For those who've been finalists: What now?

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Athena
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For those who've been finalists: What now?

Postby Athena » Wed May 04, 2016 2:22 am

I'm fairly new to this rodeo. This is only my third submission. For those who've been finalists before, how does it work now?

I had a lot of questions, but the phone call from Joni woke me from a dead sleep, so I didn't manage to pull any out of my foggy brain.

I thought there would be three winners, but I kind of think Joni said there would be four? Again, might've hallucinated that due to extreme sleepiness. Could she have been referring to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and published finalist? Does published finalist get to go to the workshop, too?

Do we get critique back from Dave? For some reason, I was thinking semi-finalists get that. Do finalists as well?

She said she would have full results back in a couple of weeks. Is that accurate? Does it usually take longer or should I start twitching and thinking of querying around May 15?

Do you think she will call that late again? Because I did not sleep at all that night. I was too wound up from excitement. Yesterday was rough without sleep.

Thanks!
HM, R, Published Finalist!, HM

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disgruntledpeony
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Re: For those who've been finalists: What now?

Postby disgruntledpeony » Wed May 04, 2016 2:34 am

She was probably referring to published finalist, yes. KD was a published finalist and she got to go to the workshop, so I'm thinking that's a go.

From what I understand, finalists don't get critiques (although they do get to edit with Dave if they place). Semi-finalists are the only ones to get critiques from what I've been told.

It took about a couple of weeks last quarter, but that's my only real experience besides Q1.

No idea on the phone call/sleep situation, but she is on Pacific Time, so depending on your time-zone it may be likely. wotf011

Good luck! wotf007
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
2015, Q4: R
2016: SF, n/a, SHM, SHM
2017: SHM, n/a, F, ?

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Athena
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Re: For those who've been finalists: What now?

Postby Athena » Wed May 04, 2016 2:37 am

I mean, I'm not complaining about the late call. I told my husband: Joni can call me any time of the day or night and that is okay by me! ;)
HM, R, Published Finalist!, HM

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disgruntledpeony
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Re: For those who've been finalists: What now?

Postby disgruntledpeony » Wed May 04, 2016 2:57 am

Athena wrote:I mean, I'm not complaining about the late call. I told my husband: Joni can call me any time of the day or night and that is okay by me! ;)


Trust me, I get it. I'd feel the same way in your position. wotf013 (Super happy for everyone who's gotten this far, by the way! wotf007 )
If a person offend you, and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. ~ Mark Twain
2015, Q4: R
2016: SF, n/a, SHM, SHM
2017: SHM, n/a, F, ?

KD Julicher
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Re: For those who've been finalists: What now?

Postby KD Julicher » Wed May 04, 2016 5:23 am

First off, congratulations! As a three-time non-winner finalist, let me say: deep breaths. If you sadly don't win this time you WILL be back.

My results have come in anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks later but I know some quarters it's as long as a month. She will call you either way and you will know instantly because her happy voice and her sad voice are very distinct. I know her sad voice far too well.

There will be three winners. Published Finalist will not be determined until after 4th quarter is judged - I found out Feb 1 this year. Not every finalist is held for consideration, if you do not win you will know if you're being considered because she'll ask to hold it. That means don't sell the story anywhere else!

No critique from Dave but if you meet him at a conference and say "Hey, I wrote such-and-such" he will absolutely remember you and be able to talk to you.

I've never had her call later than 6 pm PST so....
WOTF: HM x 6, SF x 1, F V31 Q3, V32 Q2, V32 Q4, V34 Q3
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MattDovey
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Re: For those who've been finalists: What now?

Postby MattDovey » Wed May 04, 2016 6:22 am

It was 3 weeks for me for Q3.

There are 3 winners out of the 8, but the stories go to 4 judges, so maybe that's the 4 you heard. There only tends to be one published finalist a year, though I think there are times when there's been two, but as published finalist gets to join in with the workshop fun there might be a preference towards a single longer story there.

Basically the way it works now is you spend the next month unable to pull yourself away from your phone and suffering auditory hallucinations. You've never known unrest like it. Good luck!
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KD Julicher
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Re: For those who've been finalists: What now?

Postby KD Julicher » Wed May 04, 2016 6:49 am

Oh, and?

You're going to write like crap this month.

I have never written a good WOTF entry while a current finalist. Sometimes I can make good progress on other projects, but WOTF stuff? No way. Fortunately the Q3 deadline is far enough off that if you do get bad news you should have time to recover and re-enter. My "entries while a current finalist" have never managed more than an HM. I've heard from other finalists that this isn't uncommon.
WOTF: HM x 6, SF x 1, F V31 Q3, V32 Q2, V32 Q4, V34 Q3
Baen Fantasy Award Winner 2014
V32 Published Finalist

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Athena
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Re: For those who've been finalists: What now?

Postby Athena » Thu May 05, 2016 2:24 am

Sorry to have posted and run yesterday. Thanks for the great info. I wasn't sure if there was a published finalist every quarter or not. Until it came up for you KD Julicher, I hadn't even heard of it. Like I said: New to this rodeo.

I think Joni has my house number. Can I email her and give her my cell? Or do I just need to not? I'm thinking that's why she called so late. I was at a Girl Scout meeting all that evening and wasn't home. I will absolutely take her call any time, but man was Tuesday rough.

It's good to know I'm not the only one who struggles to write during this time. I've been trying to produce something. Anything. But all that's coming out is garbage. I was beginning to worry that this story was a fluke and that I only had one good story in me!

One thing she mentioned is that if my story doesn't win, it's very sellable. She told me to make no changes to it, no edits. I suspect that's why finalists don't get critiques. She said that a story that was a WOTF finalist should end up on the top of any slush pile of any market I submit it to. As someone who has never sold anything this is pretty exciting too. Do you mention in your cover letter that the story was a Writers of the Future Volume 33 Q1 finalist? Or is this something she says to soften the blow if you don't win?

Again, thanks for your experience here. It's great to "know" people who've been through this and know what to expect.
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MattDovey
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Re: For those who've been finalists: What now?

Postby MattDovey » Thu May 05, 2016 3:35 am

I'm sure I heard it said that the reason finalists don't get the critique is at least partly because they don't really need it (and also partly anonymity concerns).

The selection of the three from the eight is very much based in personal taste--as is the ordering in the anthology. I don't often (ever?) agree with the 1/2/3 ranking of stories. So don't take it too hard if you don't end up placing (though that's easy for me to say, who was only in this position once).

If a story makes finalist here, then yes, it is absolutely publishable--although it will still get form Rs at other markets because different editors have different tastes. As to whether you should mention it... I would be inclined to say you were a finalist, but not mention that this story specifically was the finalist story, because that is basically a fancy way of saying "this got rejected elsewhere but it was SUPER close!" and that's kind of a weird thought to put in an editor's head--not that I think many read cover letters first anyway, but w/e :)
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