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

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

Postby LambentTyto » Sat Oct 07, 2017 6:07 pm

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

Postby Jeremyteg » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:38 pm

Hi there! Welcome to the forum!

Preston gave a solid answer to your question in a different thread a while ago. Here's the link: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2556&p=79448&hilit=silver+honorable+mention#p79448

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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 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:32 am

I'll add a little more to Preston's definition:
SHM means you were in the "Finalist pile" that Dave segregates from the Rs and HMs.
From what I have heard from people who have asked him directly, he culls and mulls, then culls some more.

So the silvers survive an extra round, and are given extra consideration, but don't fit into the top 16. A silver is story 17, 18, 19, 20, etc.
When you count the silvers, let's say there are 14, then you were for sure in the top 30 for the quarter. Very close!

Also, I want to mention something about word count. Although the contest lists 17k as the limit, there's another limit to be aware of, which is page count. Although unofficial, it's not recommended you go past 68 pages in the generally accepted short story format. (Although Dave has said he prefers italics to underline, even in courier 12.)
Count 250 words per page, times 68 and you get 17000.
If your story is say 72 pages, the assumption will be 18000 because different programs count words differently, the word count can't be trusted, but the page count can be...

This is conjecture, not law, but I've heard numerous stories over the years about this "second limit" and would recommend keeping both numbers in mind when submitting.
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LambentTyto
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby LambentTyto » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:05 am

Jeremyteg wrote:Hi there! Welcome to the forum!

Preston gave a solid answer to your question in a different thread a while ago. Here's the link: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2556&p=79448&hilit=silver+honorable+mention#p79448


Thanks for the link!

Do you agree with Preston that HMs are publishable? I think I remember Dave saying something about them not quite being at a professional level. Of course, what Dave says isn't law, but still.
"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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LambentTyto
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby LambentTyto » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:10 am

Dustin Adams wrote:I'll add a little more to Preston's definition:
SHM means you were in the "Finalist pile" that Dave segregates from the Rs and HMs.
From what I have heard from people who have asked him directly, he culls and mulls, then culls some more.

So the silvers survive an extra round, and are given extra consideration, but don't fit into the top 16. A silver is story 17, 18, 19, 20, etc.
When you count the silvers, let's say there are 14, then you were for sure in the top 30 for the quarter. Very close!

Also, I want to mention something about word count. Although the contest lists 17k as the limit, there's another limit to be aware of, which is page count. Although unofficial, it's not recommended you go past 68 pages in the generally accepted short story format. (Although Dave has said he prefers italics to underline, even in courier 12.)
Count 250 words per page, times 68 and you get 17000.
If your story is say 72 pages, the assumption will be 18000 because different programs count words differently, the word count can't be trusted, but the page count can be...

This is conjecture, not law, but I've heard numerous stories over the years about this "second limit" and would recommend keeping both numbers in mind when submitting.


Just counted my story. It's at 67 pages. Thanks for the tip, though. I'll definitely keep that in mind when considering word counts in the future, though I thought Courier was 200 words per page on average while Times New Roman was 250?
"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 jficke13 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:43 am

LambentTyto wrote:
Jeremyteg wrote:Hi there! Welcome to the forum!

Preston gave a solid answer to your question in a different thread a while ago. Here's the link: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2556&p=79448&hilit=silver+honorable+mention#p79448


Thanks for the link!

Do you agree with Preston that HMs are publishable? I think I remember Dave saying something about them not quite being at a professional level. Of course, what Dave says isn't law, but still.


I think it depends on the piece and the market.

My 1st HM wasn't publishable. It was an awesome concept that started strong and finished flat. I think that's why it topped out at HM (got Dave's attention, but didn't stick the landing). I still plan to try to fix what's wrong with it and see if I can find a home for it somewhere.

I think Matt Dovey made mention at one point that at the end of the day an HM is still a rejection. Dave is an editor assembling an anthology, and HMs are great encouragement, a note that says "you've got writing chops and can do this, but this one wasn't for me." There's probably a flaw with your HM, mine lost the plot thread and didn't stick the ending. I look at an HM as an opportunity to figure out what wasn't perfect, hunt that imperfection down, and improve it for the next market.
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby Jeremyteg » Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:19 am

jficke13 wrote:
LambentTyto wrote:
Jeremyteg wrote:Hi there! Welcome to the forum!

Preston gave a solid answer to your question in a different thread a while ago. Here's the link: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2556&p=79448&hilit=silver+honorable+mention#p79448


Thanks for the link!

Do you agree with Preston that HMs are publishable? I think I remember Dave saying something about them not quite being at a professional level. Of course, what Dave says isn't law, but still.


I think it depends on the piece and the market.

My 1st HM wasn't publishable. It was an awesome concept that started strong and finished flat. I think that's why it topped out at HM (got Dave's attention, but didn't stick the landing). I still plan to try to fix what's wrong with it and see if I can find a home for it somewhere.

