Story Submissions; A Guideline

23 Apr

As I did one of these posts about if you should (as a writer) write ideas down or not, I thought I was well overdue writing one about story submissions.

Not every writer will reach that place where they can or even want to submit their work for publication. But these are my tips for if you ever decide it’s now the time to submit work work.


As a hard and simple rule of thumb, apply common sense. If you haven’t GOT any common sense, read what the market are asking for.

It’s a market for poetry only, should I submit fiction?
Unless it’s fictional poetry, no. The word only means exactly that.

It’s a market for werewolves, should I submit a story about a man who becomes a dog?
No. Werewolf. Not weredog. There’s a difference, learn it.

It says for women only. I’m a man, should I submit?
No. Unless you possess a vagina or are planning to have one soon.

It says “specific region writers” only, should I submit?
Do you live in that place? Have you lived there? If the answer is no, then don’t submit.

It says science fiction only and I’m not sure if my story is very SF. Should I submit?
In this case, yes. Don’t self censor. Let the people reading decide if they think it’s SF or not.

It says LBGTQ authors only. I’m a straight man/woman, should I apply?
No. It’s hard enough to writers to break into these fields. There are plenty of places for people like you and we don’t frown on your choice to be straight.

If your story contains at least one aspect of what the market require, submit it and let them decide if it fits their bailiwick or not. Unless any of the above apply.

NOTES:- Read what the market have already offered. If they are a first time printer, feel free to query them by email.

It’s not about the money

8 Apr

I’m writing this blog entry in the interests of openness and transparency.

First, a bit of admin.

I just made my first story sale of the year, to Insignia.
Another anthology. Woo!

Okay. Admin over.

Writing for me isn’t just about making money.

While it is nice to get paid for your writing, I’m pleased that anyone finds my work of a good enough quality that they want to include it in a book with other stories.

Yes. Honestly.

After nearly 2 years of submitting stuff I am still surprised when I receive an acceptance letter. I’ve become so used to “Sorry, unsuccessful” (because no-one’s ever been mean enough to send a “Fuck off, die, and stop writing forever” email yet) emails that they are now my daily bread and butter, almost part of my weekly routine now I am submitting so often.

I’m sure that if you asked any now famous writer how many rejections they used to receive on a regular basis, their face will drop, their heart will beat a little faster and you’ll become their new worst friend. Then they’ll snap out of it and tell you how they too got umpteen rejections before making it big.

It’s never all no. It’s the odd yes and that makes it worth carrying on submitting stuff.

Which is ironic, seeing how I was thinking that I was going to stop submitting stuff at the end of this month if I hadn’t made sale.

Try. Keep trying. Say why not.

Things can happen. You’ve got to work for them though.

I am hardly the worlds greatest writer but that was my third sale for money.

Ray’s potted dystopia guide for the unsure

5 Apr

Ray’s potted dystopia guide for the unsure:-

“Things are shit, let’s imagine just how much WORSE it could get then write it down.”

Robot Trump could be in charge.
Vampire Trump could be in charge, women aren’t allowed outside any more.
Vampire women are in charge, Trump isn’t allowed outside any more.
Vampire dogs are in charge, Trump has to walk them all & pick up their poop.

Wow. How many writing prompts is that?

“I’ve never got any ideas.” Shut up Ray, you just thought of 4 right there.

The Earth Is An Even Harsher Mistress

30 Mar

The Earth Is An Even Harsher Mistress (A poem) by Ray Daley

The man in the moon came down too soon, he burned up in the atmosphere,
It was said by and large by the people in charge, it was because he was a queer.
The man in the moon played the pink bassoon, left a guy alone back on Earth,
And the lobbyists said they were glad he was dead, as they felt he had no worth.
The man in the moon has found some room, A place to call his own,
By faking his loss and not giving a toss, his feelings will never be known.
The man in the moon won’t be alone soon, His partner’s on his way,
So they’ll be together, forever and ever, who really cares if they’re gay?


Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 Rules

22 Mar

Okay, as promised, here is the post about Camp NaNoWriMo.

In order to have a little order, I need to establish rules and guidelines, these are they.

OBJECT:- To write at least 30 stories of 1000 words (or more) in length in 30 days.

This does NOT mean that I have to write 1 story every day.

Not writing a story each day WILL NOT deem the challenge to have been failed. Failure is to not write 30 stories in total, with 30,000 words (or more).

There is no daily goal, just a goal for the whole month.

Between the period of midnight April 1st 2017 and 23;59:59 I MUST write 30 stories totalling 30,000 words.

If by May 1st I have not done this, I have failed.

I am allowed to write stories longer than 1000 words, there is no upper word limit.
I am allowed to write several stories in one day whose combined word counts are equal to or greater than 1000 words.

Stories can come from image prompts or word prompts.
I cannot use stories I have already started & merely type them up or finish them.

Stories do not need to be spellchecked or proofed but MUST be word counted using a wordprocessor and an online word counter which must both state the story is 1000 words or longer (not including the title, the date, my name or THE END).

And that’s the bottom line, ’cause Stone Cold said so!

(cue breaking glass effect)

Ray’s What To Do #1

12 Mar

“Have you ever found yourself writing a story where you’ve got no idea where to go next?”

Yes. This is a situation you’ll find yourself in frequently.

So what do you do?

Start by not panicing. Accept the situation.
It’s a place you’ll become familar with over time.
It’s not a scary place. At first it might feel scary, because it’s new.
But once you accept where you are, you can beging to move on.

Do your characters have the resources or abilities required to move past their current impasse? If yes, use them to do so. If no, move them to a point where they can aquire such things and then move on.

And now the story should be moving along again.

What’s currently in submission #2

12 Mar
What’s currently in submission?
Write Now (subbed to Anthology of Quitters)
The Lanyards (subbed to Asimovs)
Tuesday Is Chicken-Flavoured Meat Day (subbed to Three-Lobed Burning Eye)
Welcome To Your New Home (subbed to Stories for Homes 2)
Practical Magic For Intermediate Students (subbed to Apex Magazine)
Departure Date (subbed to Strange Horizons)
The Thinker (subbed to Mad Scientist Journal anthology)
CSI; Nazareth (subbed to Daily Science Fiction)
The Catch (subbed to the were-traveller [PhotoFlash])
Pay Off (subbed to Queer SciFi)
That’s 11 pieces out in the ether right now.