Being published

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Being published

Post by mymask on Mon May 14, 2012 7:06 pm

Hey guys,
I just submitted a story to Shock Totem and, unfortunately, the story became rejected. I appreciated the time that it took for the feedback and personally ask, what type of stories, what would you all recommend as tips for writers, to get get published here or anywhere? Again, I am very pleased with the time that it took to respond and I am open to criticism. Thank you. Very Happy

mymask

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Re: Being published

Post by O'Dandelo on Mon May 14, 2012 8:45 pm

I'm just a member of this forum and am not a part of the Shock Totem team, to clarify. But a good rule of thumb: If you haven't already, read a couple of issues of the magazine you admire to get a feel for what they publish. It's the best tip I can give you. You'll be helping to support the industry AND getting great stories to read.

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Re: Being published

Post by Mercedes on Mon May 14, 2012 9:48 pm

O'Dandelo has some great advice. Sometimes we get stories that don't fit our magazine at all. Light romances, for example, or things that just make me shake my head. Check your work over for mistakes. A single typo won't kill you, but it can give the impression that you're unprofessional. And write the stories that you like to read. If your story is boring you, then that will most definitely come through and bore your readers.

Most of all, though? Persistence persistence persistence! Very Happy

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Re: Being published

Post by Shiney on Tue May 15, 2012 9:26 am

Both of these snippets of advice are spot on.

I want to also urge you, as well as others. DON'T spend a wealth of time trying to figure out how to "crack the code."

There is no formula or template for what we pick here at ST. There really isn't. We like what we like. Sometimes it's surrealy bizarro, sometimes dreamy and whimsical, sometimes fucking dark. Whatever we like is what goes.


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Re: Being published

Post by Tall Tyrion on Tue May 15, 2012 9:36 am

Yep... I'm a fan of a lot of stories that ultimately get rejected because not enough of us can reach a consensus, and every other editor can say the same. A lot of good stuff get's rejected that way, unfortunately, but I think it also means that we end up with very strong material when we do agree.

The best thing you can do for yourself as a writer is write, write, write. The hard way is the best way, don't get tempted into taking shortcuts.

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Re: Being published

Post by kurtnewton on Tue May 15, 2012 4:45 pm

I took all your advice, added some of my own, and voila:

Four Keys to Getting Published

1. Do your homework

Read the magazine. Get to know the company you want to share page space with. If you like what you see, and believe you've got the chops to compete, then by all means submit. If you don't like the magazine, don't think you're going to persuade an editor to accept your brilliance if your story is nothing like the stories he/she publishes. Don't waste your time, and don't waste an editor's time by clogging their slush pile with wishful thinking. Reading an issue or two will generally tell you if your story might suit their needs or not.

What about anthologies or magazines whose first issues have yet to appear? Again, do your homework by reading the guidelines. Become an Internet stalker and study who the editor is. What have they edited before? Is the editor also a writer? If so, sample what the editor has written. Chances are their editorial taste will be similar.

2. Be professional

After all, submitting to a magazine is much like applying for a job. That first impression does count. Typos, bad grammar, guideline offenses -- all tip the scales toward an editor's frustration and your story's potential rejection. You might have a wonderful story beneath all those mistakes. The easier you can make the editor's job, the more they can focus on what's important: the story.

3. Rejection is your friend

Even the best of us get rejected from time to time. Think of rejection as a learning process. Understand why your story got rejected? Did you follow the guidelines correctly? Did your manuscript look professional? If so, it all comes down to the story. Just understand that well-written doesn't necessarily mean well-plotted. Well-plotted doesn't necessarily mean well-written. There are many factors that lead to an editor's decision to reject a story, none of which may be that your story is a bad story. It might just be bad timing (they just accepted a similar story), or your story doesn't mesh with what's been accepted already (which is why it's important to get your story in early during the submissions window), or it just might be that the editor is not receptive to your story's subject matter on that particular day. It's a subjective art form. Just know that one editor's rejection might be another editor's acceptance.

4. Persistence persistence persistence

Don't let one rejection discourage you. Hell, don't let ten rejections discourage you! Or even a hundred! Learn by your mistakes. Hone your craft. Embrace the process and it will embrace you. Good luck!

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Re: Being published

Post by Shiney on Tue May 15, 2012 5:16 pm

Kurt speaks the truth....just sexier than we ever could.

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"I'll eat you up I love you so."

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Re: Being published

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