I think Matt Dovey made mention at one point that at the end of the day an HM is still a rejection. Dave is an editor assembling an anthology, and HMs are great encouragement, a note that says "you've got writing chops and can do this, but this one wasn't for me." There's probably a flaw with your HM, mine lost the plot thread and didn't stick the ending. I look at an HM as an opportunity to figure out what wasn't perfect, hunt that imperfection down, and improve it for the next market.


I agree. I think that HMs generally have a solid core, but need development. SHMs, generally, are publishable in the right market by the right editor, but could probably use some polishing. My impression is that semis and non-winning finalists are publishable.

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

Postby amoskalik » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:34 am

Even Rs can be publishable. I've sold 3 out of 5 Rs so far, and only 1 out of 5 HMs.
I do feel my HMs are better than my Rs in general, so it is just a matter of market really.
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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 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:47 am

amoskalik wrote:Even Rs can be publishable. I've sold 3 out of 5 Rs so far, and only 1 out of 5 HMs.
I do feel my HMs are better than my Rs in general, so it is just a matter of market really.


I second that it's a matter of market, often. I've sold 6 out of 14 HMs (two of my HMs were the same story, just edited), all semi-pro, and 4 out of 6 Rs, two pro and two semi-pro. Apparently my Rs actually do better in the world outside of WotF than my HMs. Hadn't actually calculated that before--interesting!
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disgruntledpeony
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby disgruntledpeony » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:20 am

Rebecca Birch wrote:
amoskalik wrote:Even Rs can be publishable. I've sold 3 out of 5 Rs so far, and only 1 out of 5 HMs.
I do feel my HMs are better than my Rs in general, so it is just a matter of market really.


I second that it's a matter of market, often. I've sold 6 out of 14 HMs (two of my HMs were the same story, just edited), all semi-pro, and 4 out of 6 Rs, two pro and two semi-pro. Apparently my Rs actually do better in the world outside of WotF than my HMs. Hadn't actually calculated that before--interesting!

I haven't sold any stories I've written for WotF elsewhere, at this point in time. Working on it. wotf001
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, ?

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

Postby LambentTyto » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:51 am

Rebecca Birch wrote:
amoskalik wrote:Even Rs can be publishable. I've sold 3 out of 5 Rs so far, and only 1 out of 5 HMs.
I do feel my HMs are better than my Rs in general, so it is just a matter of market really.


I second that it's a matter of market, often. I've sold 6 out of 14 HMs (two of my HMs were the same story, just edited), all semi-pro, and 4 out of 6 Rs, two pro and two semi-pro. Apparently my Rs actually do better in the world outside of WotF than my HMs. Hadn't actually calculated that before--interesting!


That's very interesting. I was looking around for a place to shop my HM, but I didn't find many apart from other, smaller competitions. Do you know of any good places to submit stories for sale?
"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 disgruntledpeony » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:55 am

LambentTyto wrote:
Rebecca Birch wrote:
amoskalik wrote:Even Rs can be publishable. I've sold 3 out of 5 Rs so far, and only 1 out of 5 HMs.
I do feel my HMs are better than my Rs in general, so it is just a matter of market really.


I second that it's a matter of market, often. I've sold 6 out of 14 HMs (two of my HMs were the same story, just edited), all semi-pro, and 4 out of 6 Rs, two pro and two semi-pro. Apparently my Rs actually do better in the world outside of WotF than my HMs. Hadn't actually calculated that before--interesting!


That's very interesting. I was looking around for a place to shop my HM, but I didn't find many apart from other, smaller competitions. Do you know of any good places to submit stories for sale?


https://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com

The Grinder is super useful for that.
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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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby LambentTyto » Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:33 am

disgruntledpeony wrote:
LambentTyto wrote:
Rebecca Birch wrote:
I second that it's a matter of market, often. I've sold 6 out of 14 HMs (two of my HMs were the same story, just edited), all semi-pro, and 4 out of 6 Rs, two pro and two semi-pro. Apparently my Rs actually do better in the world outside of WotF than my HMs. Hadn't actually calculated that before--interesting!


That's very interesting. I was looking around for a place to shop my HM, but I didn't find many apart from other, smaller competitions. Do you know of any good places to submit stories for sale?


https://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com

The Grinder is super useful for that.


This is awesome! Thanks!
"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 MattDovey » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:04 am

Huh. Now I think about it, not a one of my other WotF entries has sold. One of my (heavily revised) HMs got onto the James White Award shortlist in 2016, but is still circulating. Two are now trunked, two are still going, and one got thrown up on my site as my first story, because it felt like it needed something when I launched it a couple of years back.
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby preston » Tue Oct 10, 2017 5:20 pm

Yeah, I agree, an HM doesn't guarantee publication. Some forumites have mentioned that even their finalists haven't sold. Still, receiving an HM (silver or otherwise) is an undeniable good sign that the story has at least some merit. I've sold half of my HMs. I've sold a few rejects too. And yes, know your market!

