Check out that title! That is what you’ll find if you go download yourself a copy of Up and Coming: Stories from the 2016 Campbell-Eligble Writers.
This mega-anthology was put together by writers SL Huang and Kurt Hunt, themselves Campbell Eligible this year, to showcase the vast range of new talent out there in the speculative fiction field. Continue reading
Time for some accountability. The first month of 2016 has come and gone and while I have no new stories completed yet I did have my mind in the writing game. I’ve revised some older stories and I’ve been submitting. Specifically:
- I sent out 12 submissions (including a late night new year’s eve submission that I’m counting)
- I received 6 form rejections
- I also got 2 personal rejections (quite nice ones actually)
- As of this post I still have 6 submissions out and awaiting responses
- I have one finished story I’m deciding where to send next
Regarding that last point – I’m thinking I’ll be sitting on it awhile if only because there are some currently closed to submissions markets I expect to open by April/May that might be good fits and pretty much all the markets I could send it to right now would likely take even longer than that to answer back.
So that’s January’s nutshell. Bring on February.
Hello, hello, hello.
2016 is here; 2015 is dead and decomposing out back. I’m here to bury that beast and lay out some solid plans for moving forward.
Last week I read a post by Troy L. Wiggins over at his blog afrofantasy.net entitled: “Set it Off: My Writing Goals for 2016”. Inspired by that I decided I needed to codify my own goals and purposes for 2016. Because I have to say, my handling of 2015 was not good.
Strangely enough 2015 was both the best and worst year of my short writing career so far. Two pieces of mine were published by a couple of serious, pro, real-deal fiction markets.
- “H” was published by Daily Science Fiction
- “All of Our Days” was published by Fireside Fiction.
They are both free to read, so I hope you will.
That was the public face of my writing career, and hey – it was awesome. Unfortunately, behind the scenes I was doing little to progress my skills or career. I had the same few stories that I continue to believe in and send out on submissions and I wrote exactly 2 new pieces. One was finished in the summer and received an amazing personal rejection from it’s first market and is out there now, trying to find a home. The other was written on New Year’s Eve. Well, I had 300 words written and a couple weeks of thinking about it before NYE, but come noon on NYE day that’s all I had and a midnight PST deadline I wanted to meet before the story’s target market closed for submissions. Continue reading
Anyone not coming by for the first time might notice a significant change on the website. I’m no longer putting up a link to my serial “Empire & Animal”. This is because I’ve decided to take the four completed E&A stories down from JukePop Serials. For those who might care I’d like to make a couple of things clear about this:
So I’ll admit it: Now that I have a couple stories published I went and did some ego-searches on the Google. Much to my surprise and delight I actually discovered two very nice little reviews of my work. One of them quite old, one quite recent, and, well, if I’m the sort who’s going to go looking for them then I’m probably the sort who will share them. At least this first time, having never had reviews to share before.
In the old category we have Emily Short’s review of “Future Voices” the interactive fiction anthology that was published as a free iOS-app a couple years ago by inkle. My story “Facing Life, Facing Death” had won a place in it (4th place to be specific) and Emily calls it out as one of the three more interesting pieces in the collection.
In the recent category my story “H“, published back on April 30th by Daily Science Fiction, found it’s way onto Amy Sisson’s reading list. She is trying to read at least one short story a day for the year. In her monthly round up for stories she read in May she included “H” as one of the three “true stand-outs” she read that month.
I wont lie folks, these reviews put a smile on my face, and I hope if you’ve never checked out either of these stories they might convince you to give them a whirl.
As I write this we are about three hours from my short-short story “H” going live over at Daily Science Fiction (permalink to the story). This will be the first story of mine to be published in a pro-rate paying market. I am both thrilled and terrified about this. I suspect I may even have trouble sleeping tonight.
Of course, I hope you’ll check out the story, but alerting you to its existence is not the only reason for this post. I wanted to muse a little about the the idea of ‘firsts’ as a writer. It seems to me that one of the lucky aspects of being a writer is that you get to experience the thrill of a “first” many times over.
For me there has been:
- The first short story I ever wrote. It was called “Karma” and included an Angel and Demon whose friendship was grounded in a mutual love of Lucha Libre. You’ll probably never read it, but finishing it felt like a triumph.
- My first ever rejection letter. It was for a flash piece called “Waking Up” and came from Flash Fiction Online. You will definitely never read it. Rejections aren’t as fun as acceptances, but they really are authorial badges of honor. They show you’re truly making a go of it.
- My first ever acceptance by any market ever. It was for “Salatis and The Dog” the first story in my Empire & Animal serial. Jukepop Serials paid me the semi-pro rate of 3 cents a word to make that story part of their initial roll out of serials. It felt amazing to have someone willing to spend their money on my story. I hope you will read it, if you haven’t already.
- That also made “Salatis and The Dog” the first piece of my writing ever published by someone other than myself.
- My first ever acceptance by a pro-rate paying market. This actually occurred a while ago but I won’t talk about it much other than to say things are a bit complicated with this one right now.
- My first ever proper acceptance and signed contract from pro-rate paying market. That was for a story originally entitled “The Last Day”, but the title is probably changing, and the market was Fireside Fiction. This one felt huge to me – my first true pro sale. Its publication date is TBD. (It was the fourth story I had submitted to Fireside between September 2012 and October 2014)
- And now “H” which will be my first piece published in a pro-rate market, but was my fourth acceptance overall, my third from a pro-rate market, and my second truly-proper-contract-signed-and-everything pro sale.
Has this been a weird ride? An average one? I don’t know. I just know each and every one of those “firsts” has been a great personal moment for me and the excitement seems to build with every new step.
I’ve got a lot more firsts to come, and other writing successes as well, and I’m going to enjoy them all and if you’re a writer I hope you make it a point to really enjoy every one of your firsts and successes as well.
Edited to add the permalink.
2012 will always be the year I first started writing, but not my first full year of writing. I only started about half way through the year (I have one short story from before that. It was only late spring of 2012 that I started wondering if I could really make a go of it with writing) and barely wrote at all in the last two months of the year. Given that I have to say I’m really proud of what I accomplished in my first half-year of writing.