Last week I had a short story accepted, which is always a good feeling, especially as it’s been a fairly lean year thus far, and the piece in question is a good one. However, after reading over the contract and investigating a little further, I decided not to go ahead with it. Shame.
I have withdrawn an accepted story before, (and that was at professional rates, which stung a bit) but this is the first time doing so has felt… icky. Suffice to say, I’ve learned a valuable lesson about the process of submitting material, and where to submit material; and it’s reminded me that even though I’ve done it hundreds upon hundreds of times, I’m still prone to the (occasional) schoolboy error.
For any writers who may be reading this, I guess there’s a slightly heavy handed moral to this tale. It’s your work, so take pride in it. Believe in your words, and don’t sell yourself short. Know where you are sending your efforts, and be careful.
It’s a jungle out there.
After a longer-than-anticipated hiatus, I have returned to a few acceptances from literary and current affairs magazine, Empirical. Two of my flash pieces – All That Glitters and Bullet – will be in the June issue, and a third – Birth Mark – will be held over until August. Yeah, I know… not the kind of place I expected to see my name either, but I do like to spread my wings and tackle new genres when I get the chance.
Empirical is a relatively new print magazine currently on sale in stores across the world (albeit, not the UK as yet), and already has a substantial following. For those of you who don’t like paper, each issue is also available digitally. The publication seems to be moving in the right direction, so I am looking forward to seeing what the team over there do in the coming months.
They also have a full and thriving blog over here, which is updated daily, so check it out if you get the chance.
I have written stories for longer than I can remember, but today, my first children’s publication – Toby the Triceratops – has gone live at knowonder! There are a few questions following the tale – posed by the editors, to get the children involved – and a space to leave a rating and a comment as well.
I was a dinosaur freak when I was a youngster, and Triceratops was my favourite one, so it’s only fitting that I lose my cherry with this piece.
Although, to an extent, formulaic, both rhythmically and morally driven, it’s not as simple as I thought it would be to knock out a worthy tale for kids, but it’s an avenue I would like to continue pursuing, given the right idea and the right market.
knowonder! is a cracking site, filled with lots of imaginative content. If you’re nine you may enjoy my piece, but I’m… quite a bit older than that, and I think it’s pretty good too.
Contractions & Reactions – my ‘delivery room drama’ – has finally found a home over at Dream Quest One, where it took second prize in the Summer 2012 Writing Contest, for a cool $250.
I say finally because I have submitted it to magazines dozens of times and it has been shortlisted in two previous contests, so this acceptance has been a long time coming. Usually you get a feel if a piece is good, but it was getting to the point where I was beginning to doubt this one.
So, a few runner-up places this last year, but yet to bag the victory.
Dark Prints Press has announced – via their blog – that my horror novella, Replay, is to be published in February 2013 as a standalone e-book. It will join the current line-up, alongside fellow Aussies, Martin Livings and Greg Chapman.
It’s my biggest publication to date, and I’m very happy that it’s good, old-fashioned horror as well. No apologies. No punches pulled. No monsters as such but, you know, still scary stuff.
When I started this game many years ago I always thought – given the type of stuff I was reading – that I would be a horror writer, but it hasn’t really turned out that way. It’s probably for the best though – I’d hate to be pigeon-holed as such, and be thought of as a one-trick pony. Still, it’s nice to go back to ‘my roots’ and deliver something to the genre that I’m proud to have written.
I’m looking forward to seeing the cover that Dark Prints Press produces, and when I know… you’ll know.
I am happy to say that my 15,000 word horror novella, Replay, has been accepted by Dark Prints Press, and will be released as a self-standing e-book sometime in the near future, with the potential for a print run further down the line. Dates and details are still being fleshed out.
This is by far the longest story I have ever had on the market, so I am very happy it has found a home… and at Dark Prints – where I have spent a lot of time in the last few years – I know it will be warm and safe.
More details as soon as I get them!
I still remember the first time I got paid for a story. It was fifty dollars for A Life is Worth a Thousand Words, which appeared on Stephen D. Rogers’ site in October 2005.
I had had a handful of publications before then, but I had never actually got anything other than a thank you for my words… and here was someone who wanted to give me five cents for each of them. Professional rates, baby!
It is such a pure piece of writing, because it was conceived as an experiment – one thousand words exactly, start to finish – and that being the case, I probably couldn’t revise or redraft it, even if I wanted to.
It’s a story I always go back to when I feel the futility of life snapping at my heels, and then I remember, hey, this isn’t such a happy piece after all!
I’m happy to say that my short story, Hard Boiled, is featured in the newly released paperback anthology, Damnation and Dames, from Ticonderoga Publications. Sixteen stunning tales of paranormal noir… well, that is what it says on the cover anyway. I won’t argue.
At 6700 words, Hard Boiled is a particular favourite of mine, and the longest story I have had published to date. It is great to be sandwiched between speculative names like Robert Hood and Angela Slatter, and this is also my second Australian based anthology of the year, so there is cause for another smile.
You will be able to pick it up from Amazon very shortly, but if you’re desperate for a copy, try Barnes & Noble, or Indie Books Online.
Mention my name… although I’m not sure how that would help.