Archive | August, 2020

September/Year long Submission Post

30 Aug

Be aware.

I will NOT be posting the September markets online until October. If you want the market list, join the private Facebook group.

If you want daily updates, links will be shared on my Twitter feed @RayDaleyWriter

I will try to keep the end of month round-up’s coming, but with the new WordPress editor, that’s going to be a lot harder soon. I’m going to leave a bunch of drafts so I can just fill them in later.

 

An Open Letter To Paying Short Form SF & Fantasy Markets

26 Aug

Hello, good people. Most of you are very good people. Some of you are a touch misguided.

I’m sure when you first opened, you had grand and lofty ideas, dreams of what you wanted your market to be. Then you met your submitters, and they overwhelmed you. Perhaps not immediately, but eventually.

That is why I’ve brought you here today.

Your submission wait times are too long. Some of you (I’m not going to point fingers or name & shame) have wait times over 100 days. That’s far too damn long. Here’s how you’re going to fix that.

CLOSE TO GENERAL SUBMISSIONS RIGHT NOW.

Seriously, I mean it. Close. Now! Don’t even stop to read the rest of this article, come back when you’ve closed.

I’ll wait. On you go. No, I REALLY mean it!

I’ll be here when you get back.

__________________________________________________________

Okay. Closed to subs now? We’ll continue then. It’s time to dig yourself out of the hole you made for yourselves. The first step was putting down the shovel, closing to subs.

Stay closed, read your slush queue, and clear it, completely.

However many stories you had to read to clear the queue, divide that number by four. That’s your new cut-off point. In future, when you reopen to subs, accept no more than that amount, by plus or minus 10%.

Don’t ever get overwhelmed again.

I’m one of the hundreds or possibly thousands of people sending you stories to read, and hopefully buy. We don’t mind a short wait, in fact, we expect one. What we don’t expect is a wait of anything up to half a year. If you’re one of those markets who says not to query until six months has passed, the swearword hasn’t yet been invented to describe you.

You’ve only got that amount of time factored in because, shock – horror, you’re overwhelmed. That’s because you don’t know when to close submissions. Some of you (according to SFWA) are professional markets, yet you still don’t know to close when you’ve got too much to read. If this is the case, kindly question your life choices.

A lot of you are guilty, don’t shrug and say “Well, we’re not!”

Some markets get rejections out in DAYS. ACTUAL DAYS. I’m not talking a week either, one, two or maybe three days. Anything up to two weeks is decent, a month is just about acceptable. Beyond that, your turnaround time needs work. Almost certainly because you’ve taken too many stories.

Now, I realise this means a lot of markets are suddenly going to be closed for quite some time while they clear the decks. 2020 has been a shit year for everyone. Why don’t we end it by making long market wait times a thing of the past? If you’re a pro-rate market, maybe you should also have more professional reply times too?

I don’t want to see any cheating. Stories are still to be read & judged the same way you always have. If Neil Clarke can politely tell me no in two days, there’s no reason why everywhere can’t meet his incredibly high and excellent standards. Clarkesworld has a fast turnaround which I respect.

Thanks for your attention.

NOW GO CLEAR YOUR SLUSH PILES, AND DON’T REOPEN TO SUBS UNTIL YOU HAVE.

SO ENDETH THE LESSON.

Say Why Not?

22 Aug

As I’ve been seeing more and more posts on the art of persistance, let me introduce you to a new philosophy.

SAY “WHY NOT?”

This was introduced to me by filmmaker & podcaster Kevin Smith. Yes, that Kevin Smith, aka Silent Bob. He actually talks quite a lot, and has interesting things to tell us, including “Say why not?

Instead of listening to all the negativity, the people saying “Why bother?“, you need to start dialling up a new inner voice. That voice which says “Why not?

Want to write a novel? WHY NOT? Yeah, you’ll learn some shit along the way, and you might not even finish the thing, but if you never try, you’ll never know you could. Or couldn’t. So say “Why not?

Nothing but you is stopping your creative journey. Sure, people might scoff, or poke fun, but SCREW THEM AND ALL WHO SAIL WITH THEM! They don’t matter. Say “Why Not?

