Tag Archives: submissions

What’s currently in submission #3 & #4

11 May
From April 10th, 2017.
It’s been almost a month since the last update, here’s what stories are currently out in submission.

What’s currently out in submission?

Write Now (subbed to Anthology of Quitters)
The Lanyards (subbed to Asimovs)
Welcome To Your New Home (subbed to Stories for Homes 2)
The Catch (subbed to the were-traveller (PhotoFlash)
Pay Off (subbed to Queer SciFi)
Where’s The Dog (subbed to Electric Spec)
Departure Date (subbed to Phantaxis)
Witch Hunt (subbed to SONOFAWITCH!)
The Concentration Camp (subbed to Persistant Visions)
Second Front (subbed to Nefarious Thoughts)
The Next Best King (subbed to Bete Noire)
Practical Magic For Intermediate Students (subbed to Podcastle)
In Search Of The Elusive Nigel (subbed to Mithila Review)

That’s 13 stories out there currently.


It’s been just over a month since the last update, here’s what stories are currently out in submission.

What’s currently out in submission?
Write Now (subbed to Anthology of Quitters)
The Lanyards (subbed to Asimovs)
The Catch (subbed to the were-traveller (PhotoFlash))
Pay Off (subbed to Queer SciFi)
The Concentration Camp (subbed to Persistant Visions)
Second Front (subbed to Nefarious Thoughts)
In Search Of The Elusive Nigel (subbed to Mithila Review)
The Dionesian Wave (subbed to When You’re Strange (CASFWG))
Mistaken Identity (subbed to Timeless Tales)
The Legend (subbed to Fireside Fiction)
Witch Hunt (subbed to Weird Book)
The Parting (subbed to Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
Departure Date (subbed to Darkfuse Magazine)
The Thinker (subbed to Flash Fiction Online)
That’s 14 stories out in the wild at the moment.

Summing up Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 (with deleted scenes for blog readers)

2 May

So I decided to try doing Camp NaNoWriMo this year. Because I actually knew it existed now. My goal was established before I started.

Here’s the goal post I made in out cabin:- I’ll be writing at least 30,000 words, ideally 1 story a day (of 1000 words) or more. 

30,000 words in 30 days, a fairly achievable goal.


Day 1) It’s 12:40 UK local time, or just after lunch. I just wrote 1705 words. So I’m ahead of my goal. And I had a great laugh writing “Lemmy Goes To Mars“.

Day 2) 21:17 UK local. Just got done writing for the day. 1962 words today giving me a total of 3667.

Day 3) 13:40 UK local. 1982 words written, 5649 in total.
Very happy today.

Day 4) 2225 words today for a total of 7874. (After proofing)

Thankyou to the Manic Street Preachers. I misheard a line in “A Design For Life” and it made for an excellent idea to write. It even ended up going in a slightly different direction than I had originally intended, but it felt right and it felt organic.

Day 5) I’ve already passed my day 10 target. 2482 words written today for a total of 10356. All from a dream about a hug.

Please note, I wrote an extra 8 words in later edits. This is why Facebook & twitter numbers are different. These totals will be out by at least 8 from here onwards. I will be showing the CORRECT amount here in the blog.

[Subbed “We Three Kings” to UFO 6, an anthology of funny SF]

Day 6) Today I wrote 2050 words for a total of 12,406. First day using an image prompt which panned out well.

[Claimed my win for 2016, The Impossible Lean, my first novel! Received a no back from Broadswords and Blasters on “Party Of Five”]

Day 7) 2160 words written for a total of 14,566.
The thing says at this rate I’ll reach my goal on April 15th.

[No’s back from Cicada on “Practical Magic…” and Mad Scientists Journal on “The Thinker”.  “Practical Magic” subbed to Podcastle.
“Uncle Ping” subbed to Insignia.]

Day 8) 2106 words for a total of 16,672.

[“Uncle Ping’s Evening Farewell” has been accepted by Insignia for their Asian Cyberpunk/Dystopia anthology! It’s also officially my fastest sale ever, in less than 24 hours.]

