Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
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Dustin Adams
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Dustin Adams » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:27 am

My first electronic sub was lost in the sauce.
I didn't see my name on the HM list, nor did I receive a phone call, so I left it alone for like 8 months.
Eventually, I followed up and learned I'd received an HM.

I wasn't using Duotrope at the time, but if I was - that would have been a long rejection.

D
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Kary English » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:27 am

New rejection on Duotrope today, but it says 77-days. Unless I'm missing some fingers, that's Q2, not Q1.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby MJNL » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:34 am

Maybe it was another one of those instances where someone who entered Q2 but not Q1 received a rejection for Q1 (and they didn't catch that the e-mail contained the wrong quarter?)

Ugh, duotrope responses for WotF really are all over the place (I keep coming back to those people who think HMs should be listed as acceptances--what are they smoking?). I've pretty much come to the conclusion that those data points are useless.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Isto » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:26 pm

Yaaawwwn.... can I stand down yet? Been cat-napping in the foxhole since Tuesday night. Are we done for the week? How late will they send out results? wotf009
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby izanobu » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:52 pm

Here is how I tell if data is useful.

1) Did I get a phone call saying I'm a finalist? If not, go to step 2
2) I didn't win/have no chance of winning/am rejected

See? Anyone else's data doesn't help ME. I either get a finalist call or I'm rejected. That's how the contest works. It might seem otherwise because they have these semi/silver/hm whatever tiers, but in the end unless you are a finalist, there is no acceptance and no money coming for you for this entry, ever. All data is irrelevant and navel-gazing.

Go write. wotf004

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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Alex Kane » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:05 pm

izanobu wrote:Here is how I tell if data is useful.

1) Did I get a phone call saying I'm a finalist? If not, go to step 2
2) I didn't win/have no chance of winning/am rejected

See? Anyone else's data doesn't help ME. I either get a finalist call or I'm rejected. That's how the contest works. It might seem otherwise because they have these semi/silver/hm whatever tiers, but in the end unless you are a finalist, there is no acceptance and no money coming for you for this entry, ever. All data is irrelevant and navel-gazing.

Go write. wotf004

I was gonna say it, but didn't. Yeah. Doesn't matter. The lists get posted on the blog eventually. An entry confirmation is more important than the actual response.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby greenroom » Fri Apr 06, 2012 3:39 pm

Alex Kane wrote:
izanobu wrote:Here is how I tell if data is useful.

1) Did I get a phone call saying I'm a finalist? If not, go to step 2
2) I didn't win/have no chance of winning/am rejected

See? Anyone else's data doesn't help ME. I either get a finalist call or I'm rejected. That's how the contest works. It might seem otherwise because they have these semi/silver/hm whatever tiers, but in the end unless you are a finalist, there is no acceptance and no money coming for you for this entry, ever. All data is irrelevant and navel-gazing.

Go write. wotf004

I was gonna say it, but didn't. Yeah. Doesn't matter. The lists get posted on the blog eventually. An entry confirmation is more important than the actual response.


It does, however, affect when you can send the story out to other markets. Because of that, I'd rather know now then eventually.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:19 pm

greenroom wrote:It does, however, affect when you can send the story out to other markets. Because of that, I'd rather know now then eventually.


There is an answer for that: write so many stories and submit so many stories, you don't really think about one story and one market.

I'm not saying this is easy; but inspired by Annie and others, I'm trying to learn to adopt this attitude. (What? You thought I wrote my sig for all of you? No, it's ME I want to remind to WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! etc. Reminding all of you is just a bonus.)
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby AMcCarter » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:47 pm

Eventually, if you write and submit enough, when that final sale comes in, you'll be completely surprised that you don't remember sending that story out. "I wrote that? Hmm, when was that? Oh yeah, story 24."

At least, that's the plan.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:15 pm

The final reckoning here is: Go F*cking Write!
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby MJNL » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:30 pm

But...but...what if you're a statistician-in-training? All I ask is that the data I don't obsess over be sound!
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby permanentnovice » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:16 pm

AMcCarter wrote:Eventually, if you write and submit enough, when that final sale comes in, you'll be completely surprised that you don't remember sending that story out. "I wrote that? Hmm, when was that? Oh yeah, story 24."

At least, that's the plan.


It's a good plan, and one that works. I started writing with the intent of submitting in October 2010. Since then I've blasted out almost 700,000 words including 3 novels, sold 10 stories, and never had fewer than 3 out for submission at the same time :D
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Grayson Morris » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:35 pm

If you don't enjoy speculating on results, then don't. But don't assume others are driven by anguish and need to find something better to do. To each his own fun, be it Skyrim, a movie, or gabbing here about results.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby george nik. » Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:30 am

izanobu wrote:Here is how I tell if data is useful.

