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Do You Submit Your Contest Stories To Publications

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KarenB View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KarenB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Do You Submit Your Contest Stories To Publications
    Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 7:20pm
I am reading so many wonderful stories, stories that seem quite marketable, that it got me wondering if people, as a rule, submit their contest stories to publications.  For those who do submit, have you been successful placing your work? Thanks for any insights you might provide on this topic!!! I have one or two submissions that might be marketable, but most, probably not....

Edited by KarenB - 21 Jul 2020 at 7:24pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChristiLB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 7:39pm
I'm going to follow this thread as well as I'm also interested in the process of sending out stories for publication consideration. I've never done it before so I'd also love to hear what others have to say about the process. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jhill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 7:48pm
I think lots of forumites have had contest fics accepted at various publications. 

About half of mine have found homes. (The other half have been quickly retired to the trash bin.)

Definitely consider submitting your own. It's so much fun to see a story out in "the wild" that started here! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Jhill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 7:55pm
Oops, I posted before I was done typing. I'd suggest finding a really good beta reader to help polish your story before sending it out. These short deadlines don't always give us enough time to perfect all the details, so take some extra time to make sure it's the best you can make it. Sometimes you might want to edit out a bizarre prompt, for example. Then start looking at likely publications to find someplace where your story will fit. There are sites like Submission Grinder or Duotrope to help you locate publications in your genre. Submittable also has a newsletter called Submishmash that has some market listings, and you can search for pubs within Submittable as well. (I think their search engine sucks, but others like it.) Be sure to read the publications' submission requirements and follow their instructions. Also, double check to be sure they ask for acceptable rights if they accept your story.

I'm sure others here on the forum can answer any more specific questions. Good luck with your submissions. :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote KarenB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 7:56pm
Originally posted by ChristiLB ChristiLB wrote:

I'm going to follow this thread as well as I'm also interested in the process of sending out stories for publication consideration. I've never done it before so I'd also love to hear what others have to say about the process. Smile
 
Thanks for responding ChristiLB ~ Here's hoping for some insights into the process!  Happy Writing!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KarenB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 8:06pm
Originally posted by Jhill Jhill wrote:

Oops, I posted before I was done typing. I'd suggest finding a really good beta reader to help polish your story before sending it out. These short deadlines don't always give us enough time to perfect all the details, so take some extra time to make sure it's the best you can make it. Sometimes you might want to edit out a bizarre prompt, for example. Then start looking at likely publications to find someplace where your story will fit. There are sites like Submission Grinder or Duotrope to help you locate publications in your genre. Submittable also has a newsletter called Submishmash that has some market listings, and you can search for pubs within Submittable as well. (I think their search engine sucks, but others like it.) Be sure to read the publications' submission requirements and follow their instructions. Also, double check to be sure they ask for acceptable rights if they accept your story.

I'm sure others here on the forum can answer any more specific questions. Good luck with your submissions. :)
 
Thank you for providing such detailed/specific suggestions.  I hadn't heard of Submission Grinder or Duotrope to locate publications -- I am eager to check them out.  I wasn't aware of Submittable's newsletter and capabilities, either!  It sounds like you have much success publishing -- I love the idea of sending stories "out into the wild..." Again, thank you for so many practical and generous suggestions. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote nod1v1ng Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 9:05pm
Hells yes I do. Maybe not all of of my NYCm pieces, because sometimes you are just forced by the prompts to write something that isn't really your thing. 

Of course, I do not just submit contest pieces. I submit quite a bit and on average I sell enough shorts in a year to take myself on a little vacation. Obviously, that's not enough to quit the day job, because my doggo has lifestyle expectations that need living up to. Still, it's some extra pocket money and it fulfills my need for external validation to see my name in print. (How's that for honesty? Embarrassed)

If you are looking for opportunities and to track your submissions, Submittable and Submission Grinder are free tools to help you do that. Personally, I prefer Duotrope, which costs $5 a month, but I think the site is easier to use and has better features.