No automatic alt text available.
Day 9) 1680 words for a total of 18,352.
Day 10) 2907 words today for a total of 21,259.
[A no back from UFO 6 on We Three Kings. Subbed “In Search Of The Elusive Nigel” to Mithila Review.
Day 11) 1829 words today for a total of 23,088.

Day 12) 3114 words today for a total of 26,202. It’s the anniversary of the day I joined up next week, so I wrote “Uniform”, using my memory of recruit training.

Day 13) 1392 words today, for a total of 27,584. A weird story about dogs, by a dog. I don’t even like dogs, so I’ve no idea where that came from. Personally I blame Madonna.
Day 14) 1580 words today for a total of 29,174. Close, but no cigar! I’ll hit and pass my target tomorrow then. That’s gonna hurt my OCD for the rest of the day.
Day 15) 1355 words written for a total of 30,259.
And that, dear cabinmates, is a WIN!  Win on day 15.
[A polite no back from Podcastle on “Practical Magic”. The Dionesian Wave subbed to When You’re Strange (CASFWG). Mistaken Identity (subbed to Timeless Tales).]
Day 16) No writing done.
Day 17) No writing done.
Day 18) No writing done.
[Rejections received from:- SONOFAWITCH! For “Witch Hunt”, Electric Spec For “Where’s The Dog?” and Stories for Homes Vol 2 For “Welcome To Your New Home”. The Legend subbed to Fireside Fiction. The Thinker subbed to Daily Science Fiction.]
Day 19) No writing done.

Day 20) Camp NaNoWriMo 2017 win verified and claimed. No writing done.

[Final edits & rewrites on “The Parting”]

Day 21) No writing done.

Day 22) No writing done.

Day 23) No writing done.

[An official no from SONOFAWITCH for “Witch Hunt”. Subbed Witch Hunt to Weirdbook.]

Day 24) No writing done.
Day 25) 3552 words today, for a total of 34,313.
Day 26) No writing done.
Day 27) No writing done.
Day 28) No writing done.
Day 29) 2900 words today, for a total of 37,213. I typed up a couple of completed hand written stories to bring up my overall total today.
[“The Parting” subbed to Lightspeed for their fantasy call.]
Day 30) 1100 words today, for a total count of 38,313.
[A no back from Bete Noire on “The Next Best King”.

So after 30 days I wrote a total of 38,313 words. I wrote 19 stories.

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.

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.

How to cut 146 words

10 Mar

So I just submitted a story where the maximum word count was 300.

The story in question started out at 446 words, meaning I had to cut 146 of those words.

But here’s the problem – that story (in my opinion at the time) was as short as I could make it.

So I started the easy way. Cutting single words that wouldn’t be missed whilst allowed lines to still make sense.

That only cut 80 words. Not enough.

So I took a second through, same routine. Got me to about 100 words.

So that left the fine tweaking. Could I cut 2-5 words and replace them with just 1?

Indeed I could. Got me down to sniffing distance, 135 words but still too long.

So I read the whole thing. Was there anything flowery that could be removed? Anything still surplus to requirement?

I just about made that 146 words. But the story still made sense.

Not an easy job.

Outside the comfort zone

5 Mar

So! I did something a bit different today.

Yesterday, I spotted a place that was asking for idea pitches based on image prompts. Basically they had 20-something images and if one of them inspired you to write a story, they asked you to pitch your idea in a few lines or a paragraph.

I saw one I liked, I pitched my idea by email the same day.

And they liked it. So I had a day to craft the bones of the beast in my brain, and wrote it this afternoon. With a 1000 word maximum limit and a 751 word lower limit.

It’s rare that I write restrained by ANY kind of word count, be it upper OR lower. Normally I’ll just write whatever until I either run out of steam or my brain say “Oi fuckface, this is finished!”

Yes. My internal monologue calls me fuckface. Amongst other such cursory terms. Bastard-face is also quite common.

Anyway, I’m digressing.

So I banged out my story. Audio proofed it to within an inch of its life. Then added about another 100 words because it was a bit too short.

And emailed it off a few hours ago. It’s a potentially paying gig, not a huge amount but money is money.

It’s nice to step away from familiar things every now and then, to try and stretch yourself as a writer once in a while.