Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Open topics on the Contest itself, to include results-watch threads and other items of note.
thegirlintheglasses
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby thegirlintheglasses » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:30 pm

Well, I threw my hail mary. Baby girl came early Monday morning. I may or may not have written a few scenes in the hospital ;) but I finished editing a few minutes ago. I just sent the finished story in. I may have missed something stupid, I had no time for exchanges, BUT I FINISHED and 4/4 feels good.

You guys are so awesome! I appreciate the advice, the well-wishes, and permission to hold my baby. She's already been such a joy to our family and I love that you all keep it real. I tried not to push too hard, but gosh darn it, it's really hard to rest when an unfinished story is niggling in the back of your mind. Now the niggling is gone, until next quarter... which is, well, a few hours away ;) Promise, though, baby is getting lots of love and we are all doing well.

ONWARD!

***Wulf, I wondered if people would get my tag or not if they saw me elsewhere. I went to my very first writing conference (2017, LTUE in UT) just before I signed up here and that's how people recognized me. I chose to embrace it.
Brittany Rainsdon
R-SHM-HM-R-HM-R

John Goodwin asked me to type up a blog post about writing my wotf entry around giving birth. Here it is!
https://www.writersofthefuture.com/birt ... -rainsdon/

YM Pang
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby YM Pang » Sun Sep 30, 2018 8:06 pm

Wrestled with myself about whether I'm still eligible, whether to submit, whether I even had anything to submit. Portal is still open and I'm so, so tempted. This contest meant a lot to me. And I really wanted to do 4 in 35. But at this point, sitting on five pro-paying publications with another to come tomorrow, it doesn't feel right. I could argue one is flash and another is "not (yet) a SFWA market," but I don't exactly have time to query for clarification.

Plus, the only ready-to-submit story I have is anti-Dave-everything. (Heh, see, even now I'm not saying what the story is; old habits die hard).

On the bright side, my Q3 is still in the running. So I have one last shot. :)
Michelle Pang
http://www.ympang.com
1xFinalist, 10xHM

"Subtle Ways Each Time" in Escape Pod.
"The Palace of the Silver Dragon" in Strange Horizons.

Bartleby
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Bartleby » Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:55 pm

thegirlintheglasses wrote:Well, I threw my hail mary. Baby girl came early Monday morning. I may or may not have written a few scenes in the hospital ;)


That's impressive.
R x 1
HM x 2

Wulf Moon
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Sep 30, 2018 11:39 pm

I'm in. One of those quarters. Wrote a fresh story in two days. Did revisions in the final hour, raced like a madman through the submission questions, pushed submit at Wizehive at 11:56 PM. I know, I know, I could have used those last couple of minutes to put some sonnets in the story or design another alien race, but you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. I did write 5500 words today, not my highest output, but still feels cool.

I cried writing this story. I consider that a good sign.

Okay, PM Yang, best of success on your Q3! I know what it feels like to want to win this contest, I've been entering since Algis Budrys! But here's the thing, the contest is designed to help you become a pro writer, and you did it! Enjoy your success! Mission accomplished, no matter what. : )

The Girl in the Glasses, congratulations on giving birth AND writing AND submitting your story AND on wearing huge glasses! If you win and we read your story and it has a spot that goes, "PUSH! PUSH! PUUUUUSH!" we'll know exactly when you wrote those words. By the way, did the hospital staff look at you crazy while you delivered with a typewriter atop your belly? I can see you snapping at the nurses as they tell you it's time. "FIVE MORE MINUTES, I'VE GOT TO FINISH THIS SCENE!" Glad you have a healthy new girl! Congratulations!

To all the rest, congratulations for submitting! That's always a win!

Goodbye Volume 35! It's out of our hands now and in Kary's and Dave's.

Fortune favor the brave,

Moon

AliciaCay
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby AliciaCay » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:16 am

Wulf Moon wrote:I'm in. One of those quarters. Wrote a fresh story in two days. Did revisions in the final hour, raced like a madman through the submission questions, pushed submit at Wizehive at 11:56 PM. I know, I know, I could have used those last couple of minutes to put some sonnets in the story or design another alien race, but you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em. I did write 5500 words today, not my highest output, but still feels cool.

I cried writing this story. I consider that a good sign.