Here's my biggest advice about submitting: accept that there will be rejections. Everyone is going to get rejections. LOTS of them. I'm not going to lie--it hurts. Even when you have been doing it a while. It eventually gets easier to deal with, but it will always sting. And even awesome stories will get rejected. It's not always about quality. Sometimes it is just not a good fit for the venue. Sometimes it's because it's too long or short to compliment stories that the publication has already accepted, or they've already accepted another story for the issue with a similar theme. Or the editor is having a bad day. Or has a weird bias. I once had an editor tell me that my story was spectacular, but she had a hard and fast rule that she never accepted stories about twins. WUT? MMmmmm'kay.

When you get rejected, do whatever you need to to deal with the ouchies and then rally and resubmit. I've had a handful of pieces that were accepted at the first place I tried. On average it takes me 2-5 tries to find a piece a home. I had one pieces that I really believed in that took 15 rejections before I sold it. A bit of an outlier--normally I'd retire or significantly revise a piece long before that--but there is something to be said for perseverance.

Coincidentally, it so happens that I have a contest piece (YeahWrite SuperChallenge) that came out today in Curiosities #7 Quarantine 2020 titled "Inked." 

TL;DR? Give it a try. All they can say is no.   




Edited by nod1v1ng - 21 Jul 2020 at 9:15pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote alelha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Jul 2020 at 9:07pm
I just had one of my flash stories from last year's FFC published in Everyday Fiction. They only pay $3 but at least it's something!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KarenB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2020 at 11:22am
Originally posted by nod1v1ng nod1v1ng wrote:

Hells yes I do. Maybe not all of of my NYCm pieces, because sometimes you are just forced by the prompts to write something that isn't really your thing. 
 
Of course, I do not just submit contest pieces. I submit quite a bit and on average I sell enough shorts in a year to take myself on a little vacation. Obviously, that's not enough to quit the day job, because my doggo has lifestyle expectations that need living up to. Still, it's some extra pocket money and it fulfills my need for external validation to see my name in print. (How's that for honesty? Embarrassed)

If you are looking for opportunities and to track your submissions, Submittable and Submission Grinder are free tools to help you do that. Personally, I prefer Duotrope, which costs $5 a month, but I think the site is easier to use and has better features.
 
Here's my biggest advice about submitting: accept that there will be rejections. Everyone is going to get rejections. LOTS of them. I'm not going to lie--it hurts. Even when you have been doing it a while. It eventually gets easier to deal with, but it will always sting. And even awesome stories will get rejected. It's not always about quality. Sometimes it is just not a good fit for the venue. Sometimes it's because it's too long or short to compliment stories that the publication has already accepted, or they've already accepted another story for the issue with a similar theme. Or the editor is having a bad day. Or has a weird bias. I once had an editor tell me that my story was spectacular, but she had a hard and fast rule that she never accepted stories about twins. WUT? MMmmmm'kay.
 
When you get rejected, do whatever you need to to deal with the ouchies and then rally and resubmit. I've had a handful of pieces that were accepted at the first place I tried. On average it takes me 2-5 tries to find a piece a home. I had one pieces that I really believed in that took 15 rejections before I sold it. A bit of an outlier--normally I'd retire or significantly revise a piece long before that--but there is something to be said for perseverance.
 
Coincidentally, it so happens that I have a contest piece (YeahWrite SuperChallenge) that came out today in Curiosities #7 Quarantine 2020 titled "Inked." 
 
TL;DR? Give it a try. All they can say is no.   
 
 
Thank you for the inspirational & motivational feedback.  Love the part about the doggo having lifestyle expectations -- can see why you successfully publish!  I am going into my archives to dust off a piece of work to send on its way -- and I will be sure to check out your contest piece "Inked" that just came out! Congrats on your latest success!  Thank you again!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KarenB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jul 2020 at 11:29am
Originally posted by alelha alelha wrote:

I just had one of my flash stories from last year's FFC published in Everyday Fiction. They only pay $3 but at least it's something!
 
Thank you for the reply!  Congratulations on your publishing accomplishment! I look forward to the day when I will be a published writer & have publishing credit!  Off to dig through my archives -- my recent assignments (crime capers) won't get me far, but there must something respectable in my files...Smile
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