Friday, May 9, 2008


As those of you who read these ramblings often would know, I've been feverishly working on four short dark fiction pieces over the last month or so. Winged Shepherd of Innocence has already been submitted to PARSEC. Drinkers, Too Late the Rain and Grimoire are the other titles. I have three weekends left before the 31st of May (not including the weekend that includes the 31st). This is important as my critique group (TPN) begin their schedule on a Saturday (Sunday in Australia). It is also important to note that two of the targeted markets have their submissions close on the 31st - and they are Australian based.

Now the "fly in the ointment" comes when my crit group has a word limit for posting. At 5000 words, it's fairly generous. Anything over that limit and it must be split over two weeks. There's my dilemma. Grimoire is over 5000 words. That means I need four weeks to get the three stories critiqued. Four into three doesn't go very well :(

I've posted the question on the forum and now await their decision if I can break the word limit for one week. They've all read the story in its two parts before, so they know what they're in for. We'll see. If not then Drinkers and Too Late the Rain will be submitted to the AHWA short story competition and Midnight Echo--not necessarily in that order.

This is a big step for me. Nobody in the Australian horror scene has seen anything from me before. The judges and editors of these two markets will be the first. Some of them I interact with on HorrorScope, others on an email group I'm involved with. They are published authors, respected in the Australian scene. I have befriended them and now they will judge me against other published Australian authors and a few international submissions. There will be other new writers submitting, but I'm guessing few will be Associate Editors of HorrorScope and AHWA members and unpublished within the genre.

If these submissions fall completely flat - I'm guessing they'll be looking at me somewhat differently. I'm confident these pieces are good stories but I don't know if they'll be good enough.

This is the self-doubt all writers experience on releasing their baby's into the harsh world of the marketplace. Big bad editors and competition judges can be pretty scathing in their assessment of a piece.

But they may also love it and want to pay you money for it. They may just want to publish it so others can fall in love with your words as well. If you don't submit, you'll never know.

Am I anxious about what I'm about to expose my work and myself too? Hell yes, but what am I putting all this effort into if I'm not going to try and put my work out into the public eye. Besides, I'd like to get paid for the amount of work I've done on these stories at some stage.

Now you know that I have the same issues as you do. Time to bite the bullet if you haven't already. Time to submit your carefully nurtured baby into the harsh world of publishing and see if it can stand among its peers.

Good luck.


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