The feature formerly knows as “Weekend Writing Update #x” is being rebranded to “Periodic Publishing Posts.” This move is being made for several strategic reasons:
- The posts are not about writing at all. I am writing the posts, but I write all my posts. It is the nature of posts. The posts are about publishing and the steps I am taking to get my work out there. So the new brand more accurately reflects what in the heck I’m taking about.
- Weekends are terrible for blog traffic. I don’t know if you other blog writers see the same thing, but my readers just aren’t interested in reading over the weekend. This does not surprise me because personally I have time to type a post over the weekend, but no time to catch up on my favorite blogs until the week. I’m busy babysitting chickens (yep, that’s a real thing,) coaching soccer, and setting up obstacles for our backyard “Kids’ American Ninja Warrior” game. So my weekend post may become a Tuesday or Wednesday post. I’d pick the proper alliteration day of the week, but none of them start with “P”. Any foreign speakers out there that can tell me a day that starts with “P?”
- Update is the most pointless word I have ever put in a blog title. I’ve used it twice. That is enough.
Guess what all is up in my publishing process? Still no approval paperwork from the office. I’m getting annoyed, while trying to understand that my bosses boss probably has more important things to do than sign a piece of paper approving me to work outside of the office. Still, I’d like to start moving on my new domain and my CV. Bureaucracy. Annoying and hard to spell. I hate it.
I’ve made other strides though. Tomorrow, or Monday at the latest, I’m sending in an updated version of my short story The Fisherman to Glimmer Train for their Short Story Award for New Writers competition. I spent one evening this past week searching through the contests and awards in the 2015 Writer’s Market trying to find something that appealed to me.
Stop. Funny aside here. I can submit an optional cover letter with my story. I am a staunch believer in cover letters. When I hire for a position I am unabashedly biased against people who do not include a cover letter. In the first version of my cover letter I said, “After perusing the Writer’s Market I decided that Glimmer Train had the right combination of openness to new writers and success producing excellence that I wanted.” Both my mom and my husband said using “perusing” was shorthand for “I’m a smarty smart with a big vocabulary.” So I came up with some other wording options:
- After slogging through the Writer’s Market…
- After being overwhelmed by the Writer’s Market…
- After contemplating the Writer’s Market….
- After scanning the Writer’s Market…
- After waking from my nap and wiping drool off of the Writer’s Market…
- After scouring the Writer’s Market….
- After removing the breakfast dishes from the Writers Market…
Guess which one I went with?
After scouring through the Writer’s Market, I had a list of 23 contests I felt my were a fit for my story, but I decided on Glimmer Train. Why?
- They only take unsolicited work.
- They have a new writer’s contest that closes August 31st. This forces me to do something right now.
- The contest is only $15 to enter.
- I love why the publication exists. They want to discover new writers. They read 30,000-40,000 stories a year and publish 40-50, but every story gets a chance.
- I love the tone of their site and the stories that they publish. I rush ordered Issue 92 of their magazine this week to read it and make sure my story is a good fit. I think it is.
- They accept simultaneous publications, so that means if I want to chase after some of these other contests it’s okay with them.
- They’ve got a pretty good track record of their stories going onto bigger and better things.
I’m waiting for a final review from my
mom editor, and then I’ll submit.
Stop. EEEEK! I’m going to submit a story to a publication that receives 40,000 stories a year and publishes 40. (Worst case scenario.) That means I have a ONE IN TEN THOUSAND chance of getting published. If you like percentages, that is 0.1%. I didn’t pursue an acting career out of high school because there was only a 5% chance of making a career out of it. I do not do things that are this unlikely. What am I thinking? Deep breath. I really am quite glad that I’m not an actor. Deeper breath. I have a 0% chance of getting published if I don’t submit my story. Deepest breath. It’s okay. The worst thing that will happen is my story will not get published and that’s exactly where I am right now.
I also started doing some searches about finding an agent and found this gem from our own WordPress community. The Color the Books Blog has all kinds of great information. Want to know how to search Twitter for what topics agents and editors are looking for? Search #MSWL for Manuscript Wishlist of course. Or just check out http://manuscriptwishlist.com/, which I also learned about from this blog, and it will just aggregate all that information for you along with tidbits from agents about what they want. Oh yeah, that’s kind of handy. He’s also got stuff about how to keep track of your queries and what tropes are popular. (Prior to this blog I didn’t know what a trope was.)
I also spent some time building a list of books I love that were first books for the author and reading through the acknowledgements and about the author pages to see who their agent is and looking them up. Nothing concrete happening there yet, but it’s an interesting list.
Finally, I’ve almost finished reading the book that my friend’s ex-wife wrote. When I’ve read that I’ll ask for an introduction. I’m also going on a walk with another friend of a friend who published a memoir. I’m working the network, because four weeks from now I will have just finished reading Hallelujah for the first time and will need to figure out my next step: copies for all my friends from Kinko’s or moving toward publication.