Jibber Jabber - Q1 - 29

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
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Martin L. Shoemaker
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:27 am

Dustin Adams wrote:A reject on an idea means the idea has dead ended.


After one rejection? Successful writers tell of as many as 50 rejections for a piece which eventually sold.
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Strycher » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:39 am

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
Dustin Adams wrote:A reject on an idea means the idea has dead ended.


After one rejection? Successful writers tell of as many as 50 rejections for a piece which eventually sold.


Or more.

I guess if you're afraid a Q1 rejection will kill your buzz, that's a reason not to submit. Though I'd rather get an HM for an incomplete story in one quarter and then get a Finalist after tweaking the same story in the subsequent quarter, than not enter at all.

You can't win if you don't submit. It costs nothing to submit electronically. That's pretty simple math. But, as is often said, everyone's different. Do whatever works.

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Kary English » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:43 am

Assuming I've got the quarters right, and we're in Q1, Vol 29 now (Dec. 31 deadline?), I'll be submitting at the very end of the window. I'm developing 2 or 3 pieces, so I'll take the next few weeks to decide which one to submit right near the deadline. I like to keep my options open. :)
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Strycher » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:05 am

Kary James wrote:Assuming I've got the quarters right, and we're in Q1, Vol 29 now (Dec. 31 deadline?), I'll be submitting at the very end of the window. I'm developing 2 or 3 pieces, so I'll take the next few weeks to decide which one to submit right near the deadline. I like to keep my options open. :)


I believe that is correct. Dec 31 is the deadline, yes.

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Dustin Adams » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:21 am

Martin,

I'm referring to WotF only.
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:23 am

Dustin Adams wrote:Martin,

I'm referring to WotF only.


Ah. I misunderstood. I blame my 102.6 F fever.
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby wellsdesigned » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:50 am

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:So it's just possible that one might not need to submit for Q1 at all... Not that that will stop me if we get close to deadline and I somehow miraculously am still waiting; but it's a reason I choose to sit back and relax for a while longer.


You tempt fate recklessly sir. wotf009 But are you really relaxing, or trying to play it cool. wotf011

I still expect an HM or reject today or tomorrow just because I have seen the KD was not finished with first reads as of this weekend and I submitted on the last day for Q4. If my Q1 was ready today, I'd probably submit now if for no other reason then for superstition.

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Strycher » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:14 pm

wellsdesigned wrote:
Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:So it's just possible that one might not need to submit for Q1 at all... Not that that will stop me if we get close to deadline and I somehow miraculously am still waiting; but it's a reason I choose to sit back and relax for a while longer.


You tempt fate recklessly sir. wotf009 But are you really relaxing, or trying to play it cool. wotf011

I still expect an HM or reject today or tomorrow just because I have seen the KD was not finished with first reads as of this weekend and I submitted on the last day for Q4. If my Q1 was ready today, I'd probably submit now if for no other reason then for superstition.


To add, even the expedited results don't mean that we'll see who the winners are before the deadline. A person might find that they're a finalist before Dec 31, and then find they didn't win Jan 1. That would suck.

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:17 pm

wellsdesigned wrote:You tempt fate recklessly sir. wotf009 But are you really relaxing, or trying to play it cool. wotf011


My fever is 102.9 F. Hard to feel urgent about anything when I feel like this.

Besides, the only story I have open to submit right now has some strikes against it. I won't say which ones, obviously, but it's better if I wait. If I need to, I'll submit it and hope.
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:19 pm

Strycher wrote:To add, even the expedited results don't mean that we'll see who the winners are before the deadline. A person might find that they're a finalist before Dec 31, and then find they didn't win Jan 1. That would suck.


The beauty of e-sub is I can make up my mind on Dec. 31, like I did last year.
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Strycher » Mon Nov 14, 2011 12:36 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
Strycher wrote:To add, even the expedited results don't mean that we'll see who the winners are before the deadline. A person might find that they're a finalist before Dec 31, and then find they didn't win Jan 1. That would suck.


The beauty of e-sub is I can make up my mind on Dec. 31, like I did last year.


Preaching to the choir. wotf001

It just occurred to me that this might happen and I thought it was depressing enough to share.

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Sean Dodds » Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:54 pm

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:
Dustin Adams wrote:A reject on an idea means the idea has dead ended.


After one rejection? Successful writers tell of as many as 50 rejections for a piece which eventually sold.


I'm not sure who said or why they said it, but Martin's 100% correct. You have to figure that a magazine has slots to fill. If they've already filled the spot yours would have gone, you're not getting in. Then they are themes, sometimes, that one mag is known for over another, and they try to stick to that theme. That's why most magazines say, "Please read our material first so you have an idea of what to expect."

I've noticed that one magazine loves my action scifi stuff, but doesn't bite much on my more philosophical/cultural stuff. The opposite is true for half a dozen others.