Okay, PM Yang, best of success on your Q3! I know what it feels like to want to win this contest, I've been entering since Algis Budrys! But here's the thing, the contest is designed to help you become a pro writer, and you did it! Enjoy your success! Mission accomplished, no matter what. : )

The Girl in the Glasses, congratulations on giving birth AND writing AND submitting your story AND on wearing huge glasses! If you win and we read your story and it has a spot that goes, "PUSH! PUSH! PUUUUUSH!" we'll know exactly when you wrote those words. By the way, did the hospital staff look at you crazy while you delivered with a typewriter atop your belly? I can see you snapping at the nurses as they tell you it's time. "FIVE MORE MINUTES, I'VE GOT TO FINISH THIS SCENE!" Glad you have a healthy new girl! Congratulations!

To all the rest, congratulations for submitting! That's always a win!

Goodbye Volume 35! It's out of our hands now and in Kary's and Dave's.

Fortune favor the brave,

Moon


Design another alien race, haha! I'm glad you're in Wulf!! wotf010
V32: HM (Q4)
V33: HM, HM, SHM, HM
V34: R, R, HM, HM
V35: HM, HM, Q3-TBD
https://aliciacay.com
"I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still." -Arthur Rimbaud

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RSchibler
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby RSchibler » Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:02 am

thegirlintheglasses wrote:Well, I threw my hail mary. Baby girl came early Monday morning. I may or may not have written a few scenes in the hospital ;) but I finished editing a few minutes ago. I just sent the finished story in. I may have missed something stupid, I had no time for exchanges, BUT I FINISHED and 4/4 feels good.


wotf010 wotf010 wotf010

Congratulations! What a great birth story wotf001
Trying to refute entropy with words.

Vol34: Q2 R, Q3 HM, Q4 R
Vol35: Q1 HM, Q2 R, Q3 R, Q4 pending

Blogging about my writing journey at: http://www.rebeccaetreasure.com/blog

SCAFontaine
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby SCAFontaine » Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:14 am

Congrats Girl in the Glasses! Wishing you the best and that your baby girl lets you sleep enough to write.
Thanks Wulf Moon for all your supportive words to everyone. What an awesome community of writers.
Good luck everyone! May the schwartz be with you! wotf011

storysinger
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby storysinger » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:49 am

Congratulations Rebecca on the new addition.
HM-1
Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality.
D.R.Sweeney

GruffbaneJoe
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby GruffbaneJoe » Mon Oct 01, 2018 10:46 am

My first HM was right at 17000, And-my second HM was 12000. My 3rd quarter was about 14000 and is still in the running. The one I just submitted is 16500 and is a revision of one of my 3 rejections, which was originally around 12000.

I really hope they don’t change the word count because it’s one of the only markets for novellas. I think a good novella may be tough to pull off but also shows a knowledge of both crafts: short story and novel writing. The winners have a good chance at a publishing deal if they are able to write a novel and have one ready when the anthology is published, so it’s good to hone your long form skills.
R: 3
HM: 3

adchrimes
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby adchrimes » Mon Oct 01, 2018 11:31 am

I have to admit, I'm in awe of all of you who have managed to submit one story every quarter. It's taken me 3 quarters just to get this story ready to submit for Q4 and after I actually hit submit, it felt like much too soon, there was still so much more I could do it make it even better. But what's done is done and it's in the hands of the Judges now. And I've already started my next story for Q1 of 36.

Best of luck! And Write On!

Wulf Moon
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:13 pm

Adchrimes: It's never wasted to get a story in. If it doesn't win, you can always revise and submit again--unless it gets Semfinalist, which gets a critique. And that's a good thing too, because it will show you what you need to work on in your next!

Wulf Moon
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Wulf Moon » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:22 pm

Congrats to all those that did make it in. Deadlines are a good thing, they make us push ourselves, and often reveal we are capable of much, much more in our writing output. Best of success, and may many of us graduate to the workshop and stage next year! We can dance with Preston there!

This was a tough quarter for my wife's health, so that makes it a tough Q for me. But I did write a fresh story, sell it to a pro-paying market, and saw it published in ebook and trade paperback all in this past quarter, so that time was a good investment (check out Wulf Moon on Amazon if you wish). You always wonder if the story you sold elsewhere might have been your WotF winner, but that's a path best not traveled. I had two days to get my entry in, and decided to write fresh instead of dusting off a Silver--always my backup. I hate writing up to the very last minutes, but I'd rather that than throw in the towel. Thankfully, I didn't also have to deliver a baby, 'cuz that puts a real cramp on things. : )

Congrats again to all that entered, and best of success at the close of another year of writing for Writers of the Future!

