeOver' and added a BlogShop.   I'd like to take this opportunity to invite you over for a 'LookSee'.  Just click on the signature link below...hope to see you there.
    Sue CollectInTexas BlogShop