Wednesday, October 1, 2014

IWSG - Query Letters, Progress & Links

Today is the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh. All are welcome to participate in airing their insecurities or supporting those who are feeling insecure. To do so, click on the link above, sign up, and post your insecurities in about 300 words or less. Then hop around and visit some of the others airing their doubts.

Today is a little different, because it's also the day we're to turn in our submissions for The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond. You can post it as part of your IWSG post or email it in, which I'm choosing to do. It can be on writing, publishing, or marketing. Click the link for more information. I submitted a piece on query letters since there were a lot of submissions flowing in for the writing aspects.

I've been using IWSG day as a reminder to check in with my publishing progress each month, while airing the insecurities innate in the submission process. My update this month is not up to par with past months. I hit a slump this month, got too many rejections at once, and thought maybe I needed to pull everything as it was rejected and edit it through before submitting again.

But then I didn't do that.

I kept jotting down where I could submit, but didn't do it. I was too caught up in punishing myself for not editing, writing, and submitting, and too depressed about the influx of rejections.

Of course, I was beating myself up for nothing, and what I should have been doing was what I'd been doing before: turning those pieces right back around and re-submitting them elsewhere. I know that now, and will be jumping back in. I was also busy this month putting together and coordinating a bunch of extra programming for the organization I volunteer for in the next two months, which distracted me from my own writing. I should have been putting my writing first, but I allowed my stress to put on events without major flaws to overrule that and push my writing into the background. I have to stop that.

Well, I've warned you that the numbers this month are pitiful, but I want to stick with my monthly updates, so here we go:

2 rejections since last month's post
20 rejections for the year
2 stories out on sub
10 stories to re-sub
4 stories from critique group needing editing before sub

Believe it or not, I'd like to see that rejection number higher, because it means I've submitted more, but I also want to see a lovely number on there for acceptances.

Now for some links.

Accepting Submissions:

Walrus Publishing is looking for short stories for Building Red: The Colonization of Mars. Respond to the prompt. 1000-6000 words. Deadline November 1. Science fiction. Payment is $25, five free copies of the anthology, and 50% discount on more copies.

Literary Hatchet is taking submissions through November 1. Dark fiction. Essays, short stories, poetry, photography, and art. Pays between $5 and $15, depending upon type of submission.

Liz McMullen Show Publications is looking for a Valentine's Day Anthology. Deadline November 1. Genre is open, but it must follow the theme of "appetite." 3000-4000 words. Pays $30 and 2 copies of the anthology.

Ellipsis is seeking poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Deadline November 1. Paying market, though exact pay is not listed.


Apex Magazine is holding the Steal the Spotlight Micro Fiction Contest. Five categories. 250 words or less. Deadline October 15. Five winners will be in the November issue, get paid $.06/word, get a free 12 month subscription to Apex, and get a short story critique from an Apex editor.

The Center for Fiction is accepting submissions for the 2014 Christopher Doheny Award. Book length manuscript by an author dealing with a life-threatening illness (their own or a friend/family member's). $10,000 prize and publication. Deadline October 30.

Zimbell House Publishing is holding a contest for placement in The Fairy Tale Whisperer, an anthology. Must be on one of the 7 topics they've put up. Deadline October 31. 20,000 words or less. First prize is $250, 2nd is $100, 3rd is $50.

Blog Stuff:

Susanne Drazic and Sherry Ellis are hosting the Bucket List Blog Hop on October 20. Simply post your bucket list to take part.

The theme for the WEP (Write Edit Publish) October Challenge is Ghost Story. All genres. Up to 1000 words. Flash fiction, poetry, nonfiction, artwork, or photos.

The Armchair Squid hosts a monthly gathering called The Cephalopod Coffeehouse. You're asked to post about the best book you've read this month on the last Friday of the month, which will be October 31 this time around.

What are your insecurities? Are you submitting a piece for the IWSG anthology? Any of these links of interest to you? Participating in any of the blog hops?

May you find your Muse.


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

By writing and submitting and receiving rejections, you're already accomplishing more than some people ever do with their writing. How many people don't finish their stories or don't send their work out into the world? Hang in there! :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

Tyrean Martinson said...

Way to go with your submissions! I thought about writing about that, and then I wrote a "must do _blah" post . . . yikes. I'm having blog post envy this morning. :) And I submitted it for the anthology. Sigh. Ah well, it's out the door now.