All the beast!

~Moon~

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preston
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby preston » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:56 pm

I hope everyone who wanted to enter made it in on time. Good luck, and I can't wait to see who wins! I hope it's a forum sweep. That would be awesome!

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michaeljwyantjr
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby michaeljwyantjr » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:04 pm

All righty... now that 3rd quarter results are trickling in, I can officially say I'm pretty sure I'm getting an R for Q4. It's a weird story, with an equally odd MC, and a plot geared toward humor over the speculative elements.

*exhales*

Good to get that off my chest. On to Q1!
WotF Results:
  • R:2
  • HM:6
  • sHM:0
  • SF:0
  • F:0
  • Last: HM, Q3 v35
  • Pending, Q4 v35

Wulf Moon
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:17 am

I'm expecting quick results this Q. First reader Kary clipping away, Dave healthy again, pressure to move quick to get the anthology printed before the gala, seems like a perfect storm!

SCAFontaine
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby SCAFontaine » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:46 pm

Wulf Moon wrote:I'm expecting quick results this Q. First reader Kary clipping away, Dave healthy again, pressure to move quick to get the anthology printed before the gala, seems like a perfect storm!


That would totally increase my twitching for results, but as I've read on the Q3 forum, not everybody has their results yet. Won't they finish up with Q3 before giving Q4 any?

Wulf Moon
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Wulf Moon » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:55 pm

SCAFontaine wrote:
Wulf Moon wrote:I'm expecting quick results this Q. First reader Kary clipping away, Dave healthy again, pressure to move quick to get the anthology printed before the gala, seems like a perfect storm!


That would totally increase my twitching for results, but as I've read on the Q3 forum, not everybody has their results yet. Won't they finish up with Q3 before giving Q4 any?


For certain, Fontaine. But that doesn't change my view that Q4 will roll fast after. : )

GruffbaneJoe
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby GruffbaneJoe » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:16 pm

michaeljwyantjr wrote:All righty... now that 3rd quarter results are trickling in, I can officially say I'm pretty sure I'm getting an R for Q4. It's a weird story, with an equally odd MC, and a plot geared toward humor over the speculative elements.

*exhales*

Good to get that off my chest. On to Q1!


You are not alone. I got an HM for 3, and it was way more polished and mature than my other two HMs. My Q4 was a revision of an R, I’m just hoping I get a “still in the running” first so I will know I at least fixed the opening. I don’t think it will get HM because the story has grown and would now resolve better if made into a novel.

My I’ve been saving my idea for Q1 a while, because it has a great twist and plenty of opportunity for tears. I think it might be my best shot, but I’m beginning to think twists endings might not help much and may even cause
David to question your character and plot more closely

I I dunno. I was expecting to win the whole thing my first entry, also my first HM. I was expecting an R on my second HM. And this last HM I was thinking At least Silver.
To me it seems there must be a huge range of quality in HMs, but they are all at a publishable level. Not everything publishable gets published, and an author’s breakthrough novel is rarely just publishable. To win a contest or a get a big novel deal you need to be more than just publishable. Many big names have second and fifth novels that would not get higher than an HMm from Dave. They sell because they are well written and the reader trusts them, not because they were as good as the one that broke them through.
R: 3
HM: 3

Bartleby
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Bartleby » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:25 pm

GruffbaneJoe wrote:
michaeljwyantjr wrote:To me it seems there must be a huge range of quality in HMs, but they are all at a publishable level..


I remember reading somewhere that HMs are stories that are close to publishable but have a missing element, such as theme. It makes sense that HMs would have a wide range of quality if some stories have masterful execution in a few areas but still lack that one element that ties it all together.
R x 1
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LDWriter2
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:43 pm

Bartleby wrote:
GruffbaneJoe wrote:
michaeljwyantjr wrote:To me it seems there must be a huge range of quality in HMs, but they are all at a publishable level..


I remember reading somewhere that HMs are stories that are close to publishable but have a missing element, such as theme. It makes sense that HMs would have a wide range of quality if some stories have masterful execution in a few areas but still lack that one element that ties it all together.



So far none of mine have proven that theory but I hear that others here have sold HMs to other markets.
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby YM Pang » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:07 pm

I've sold three HMs. Heck, there are people who've sold Rs.