1) Did I get a phone call saying I'm a finalist? If not, go to step 2
2) I didn't win/have no chance of winning/am rejected

See? Anyone else's data doesn't help ME. I either get a finalist call or I'm rejected. That's how the contest works. It might seem otherwise because they have these semi/silver/hm whatever tiers, but in the end unless you are a finalist, there is no acceptance and no money coming for you for this entry, ever. All data is irrelevant and navel-gazing.

Go write. wotf004

Annie, three points I' d like to make here:

1) If we are strictly speaking about rejections/acceptances: Most finalists are also rejections. Only winners win.

2) Knowing about the current state of the contest (when rejections start to come out, when HMs etc) might help you divine whether there's still time to get the call or whether it's too late and you probably missed it. So results thread is still useful to those only interested in getting the finalist call.

3) This contest is not only about winning. All this stuff - the tiered results, the haphazard way of announcing them, the awards show, the forums, the discussions, rejectomancy, everything - are all part of the game. If we didn't have them, this contest would be just another market. Now it's much more.
I understand that people who have been submitting for a long time, while, outside the contest, they are having successful writing careers, would only be interested in winning and would think of anything less as a failure. For many of us, though, I believe that being on any tier of the results would be a happy occasion. It's what this contest is all about. And as Grayson said, obsessing here doesn't mean we have that much anguish about the result. It's just part of the fun.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Dustin Adams » Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:56 am

+1

My first HM changed my approach to writing. Before it, I wrote occasionally, and without focus. Now I write with a fury and a purpose.
That was a rejection, sure, but one that said, "keep writing, you're on the right track."
If my future is in writing, I will look back and say, "that's where it started."

D
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Jennifer Hicks » Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:43 am

george nik. wrote:3) This contest is not only about winning. All this stuff - the tiered results, the haphazard way of announcing them, the awards show, the forums, the discussions, rejectomancy, everything - are all part of the game. If we didn't have them, this contest would be just another market. Now it's much more.
I understand that people who have been submitting for a long time, while, outside the contest, they are having successful writing careers, would only be interested in winning and would think of anything less as a failure. For many of us, though, I believe that being on any tier of the results would be a happy occasion. It's what this contest is all about. And as Grayson said, obsessing here doesn't mean we have that much anguish about the result. It's just part of the fun.


When I read Grayson's comment last night, I wanted to respond with my agreement but I didn't know how to say what I wanted to say. I figured I'd wait until morning to see whether the right response came to me, but George, you beat me to it. This is exactly how I feel about the contest. I love the anticipation, the tiered results, the rejectomancy and the sense of community here on the forum. It's a game, and it's one of my favorite parts of the WotF process.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby E.CaimanSands » Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:56 am

Ditto ditto ditto. Before I got my first HM and semi-finalist I'd given up completely. It's only the fun and encouragement given by this contest that keeps me going.

And a big part of the appeal is the pre-announcement frenzy here on the forum. You're looking at one of the few people in history who enjoyed school exams. wotf013
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:02 am

I'm in agreement with Nobu. If it's not a win, it's a rejection, but that's still okay.

I want to win the contest but if I don't, that's not going to get in the way of me having a career. The wonderful thing about this new world of publishing is that there are many paths to success. Winning the contest is a jump start, but not required. Again, having said that, I still want to win pretty badly.

However, I don't gnaw and thrash about the tiered results or when the rejections are coming out or all the other stuff that's discussed on these forums. Most times, I actually think: "Why aren't they spending this time writing?" when I see the constant hand-wringing. I understand for the newer contestants, it's just part of the process. But for my friends that have been on these forums and submitting for years, I want to give you a hug and say, "Go write!"

Because really, this contest is not about winning, it's about getting better. And even if I never win, the fact that I wrote so many stories for the contest, and read the anthologies, and discussed why stories win or don't win, and made sure I am always working on getting better, then I will have furthered myself in the pursuit of a career in writing.

As they say, it's not a destination but a journey and WOTF is one signpost (albeit a really cool one) along the way.

So, go write!

wotf007
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby izanobu » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:06 am

You make good points, George.

Here are my counter-points.

1) Non-winning finalists can still be published in the anthology. Slim chance, but 100% more of a chance than a non-finalist gets. So being a finalist at all can still mean money and publication. Hence me setting the "win" bar at finalist for the moment.

2) Divining anything isn't really that useful. So what if there is still time or not? All we do here is speculation since the ones who do get the call (and thus would have the best information about if calls are going out or not) aren't allowed to say they got the call until long after the information would be useful. This is like staring at a box wondering if a cat is alive inside, only you can't open the box, you don't know when the box will open, and the cat might not even be yours. Until you hear that the box was opened and the cat wasn't yours (alive or dead), of course there is always the possibility the cat is yours and is still alive. I guess if you enjoy speculating, go for it.