You just need to keep at it. (Yes, I am the 1,000th person on this forum to say that.) I'm not a best seller, a well-known writer, or some kinda Kevin J. Anderson, but I'm quoting to you the advice they've given me. I'm about to launch my own magazine, and I know that no matter how good a story is, if I don't have the slots - I can't take it.

I can only imagine the kind of choices Analog or Asimov have to make for their stories. Besides, when you don't have a name, get used to the rejections. Kevin J. Anderson holds the World Record for rejections prior to a publication.

He's quite proud of it. I just hope he continues to hold that record... wotf019
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby WriteToLive » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:41 pm

Pretell, what is the world record for rejections before publication?
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby soulmirror » Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:59 pm

... themes, sometimes, that one mag is known for over another, and they try to stick to that theme. That's why most magazines say, "Please read our material first so you have an idea of what to expect."


I sometimes wonder if that's not a two-edged sword, though: possibly limiting their audience by delivering the same sort of story again and again?

Yes, one magazine likes "hard" science fiction over another, one includes fantasy where another doesn't ... those are genre choices. But it's not like there are a hundred magazines out there so that each can afford to each have such a specific niche to serve a niche readership.

So when they suggest writers should read a copy of their magazine before submitting ... I wonder which is the best approach: To give them another LIKE the ones they keep using, or to try to give them something FRESH?

KD warns us against submitting common tropes, even though any one of us might score BIG elsewhere with a new version of the repeated-but-popular vampire/zombie/siren(?) things ...

Those seem like contradicting forms of advice: send more of what you read vs don't send what you've read ???

I dunno. I don't have the energy to second-guess or psych-analyze it all, and I'm not sure a career of writing something you don't luv would be either a long career or a fun one.

Write what you luv and you'll be most likely to write what others luv to read.

If there's not a niche in some dottering magazine (and are any of them booming, anyway?) -- e-publish and create your own niche.

Dig your own thing ... and either it will be the fertile soil that brings forth trees lush with fruit, or it will be a grave, I suppose ...
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Strycher » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:25 pm

WriteToLive wrote:Pretell, what is the world record for rejections before publication?


KJA had 750 rejection slips. Not sure that he's the record (Guinness doesn't seem to have a category for it . . . At least it doesn't show up after a search on their website.)

I thought this was interesting:

Judy Blume wrote:I would go to sleep at night feeling that I'd never be published. But I'd wake up in the morning convinced I would be. Each time I sent a story or book off to a publisher, I would sit down and begin something new. I was learning more with each effort. I was determined. Determination and hard work are as important as talent.


Now . . . Where have I heard that before?

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Kary English » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:59 pm

I've got my Q1 entry just waiting for that last, final, Final2, no really final, check for typos n such. There's a small chance it will get edged out by a piece in the hopper, but I think the one in the hopper will end up being Q2.

I think the one in the hopper, being hard SF instead of fantasy, will have a better chance of placing well but I'm not sure it will be ready in time as it's less than half-way written even at the first draft stage.
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby katsincommand » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:36 pm

... my Q1 has slowed thanks to a broken hand. I have been writing new stories by hand (I'm a rightie who broke her lefty) and revising my Q1 a paragraph at a time, so i am doing something. i'm also back to mostly lurking.


btw my 94 wpm has dropped to 25. :P I feel like the coyote who got splattered by the road runner.
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:49 pm

katsincommand wrote:... my Q1 has slowed thanks to a broken hand. I have been writing new stories by hand (I'm a rightie who broke her lefty) and revising my Q1 a paragraph at a time, so i am doing something. i'm also back to mostly lurking.


btw my 94 wpm has dropped to 25. :P I feel like the coyote who got splattered by the road runner.


Ow! Massive sympathy pains for you here. Get better!
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby izanobu » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:25 pm

I don't think KJA had 750 before his first sale... did he?

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby s_c_baker » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:49 pm

katsincommand wrote:... my Q1 has slowed thanks to a broken hand. I have been writing new stories by hand (I'm a rightie who broke her lefty) and revising my Q1 a paragraph at a time, so i am doing something. i'm also back to mostly lurking.


btw my 94 wpm has dropped to 25. :P I feel like the coyote who got splattered by the road runner.


Yikes! At least you broke your off hand. (I usually write my drafts long-hand, anyway [or on a manual typewriter, but that won't help you here]. Maybe the feel of it will grow on you, like it did on me.)

Hope you at least have better handwriting than I do, or some poor sap who will type it up for free regardless. wotf008
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Delli » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:38 pm

Have only just seen this thread and I know it's way back on the first page but I had to laugh at this comment:

Martin L. Shoemaker wrote:.... Maybe your next story should be on the rigors of child-raising, with an SF spin.


