Wednesday, June 3, 2015

IWSG, SCREAM, & Links

It's the first Wednesday of June, which means it's time for a meeting of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh. If you have writing insecurities and/or want to offer your support to those who are insecure, sign up and join us!


For the second time in a row, I was short-listed by the same Hugo award-winning, pro-paying magazine. For the second time in a row, I got a form rejection from the editor. A form letter. No explanation as to why it was good enough to make it out of the slush pile, but not good enough to make it. No feedback. I get that they're busy. I do what I'm supposed to do, not responding to the rejections or the short-listing so as not to clog up their inboxes. But a part of me is deeply frustrated when I get a form rejection after having been given that little extra piece of hope.

You know what it feels like?


You know, right after she sees her parents coming up the drive and gets that glimmer of hope? "Mo..." STAB.

Okay, so that's over-stating it, but, while I haven't reached the point of giving up, I haven't gotten an acceptance in two months, and it is always somehow worse when I get that close, only to then get a form rejection letter. It hurts when you fall off a step. It's crippling when you fall off the roof. I can feel the frustration and hopelessness setting in that say I'm no good, this isn't going to happen, I'm just not there. I'm fighting it, but it's hard to continually get rejections. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but blah, I'm on a low. Not the lowest, but low all the same.

I need an affirmation from outside myself to tell me that the fight is worth it. That subjecting myself to criticism and rejection is going to pay off.

I do make it worse by starting the submission process with pro markets and working my way down, but I can't know I won't make it into a pro market unless I try. And if pro markets short list me, it means I'm getting close, but I'm not there yet. I WILL make it into that publication. It is a primary goal for me.

Alright, here's the part where I keep myself honest by reporting my submissions for the month of May.

I wrote a new short story for a specific anthology call and submitted it.
I have 12 submissions out, including the new one.
I submitted 7 pieces this month, including the new one mentioned above.
I got 5 rejections this month, including the short-list.

Moving on, I also share various publication links every Wednesday, so here are this week's links. I am not endorsing any of these, merely passing along submissions calls I've come across. Always do your due diligence before submitting to a market.

Accepting Submissions:

Crossed Genres new theme is Sport. They're looking for fantasy and/or science fiction. 1000-6000 words. Pays $.06/word. Deadline for this theme is June 30.

The Literary Hatchet is seeking horror short stories, poetry, humor, interviews, art, photography, and illustrations. 1000-6000 words for fiction. Pays $1-$10, depending upon submission type. Current submission window closes July 1.

Defying Doomsday is seeking stories for an anthology of apocalypse survival fiction wherein one of the protagonists is suffering from a disability. 3000-7000 words. Pays $.07/word. Deadline July 1.

Emby Press is launching an Emby Kids anthology about monsters. Tell a campfire story of an original monster appropriate for kids up to PG-13. Middle Grade. 2000-8000 words. Pays $25 and an e-copy of the book. Deadline July 1.

Indie Authors Press has several anthologies open until filled. Altered States II wants cyberpunk. 2000-10,000 words. Pay is $10, plus an e-copy. Corpus Deluxe wants stories dealing with the undead. 2000-5000 words. Pay is a share of the royalties.

Bust is looking for she-centric articles. I didn't see whether it had to be written by women, but it is FOR women. They're taking pieces on everything from current news, pop culture, health, cooking, daily living, travel for women, local guides, sex guides, and short erotica up to 1500 words. Pay is not specified.

James Ward Kirk Fiction is looking for submissions to Ugly Babies 3. Poetry, flash fiction up to 1000 words, short fiction up to 4000 words. Two people will receive $25 Editor's Choice Awards. All published in the anthology will get an e-copy.

Martian Migraine Press wants weird erotica for Necronomicon, a tri-annual publication. Short stories up to 5000 words, poetry up to 50 lines, and up to around 5000 words. Pays $10 CDN, plus e-copies.

The Health Journal is always accepting submissions of health articles of varying types. Pays $.15/word. Rolling submissions for different issues. July 1 deadline is for September issue.

Plasma Frequency is always open to speculative fiction submissions. Preferred length is 6000 words or less. Pays $.01/word.

What are your insecurities? How do you pull yourself out of the submission doldrums? Any of these markets of interest? Anything to share? Publishing news?

May you find your Muse.

42 comments:

  1. That can be extremely frustrating. A multitude of possible reasons why bombard our heads at times like these. So sorry. A short sentence of explanation would help, especially as it seemed they liked your work. :( Keep plugging away. You're doing great! I know that sounds lame, but it's really the truth. Thank you for the fantastic links!

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    1. It's true. So many reasons it could be. But I will keep plugging away, thanks!

