Wednesday, October 4, 2017

IWSG - Rejection, Stats, & Links

Before I jump into my IWSG post, I've got a story out that's free to read! It's free and short and humorous. For those who avoid my horror stories, this one has zero horror! Check out The Rejection at Fabula Argentea, and if you're so inclined, I'd love to know where else you think he should be rejected. Note that it's totally free, and there's no sign up or anything like that. No hoops to jump through. The editor said: "Shannon Lawrence's humorous rejection letter is pure fun in 800 words." So please check it out!


It's the first Wednesday of October, which means it's time for another edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group, created by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Today's the day to air your writing insecurities and/or support your fellow insecure writers. Anyone can join by clicking on Alex's name above, adding your blog to the linky, posting about your insecurity of the month, and visiting fellow IWSG'ers.

Our co-hosts this month are Olga Godim, Chemist Ken, Jennifer Hawes, and Tamara Narayan!

The optional question for this month is: Have you ever slipped any of your personal information into your characters, either by accident or on purpose?

I've used real life events to inspire my fiction, and I'm sure there are plenty aspects of my personality and thought process that show up in characters. I've also used my neighborhood as a setting in at least one story.

My insecurities this month include the fact that I've gotten three rejection letters from agents for my novel. I know that's not many so far, and I'm more than familiar with rejection, but none have even been personal. WHY do we do this to ourselves?

Another insecurity has to do with a collection of short stories I want to put together. They're ones I've gotten the rights back on. Plus a couple more that I might skip the traditional publishing route on and just put in the collection. But first I have to research the business logistics, how to put together the different types of files and formatting, covers, editing, etc. On the flip side, I considered trying a traditional publishing route on it, but I doubt they'd be interested in what amounts to mostly reprints in a collection, especially coming from an unknown. So yeah, I've got some work ahead of me, and no idea how to fit it in. I'll figure it out. We always do, don't we?


Time for submission stats! Every month, I post the previous month's submission stats to keep myself accountable.

In September:

2 novel queries to agents, both rejected (I will be stepping it up and sending multiple soon, but haven't gotten there yet.)
7 short story/flash submissions
9 short story rejections
1 short story acceptance
13 short stories currently on submission (I have several waiting to go back out, but I didn't have time this week.)


Now for some links! Bear in mind I'm not endorsing any of these, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence when submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

Uncanny is seeking fantasy and science fiction short stories and flash fiction. 750 to 6000 words. Pays $.08/word. Submission window is just October s2 to October 16.

Horrified Press is seeking short stories in the following themes for anthologies: Trumptopia and The Devil's Piano. Up to 8000 words. Pays in royalties. Deadline October 20.

Icepick is seeking both writers and voice actors. Their next theme is Heroes. Rather than giving a word length, they give a time length under 10 minutes or 10-30 minutes. Vignettes, poetry sets, essays, and more, which will be voice acted. They pay 8-10 pounds. Deadline October 22.

Horror Addicts is seeking short horror stories with music as an integral component for their anthology Crescendo of Darkness. 2000 to 5000 words. Pays $10. Deadline October 31. (I do personally endorse this publication. I enjoyed working with them, and am able to get contributor copies for a lesser charge, which allows me to sell them at conferences and events, thus making more than the $10 originally paid.)

Subprimal Poetry Art is seeking poetry and flash fiction that is lyrical. 350-750 words. Also looking for art and essays. Pays $20. Deadline October 16.

NonBinary Review is seeking poetry, fiction, essays, and art. Submissions should related to Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Up to 5000 words. Pays $.01/word. Deadline October 31.

Sirens Call is seeking horror for their themed anthology If It Bleeds, It Leads! Must embody the spirit of the old newspaper headlines. 2500 to 5000 words. Pays $15. Deadline October 31. (Note: I also worked with these publishers and found it to be a good experience.)

Chicken Soup for the Soul is seeking personal stories with the theme Christmas and Holiday Collection. Up to 1200 words. Pays $200. Deadline October 31.


The Kathy Fish Fellowship is open through SmokeLong Quarterly. Winner is the virtual Writer in Residence for four quarterly issues, in which a piece of their flash fiction will be published each time. Will also receive $500. Deadline October 31.

Did you read The Rejection? What did you think? Where else would you like to see a rejection letter from? What are your insecurities? Any of these links of interest? Anything to share?

May you find your Muse.


Debbie Johansson said...

Sorry to hear about your rejections Shannon, but it's good to know you're still putting your work out there. I like the idea of submission stats as I've never bothered with that (you're putting me to shame). I've been submitting some of my short stories to competitions lately and I'll continue to do so, but I think I'll eventually put them together in a collection to self publish as well. Best of luck with your submissions. I'm sure your stories will find a home soon!

Pat Garcia said...

Your story is magnificent. I enjoyed reading it. I am not a horror fan and when you mentioned this was not horror I walked over and read it. Great job. I'm still laughing.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G EverythingMustChange

Diane Burton said...

Loved the short story, Shannon. So funny! Sorry about the rejections. But, hey, you're getting your work out there and not just letting them pile up in a drawer. Best wishes.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Congrats on the story!

Sorry to hear about the rejections. I've gotten a few lately for some stories, and it stings. But we're writers, we keep going. It's what we do. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rejections suck.
There are a lot of IWSG members who have self-published who can help you, plus we have a ton of resources at the site.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shannon - we do what we do ... and yes we make the decisions affecting us - even after rejections - others will love our stories at times ... so good luck and thanks for the links - cheers Hilary

Andrew Leon said...

