What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

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Rebecca Birch
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby Rebecca Birch » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:12 am

There are a few markets where I mention that I have been a Writers of the Future finalist--IGMS and Galaxy's Edge specifically--but otherwise I don't mention it in cover letters. It does show up in my author bio. That said, I always say that *I* have been a finalist, not that *this story* was a finalist.

Just my two cents.
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby YM Pang » Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:32 am

I've experimented with putting/not putting Finalist on cover letters. Didn't seem to make a difference either way. Up until six months ago, all I got were rejections anyway, haha.

For my recent sales, I mentioned being WotF Finalist on only one of them. But for the other places, I've mentioned being a Finalist on my previous submissions to them. So I wouldn't say having it on the cover letter hurts you either.
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Dustin Adams
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby Dustin Adams » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:01 am

I'd also like to suggest, and I apologize if this is in the previous pages, but a SHM is very nearly a S-F.

Semis are stories that are almost finalists, but ones that Dave can viably critique. Something he can put his finger on and give suggestions on. *
With mine he suggested cutting the last 3-4 pages and ending at point x. I did, and it sold next time out.

Perhaps a SHM is a semi, but without a particular, critique-able issue, so he moves it into a category that doesn't require him to type up a crit.

Just a thought.

* sometimes his semi-crits say there's nothing "wrong" with the story, but he simply ran out of finalist spots. This is akin to an SHM being a semi, but running out of spots, which is also a possibility.
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby KD Julicher » Tue Mar 27, 2018 8:08 am

Dave mentioned recently (at a convention) that SHM are often stories that need just one more pass by the author to tighten or fix things, in order to bring them up to Finalist quality. He definitely encouraged re-submissions of SHMs after that work is done.
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby Dustin Adams » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:12 am

Fascinating that he'd want to see it again. I would think he'd think, oh, I read this already. But he must be pro enough to remove himself from any previous bias and re-read. Fascinating. Makes me want to get more SHM. Ha!
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby jficke13 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:00 am

Someone here said something about how SHMs were in the best possible position to take the leap to the F/Winner category.

The reasoning was something along the lines of:

A SHM was one of the last few that didn't make the cut to SF, so you know it was a really good story, but it was missing... something. Maybe two somethings, but almost certainly not three somethings. However, because you don't get feedback like the SFs do, you still have an eligible story. Then, you can go pour over the DF blog, kinda focus on what he has told us he focuses on. Check through the story against his blog and see if you can find that weak something, and tighten it up.
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby Dustin Adams » Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:43 am

I just noticed that my signature says 2shm. I sold one, so what of the other?
It's sitting on my hard drive. Ha!
I think I'll run it past my critique heavy-hitters and see what they think.
If they didn't already read it. That might be why it did that well to begin with. wotf012
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby beavs007 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:05 am

How did they let you know you won the SHM? Phone call? Email? Or did you find out by seeing it on the webpage?


LambentTyto wrote:Well, it's about time. Been trying to sign into the forums for ages. Guess those bugs got ironed out. I got an HM last year in the third quarter, but I was wondering what differentiates a Silver HM?

I feel like the reason I didn't get a Silver at least was because my story was somewhat bare bones. I needed to add a little more meat in the form of sensory description, but I'd been fighting the word count restriction furiously. I think I submitted at like 16,996 words, lol.

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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby LambentTyto » Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:15 am

How did they let you know you won the SHM? Phone call? Email? Or did you find out by seeing it on the webpage?


I was notified by email, but they also post a list of all the HMs on another page somewhere.
"I don’t really understand what I just saw back there, but it sure as hell looks like a shortcut to gettin’ us killed."--Booker DeWitt

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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:47 am

beavs007 wrote:How did they let you know you won the SHM? Phone call? Email? Or did you find out by seeing it on the webpage?


LambentTyto wrote:Well, it's about time. Been trying to sign into the forums for ages. Guess those bugs got ironed out. I got an HM last year in the third quarter, but I was wondering what differentiates a Silver HM?

I feel like the reason I didn't get a Silver at least was because my story was somewhat bare bones. I needed to add a little more meat in the form of sensory description, but I'd been fighting the word count restriction furiously. I think I submitted at like 16,996 words, lol.


Okay. Only finalists get the phone call. Semifinalist, silver, HMs, it's all via email and then Joni mails out certificates about a month later (which all look the same, except for written achievement level designations). Dave knows a semifinalist gets a critique (usually comes with your email announcement) and kills the story for resubmission. Why wouldn't Dave give a Silver to a story he hopes he will see again? It's his only way of letting you know.

Try not to read too much into what made your HM fail to win. It's equivalent to a personal rejection from a pro publisher. You can drive yourself nuts trying to guess at what got it rejected. Ken Liu talked about this at Norwescon this year. He called it "Rejectomancy." Let me get my notes. Okay. He said he had sold to WOTF and Strange Horizons and thought he had made it, his career was set. So he sent out his third story to pro markets. After one year, no sale. Two years, no sales. He actually counted words in the form rejections, measured paper size compared to previous rejections, trying to discern if there was some secret meaning to it all. Rejectomancy. He finally rewrote it. Wrote nothing else in those two years, just did that rewrite. And kept sending out that same story. He worked it down the semipro markets. No sale. Not even to markets paying one buck for a story. Nada. So he said, and I quote, "I decided my first two sales were flukes. So I quit, became a laywer. My writing career was dead."

And that's where the story might have ended. But about five or six years after he quit, he got contacted by the editor of an anthology that remembered him. He was doing an anthology titled STORIES THAT HAVE BEEN REJECTED MANY TIMES. The idea for the antho? That there were rejected pro stories out there that were great stories, they just didn't fit in the markets they'd been sent to. Ken sold them his story. Ken said at the end of the antho, they posted the rejection stats on each story. Ken said, "Of all of them, I was the champ!"

He said this sale was like a message from the universe that he should write again. Had that editor not contacted him, Ken Liu would likely still be pursuing a career in law, instead of the author of 150 short stories, and the epic silkpunk tomes of the DANDELION DYNASTY.

Moral of the story? Don't be Ken Liu. : )

Okay, do be Ken Liu. Just try not to read so much into rejections, and get on with writing...and sending out...your next!

Fortune favor the brave.

~Moon~

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LambentTyto
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby LambentTyto » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:58 am

That's an awesome story! And I agree, too!
"I don’t really understand what I just saw back there, but it sure as hell looks like a shortcut to gettin’ us killed."--Booker DeWitt

HM x1

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Dustin Adams
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby Dustin Adams » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:32 am

Moon,
Thanks for typing that all out. Very inspiring!
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby Wulf Moon » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:57 am

Dustin Adams wrote:Moon,
Thanks for typing that all out. Very inspiring!


You are most welcome. Ken Liu also said the greatest advice on writing I have ever heard, and he said it at the GOH ceremony, so I didn't have my notebook out. I talked to con officials, but alas, they too said it was incredible, but they weren't recording. But the gist was this: Write what excites you, what makes you happy. Don't follow the trends. Don't chase what's selling. He said even if you do eventually find success chasing what is selling, you won't be happy writing it. So pursue what excites you, and believe there are people out there who will also be excited by what you are writing.

Great advice. I wish it had been recorded. It would have captured all the feeling that also went into those words. I was moved by it. Still am. And then, the next day, he had his interview where he said the above. Icing on the cake.

Keep writing. Keep sending. And now I'll add: Keep believing.

~Moon~


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