Only an hour’s train from the ability to purchase a Will&Kate Commemorative Pennant, Glitter Globe or Ashtray!
Blogging and writing are both behind. I’ve had writing dates with kathrynrose in the past two weeks, but it’s tough to make the time without a hard outside deadline. I’m hoping this will change as my last “official” gig this year ended Sunday. I’m fleeing to my dearest friend’s home to write five days a week where I am not reachable by phone.
I spent the last few days in the USA looking at and buying literary magazines. I’m interested in building my resume as a potential guest faculty member, for which one needs publication. However, many—most—lit mags don’t pay, and while I’ll suck up a few of those as part of my learning process, I’m sure as hell not paying to submit. No, not even “$3 which we hope is offset by not having the costs of printing and mailing.” Dude, you want to PACKAGE MY PRODUCT AND SELL IT. The artist still has to pay for paint. Even reality television covers lodging and per diem.
Definitely Not The Opera (Canadian radio show) turned down my pitch for their “moment you realized you loved/hated your job” show, with a charming form email that was actually pretty nicely written and funny. And I’m still on the pitch list, so I’m going to keep submitting until they instruct me to stop.
Neither I nor any of my friends won the Lascaux Flash Fiction prize. Boo! I’m heading over to read as many entries as I can, though, as I’d like to get a sense of what makes good flash fiction. Hopefully I’ll either think, “These judges are crazy, no wonder I didn’t win” or “Ahhhhhh….that’s what it’s supposed to be like!”
And my application for a residency at the artist colony Yaddo was a no. I suspected as much—I think they’re looking for people with a “name” or a cool factor that I don’t have. On the up side, this means I can go write somewhere NOT in freezing upstate New York in March. Thailand, maybe?
MAGIC Magazine (the periodical for
Guys Who Spent Their Adolescence in the Basement Feverishly Sleighting Coins Magicians) purchased my essay “Reality”, originally entered in LJ Idol for the prompt “The Straw That Stirs the Drink.” They approached me after the piece went mildly viral, so it’s not really a “submission” per se, but I say it counts! It's in the October issue.
For general reference, after they asked me if they could use it, my response included the phrase, “What rights are you looking for, and what rate does MAGIC pay authors?”. Remember, IT’S OK TO ASK TO BE PAID. It wasn’t a huge sum, but my work is worth something, and it’s important for writers to be compensated, even an honorarium.
OPPORTUNITY OF THE WEEK
The Baltimore Review is looking for short pieces. As per their website,
“Flashbulb memories” are vivid recollections, brief windows into moments in time: a scene, an experience, or a state of being. Such memories tend to be more accurate than most, seared as they are inside the mind. When told as short, short stories, such memorable events or observations can make for compelling nonfiction: To the point. Yet haunting afterwards. The pieces in our flash nonfiction or micro-memoir feature, titled Sprints, capture this sense of memory and experience in fewer than 750 words, with an eye to the universal tale told well.
Their current reading period closes November 30; check out their online literary magazine (they do paper once a year) and their complete submission guidelines.
ME ME ME ME ME: THIS WEEK’S SUBMISSION(S)
I’m trying to focus hard on radio, and I sent in two more pitches to Definitely Not the Opera, a Canadian show. This week’s theme is Rites of Passage, and I sent something about getting my driver’s license and a version of the Kalighat story I wrote for LJ Idol.
My big submission this week is for a small newspaper in New Jersey that’s hearkening back to the days of the Saturday Evening Post; they’re looking for one-shot or serialized pieces, specifically science fiction.
They pay. And I think I have a piece that’s right, that’s one I’ve been meaning to revise and this is a good reason to do that.
Referred by another writer, to whom I’d recommended contests they would be right for. What goes around comes around. Go, karma!
The Wolf (LJ Idol piece for “Once Upon a Time”), with revisions addressing the main issues commentors pointed out. Thanks so much, and for critique.
And then I hit Send. WHICH IS LIKE WALKING INTO A HIPSTER COFFEE SHOP AND ASKING NON-IRONICALLY IF YOU CAN PUT UP A BRITNEY SPEARS CONCERT POSTER AND WOULD ANYONE THERE LIKE SOME FREE TICKETS.
LINK OF THE WEEK
What Defines Writing Success?
Personally I think writers struggle to define success because there’s always another hill to climb. It’s a “perk” of being a writer. Published your first book? You feel successful until no one bites on your second book. Had a column in a magazine? You’re riding the high life until you’re asked to write your farewell piece. But it’s this lack of a clear definition of success that keeps us motivated and thirsty and driven to accomplish more.
Brian Klems discusses this question and invites comment—and one of the commentors will be chosen to write a blog for Writers’ Digest.
How will you know your writing is a success?