I want to do a short story collection, but I keep not writing the short stories.

Unknown said...

I take rejections as a matter of course, these days and stories that are rejected go out again.

All the best withyour novel queries!

Christine Rains said...

Some rejections hit us harder than others. Keep on pushing on! Congrats on the story. :)

Patsy said...

Using reality and your personality as inspiration, rather than the whole story, sounds like a good approach.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Sorry about the rejections :-( I'm really looking forward to checking your story out. Thanks as always for sharing links for submissions.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

If you have any questions about publishing, feel free to ask.

emaginette said...

You may want to keep your shorts for promotional reasons when you get your agent--which you will. Freebies well timed might be just the ticket. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Stephsco said...

Best of lucky querying! It IS hard.

Here is my October IWSG post

Tyrean Martinson said...

That Rejection Letter is hilarious!!! I laughed and laughed. Thank you for that. I think you should definitely put together a book of stories - take your time and enjoy it in bits as you go about your life. Awesome stats, especially on having so many out there. I have fallen behind on my submissions lately.

Olga Godim said...

Nice story, The Rejection. I enjoyed it.
I self-published a collection of short stories myself; it is not that hard. You can do it. The trick is not formatting and such. It is to find your readers. Good luck with that.

diedre Knight said...

The Rejection is a hoot! The story succinctly describes the devastating snark that no one should have to endure, while amusingly highlighting the intrinsically humble aspirations of us all. I half-expected them to suggest he apply at the Tallows ;-) Well done!
Best luck on your collection – CreateSpace is extremely useful and quite helpful.

Michelle Athy said...

The Rejection was hilarious! And good luck if you decide to put together your own collections!

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and thanks for the free story.
Any amount of rejection can be difficult. It gets better over time; we learn how to react and move on, but it's still tough. Yay, for the acceptance.
The collection sounds like a cool idea.
Thanks for the submission links.
Gonna check out your story now.

Karen Baldwin said...

I admire your perseverance. And me see a rejection letter? I'd like it to be from Hell. ;)

Erika Beebe said...

Writing and publishing can be disheartening at times. I am so sorry for the three rejections. It sounds like you are making sure me positive strides though too! I bet you'll get there soon :)

Michelle Wallace said...

Congrats on your story over at Fabula Argentea! It's wonderful...and hilarious!

Angela Wooldridge said...

Ha ha! Love 'The rejection'. Did you have to write the application letter in an earlier draft?
Oh - and you mention that you often write from life, but I'm assuming this one isn't?? ;)

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Best of luck with your novel submission. I found it helpful to make a list ahead of time, so that for every rejection that came in, another letter went out. It became less personal that way. :) I'm interested in your process of putting the short story collection together. Keep us posted.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I've had so many rejections, I'm getting used to them. Every single one hurts though. Congrats on the accepted story. And wishing you much luck with your writing.

Meka James said...

Sorry about your rejections. I've been a coward so far and not tried the rejection process. I've heard people say if you're not getting rejected you're not trying. And that's probably true. Keep trying! You'll be the perfect fit for someone. :)

Good luck with your short story collection. I have a writing buddy that has been working on shorts all year and wants to put them together into a collection of some sort as well.

Tamara Narayan said...

Good luck with your short story collection, and thanks for the list of publication possibilities.

Donna B. McNicol said...

I did see an acceptance in among the rejections. Great post!
DB McNicol, author

Ryan Carty said...

The agent rejections were personal? Wow, that seems unnecessary and harsh. I'm used to the, "dear author" format or the occasional cut and past of my full name on the form letter.

John Wiswell said...

Good luck to everyone submitting to Uncanny Magazine this month! It's a dream venue.

And yeah, doesn't everybody include some of themselves in their work? As I've gotten better at writing, I'm striven to represent more interesting or useful parts of me.

Liesbet said...

We do always figure it out! You are so right about that. If not, we should leave this writing business forever. :-)

You have a lot of submissions floating around. I'm sure some of them will be accepted. I, for one, really enjoyed reading "The Rejection" and wholeheartedly agree with why the editor chose to publish it! I loved the line about "Your Mom" as well. :-)

Thanks once more for all the links. I really ought to submit something to Chicken Soup of the Soul one day.

Anonymous said...

Rejections suck no matter how familiar you are with them. Have a little pity party, then get going. All the no's mean you are one step closer to yes.

Jennifer Lee Rossman said...

I disagree - for me, personal rejections show that they care enough to tell me what parts of my novel didn't resonate with them. I celebrated my first personal rejection. It can be valuable feedback!

Doreen McGettigan said...

I'm so sorry about the rejections. It never gets easier. Keep moving forward!

cleemckenzie said...

You did a magnificent job in 800 words! Have to save it to read again.

Nick Wilford said...

A brilliant story, really creative. Glad The Rejection wasn't rejected! Good luck on the story collection. I would definitely be up for reading that.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Good luck on all your short stories and future submissions!
Mary at Play off the Page

Zan Marie said...

I'm so sorry for your rejections, but that's part of this game we play, isn't it? Good luck with future submissions.

Zan Marie said...

I'm so sorry for your rejections, but that's part of this game we play, isn't it? Good luck on future submissions.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Congrats on the story acceptance! Rejections suck, but without them, no acceptances. It can be so disheartening when you receive a "no" at the wrong time, though.

As for publishing the short story collection, you *can* do it all yourself, but hiring a cover artist and formatters is so worth it, at least to me. Both elements are crucial, and it feels good to leave them in the hands of experts. Let me know if you'd like recommendations.