[personal] Open questions thread

I officially declare this an open questions thread. Ask me anything. I make no promises about the answers, of course. (Response times may be delayed due to travel and other events.)

7 thoughts on “[personal] Open questions thread

  1. Deightine says:

    It kind of needles me when I see one of these posts on here but nobody has commented. It seems like a waste of a great opportunity by the community to pick your brain. And for exactly that reason I step forward to do so…

    In your opinion of the current publishing climate, what would you say is the best “first step” for a new fiction writer to take into the current market? I’ve been writing for some time but am only now reaching a point where I would actually consider submitting a work for publication.

  2. Jay says:

    Actually, this did get a lot of action on my LJ — my posts go both places, and the blog here is pretty new, even though I personally have been blogging for over a decade.

    First step — start at the top. Asimov’s, F&SF, Analog, Realms of Fantasy, Baen’s Universe, Strange Horizons. At the same time, learn more about the small press. (Reading reviews at Tangent Online is a great way to do that without spending $$ on potentially hard-to-find publications.) Figure out which small presses are publishing stuff similar to what you write.

    Also, be prepared for rejections. I have over 1,000 now. Best-selling author Carrie Vaughn had over 300 before she sold her first short story. The art of parsing, and dealing with, rejections is extensively discussed in many places around the WriterSphere, including some old posts of mine on LJ.

  3. ellen says:

    I’ve never heard you mention Willamette Writers (I admit I’m newish to your blog.) Will you be at the conference next weekend, and if so/not did you find that organization and its seminars to be helpful to you?

  4. Jay says:

    Hey, Ellen. I’ve heard very good things about WW, but I’m not directly connected to that — something I’d like to remedy, actually. Due to current and upcoming travel, I won’t make the conference this year. I’d like to participate next year.

  5. Deightine says:

    Thank you for answering my question, Jay. One clarification I’m curious about though is when you say “rejections” does it imply single stories being rejected multiple times, or does it mean that somewhere you have a stack of 1000 short stories moldering in a corner? I have to admit, the latter stole the blood from my face at the very thought.

    I’ve been preparing myself for rejections for quite a while, kind of hammering in a layer of “Eh, I’ll write these for me” before the barrage begins. I did not however know about Tangent Online, and that is going to make some aspects of my search remarkably easier. Thanks again 🙂

  6. Jay says:

    Oh, no, I have stories with 20+ rejections. No story gets just one rejection, unless it sells on the second send-out.

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