Posts Tagged ‘writing a short story’

I put on my big girl panties and submitted my latest short story to Clarkesworld Magazine. Wish me luck! I should know something within a week!

But, before you get all YEA! and YOU GO GIRL, keep in mind that the rejection rate at Clarkesworld is like 98.8 percent. So, rejection – focus carefully!

I’m beginning to contemplate seriously on what kind of approach I want to take with my short stories.  I enjoy writing them. That’s a starting point. I LOVE sending them to Review Fuse to be critiqued.  I love helping other authors improve their stuff. Then, once I get the story the way I want it, what should I do?

There are two schools of thought: Sales or contests. Conveniently, the rules apply to both: Submit each story to only one contest / magazine at a time. If it is rejected – try again. I have a chart to keep track.

Here’s the difference – IF I enter a contest, there is usually something to me won. At my favorite contest site – Words for Dollars, the turn around is quick – about a week, but the prize is fairly small – about 100 bucks.  If you win a contest – they publish your story either on a web page or an anthology from an event. Not generally very prestigious, but something.  Some contest ARE prestigious and pay top dollar, but those are few and far between. Lastly, there is usually an entry fee.

IF I submit my story to a Magazine, there is the potential for some money (pro-mags get 5-10 cents per word) and honor, but it takes FoReVeR. Clarkesworld is one of the shortest turnaround times at 2 weeks. I sent another story to Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show and they say 3 MONTHS is the average.  Yikes! I’m a doer – not a waiter. I’m a writer!

So, what way would you go? Fast or slow?


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There’s nothing like instant gratification.

That’s not just my personal flaw is it?  I now consider myself a writer, at least most days. The novel is what it is, and at the moment – that means DONE.  So now what?

I wrote my first short story recently.  It came from a challenge on a Sci-fi writer’s blog.  A news story out of Alaska reported on a 15 mile long hairy, organic blog floating off the coast.  “Not an oil slick,” they said.  The blog-mistress directed- write a flash story about what you know about this modern day blob.  I did, and now I am thinking I want to polish it and publish it.  But is it good enough? I stumbled on to a site called Review Fuse and here is how it works.  You up load your story.  Then you get assigned 4 stories to read and critique.  Once you have done your homework, the site sends you back 3 critiques of your work from other writers.   Pretty neat.

So, I bravely sent in my story this morning.  It’s called “Excuse me, Waiter, there’s a Space Elevator in my Primordial Soup.”  I know. Long title for a short story.

By 5 PM I had all three reviews back!  How about that?  The site asks reviewers to give points on plot, characters, dialogue, setting and so forth, and then gives an average of the scores as your total.  My scores? Thanks for asking. I got a 7, 10 and an 8.  Not bad for the first time out of the gate.  The lady who gave me the 10 is my new best friend, sorry to tell Trish.  It really made my whole day that a complete stranger liked my tale.

I think most authors are like me, woefully desperate for the approval of others. This site was useful in my ongoing quest for ego stroking.

ANYWAY – to keep my mind off the non-activity of my search for an agent to rep my novel, I’m going to submit my story to a few sci-fi mags and see if I can make $50.

It’s a dream…

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I’m going to try my hand at a short story. I saw a contest on a women’s Sci-fi group I joined. The type of story is called a flash – and it’s 1000 words or less, and it’s due to be emailed by August 1. I don’t know if that’s enough time to be brief. Never-the-less, I will try, and after the contest is over, I will post the story here. After all, it’s only 1000 words…

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