Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thoughts and Links

I found myself biting my tongue yesterday, or to be more precise, not tapping off an angry reply to some advice that I thought was, well, not quite right. A writer noted that she kept her short stories in a drawer, pulling them out for a quick polish every now and then, and waiting for someone to ask if she had anymore stories that could be published in a book.

I have stories in my files, but they're crap stories. Yes, I pull them out and work on them occasionally but sometimes the stories are just crap and not worth bothering with. Most of the stories I think are good, I send out. For me, the purpose of writing is to be read. If your stories are stuck in a drawer, they're just gathering dust. And no one is going to ask if you have a drawer full of stories if they've only read one or two of them. Hell, you could have a million stories out there, but it's the rare author who's asked if there's a drawer full waiting to be discovered.

Enough with the rambling thoughts, on with the links.

Blue Cubicle Press is looking for stories written from a government worker's point of view for their magazine, Workers Write Journal. They're looking for stories of 500 to 5000 words with a pay of $5 to $50 depending on the word count. You can find all the details at

Dark and Dreary editor, Mclean Swanson, is now looking for poetry for his zine and he's posted a wonderful piece of artwork that you might enjoy called "All the Quiet Murders" by Christopher Wood.

With a hat tip to Brian Lindenmuth we have this eye-opening piece by Josh Olson

And finally, Dean Wesley Smith has a wonderful essay about rewriting. While you're there, check out some of the other posts in this series, they're quite informative.

Oh yes, you may have noticed that I've added the Toys for Tots anthology link to the left. If you're interested in supporting the Toys for Tots charity, just click on the link for all the details. The publisher has a discounted price available for anyone who orders before September 30. The official launch is October 1.


G. B. Miller said...

Interesting point.

I've taken about 98% of my short stories and put them on my story blog.

For better or worse, they're out there for the blogging public to read and comment on.

And for the most part, I pay attention to the comments because there is always a good nugget of information that can be used to make the story a little better.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I send mine out when perhaps a little seasoning in a drawer might help. But I would never hold one off for such an invitation. In this way lies madness.

sandra seamans said...

The only trouble with posting stories to your blog, G, is that you lose being able to sell first electronic rights to the story. But you're right that it's a good way to get feedback if you don't care to join an online or in person writing group

sandra seamans said...

Yeah, I tend to jump the gun instead of waiting a bit, too, Patti. But actually expecting to be asked for a collection of shorts based on having several published in anthologies seems a little off-base when you consider the short story market.

The better route might be to collect them yourself and try to find an agent for them, like you would a novel. But from what I've heard, that's a pretty long shot too.

G. B. Miller said...

Selling first rights doesn't really concern me as much as does with other people.

Besides, it's easy enough to remove any trace of them from my blog. Thus, if I choose, I could sell first rights.

I choose to take a different path and a different approach with my writing.

That's why I self-published.

sandra seamans said...

Every writer has to follow their own path, G. I just thought I'd mention the rights because not every writer knows how rights work. Heck, I didn't a story was considered published just because you posted to a group or on your blog until there was a discussion over on the SMFS about them.

Conda Douglas said...

This reminds me of when I taught a short story class and ran into one of my students months later and he told me, "I sent in a short story to a market, like you suggested, but they sent it back." !

Some people are just not made to be writers.

sandra seamans said...

I think most of the problem revolves around all the crap writers are fed about getting published. Nobody sits down and tells a beginning writer the truth about how hard it actually is. The writer's magazines slap a famous face on the cover and scream "buy our magazine and you can be the next Stephen King". They feed the myth instead of the reality.

G. B. Miller said...


I do know that some literary journals do make exceptions for things like that.

For instance, Glimmer Train will take stories that have been previously published in a magazine with less then 5,000 subscribers/readers to it.