Spring Blitz 2017 – Hanging in There

April 21, 2017 at 2:12 am (Links, Reviews, writing) (, , , , , , )

I completed my 20th submission for April today, despite not keeping up with regular blitz blog posts. I blame mundane tasks that have gotten in the way, like helping with homework, chasing chickens (see the dastardly Pecan here to the left) and doing my taxes, and not so mundane tasks like being eyeball deep in Chuck Wendig’s Zeroes (which I hope to review on Monday.) I’ve been testing new venue waters too which has meant investing more time to broaden my call searches.

I’ve been waiting on a couple of new releases expected shortly. Forest Seclusion (adult content warning) is now available here, and there will be more to follow fairly soon.

I’ve also received a new acceptance – a year and four days in the making.  I was on the brink of retracting that submission when the acceptance came through, but I was pleased to see the wait was worth it.  I try to give a submission plenty of time before retracting, but I usually figure a year is enough.  Sometimes I do let them sit longer though, if I’m not anxious to resubmit.  At the same time I received a quick confirmation that another submission had made it through phase one of a three phase review process.  Fingers crossed. 🙂

And, or course, this month isn’t without its rejections – 5 so far, with two of the submissions clearing the year long mark.  It only pays to be patient some of the time.

I may not post again until Monday.  I have a short story I hope to finish and then it’s back to working on taxes.

But at least gardening’s not that far off … right?

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Spring Blitz 2017 – A Recipe for Writing

April 8, 2017 at 12:27 am (horror, writing) (, , , , , )

Today’s submission, to a venue I’ve had some success with before, demanded a recipe along with the submission. They were looking for old family favourites or the like  – ones that could be tied to the story in some way. Not having old family favourites just hanging around my house for the sharing, I found a way to tie in one of my own creations that my family seems to enjoy.  I don’t know if that particular recipe will improve or lessen my chances for an acceptance, but I figured it was worth a try.

The other submission I sent was to a venue I had tried a couple of times before with no success, but I don’t give up easily.  I’ve had some stories rejected multiple times before finding a home.  In some cases, it’s not a matter of “fixing” a rejected story but of seeking out a better fit.

23 more submissions still to go, but I have plenty of stories ready to go and potential calls on the radar.

 

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Spring Blitz 2017 – Plan B

April 4, 2017 at 11:49 pm (dark fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , , )

I recently came across a call for submissions I was hoping to submit to with an existing story I had that matched the theme, but it meant waiting for a rejection from a prior submission. I did get a response back, but not the rejection I had been expecting. So along with a story sale, I was left with now having to resort to Plan B … write a new story. I’m about 1,000 words in, but I have a solid story concept, so I expect I’ll finish it over the next couple of days.

I did submit a couple of reprints since my last post, to a new venue for me.  I haven’t had a lot of luck with reprint submissions, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed, and my eyes open for other opportunities.

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Let’s Blitz Again – #ICTTBCONTEST

October 21, 2016 at 10:36 pm (horror, Links, writing) (, , , , , , )

screenshot-2016-10-21-at-7-05-16-pm-editedToday’s submission was to Grey Matter Press’s flash fiction contest. More about that in a bit.

Yesterday brought a new rejection, but not one from the blitz.  It was a story I sent out in the summer – one my sister had inspired while I was on vacation.  The editors said it had piqued their interest, but in the end, they had decided it was a no.  They did however say they hoped I would send in another story before the call closed.  Well it just so happened the short story I had recently finished and not yet submitted anywhere matched well with their theme, so without skipping a beat, I sent that one in.  I have high hopes and may end up disappointed, but it was worth a shot.

On my hunt for my next submission, I came across Grey Matter Press’s “I Can Taste the Blood” flash fiction contest and decided I’d give it a go.  Today was the last day to submit, so I just managed to squeak in there.  You can check out all of the flash stories submitted (including mine) at the link above and vote for your favourite.  If you give it a read, I hope you find my story quite chilling.

Two-thirds of the way to blitz end.  This has been a fun one.

And I’m off to hunt out my next call.

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Let’s Blitz Again – October 2016 #3

October 4, 2016 at 11:28 pm (horror, writing) (, , , , , , )

12888702_10156706630705032_956866372638262551_o-editedIt’s interesting that, despite my many unpublished stories and available reprints, so far my blitz has included one non-story specific anthology query and two originals I’ve never submitted elsewhere. I guess a part of me feels I’ll have better chances with material that hasn’t encountered rejection before.

I realize that is silly. I know of established authors who have struck gold with a story only after multiple rejections and I managed to hit one of my “acceptance by a particular venue” writer goals with a story that had already been rejected a few times – in some cases with feedback I chose not to use because I didn’t like the way it would have changed the story.

But that’s how unpredictable the publishing industry can be. It doesn’t matter what other writers or editors say about your work and how much of that feedback you choose to use (and I’m always surprised how completely contradictory some of that feedback can be). In the end, you have to go with your gut and present the story the way you feel it needs to be. If it’s meant to have a home, it will find one the way it is.