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  2. Bummer you don't know why it was rejected. But you have to keep trying. You'll never get an acceptance if you give up.

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    1. That's true. I've already re-submitted it. :)

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  3. Form rejections suck. If rejection slips aren't useful, i suggest printing them out and burning them, that way you get some of your anger and frustrations out. Don't hang onto them like me and when you feel low, browse through them. It just made my depression worse.

    You have what it takes. How do I know? You still keep on writing new stories and you continued submitting. Most people would have given up by now, i know, because I did. You're pushing through and continue to fight. You should give yourself more credit.

    Keep on being amazing. I hope you get some good news soon.

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    1. I kind of like the thought of burning them. Right now, I don't print them up until that story gets accepted. Then I bundle them behind the acceptance so I can mock them for rejecting me. ;) Thank you. I hope you're submitting again?

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  4. If you were short listed, I would expect some kind of explanation or advice. And I do the same thing...I send my submissions to the ones I really hope for first and work my way down.

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    1. Oh good, I'm glad it's not just me that does it that way. I figure I need to try.

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  5. I'm sorry you got rejected. I don't have any advice because I struggle with feeling like I should give up the whole thing all the time, but I hope you are able to move forward and keep going.

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    1. I hope you don't give up! I hold you up as an example of success.

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  6. Oh, how incredibly frustrating! I don't have any advice but I do offer support and encouragement for you to keep going. Being short-listed twice is amazing! You're definitely doing something right.

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  7. It really sucks to be rejected sans reasons. If they took the time to read at least part of your submission, they ought to at least include a few lines saying why it was rejected.

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    1. If only that were so. More often than not it's a form rejection. I love personal rejections.

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  8. Wow, you are doing so much, and with the amount of work you are giving yourself, you are bound to win!

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  9. Thanks for sharing the links. That is frustrating to know you're close and get no feedback. I have a story out on submission... I need to check in with them. I think it's the best thing I ever wrote.

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  10. So close... well done! Yes, it's hard, but another market might snap those submissions up. When I first started submitted everyone had time for a personal rejection, and some of them were very helpful - but submitting is now so easy, online, that I'm not surprised they no longer do it. Just know that the short-list is a very good indication you're on the right track!

    Good luck with the others that you've got out at the moment.

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    1. Thank you! True, they're flooded with submissions. I'm used to form rejections, but just wish I'd get a personal note of some kind when I've been short-listed.

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  11. Not hearing anything about why is so disheartening. It might not be right for them but it might be for someone else. :) I'm always impressed with your goals and how you keep yourself accountable and with how much you submit and keep on going. You're very inspiring.

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  12. Rejections do suck. Thank you for the links.

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  13. Ugh, that's so frustrating. I'm sorry! I do the same thing with my nonfiction - start with the pro markets and move down from there. I believe in that strategy, but man, it's not fun. Good luck - keep trying!!

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    1. And good luck to you as you do the same!

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  14. Oh my gosh, this is the sort of thing I'm terrified of. I get that they're busy, but form rejection just sucks. :( I'd like to know why it wasn't accepted... even if it's just a sentence or a few words or something, anything. They took the time to at least start to read it. I don't know.

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    1. The good thing is, you get somewhat used to it.

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  15. That is hard Shannon but I admire you for aiming high. If you went for the easy route you'd always wonder what "if" you'd submitted to the big boys. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

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    1. That's just the way to say it. If I got a fast acceptance elsewhere, could it have been published in a pro market?

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  16. The fight is worth it, Shannon. Rejection stings. I know that sting well. And it happens to the best of us. Hang in there and keep doing what you're doing.

    I know someone who has been writing for many years, and just today I found out she was offered a multi-book deal from a publisher. Her triumph is my inspiration.

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    1. Oh, wonderful news! Some day. And congratulations to her.

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  17. Maybe try simultaneous submissions; submit to the pro and non-pro both and hope there is competition? Its hard to get rejections, no matter who it is from, so may as well aim for the top.

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    1. I'm wary of simultaneous submissions due to a previous experience with that, but I should probably start doing so when it's allowed.

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  18. Shannon, rejection always stings, whether its a form rejection or a personalized one. Keep trying, and don't give up hope.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

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    1. You're right, it does suck either way. I do love the feedback, though!

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  19. That would frustrate me too, but what can you do? Besides make up silly excuses why they rejected you that is. (You're too awesome is at the top of the list I think.)

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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  20. You don't know that you're not there yet; that's the problem.
    Maybe it wasn't the writing; maybe the story just didn't fit thematically.
    Or any of a number of other things.

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    1. Exactly. I hate not knowing if I should consider editing something.

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  21. Oh how I hate form rejections! {{{hugs}}}

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