My two cents: Never trash or change a story solely based on how a market reacts to it. Always ask if you still believe in the story; if you do, keep sending it out. If you got an HM, congrats, you're probably doing something right. There are a million and one reasons why the story didn't place higher, and "it has a clear flaw or missing element" is just one possibility.

Also, HM has changed over the years. My first HM from 2009 probably falls under "interesting concept, but probably unpublishable for the clumsy prose alone." I'm quite certain my Rs from 2018 will do better on the submission cycle than the old HM. (I'd test this theory, except I don't want shoddy-prose-story floating around out there terrorizing all the poor editors).
Michelle Pang
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1xFinalist, 10xHM

"Subtle Ways Each Time" in Escape Pod.
"The Palace of the Silver Dragon" in Strange Horizons.

Bartleby
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Bartleby » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:48 pm

YM Pang wrote:I've sold three HMs. Heck, there are people who've sold Rs.


That's pretty awesome. I've gotten into the odd habit of wondering how some of the pro stories I've come across would fare on Dave's desk--and how some of the WotF stories would fare on, say, Neil Clarke or C.C. Finlay's desk. You really never know unless you submit.
R x 1
HM x 2

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morganb
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby morganb » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:56 am

Bartleby wrote:
YM Pang wrote:I've sold three HMs. Heck, there are people who've sold Rs.


That's pretty awesome. I've gotten into the odd habit of wondering how some of the pro stories I've come across would fare on Dave's desk--and how some of the WotF stories would fare on, say, Neil Clarke or C.C. Finlay's desk. You really never know unless you submit.


I've cleaned up some of my R's from the contest and submitted them around the markets. They're still R's to this day and I've since locked them away in the dark recesses of my story trunk down in the cob-webby basement behind the furnace where the mice are even too afraid to crawl. After so many R's, I just have to put down the defibrillators and call the time, then move on to something shiny and new.

~M
"If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."
- Stephen King

Drop me a line at https://morganbroadhead.com

HM x 1
R x 4

KD Julicher
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby KD Julicher » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:10 am

LDWriter2 wrote:
Bartleby wrote:
GruffbaneJoe wrote:


I remember reading somewhere that HMs are stories that are close to publishable but have a missing element, such as theme. It makes sense that HMs would have a wide range of quality if some stories have masterful execution in a few areas but still lack that one element that ties it all together.



So far none of mine have proven that theory but I hear that others here have sold HMs to other markets.



One of my HMs won the Baen Fantasy Adventure Award contest a couple years back. I just sold another to a semiprozine. It happens!
WOTF: HM x 6, SF x 1, F V31 Q3, V32 Q2, V32 Q4, V34 Q3
Baen Fantasy Award Winner 2014
V32 Published Finalist

Sataris
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby Sataris » Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:55 am

Bartleby wrote:
YM Pang wrote:I've sold three HMs. Heck, there are people who've sold Rs.


That's pretty awesome. I've gotten into the odd habit of wondering how some of the pro stories I've come across would fare on Dave's desk--and how some of the WotF stories would fare on, say, Neil Clarke or C.C. Finlay's desk. You really never know unless you submit.


i can shed a tiny, statistically insignificant amount of light on this. my q1 winner got first round rejections from both Clarkesworld and F&SF (even got the didn't grab me one there), while my earlier SHM got a lengthy personal from F&SF and was held by a couple places (including fireside) before finding a home.

I really think that once your prose/feel for stories in general is up to snuff, the majority of what's left is a matter of taste, and of whether or not the slush readers you draw have already had their coffee or not.

seriously though, no reason that even an R from the contest can't go on to place in an awesome market.
2017: Q4: SHM - The Tin Man, Syntax and Salt
2018: Q1: 1st Place

vsutherland01
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby vsutherland01 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:19 am

I hope I can land an HM this quarter. My ratio is embarrassing, I was hoping to do better this year. I am still at the point where my absolute best effort barely makes an HM. I gotta improve that next year.
Honorable Mentions: 2
Rejections: 5

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vjalrik
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby vjalrik » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:09 am

vsutherland01 wrote:I hope I can land an HM this quarter. My ratio is embarrassing, I was hoping to do better this year. I am still at the point where my absolute best effort barely makes an HM. I gotta improve that next year.