This is my first sale (to DSF, no less). True story. (Well, not literally true...)

My kids are just a little older than yours s_c_baker (youngest is now 9 months) - same age gap.

Write what you know eh...?

wotf013 (sunglasses to disguise horrible bags under eyes...)

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Delli » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:47 pm

And bringing up another older topic on this thread, some of you submit your WotF stories to other markets before submitting to WotF. What if they get accepted?

I mean, that's a great thing - being accepted for publication - but would you think

'Damn, that SO could have won WotF'

or would you think

'Sweet! Obviously wasn't meant to go to WotF anyway, wouldn't have won, so I'm glad it got accepted now instead of three months down the track when it got bounced back from WotF.'

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Grayson Morris » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:54 pm

Oh, no, Dawn! I admire your persistence in hand-writing stories now typing is out of the picture. I hope you are a fast bone-mender!
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Martin L. Shoemaker » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:15 am

Delli wrote:And bringing up another older topic on this thread, some of you submit your WotF stories to other markets before submitting to WotF. What if they get accepted?

I mean, that's a great thing - being accepted for publication - but would you think

'Damn, that SO could have won WotF'

or would you think

'Sweet! Obviously wasn't meant to go to WotF anyway, wouldn't have won, so I'm glad it got accepted now instead of three months down the track when it got bounced back from WotF.'


I think there are far worse problems to have.

WotF is a market. Yes, the workshop would be ultra-sweet; but I'll take a sale wherever I can find it.
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Strycher » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:21 am

izanobu wrote:I don't think KJA had 750 before his first sale... did he?


No, that's my bad. He's collected 750 to date. I can't seem to find how many he had before publication, or for that matter, who holds the record. =/

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby kyle » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:35 am

I think part of the problem is that a lot of now-publishing writers did what I did, which is collect a bunch of rejection letters, give up, dispose of the file of rejections, and then get back to it later in life. I have no way of knowing how many rejections I got before that first sale, because I didn't even learn enough to start logging my submissions until my third attempt to have a go at this fiction-writing thing.

What I can tell you (because my log tells me so) is that my first sale was the 36th submission since I decided to give writing a serious try in 2007, and occurred in 2010. (There was a 1-year hiatus in there as I lost my job, fixed up my house, sold it, and moved.) Since the acceptance took longer than most rejections do, I had collected 42 rejections before I got that acceptance. It was the second story I wrote since getting back to fiction writing (I didn't retain my files from my earlier attempts, so those stories are effectively lost to the winds of time), and the first, third, fourth, and fifth still have not found publishers (but only the fifth is officially trunked, and the first went through a massive revision after a personal rejection about the same time as the first sale).

To roughly estimate the number of rejections total I received, I think I entered WOTF about a dozen times in high school and college, and each of those stories probably went to 2 other markets on average. By adding in the couple stories I did not send to WOTF, that's probably 40 or so more rejection letters.

And to keep this in perspective, I collected another 122 rejection letters between my first and second pro sales. (Yes, I had a couple non-pro acceptances in there, too, but that doesn't lessen the validity of the statistic.) That first sale is important validation that yes, you're now capable of writing a publishable story, but the seas don't part for you after it happens.

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby steffenwolf » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:58 am

Delli wrote:And bringing up another older topic on this thread, some of you submit your WotF stories to other markets before submitting to WotF. What if they get accepted?

I mean, that's a great thing - being accepted for publication - but would you think

'Damn, that SO could have won WotF'

or would you think

'Sweet! Obviously wasn't meant to go to WotF anyway, wouldn't have won, so I'm glad it got accepted now instead of three months down the track when it got bounced back from WotF.'


I certainly wouldn't cry about it. If I know I'm going to send a story to WotF, I may send it to other magazines first, but only SFWA-listed fast-turnaround markets. If Clarkesworld or F&SF decides to buy my story, I will not be sad.
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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby Midnight_Hum » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:17 am

YESSS!
Application off to college! Whew!! That's a load off of my mind!
And I've written the first 2,000 words or so of my next submission...I get the feeling that this is going to be a long one.
-JoeL

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Rejection Q4 2011

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby izanobu » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:05 am

Ah, yeah. That sounds more reasonable.

For what it's worth, I got 48 rejections before my first sale and have somewhere over 400 now (made my first submission on Feb 4th, 2009, so less than 3 years to get over 400 rejects, wee!). I stopped counting them since there's no point, really. wotf008

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Re: Q1 Volume 29

Postby kyle » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:23 am

Midnight_Hum wrote:YESSS!
Application off to college! Whew!! That's a load off of my mind!
And I've written the first 2,000 words or so of my next submission...I get the feeling that this is going to be a long one.

Congrats, and good luck!

(I'm applying to grad schools at the moment myself.)


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