Today’s submission is a flash fiction horror story I’ve submitted a couple of times in the past. We’ll see if it can manage to generate a few jitters (my teenage daughter gave it the thumbs up.)

More later…

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April Blitz 2016: #3 and 4

April 5, 2016 at 2:24 am (dark fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , )

me1It seems every blitz I get at least one automated reply e-mail telling me submissions are closed on a call that’s supposed to be open. I never know how to take those. The first time I got one, I took it as truth and resubmitted the story elsewhere. Then I got a rejection letter from the supposedly closed venue several weeks later.  If they had accepted it, that would have put me in an awkward position.

I got one early in the blitz this time around, for a dark fantasy story that’s been bounced around quite a bit and gotten three “maybe”s that turned into “no”s.  I’ve decided I’m just going to ignore those  “closed to submissions” notices and treat them like any other submission, waiting it out before resubmitting.

I also sent a second story off to a quarterly I’ve considered before, but this will be my first time submitting to them.  Since they lean towards extreme horror, I had to offer up one of my harsher tales.  It’s not a favourite of mine because I prefer more subtle horror, but hopefully they’ll appreciate it.

And the blitz continues…

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April Blitz – Day 21

April 21, 2015 at 10:56 pm (dark fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , , , )

I finished up my essay, finally, and sent it on its way (with two days to spare.) I don’t have high hopes of even placing as a semi-finalist in the competition, but it’s fun just trying. I’d love an outing to Toronto and the $10,000 grand prize would be like a lotto win.

My two other submissions since my last post include a Lovecraftian tale to a semi-pro venue and, after its second rejection this month, a dark fantasy story to a pro-rate venue. I have high hopes for the story. It got a “maybe” from one pro-rate venue that turned into a “no” and my latest pro-rate rejection came with a comment from the editor that it was a “perfectly good story” but that it didn’t have the feel she was looking for for the anthology (too dark perhaps?)

Only a week and a half to go and still plenty of short stories available for submission. Maybe I’ll try submitting novels in October.

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April Blitz – Day 16

April 16, 2015 at 11:49 pm (dark fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , , )

Two more submissions sent – one to a pro-rate venue and the other to a charity anthology. My first rejection for the blitz finally arrived, but that just meant I got to send out that story a second time for the month.

I’m now past the halfway point. I’m almost finished polishing my essay, so that will go out soon. I haven’t run out of submissions or potential venues yet so I may or may not have to resort to submitting one or more of my novels before month’s end.

Wish me luck.

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April Blitz – Day 12

April 13, 2015 at 3:17 am (fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , , )

I sent out a few more submissions while completing the first draft of an essay I hope to be submitting to a competition shortly. I haven’t gotten any feedback lately for the submissions from this blitz but I haven’t received a rejection so far. I usually have at least one or two by this point in a blitz.

I’m testing a lot of new ground, via new publishers. I’m not sure if I’m up for submitting any of my novels this month. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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The Good Fight

July 3, 2014 at 12:15 am (fantasy, writing) (, , , , , , )

Sometimes, good things can come from rejection. My last submission blitz has been less than successful (three acceptances so far … which is only 10% of total submissions with very few still pending, so little chance of improving that.) While wallowing in my bog of rejections, I mentioned I was looking for calls for submissions for charity anthologies, since I figured I’d have a better chance of giving the stories away. I was being facetious about that last part. I actually believe charity anthologies have a lot of merit, I’ve stated this fact on this blog in the past. I did mean the part about wanting to submit to charity anthologies which wasn’t lost on everyone.

Somebody saw my post and asked if I might have a story to submit to a charity anthology they were assembling. They were looking for speculative fiction stories about warriors – ones with purpose to the fights in their tales, ones that were meaningful in some way. She asked if I had a story like that.

Well I did. As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the first “good” short stories I ever wrote, the first draft completed about sixteen years ago. Since then it has been rewritten several times, in part based on feedback from Marion Zimmer Bradley (I know – right?) and from the submissions editor of Beneath Ceaseless Skies … and the story is much better for it.

Now, finally, it is going to finally get the opportunity to be in print, for a cause that’s dear to my heart.

Maybe that’s the whole point to rejection. It gives us the chance to give things a second look and make things better. It provides us with the opportunity to find just the right fit for a story to give it more value. I’m sure hoping that’s the case with this one.

The anthology is set for release in August, and here is the blurb:

“Bellator”
Science Fiction and Fantasy, two genres that are both unlike and
inextricably entwined, stretching the imagination to the expansive
boundaries of time, space, and magic. These boundaries are often filled
with warriors and war, fights and causes worth fighting for, and that’s
what you’ll find in this anthology.

From fighting aliens in space to demons in a world of magic, you’ll
find many stories to suit your starship’s entertainment collection or
your favorite bard at the local tavern…or just your imagination here
and now. Sit back and enjoy twelve stories from authors both familiar
and new!

100% of the proceeds to be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

I hope many those I know will support the cause and get themselves a copy. I plan on picking one up, and I can’t wait to read it. I’m certain I’ll find it inspiring.

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