I wanted to write a novel for decades, but I was afraid. It sounded too long, too much like hard work, too difficult. Then one day I just said, “Screw it, I’m going to do it. Why the hell not, what’s the worst that could happen?” So I set a date, and started. And do you know what happened?

I WROTE A FREAKING NOVEL! And I did it in 28 days. Sure, it was garbage and I don’t even want to think about going back to edit it, but I WROTE A FREAKING NOVEL! Over 50,000 words, in under a month. Me. Mister Depression. Mister Self Doubt. That guy WROTE A FREAKING NOVEL.

Because I said “Why Not?

I chose not to let doubt or negativity hold me back any longer. Later that year I started submitting stories in earnest, and I sold some. And the next year. And so on, until this year.

People paid me for my stupid science fiction. And my stupid fantasy. And most recently, my stupid horror. I’m listed on the Internet Speculative Database. Stephen King and Harry Harrison are also listed there!

People give me money! Because I said “Why Not?

So what’s stopping you from trying? What’s the worst that could happen? You might get rejections? Hell, you’ll get them anyway. It’s part of writing.

If you want to take a step towards your personal successes, SAY “WHY NOT?”

The Last Time I’m Making This Offer

17 Aug

Hey, all. I wanted to check in and say hello, but to also share my life news. Settle in, this won’t be short. Sorry.

Right now I am coming up to the 1st anniversary of my submission challenge. An idea which evolved from a tweet asking “How hard would it be to submit a story every day for a year?” To which, most people replied, “Pretty darn tough.”

So I saw a challenge, and took it head on. How hard would it be to submit a story every day for a month, to a paying market?

Thus was the Submission Challenge born. I’ve run it 3 times, Sept 2019, Jan 2020 & May 2020.

I wasn’t alone in the venture, others have joined me & we’ve made sales. My dumb idea made folks money & resulted in publications.

I DID A THING! YAY!

But recently, my creative mind hasn’t been in a good place, so I lashed out, as I frequently do, and attacked the one good thing in my life. I told people it was going away, and wasn’t likely to ever come back.

Because I’m probably mentally ill (undiagnosed) & am prone to destroying my life while I’m still living it.

THEN A THING HAPPENED.

I knew the 1 year anniversary of the event was coming up, & that I was going to run it for my friends for the last time. Then a little voice in my head reminded me of something. “Remember people thought it’d be crazy hard to submit a story every day? Well, I hate you, and you hate yourself, so why not suffer, be miserable and try to sub a story every day FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR?

I thought, ‘Hey. There’s something in that.’

I don’t hate myself, nor do I want to suffer, or be miserable. But I do like challenging myself to step beyond my comfort zone so my mind flew back to that original challenge.

I’ve done a month 3 times now. I’d done 100 days non-stop too. So why not try a whole year?

And that is what I’ll be trying from September 1st. Submit at least 1 story per day, every day for a year, to a paying market.

If this challenge sounds too big, why not join me for the first 30 days? I’ve already selected the markets, with some spares. If you’ve got about 30 stories, and feel some of them might sell, this could be the kickstart you need! Get in touch here, or on my Facebook feed https://www.facebook.com/raymond.daley.10, or tweet me @RayDaleyWriter

I’d really like more people to be involved. You don’t HAVE to sub every day, you might not like a market, or agree with their ideals. Whatever reason, if you want to sub less than 30, you can. I am not your Dad! Get in touch with me as the market list will only be available in the private Facebook group. If you want to challenge yourself as a writer, start selecting your stories. It takes about 9 days to select 30 stories, fully proof & audio proof. I know. I’ve done it before, and in less time too.

If you don’t take the opportunity now, it won’t be coming back. I have tried to get more people to take part before. Apart from those already on board, no-one else seems to care. This is why I am here now, trying to light a fire under your lazy, uninterested arse. I’ve tried to nice approach.

This event is going away if more people don’t support it by taking part. Only you can change my mind. Get involved.

SUBMISSION CHALLENGE UPDATE/ AKA I OWE YOU AN EXPLANATION.