3) I, personally, think this is a terrible habit for a new writer to get into. Yes, the contest provides community (I'm still posting here, after all, because I like you guys even if I'm cranky), and yes it provides tiers of rejections which can be comforting or exciting. Obsessing over a single entry is a bad habit. It just is. It causes "event thinking" where you start to focus too much on ONE story and ONE result. This is a terrible habit for a professional to get into. I can't tell via the internet who is just joining in cause they are bored and its fun and who is actually sitting there refreshing Duotrope and not writing new work until they hear the results. So yes, my cranky advice is aimed very generally. I just get a little sad when I think of how many brilliant writers whose work we'll never read because they got stuck on story as event, because they fixated too much on results they couldn't control and not producing more work.
So yes. The contest isn't just about winning. But fixating on the results, on rejections, is, in my opinion of course, a dangerous thing. For people who want a writing career. Which I know not everyone does. My advice is ALWAYS aimed at those who do, because I don't feel qualified to give advice for people who don't since I am not one of them. Hope that clarifies. wotf008

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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby hazlett » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:10 am

I agree with many of the comments here about the contest. I write a lot of nonfiction, but have only recently started writing science fiction. I started writing a fantasy novel back in 1999, but time, work, and school took me away from that pursuit. From a business perspective, WOTF is part of my own way of validating (or invalidating) whether I can write marketable and interesting science fiction. If I can prove that I can sell a short story in this contest (or achieve any form of recognition - HM or better), I will then start submitting to the pro mags. Pending several sales there (a man can dream, right?), I will then take a stab at writing a longer-form work. The deadlines and quarterly submissions of the contest give me concrete objectives I can target, and keep me on track.

Anyway, just my two cents.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Kary English » Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:14 am

One of the other things writers are constantly told is to network, to make friends in the writing world and to take active steps to fight the potential isolation of hiding in one's writing cave to write.

For some of you, that means cons and workshops, and that all well and good - go for it. For others of us, that means participating in social time on the forums, bonding with other writers. For me, that's why the quarterly social threads are such a blessing. I've made friends here. Not 'internet friends,' but real friends.

I could launch into cohort theory, talk about Victor Turner and how a shared ordeal enhances group bonding, etc. but I'd rather do it than talk about it.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:10 am

hazlett wrote:If I can prove that I can sell a short story in this contest (or achieve any form of recognition - HM or better), I will then start submitting to the pro mags. Pending several sales there (a man can dream, right?), I will then take a stab at writing a longer-form work. The deadlines and quarterly submissions of the contest give me concrete objectives I can target, and keep me on track.


If that works for you, great! But I think you'd do better to submit to the pro markets now, and just see WotF as one of the pro markets.

I think treating any one market as a "quality bar" for all other markets misunderstands the way these markets work. Editors have different tastes and different needs. Markets have different tones and styles. Just because you don't strike the mark with K.D. doesn't mean you can't find a pro market where you'll sell.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Alex Kane » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:30 am

Yeah, there's no reason to limit yourself to the contest alone. You wanna play the odds on this one: Submit to one pro market, or all . . . twenty? Thirty? Besides, K.D. Wentworth is only one editor. She may hate your style, whereas Stan Schmidt, Sheila Williams, or Jed Hartman may love it. True story.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby E.CaimanSands » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:45 am

Anyway, I hate to interrupt the debate (or stir it up some more, depending on your point of view) but anyone else noticed this?

1. 98-day form rejection from Writers of the Future Contest on April 7

I wasn't expecting so much as a squashed banana today.wotf017
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:55 am

E.CaimanSands wrote:Anyway, I hate to interrupt the debate (or stir it up some more, depending on your point of view) but anyone else noticed this?

1. 98-day form rejection from Writers of the Future Contest on April 7

I wasn't expecting so much as a squashed banana today.wotf017


After the 522 day result, I've decided all Duotrope results for the contest are actually an elaborate April Fools joke that has run a little past its delivery date.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Isto » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:04 am

Kary James wrote:One of the other things writers are constantly told is to network, to make friends in the writing world and to take active steps to fight the potential isolation of hiding in one's writing cave to write.

For some of you, that means cons and workshops, and that all well and good - go for it. For others of us, that means participating in social time on the forums, bonding with other writers. For me, that's why the quarterly social threads are such a blessing. I've made friends here. Not 'internet friends,' but real friends.

I could launch into cohort theory, talk about Victor Turner and how a shared ordeal enhances group bonding, etc. but I'd rather do it than talk about it.