Thank for all the awesome submission links! I keep meaning to add a feature like that to my blog since I've been working at finding places to submit work to with Write 1 Sub 1.

Kristin Smith said...

I feel your pain. Rejections are so tough. Having been through this process recently and as I'm gearing up to go into the query trenches with a different novel, I know how hard it can be. Just keep submitting and keep your chin up. As an agented author friend once advised me on querying: "All is takes is the right person at the right time with the right book." It will happen!! Just give it time.

So nice to meet you through the IWSG!! I'm your newest follower! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It's easy to get knocked down and then sit there and wallow in the misery. But you know what you need to do to get out of it.
Thanks for submitting to the book!

Mina Burrows said...

Keep it up! Don't let the no's get you down. All you need is one yes!


dolorah said...

Thanks for all the links Shannon.

I get bummed about rejections, and stop for a while too. I'm revising a first chapter to see if that helps.

Good luck with your editing and submissions.

Andrew Leon said...

You should have written something for IWM thing. There's a high chance of not getting a rejection there.

Liza said...

We all get down sometimes. Just as long as we get back up. Seems like you did!

M Pax said...

I need a kick, because I need to finish the two stories I plan to submit.

You're in the game. That's a beautiful thing. It's good rejection that put me on the road I'm on.

Kimberly said...

It looks like you are still doing some though and that's something! It's hard to get those rejections but like so many say - it only takes one yes and then you'll be over the moon about it. :)

Christine Rains said...

I've been hit by a bunch of rejections too. Tough times, but I've been pushing myself and aiming at pro venues. Thanks for the submission links!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I think I did a post a while back about gathering a lot of rejections is good because it means you're sending your stuff out there and cutting down the odds.

Diane Burton said...

Rejections are hard to take. If you received feedback--why your piece was rejected--consider if you want to make the change before submitting again. Best wishes.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Excellent post. I do hope you get more submissions out there... but maybe some acceptance rather than just rejection, aye? :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the links.

The more entries I see in my spreadsheet, the more no's I see, but then I see a few yes's.

Pat Hatt said...

More rejections do mean more submissions, never thought of it like that. But yeah some acceptances ones are nice to.

Shell Flower said...

I can relate to this. My novel was rejected on query so many times that I finally stopped querying. It also put a damper on my writing for a long time. Eventually I got back on the horse, but it's hard. Keep going!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's a new month - you can change those numbers easily.

Julie Flanders said...

I'm looking forward to reading your anthology entry on queries, I totally suck at those.
Sorry you got all those rejections at once but as always I admire how many pieces you have submitted this year. I'm glad you didn't let the rejections knock you down for long and you'll be jumping back in now. said...

Thanks for all the information, Warrior Muse.

Have a nice weekend.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Madeline, that's very true. The more stories out there, the more excited I get.

Tyrean, there are so many places to find publication news. I like being able to offer it. No blog post envy necessary! I'm betting you'll have plenty of submission info to put out next month for the W1S1.

Kristin, it's great to meet you! I appreciate the advice. It's all about timing and getting it before the right set of eyes.

Alex, true. I've wallowed more than usual lately, but am trying to claw my way out of it.

Mina, so true! One yes for one story.

Dolorah, good luck with your edits!

Andrew, what's the IWM thing?

Liza, I'm working on it!

Mary, good to hear. And get those stories finished!

Kimberly, as long as I keep some out there, I'm encouraged to continue.

Christine, that's what I've been doing, too. That and semi-pro. I should maybe aim for token to start, but I figured I'd rather start at the top and work down with each story, so pro it is, for now. Good luck to you!

Susan, I usually take rejections as a positive sign, meaning I'm working, I'm submitting, I'm doing this writing thing. Sometimes it's harder than others to view it that way.

Diane, thank you. Typically, it's just that it isn't quite right for them, even when they have positive feedback for me.

J. Lenni, that would be nice!

Medeia, true! My goal is to have double the number of submissions out there by the end of the year.

Pat, it helps to look at it that way. Sometimes.

Shell, glad you got back on the horse!

L. Diane, yes! I'm working on it.

Julie, congratulations on having three books out! I love to read about your success.

Robyn, I hope you had a nice weekend, as well!