9 Aug
A while back, I told the private Facebook group that the challenge might be going away. I was in a weird place then. But I wasn’t lying, not entirely. The challenge in general WILL be going away after September.
It’s being replaced by something else. Something a lot harder.
At least 1 story subbed per day for the next 365 days. Oh, yes.
I’m going to try to sub a story every day for a year.
Questions you may have:-
Are you insane? Yes.
Can we take part? Yes.
Is there going to be an ongoing list? No.
Will they all be paying markets? Yes.
When will it start? September 1st 2020.
Honestly, are you insane? I’m not sane.
Is this even possible? I’ve got over 500 unsubbed stories, so for me, yes it probably is.
Are there rules? Yes. Submit at least 1 story to a paying market for 365 consecutive days. If I miss a day, I fail.
If we take part, do these rules apply to us? Only if you want them to, otherwise use whatever rules you want. I’m not your conscience.
Is this genuinely going ahead? It is now.
Can we persuade you otherwise? No, I’m not sane. We already established that.
Do you want us to intervene? Hell no, I want a challenge. Do it, or die trying.
Why now? Why not January? Because every day is precious, and COVID exists. Again. Die trying.
So this is an actual thing now? Fuck yes, it is.
Will the challenge run at the same time? This IS the challenge now. The old challenge won’t run in January or May, if that’s what you meant.
This is the new normal? This is the new. I am not normal.
So, sub a story per day for a year, or fail? Correct.
Should we wish you luck? No, there’s no luck involved. It’s all hard work & persistance. You can offer support though.
Is there a lot of prep to do? Several hundred stories to get listed on Submission Grinder. About a week’s work if I knuckle down.
So there you go. The September challenge will be the start of my new challenge, to sub at least 1 story per day to paying markets, for a whole year.
I’m 80% sure there are enough open all the time markets to do it. This obviously means there is a decent chance of failure, but I like my odds.

ACTUAL RULES:-

  1. 1 story of any length/genre must be sent to a paying market every day for 365 days.
  2. A day is a period of 24 hours from 0000 to 1159 GMT/BST (dependant on time of year).
  3. The challenge is failed if a story is not sent out during the 24hrs of any of the 365 days.
  4. Simultaneous Subs (same story at different markets) is allowed if the guidelines say so.
  5. A story is classed as sent if email software doesn’t report otherwise with the send day.
  6. Markets can & will be used more than once during the year.
  7. If any markets asks me to stop submitting there, I must do so.

Summing up Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020.

1 Aug

As far as doing Camp NaNoWriMo July 2020 went, my goals were low. I’ve had quite a difficult relationship with being creative recently. I’ve pretty much completely moved my model to submitting stuff, rather than writing or creating new stories. However, I decided that I would like to try writing again during Camp Nano July.

GOALS:- Any of the following –
Write a total of 20,000 words.
Write a total of 20 different stories.
Write for 20 days.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 1.

1st story of day 1 written. 1,192 words (The Dream Police) so far & 1446 words (Viskar Says Koklyev). Total of 2638 words.

Dream Police was literally inspired from reading a tweet which said “Who are you, the dream police?” Viskar Says Koklyev was an idea where you could spend years working for a person who only ever said one word and you couldn’t understand them.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 2. 1139 words (This Reality Is Collapsing) & 975 words (Dear Transnational Death Tank Company). Total of 4752 words.

This Reality Is Collapsing was an idea about being in an awful situation & having to think laterally to get out of it. Dear Transnational Death Tank Company is one of my experiments with epistles which I learned about doing Cat Rambo’s flash fiction course. Those have really been proving fun and easy to write. If you can find the right subject, these almost write themselves.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 3. 1670 words. Total of 6422 words.

Praise The Lord, this is already out in submission so I don’t want to say too much about it. I know I enjoyed writing it. Maybe you’ll be able to enjoy reading it soon? Fingers crossed!

Camp Nano July 2020, day 4. 2112 words. Total of 8534 words.

