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Life as a submitting writer

March 31, 2011

I’m glad I’m not the nail-biting type. Submitting writing anywhere seems to follow this general pattern: Submit – wait – react. I now have a few experiences to share with you of negative as well as positive responses.

Due to General Failure marching into my online existence for a while, I never told you more about the story that got accepted, so please consider this the follow-up.
I sent in a number of short pieces (stories in the “flash fiction” category – often defined as a very short, complete story of 1000 words or less) to a number of websites publishing short fiction. I chose different sites, some very small and some established ones. Some offered a fee, and some didn’t, but that is not terribly important to me just now. Some came back to me within a few days, while others took a couple of months. Some of my stories were rejected (as I had expected), and a couple were actually accepted (absolutely wonderful). Obviously I like letters of acceptance better, but I have discovered that just the feeling of doing something and getting a bit of feedback at the same time is useful to me.
The first place to accept was Weird Year, a small site which uploads one piece every day. I was really thrilled because it was the first story that was accepted. (It was published here if you would like to read it.) The response was kind and relaxed, a simple letter of acceptance containing a publishing date.
Among the other places I tried was one that unfortunately had to close, and one that rejected a piece, but encouraged me to try another one. After this I had a curious case of sending the same piece to two places, one of which told me that it was too much like a short story as they wanted something more like a joke, and another one telling me that it read too much like a joke and they were looking for a short story. I think it goes to show how differently people read.
My absolute favourite place to submit to at this point must be Every Day Fiction. It’s a pretty big site which accepts most genres and puts up/sends out a new story every day. It also pays a small fee for every story. They are not super quick in getting back to you, but what is fantastic is that you actually get feedback to every single piece from three different slush pile readers. I sent in a few stories of different genres and found it very useful to hear what total strangers thought of them. And … I just learnt that one of them was actually accepted there. It’s scheduled for publishing in either April or May. – Need I tell you that I am really happy?

Do you submit your writing to websites/magazines/publishers? If you do, do you have any favourite places? Are you a reader of online fiction? If so, which sites do you usually visit?

19 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2011 2:11 pm

    Congrats on the publication. I read a lot of online fiction, but I’ve never submitted any of my own. I hadn’t even thought about writing short stories until very recently, and have decided that they may be part of my publishing/promotion program on Smashwords. I don’t have the patience to wait for someone else’s decision about whether my work is good enough for them. Add to that, my disappointment with sites like Everyday Fiction. I signed up and read the daily stories, which were a mixed bag as far as quality was concerned. Finally quit because it was mostly a waste of my reading time.


    • April 2, 2011 10:24 am

      Thank you!
      I like the diversity of Every Day Fiction, and for someone like me who wants to send a novel to a traditional publisher someday, I find that this is great practice. But I think that using your short fiction in a promotion program is a really neat way to go too.


  2. April 2, 2011 3:06 am

    Congrats on the story! That’s great news.

    I don’t read too much online…sometimes I feel a little too stuck to paper. But I will definitely check out Every Day Fiction with an eye out for your piece!


    • April 2, 2011 10:35 am

      Thank you very much! I am really happy with it.
      I like paper books too. The feel and the smell of them … Hmm, I digress. XD
      Thank you for looking out for my story! I was just informed that it’s due for publication on the 26th of April, but I’ll link to it on my blog too.


  3. christicorbett permalink
    April 4, 2011 12:50 am

    Yippee for acceptance letters!

    A big huge congratulations to you!

    Now I’m off to read your stuff 🙂

    Christi Corbett


  4. christicorbett permalink
    April 4, 2011 12:55 am

    I’m back after reading “The Note” and leaving a comment.

    That was very powerful and well-written.

    Christi Corbett


    • April 4, 2011 9:28 am

      Thank you (for both comments)! 😀
      I’m so glad to hear that you liked it! The one on Every Day Fiction is very different, and I’m really curious (and a little nervous) to hear what people think of it.


  5. April 4, 2011 12:57 pm

    Congratulations on your published piece! I enjoyed reading it. 🙂

    Lately I’ve been experimenting with writing flash fiction, thanks to Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenges. Wendig provides a writing prompt and writers post links to their pieces in the comments. I’m also reading others’ flash fiction- there’s a wide response to each challenge, and the interpretations are inspiring. I haven’t submitted to any official places like you mentioned- right now I’m comfortable posting the stories on my blog.

    Glad you’re marching successfully again!


    • April 4, 2011 8:48 pm

      Thank you! I’m so glad to hear that you did! 😀
      Ooh, I must take a look at those challenges. It sounds like a lot of fun.
      Hopefully you will post some more of your pieces on your blog, then. 🙂


  6. April 4, 2011 3:14 pm

    Congratulations again on the acceptance! You always remember your first (ahem), but here’s hoping there are many more to come.


    • April 4, 2011 8:49 pm

      Thank you very much! Oh yes (hehe), I do. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I have one or two stories out there, but it will probably be a while before I hear back on either of them.


  7. April 9, 2011 11:36 am

    Just read your piece on Weird Year, it was very haunting and bittersweet. I have submitted 4 flash stories but 2 were for a contest which I didn’t win. 1 other got turned down, and one I never heard. I haven’t bothered again as I’ve been too busy to try. I will give Weird Year and Every day Fiction a try though. Can’t hurt 🙂


    • April 9, 2011 12:07 pm

      Thank you so much! 😀
      I definitely think you should give it a try. And I’d definitely like to know how it goes and read them if your stories are accepted. 🙂


  8. michellekeyes permalink
    April 18, 2011 2:13 pm

    Congrats on the success. I know what you mean – I’ve been submitting as well. I submitted some poems to about a dozen different magazines all at once, all who accepted simultaneous submissions. I’m glad I did it because now, when I get a rejection letter, it doesn’t sting. It just goes in the pile with the rest of them. I’m hopeful to submit four stories this month and have a stack of venues to submit to. I’d love to hear more about your submission process if you feel like sharing it – how you stay organized, how you decide where to submit, where you find your markets, that kind of thing.


    • April 18, 2011 3:32 pm

      Thank you so much!
      You sound really productive! It’s great to hear. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for your stories.
      And thank you for the suggestion. I’ve been thinking about writing some more about how I go about it and it’s great to know that you’re interested.


  9. Maribeth permalink
    April 22, 2011 12:45 am

    Congratulations! The submission process can be wicked. I know I get the jitters every time I submit. I try to be hopeful but also prepared for rejection.

    Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.



  10. Robin Dufner permalink
    February 8, 2013 4:27 pm

    Please contact me regarding a request to reprint your short story “Treasure” in an educational publication. Thank you.


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