Tuesday, August 26

Competition Entry

I've submitted 'Exoticism', 'Another Summer Day' and 'Unsent Letters' to Aesthetica's annual competition, the latter two heavily editted compared with their appearances in the uni mag. It's a competition that charges, but I do think that's reasonable for a reputable competition with cash prizes. Most magazines hold competitions to raise funds, and considering the prize money (let alone the cost of producing the annual itself) they need least 1500 entries to break even.

I sent out a brief flurry of emails recently, including one about the entry requirements for this competition. Another was to Melrose Books, who advertised for submissions to an upcoming anthology in Aesthetica's recent mag. After a week, I learned that the anthology was cancelled (though their website is still soliciting for entries), and that they're a 'commissioned' publisher. You commission them to produce your books for between £4000 and £6000. As far as I can tell, that's not unreasonable for a legitimate fee-charging publisher, which makes me wonder how anyone can afford to self-publish! Well, with any quality, anyway.

The other magazine I emailed hasn't replied, which I shall take as a 'no' to my question 'do you still exist?'

I'm still editing the selkie story, having received proof-read copies back from two out of four beta-readers. With the edits on the short stories, it's in danger of becoming a bit of a slog, and I'm looking at it now wondering why I've highlighted large chunks. I've worked through three quarters of the suggestions now, so we're doing alright. I just hope the other two betas don't come up with eighty more entirely different suggestions!

It still needs a title, alas. If this blog has more readers I'd do a little competition, with one of my seal charms as a prize, but I don't think that's going to work!

Monday, August 11

Sending them out again

Having got Asylum back, I've dispatched it to Ballista, and Ruin has gone to Pseudopod. So many horror markets are closed to submissions at the moment, or soliciting solely for themed anthologies. I really need to do more research into mainstream markets, but I suspect 'ghost stories with optimistically bleak endings' are as 'ever-so-slightly' outside their remit as they are for traditional horror markets. I've completed another one, and I've two more in very rough form, so I need to find somewhere to send them!

(I also really need a better description than 'optimistically bleak'. The thesaurus has failed me)

Saturday, August 9

Unexpected Rejection

I'd utterly forgotten about Asylum, out with Dark Recesses Press. One line email, but it was a personal rejection, not a form, so that's good!

Sunday, August 3

Almost ready to go

Some wonderful advice on writing (nabbed from Redlines and Deadlines):

"Persevere, develop a thick skin, get a blog and invest in your greatest vice as it will get you through the hard times."
Amarinda Jones

The selkie story (still lacking a decent title) is doing the proofreading rounds. If anyone wants to proof an 18,000 word m/m erotic novel about an artist who rescues a mute young man from a storm, to learn that he's a shapeshifter, comment!

I was planning to submit to Cobblestone, but having read a few of their gay and paranormal romances, I'm slightly less keen. They're alright, but both of those I've started so far are clunky and a little blunt. Ellora's Cave seem deserving of their reputation; those I've read so far have been hard to put down. Also, being larger and better known, they tend to sell well!

However, the submissions process for EC is geared towards longer books. They want the first three chapters and a two+ page summary. The selkie thing has two parts and an epilogue, and I don't know if I can make a summary last two pages.

I guess that's a task for today; a good excuse to try and ignore all the things I have to do in order to move one antique solid oak huge wardrobe from my room to the living room (we're going to keep DVDs in it!). Including cook dinner for those who are moving it.