The Dive, inspired by seeing the movie “Underwater”, which I thought was awful, and not remotely entertaining. It’s a mix of SF & horror. The style wasn’t easy to get right, I hope people like it when I start submitting it.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 5. 725 words. Total of 9259 words.

Quick summary of Camp so far. I’ve written 6 stories. Not all of them are shit. A few may be saleable. Some may need beta readers.

Todays story was The Wokklesok, inspired by a user on Kongregate called Wokklesok. I said “Hey, man. Can I use your nickname in a story?” and he said have at it. So I did.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 6. 2316 words. Total of 11575 words.

TITLE REDACTED, day 1. I was frightened to start writing this, it’s a scary subject. Also, I’m not sure anyone has ever written a short story about this subject, so I won’t be mentioning the title, or the subject.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 7. 3049 words. Total of 14624 words.

Day 2 of TITLE REDACTED. Finally got it finished!

Camp Nano July 2020, day 8. 0 words. Total of 14624 words. I’m putting this here now. Writing yesterdays story was quite stressful so I am taking today off. Yes, I could write later today, but I don’t want to so I’m not forcing it.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 9. 1067 words. Total of 15691 words.

War Driver, a short cyberpunk style piece. Just an experiment really.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 10. 2476 words. Total of 18167 words.

Rescue Mission, based on an image prompt.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 11. 604 words. Total of 18771 words. Yeah, a short one today. I don’t mind, I wrote something. It just didn’t work out much longer than I had hoped. Daily goal has been 500 words and we’re beyond that.

London By Data-tape (Sensorium Version). I hoped I could get more from this idea, but struggled to get much beyond the daily 500 word goal.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 12. 1724 words. Total of 20495 words. And that is my goal, reached. A total of 12 stories finished. I’ll decide tomorrow if I am going to keep writing or not. At least there’s no pressure now.

Todays story was We Came Back In Winter, also based on an image prompt. It’s not a great story but hopefully with some refining I can fix it.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 13. 1912 words. Total of 22407 words.

I Made A New Friend Today. Exactly what it sounds like, part sf, part horror.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 14. 1456 words. Total of 23863 words.

Snurgul The Knurgal, short, maybe too short. Might need more work.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 15. 818 words. Total of 24681 words.

Letters From The Phased Photonic Travel Company, another epistle. I like it, I think it works and is funny.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 16. 1483 words. Total of 26164 words.

Declaring Dependants, a story set in COVID times, not sure if it works.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 17. 0 words. Total of 26164 words. Declaring today a down day, to relax, smell the flowers & just chill. I’ve 2 titles I can work on, but not today.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 18 & 19. 0 words. Total of 26164 words. As I am starting a week-long writing course Monday, I’m going to declare no words for today & tomorrow right now. I’m fine, I could totally write now if I so wished. I’d rather save it all up for that week.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 20. 2592 words. Total of 28756 words.

Death Cache Trial, I’ve been watching a Belgian livestreamer on Twitch recently, he does geocaching, and it gave me several ideas. this also needs some work.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 21. 0 words. Total of 28756 words.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 22. 1386 words. Total of 30142 words.

The Blue Package, I’d been watching Upload this week and had a few ideas of my own about living in a virtual enviroment.

Camp Nano July 2020, day 23. 875 & 936 (1811) words. Total of 31953 words. And that is my 20 stories completed.

Dial Stuck On Summer – short, set in a simulation. Needs some work, & Field Motivator Unit 349 Joins The Townswomens Guild – Really needs a lot to fix it.

SUMMING UP:- Goal to write 20,000 words was achieved, and then some. Goal to write 20 stories was achieved, barely. Some of them aren’t great. You can really spot the ones I fought to crank out.

While I didn’t write for 20 days, I didn’t feel I had to. I got 2 of my 3 possible goals, which I was more than happy with. I’m nowhere near back to where I was, easily able to write at will, whenever I want, but it’s a lot easier than it was before. I’m calling that a win too.

I wrote a very difficult story I had been putting off doing. It will be going out to submission, probably in August. At least 16 of these 20 stories feel like they could sell to the right market, with minor tweaking.

