Short Story Competitions

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Short Story Competitions

Post by andrewkempster on Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:35 am

Howdoo, everyone. I'm after people's opinions and advice - I'm really getting the submission itch these days (not the 'Yes Miss Whip, hit me again' kinda submission, the 'Please pay me for my stories' kinda submission!). I've found a couple of UK websites that claim to pay you for your work if it's good enough. Some are free, some aren't. The ones that aren't obviously pay more.

What's people's thing on this? Would I be a sucker to pay for my work to be submitted? I'm leaning towards a 'yes'.

Cheese please!

Me

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Re: Short Story Competitions

Post by Bizzy on Tue Oct 28, 2008 7:54 am

You're leaning the right way, mate.

The only thing you need to pay for is postage. If you have to send by landmail, it won't go in your favour if you neglect to put a stamp on the envelope.

Always remember: you're not asking for payment--they're asking for help with content they can't provide themselves.

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Re: Short Story Competitions

Post by andrewkempster on Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:23 am

Sound advice, bro. If you don't mind me asking, how do you go about scouting for places to submit? Or do you look over the same set?

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Re: Short Story Competitions

Post by Bizzy on Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:35 pm

I haven't subbed for over a year, but it looks like I'll have to start cleaning up this year's stories and get them out there or snowby's going to start bugging me that I bugged her to sub, and now she's subbing why aren't I?

First stop will be Duotrope http://www.duotrope.com/ and Ralan http://www.ralan.com/ because they're probably the best sources of who's looking for content. When you come to read Ralans, have some paracetamol at hand, it's packed full of market info but it's a bit messy and hard on the brain sometimes.

Check out anthology listings as well as the zines.

Also might be worth checking http://www.jbwb.co.uk/markets.html
and http://www.writingfordollars.com/GuidelinesDB.cfm though I'm not sure how up to date they are now.

Other than that, keep your eye on forums like this. It's worth signing up to a few to try and get advance news of anthologies or zines up and coming.

: o }

-----Bizzy-----

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Re: Short Story Competitions

Post by Kenwood on Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:55 pm

http://www.darkmarkets.com

That's a decent one, worth checking out. Last I checked, a lot of links were to defunctified sites. It's a small market listing, but the owner is apparently trying to get it up and running better.

Ralan's is like trying to domesticate a wild animal. I imagine it would be a bitch trying to convert that site into a more modern style. Just pretend it's 1993 and you should have no problems with the layout.

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Re: Short Story Competitions

Post by andrewkempster on Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:40 pm

Cheers, fellas. Most appreciated. I need to start picking through them, seeing who'll accept my stuff.

Playboy pay big big! Ha ha.

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Re: Short Story Competitions

Post by Kenwood on Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:10 pm

Oh, and my advice is this: Aim high!

There are tons of webzines, even some print magazines, that accept all kinds of stuff. It seems like their business model is based around the fact that they have no time to focus on their business, so they just glance at stories and accept them. Those won't help you much, in my opinion. Maybe you'll acquire some fans of your work, but what happens when you submit something that has a bunch of mistakes (it's inevitable; we all do it) and the publication's editorial process fails to findthem, or even look?

Not a big deal, I guess, but what happens if down the road you start getting your stories in those bigger, more popular magazines? Then you've got a bunch of turds festering out in cyberspace on a website that someone bought for 10 years! Haha. Submitting to those places might be good for business in the beginning, but it might also be bad for business years later.

So aim high. Go for the big dogs. If you miss, keep trying with other stories. Then lower your sights a bit with those they did reject. But never start at the bottom and work up, because those publications think it's cool to publish stories. That's it. If you go to Duotrope's site, there are some publications that accept far more than they reject. MicroHorror, for example. That's a wicked concept. But they accept 80.6% of submissions. Pffft! Guaranteed that's at least 65% crap. Do you want your stories among all that?

I submitted a story to Glimmer Train. Their acceptance rate is 0.5%. Haha. Shoot for the top.

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