What I find interesting about the Silver HM is that it came and went over the years, and that now it's back. I don't know why, but I'm guessing it's because David had a tough time putting down some of those stories, and that there just wasn't enough room in the categories above to contain them, as Dustin mentioned above. I know one thing: I'd sure like to get me one of them silvers. I bet they're perty! Maybe they could make gold HMs? Hmmm...

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

Postby LambentTyto » Tue Oct 10, 2017 6:46 pm

preston wrote:Yeah, I agree, an HM doesn't guarantee publication. Some forumites have mentioned that even their finalists haven't sold. Still, receiving an HM (silver or otherwise) is an undeniable good sign that the story has at least some merit. I've sold half of my HMs. I've sold a few rejects too. And yes, know your market!

What I find interesting about the Silver HM is that it came and went over the years, and that now it's back. I don't know why, but I'm guessing it's because David had a tough time putting down some of those stories, and that there just wasn't enough room in the categories above to contain them, as Dustin mentioned above. I know one thing: I'd sure like to get me one of them silvers. I bet they're perty! Maybe they could make gold HMs? Hmmm...


I think there's also a lot of subjectivity involved as well. I mean, past a certain point can anyone claim a story is worthy or not purely from an objective standpoint? I saw somewhere on here, and I'm sure it's been mentioned more than the one time I've seen it, that Dave really likes immersion through sensory description, and I'm pretty sure a lot of people would agree that the better a writer can put the reader into the world they've created, the better the story will be, but I read plenty of authors who aren't really that great at immersion through viewpoint and sensory description. Take Kevin J. Anderson. He's a great writer, and very successful too, but his writing style has a more narrative focus rather than deep viewpoint and immersion. At least in my opinion. So what might cause one reader to put a book or story down and not come back, might not effect the next, and I think that's why even people who've had stories rejected by Dave have still managed to sell a few, or have failed selling finalist pieces. Of course, like you mentioned, know your market, so there's other factors to consider.

Your guess as to why Silver HM come and go sounds pretty plausible. You're probably right on the money.

So this makes me wonder. If some people are selling HMs and even rejections in a few cases, I guess that makes my thinking wrong. I've been telling myself that my writing isn't at a professional level yet, and that I need more practice. Now, I'm certainly not saying that it is, but I think this is good encouragement for all of us, especially if you've sold some things, that we should be writing with publication in mind, instead of the "well, I'm just not there yet," mindset.

I believe Brandon Sanderson on Writing Excuses also said that problems with shorter fiction are compounded manifold due to the fact that everything's just got to be perfect, otherwise problems stick out glaringly, vs longer fiction, problems tend to become softer in the readers mind. I don't know if that's because the reader forget the problems since longer works have more going on, or what.
"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 disgruntledpeony » Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:04 am

LambentTyto wrote:I think this is good encouragement for all of us, especially if you've sold some things, that we should be writing with publication in mind, instead of the "well, I'm just not there yet," mindset.

Exactly. wotf007 wotf010 I guarantee that part of the reason I haven't sold any of my WotF submissions is because I submit almost exclusively to pro markets. I'm stubborn that way. I also have only seven unique stories to my name, at this point.

(I have sold a story, at this point, but It's the only one I never submitted to WotF. wotf019 )
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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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby amoskalik » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:46 am

disgruntledpeony wrote:
LambentTyto wrote:I think this is good encouragement for all of us, especially if you've sold some things, that we should be writing with publication in mind, instead of the "well, I'm just not there yet," mindset.

Exactly. wotf007 wotf010 I guarantee that part of the reason I haven't sold any of my WotF submissions is because I submit almost exclusively to pro markets. I'm stubborn that way. I also have only seven unique stories to my name, at this point.

(I have sold a story, at this point, but It's the only one I never submitted to WotF. wotf019 )


I always start with the pro markets, of course, but once I run through them for a given story, semi-pro, then the nominals. I just want the story out there in print or podcast or whatever.
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Re: What's a Silver Honorable Mention as opposed to a regular HM?

Postby disgruntledpeony » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:07 am

amoskalik wrote:
disgruntledpeony wrote:
LambentTyto wrote:I think this is good encouragement for all of us, especially if you've sold some things, that we should be writing with publication in mind, instead of the "well, I'm just not there yet," mindset.

Exactly. wotf007 wotf010 I guarantee that part of the reason I haven't sold any of my WotF submissions is because I submit almost exclusively to pro markets. I'm stubborn that way. I also have only seven unique stories to my name, at this point.

(I have sold a story, at this point, but It's the only one I never submitted to WotF. wotf019 )


I always start with the pro markets, of course, but once I run through them for a given story, semi-pro, then the nominals. I just want the story out there in print or podcast or whatever.


I haven't quite exhausted the pro paying markets for any of my stories yet, although I'm bloody close with a number of them.
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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