I'm starting to think the place/rejection ratio is overrated (though this may be due to mine having dropped to 0.5 last quarter...). I think it really depends on your approach. I think you can meet Dave's checklist components (3x try-fail cycle, all 5 senses in first couple of pages, etc.) and get a string of serviceable HMs. I also think adhering closely to the "rules" might make it harder to stand out. Looking back at my submissions, I've done best with my more experimental stories, though a couple have fallen completely flat. My HMs have been more middle-of-the-road. So I think you've got two main strategies: incremental improvement associated with improving your ratio, or a more high-risk/high-return strategy that might result in more taste-based rejections. Another frequently repeated rule is to not try to get around the rules, so I may prove the second strategy a complete failure over the next few quarters.....
Van Alrik
V33 (-- HM SHM R), V34 (SF R R HM), V35 (HM R R Q4-Pending)
Latest sold stories (10 total):
"The Church of Raw," Thuggish Itch: Scientific, Oct. 5, 2018
"Fossil Fuel," Helios Quarterly Magazine, Dec. 13, 2016

kentagions
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby kentagions » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:16 am

vsutherland01 wrote:
I am still at the point where my absolute best effort barely makes an HM.


There is no degree of HM. The odds of receiving one are one in ten. So your story beat ninety percent of all others in a professional setting. It was read by an award winning professional author and editor who deemed it worthy of Honorable Mention in a contest that has garnered Best Seller honors for its anthologies. HM is quite a feat.

But this contest isn't the only one. Nor is it the only speculative fiction market. David is just one editor. Send that best effort to others. See what happens.

Best of luck,
Kent

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orbivillein
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby orbivillein » Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:51 am

Facets of a story that distinguish an automatic decline due to utter guideline noncompliance (recipe, joke, prank, whim, non-fantastic, non-prose content), to also-ran to honorable mention to finalist, etc., to quarter win, place, or show, to annual grand winner?

Relevant, timely, timeless, lively human condition subtext that doesn't preach or command or tell moral laws, rather, self-discovers moral truth related to how newly realized physical and social sciences, technology, and fantasy influences affect personal human lives, the "Edges of Ideas." Without which, otherwise, a story cannot but be a jumbled clunk, derivative, repetitive, diluted copycat of thousands of prior and contemporaneous and future mediocre stories -- chaotic, stale, lackluster, and unoriginal.

"Edges of Ideas. The places where technology and background should come onstage: not the mechanics of a new event, gizmo, or political structure, but rather how people’s lives are affected by their new background. Example of excellence: the opening chapters of Orwell’s 1984. (Lewis Shiner)" ("Being a Glossary of Terms Useful in Critiquing Science Fiction," edited by Clarion workshops' David Smith, SFWA hosted, emphases added.)

Plus, worth a sample, too: "Turkey City Lexicon – A Primer for SF Workshops," Edited by Lewis Shiner, Second Edition by Bruce Sterling, SFWA hosted.

Why reinvent the wheel if the two most infamous science fiction and fantasy workshops reduce the more common shortfalls of the genres to a Glossary and a Lexicon? Nutritious, gourmet thought, craft skill, and appeal food for all prose writers, too.

vsutherland01
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Re: Discussion: Q4 Volume 35

Postby vsutherland01 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 12:12 pm

vjalrik wrote:
vsutherland01 wrote:I hope I can land an HM this quarter. My ratio is embarrassing, I was hoping to do better this year. I am still at the point where my absolute best effort barely makes an HM. I gotta improve that next year.

I'm starting to think the place/rejection ratio is overrated (though this may be due to mine having dropped to 0.5 last quarter...). I think it really depends on your approach. I think you can meet Dave's checklist components (3x try-fail cycle, all 5 senses in first couple of pages, etc.) and get a string of serviceable HMs. I also think adhering closely to the "rules" might make it harder to stand out. Looking back at my submissions, I've done best with my more experimental stories, though a couple have fallen completely flat. My HMs have been more middle-of-the-road. So I think you've got two main strategies: incremental improvement associated with improving your ratio, or a more high-risk/high-return strategy that might result in more taste-based rejections. Another frequently repeated rule is to not try to get around the rules, so I may prove the second strategy a complete failure over the next few quarters.....


Thanks for this. You have given me some stuff to think about. I have often wondered about creating checklist stories in hopes of stringing together HMs. I suppose I am still new to this contest and after a few years I might have a better idea of my approach, what aspects to be consistent in and when to introduce bold and brash elements.
Honorable Mentions: 2
Rejections: 5


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