I'm with Kary on this one. While I'm lurking for hours on this forum, do you really think I'm just staring at the screen and waiting for my refresh to show results? I have one or two more screens up. Usually, I'm printing out my other short stories or writing cover letters. No, I didn't submit to Quarter 2 because I didn't have a sci-fi story. But I did mail out eight submissions today to Eclipse, Mid-Western Review, etc... The reason I'm here instead of elsewhere is that is a family that welcomed me from day one. I've had one kind soul offer to read my submission to OSC's bootcamp. I've only been here a few months. Yes, this is networking, but more than that, it's a support group. It's feedback when I have NO feedback from home. My family is sick of the time I spend writing and talking about writing. But this is the life I've always wanted. I'm not about to give it up.
Not winning is NOT failing. The rating system lets me know where I am, because I haven't a clue. My husband doesn't read sci-fi (he's a known, published poet)so doesn't know what's good or bad. The rest of my family isn't going to give honest feedback. This forum will. And, yes, to know if it's an HM or a Semi-finalist means a lot.
Am I eager to get results? You bet. But I'm not sitting still. And the first thing I'll do if my entry is rejected is read my critique (if I'm lucky enough to get one) and send it off to Asimov.
I find reading, commiserating, and having fun with this forum more worthwhile than playing a video game.
My rant.
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby izanobu » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:32 am

But the rating system here doesn't let you know where you are. It lets you know where that story was. My Q4, 2011 was a straight rejection. Does that mean my writing is worse now because I usually get HMs? Of course not. It just means that story didn't fit this market. That's the danger of taking the non-winning rating system here to mean anything other than "this story didn't work for this market".
You could get nothing but straight rejections from this contest and still be a wonderful writer who ends up having a fantastic career with tons of sales to other markets. Using the tiers here as any sort of guideline for your skill seems like madness to me.

One rejection isn't failure. Of course it isn't. You'll get hundreds if not thousands in a writing career. But seeing a rejection as anything other than a rejection seems like a dangerous road to walk, one that will allow arbitrary things outside of your control to dictate your writing goals and path. That's why I'm not sure the navel-gazing of duotropery is healthy, that's all I'm saying.

Interaction with other writers is good. Refreshing duotrope and trying to read into responses that have nothing to do with your or your story? That seems like a time-waster to me. Other opinions differ, for sure. wotf011

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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby AMcCarter » Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:27 pm

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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby gower21 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:06 pm

I have to agree to delete the idea of using this contest to measure anything. I once thought this contest could tell me "where" I was on the writing scale. An HM or higher would be nice, but I won't wait around for it anymore. I suspect Kevin J. Anderson would agree. But I won't judge anyone's plan if it seems to work for them (or feels like it does), then it works. Any thing that psychs you to write more (but just keep in mind that some people who have gotten straight rejections from WOTF have gone on to sell those stories-- where some HM's, Semi' and Finalists haven't. All for different reasons). This contest does a great job picking out wonderful stories and finding authors who are ready to shine, but some will always fall through the cracks. You always have to work like your one of the ones who's fallen though and that story will be successful somewhere else.

To publish you have to be one part resilient, two parts hark-working, and seven parts crazy with delusions of grandeur. Be humble enough to allow improvement and confident enough believe you've got a story that stands a chance at the less than one percent.

(Also Merry Easter to everyone. Off to Easter Bunny proof our house--that silly rabbit is always stealing our eggs! I beginning to sympathize with the Angry Birds)

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Dustin Adams
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Re: Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Postby Dustin Adams » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:01 am

But the rating system here doesn't let you know where you are. It lets you know where that story was.

Very well put.

I agree and disagree.

I agree because the second sentence is a fact. I also agree because in the case of rejection, the first sentence can be construed as fact.

I disagree because the first sentence can let you know where you are. How many people pro'd out, having never gotten above R after consistently submitting to this market?

Chances are, if you receive rejection after rejection, you need to continue honing your craft. There's nothing wrong with that, nor is it cause for discouragement. Just prepare to do what 99.9% of all successful writers do - write their asses off.

If/when you receive an HM, it means that story was adequate for this market - but it also means your skills are improving. You are no longer a level 1 orc. You may get rejections after that, and at that point I'd blame the individual stories, but an HM is no accident, and earning one can't be taken away.

A finalist means you're writing at a pro level. An industry editor has said, "this story is worthy of publication in this anthology." Again, perhaps future stories won't all be finalists, but your skill is such that one editor has said it one time. So - get ready to write.

As far as the rating system, and KDW being only one person, with one person's opinion, she is an editor, and if she gives personal feedback, (HM, SHM, SEMI.) then you should be excited about it. Take that excitement with you to your computer, and use it to propel your next story.

If not, keep writing, seek the help of others, continue honing your craft, and keep submitting.

D
2x Finalist
1x Semi
2x Silver
9x HM
Eight EDF stories. DSF: Short Story. My Semi-F My Finalist #1


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