I put the entire list bar TITLE REDACTED online, people are enjoying the sound of them. I’ll use August to prepare for the September Submission Event which might possibly be the final one. I am either shelving the project, or potentially taking the next step on my own, to try a year long challenge of submitting 1 story per day for 365 days.

I’m not confident of my health, with COVID. I am working like every day is my last. Get stuff done, get it subbed. Worry about dying later. It’s probably just paranoia, but I am honestly frightened.

I don’t want to sound down, but life is fucking scary right now. You never know if you’ll wake up tomorrow, so just live like you will. Stay healthy, friends!

So this was July 2020

1 Aug

I’ve made 215 new submissions. 189 rejections. 10 acceptances. 2 withdrawn, 0 not received.

SALES & ACCEPTANCES:-

36 Hours In The Space Force sold to B Cubed Press, Jan 20th 2020.
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5) sold to Trouble Among the Stars, Jan 20th 2020.
Fillers accepted by Again, Hazardous Imaginings, Feb 20th, 2020.
Mushnik’s Guitar sold to Aphotic Realm, Feb 21st, 2020.
The Shaming sold to Tell-Tale Press; Nebu Carnvale, 28th Feb, 2020.
For The Duty sold to Space Force; Building A Legacy, 22nd Mar, 2020.
The Scars Of War sold to Chrome Baby, 13th Apr, 2020.
The Dionesian Wave (reprint) sold to Tell-Tale Press, 24th Apr, 2020.
The Passing Of Witchcraft sold to Satyr Central, 21st July, 2020.
Electric Feet, Manual Street sold to Kasma SF, 26th July, 2020.

There are currently 33 stories out in submission:-

PUBLISHED THIS YEAR:-

A Tooth Fairy Dreams… Aether And Ichor issue 5. Jan 1st, 2020.
It Takes A Dragon. Flash Fiction Magazine. Jan 12th, 2020.
My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5). Trouble Among The Stars issue 5. February 5th, 2020.
Super Fake. Future Syndicate II. February 6th, 2020.
Mushnik’s Guitar. Aphotic Realm Magazine #9, Interstellar. March 26th, 2020
(REPRINT) The Dionesian Wave. Tell-Tale Press. May 4th, 2020.
For The Duty. Space Force: Building The Legacy. May 19th, 2020.
The Shaming. The Starship Logs Vol 3: Nabu Carnevale. Tell-Tale Press. 1st June, 2020.
The Scars Of War. Chrome Baby (Bairn 93). 30th June, 2020.

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME!

Bastard Space will be released in Wordland 8 2020 (DTBC).
Summer At Camp Long Drop will be released in Ghostlight, 2020. (estimated before August 15th 2020, DTBC)
Detecting Rogue Time Travellers (Practical Exam) will be released in On Time, 2020. (DTBC)
36 Hours In The Space Force will be released in Tales From The Space Force, 2020. (DTBC)
The Passing Of Witchcraft will be released at Satyr Central. (DTBC)
Electric Feet, Manual Street will be released at Kasma SF in Oct 2020. (DTBC)

When I get more solid dates on the date to be confirmeds, I’ll announce them.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS:-

All the dates I had for publication have now passed. Due to the pandemic, people have other priorities. Ghostlight are hoping they will go to print in the next 2 weeks.

The release date for On Time has also passed, we were set for June 27th but that’s been and gone. Having recently checked with them, sadly they were delayed but I’m told we’re close to go time.

I’ve been paid by the good folks from Wordland 8, which hopefully means they too are not far off their release date. I know I was asked for my address, so my contributor copy should be on its way soon.

Kasma SF have given me a provisional date of October for my publication there. I’m looking forward to working with Alex.

The last 2 stories out from the January Submission Challenge were withdrawn. There are also still 2 stories outstanding from the original September Challenge! One of those is going to be on hold a while longer, thanks to COVID issues.

Tuck & Roll in Automobilia is still on-going, at this point, I expect death before publication.

Fillers won’t be appearing in Again, Hazardous Imaginings. I was asked to do a full rewrite which I wasn’t prepared to do, especially after being told “yours is the best thus far and the most fitting for the anthology’s theme.