Archive | April, 2017

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 for 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 a 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.