Monday, March 21, 2016

It's Hell Month! & Questions for Short Story Authors

If you've ever planned a large scale event (and by large scale, I mean between 350 and 400 people attending a three to four day event, so definitely not the largest, but a good size) you will probably know what I mean when I say I'm officially a week into Hell Month on the planning stages of Pikes Peak Writers Conference. This is when things get crazy busy. I spent most of my weekend working on conference stuff (and a portion of it trying really hard not to slam my head into a hard surface or stab anyone.)



Why am I telling you this? Because my posts may be spotty for the next month. They might not, but there's a good chance I will at least not be posting Mondays, at the very least. PPWC is April 15-17, officially, but come Wednesday, the 13th I'm at the venue hotel non-stop, day and night. I get home Sunday and pass out on the sofa. The only time all year I can pass out cold on the sofa, no matter what else is going on around me. Okay, if I run a high fever, I can probably do that, too, but that's it. I'm not a napper.



I will disappear entirely the week of conference.

The next three weeks will be exhausting, exhilarating, exciting, and frustrating (I just looked it up, and there was no "E" word for frustrating, so now I've broken my streak.)

In addition to my admin and treasurer duties for Pikes Peak Writers and the conference, I'm trying to do a final edit on a manuscript and write a query letter so I can pitch (sort of--we call it Query 1-on-1, and you actually hand the editor or agent of your choice your query letter, then they critique your query letter, ask you questions, and hopefully say "send it." A rather relaxed way to pitch, comparatively), put together a workshop on short stories I'll be presenting on Sunday of conference, meet up with fellow panelists to plan for a horror panel I'm on Friday, and, you know, work the day job and take care of the family. Have I mentioned the kids are home for spring break this week?



Gasp, gasp, huff, huff. Puffffff.

Questions for Short Story Authors:

I'm hoping to get a couple examples of the cover letters some of you send when submitting short stories, so I can show a variety of samples to folks. (If you're willing, please email me! It's the name of this blog--including The--at Gmail.com.) I don't pretend that my way is the perfect way of submitting, so I'd like to show a few different letters.



What are the best tips you've discovered concerning writing and submitting short stories? Is there one quote that says it all for you? Or an epiphany you had? (I will be attributing tips to the giver.) What's the one tip you would give someone new to short story writing?

Thank you in advance for any responses!

I'll see you in one piece at the end of April! (Even though I'll probably see you in pieces before then...)

What are you up to for the next month? Do you have a recurring crazy busy time during the year? How do you cope when things get insane?

May you find your Muse.

Sleepy Cat, clker.com, Jonny Banglecock
Psycho White Background, clker.com, Kat Wilson
Me Worry, clker.com, OCAL
Confused Panda, clker.com, Kelly

18 comments:

  1. You will be crazy busy! Focus on the conference. And then you can focus on your couch afterwards,

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    1. I definitely focused on my couch the final night of conference!

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  2. Hi Shannon - I hope you're being silly - asking us that question ... we'll be A-Zing ... however your life sounds far busier .. and I'll stick with what I'm doing! Good luck for all the projects, goals etc and then the Conference ...

    Cheers Hilary

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    1. I'm happy to be mostly done with the conference now! Just some wrap ups. Yet I've had enough extra time now that it's done that I've gotten words written!

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  3. What a thrill, love conferences but maybe not the work of setting them up and seeing them trough until the end. But going, oh yeah! I once planned, designed and orchestrated a dinner for 500 people. Oh my gosh, never, ever again. :) You'll be fine, ignore everything else!

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    1. That's a LOT of people! We had less than 400. Next year will be even busier since it's an anniversary, but only the money will be my problem then.

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  4. wow - what an undertaking! good luck!
    and i need advice from you! i've only submitted a couple of short stories so far and been rejected... it's hard to get a feel of what they're looking for because you know they have SOMETHING in mind of what they want...

    tara tyler talks

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    1. In that case, I'd recommend reading a couple of their issues, especially if they have freebies online. It can give you an idea of what they like or don't like, and even what lines they're willing to cross (or not.)

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  5. So you're planning a conference, editing and writing a query letter. That is nuts. Good luck!!

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  6. I remember how exhausting the conference can be just as a participant. I can't imagine having to plan/help run it. Good luck, have fun, and we both hope something really good comes of that 1-on-1!

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    1. Sadly, I ended up working through my 1-on-1, but I did get lots of time chatting to the person I had intended querying, so I'll be able to use that to my advantage if I decide to query them, anyway.

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  7. You're taking up lots of work. Good luck!
    About short stories - I found that I have better chances of being accepted if the publication is themed, and my story fits the theme. Also the writer must conform to the submission guidelines: the word limit, the genre, the deadline and whatever other details they state. Other than that, it's just luck. The editor must like your writing to accept, and that's purely subjective.

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    1. Themed issues do seem easier to get into. And, yes, luck seems to play a huge part. Throw the spaghetti at the wall until it sticks.

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  8. btw, I meant to mention before when I read about your daughter's cute note, I'd be happy to send Jolissa (ebook) if you all would like to review it... let me know!

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    1. Are you comfortable with an 8 year old's review? I've done mutual reviews with her before, leaning heavily on her opinion of the book.

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  9. Good luck with the conference. I've never planned a conference before but I'm thinking this would be a great way for you to make some new industry connections.

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    1. I definitely made some new connections, which always makes the work worthwhile (though it maybe doesn't feel worthwhile through the heaviest of it.)

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