Another Amulet of Kemet Submission

Amulet of Kemet is acting more like a yo-yo than a short story. It is bouncing back and forth between me and publishers at a speed which is frightening. I have a very high opinion of this story, but it’s a bit worrying how quickly it is being rejected. I guess I should think myself lucky that I do not have to wait months between submission and rejection, but the turn around time between the two is a little worrying. It’s obvious the story is not well received. I have to work out why.

This got me thinking about how the story fits into genres. I’ve been treating it as a fantasy story with science fiction elements. That obviously isn’t helping the story find a publisher. In the last few days, I’ve been thinking I need to treat it as historical fiction with a fantasy twist.

This morning I submitted Amulet of Kemet to Solander, which is a magazine for enthusiasts of historical fiction. A history buff will see how finely tuned the characters and setting in the story is to our history. I hope the effort put into writing the story isn’t lost on the reader. I just have to find the right editor and I’m hoping the editor of Solander appreciates this type of story.

Just in case he doesn’t, I better start putting a list of historical fiction markets together. If you know of any, please leave a link in a comment. I will be grateful for the leads.

Submission: Amulet of Kemet

As the saying goes, “better late than never”, and that’s how I view this submission. I should have done it within days of the rejection, but I was waist deep in website coding at the time and have only gotten around to doing the necessary research today.

This afternoon, I submitted Amulet of Kemet to Fantasy Magazine. It’s a paying market, which accepts electronic submissions. As the cost of sending manuscripts overseas is expensive, I’ve decided to only find and submit to markets that will accept submissions electronically for the time being. Besides, International Postage Coupons cost an arm and a leg so I really want to avoid that stress if I can. Personally, although I understand editor’s hatred of reading manuscripts on-screen (I’m the exact same), I think it’s a bit stupid insisting on return postage when a simple email costs nothing and is instant (and few people reuse the old manuscript to send out again; I certainly never do, so why not just recycle it).

With this submission out of the way, I can safely report that one of the goals in my four day plan is now complete.

Frustrated Writers’ Program

Today I will post my submission – Cat’s Eyes – to the 2007 Frustrated Writers’ Mentoring Program. This program is open to residents of NSW in Australia only. There are three categories – senior, young adult and junior. Naturally, I’ll be entering the senior section.

The program is run by The Children’s Book Council of Australia and they are only interested in manuscripts written for children and young adults. Luckily for me Cat’s Eyes falls into the guidelines, as do I as the author.

First prize is being partnered with a published author who will provide lots of help to improve the manuscript and get it to a publishing standard, as well as giving insider information into the publishing industry. There is also a moderate amount of prize money to help with expenses. When the mentorship has been completed, a mainstream publisher will read the finished manuscript and provide an in-depth appraisal. As winner of this program, there is a higher possibility that the publisher may want to publish the manuscript, but this is not a guarantee.

The deadline is 11 June 2007 and I don’t expect to hear from them for at least three months.

Thanks, but No Thanks

With all the blood, sweat and stress that went into my anthology story a rejection was not what I had hoped for…but no writer hopes for a rejection, do they?

Yes, Amulet of Kemet was rejected.

However, the good news is that they enjoyed the story a lot, and I have been asked if I want my name included on the list for the next “invitation only” anthology. Well, let me think about that for a moment…OK, you twisted my arm. 😀

When I submitted the story I wrote a post saying that at the very least I wanted the editors to hold my story in high enough regard that they would remember me the next time they were thinking of putting an anthology together. Although I’m sad that my story was rejected, I’m happy my story didn’t turn the editors off me forever.

Amulet of Kemet will be submitted elsewhere within a few days.

Amulet of Kemet Submission

Last Thursday, I completed the final read through of my short story – Amulet of Kemet – and finally found the courage to submit it. No more changes can be made because it’s gone!

In the first hour, after pressing the “send” button, I felt quite sick in the stomach. What if a spelling error got through the hundred read throughs? What if one more read through had found a plot hole? What if…

That sickness slowly turned to excitement. I acknowledge the effort that was put into writing the story, not only by me, and I know it has a sound setting and realistic characters. I could produce no better for the storyline I chose to write about. Now, I just hope the storyline is what the editors are looking for.

I have a one in eleven chance of success with this submission. They are mighty fine odds in the publication business, so I feel lucky to have received an invitation. At the very least, if my story is not selected for the Editor’s Choice slot, then I want the story to impress the editors enough to be included on the next invitation list. If I can achieve that I’ll be happy. However, if I receive an acceptance…I’ll be ecstatically happy!

Reading begins on 15 May, so the waiting game begins.

My Submissions

I realised tonight that I don’t even have a “My Submissions” category. Personally, I think that’s a sign of how I haven’t been taking my writing seriously enough. That oversight has now been corrected. I’ve added the submission of Cat’s Eyes to the Sydney publisher, which was made in October 2006, but haven’t bothered with any of the older submissions. 2007 should see this category get “used and abused”.

You might notice that I’m working towards many submissions in the New Year. 😀

Writer’s Planner

I googled “submission planner” and came up with this website – Writer’s Planner. It’s a free online planner for writers (which is stating the obvious, I know) where you can track your queries and submissions.

I set up an account and entered Cat’s Eyes and three of my short stories to see how easy the site is to navigate. At first, I got mighty lost, but once I got used to where things are placed it’s not that difficult. Although the owner says you can track queries and submissions, there isn’t a way (that I could find) to distinguish between the two, which is a shame. Querying and submitting are quite different, in my opinion, and should be separate from each other. Also, I would have liked to see some additional options for completed manuscripts that might need editing or further rewrites, before they get to the query/submission stage. My manuscripts that fit into this category have not been added to the site, which means my list is not complete. What a shame.

I haven’t used the site long enough to really recommend it, but if you are looking for a service like this, it costs nothing to try.

Year of the Writer Comes to an End

At the end of last year, I said 2006 was going to be the Year of the Writer. Besides wanting to see publication for many of my internet writing friends, and for myself, I made a list of goals. I’ve just been reading the list and … I can’t believe it, even though I didn’t come close to the dates provided, I did complete everything on the list. I’m shocked! I thought I would have failed miserably. That has given me a little spurt of confidence. 😀

The Year of the Writer is coming to an end. I don’t think anyone I know actually got published in a big way, but I do know a few people who are within touching distance of this happening.

For me, 2006 was not what I wanted it to be and the year will be forever etched in my mind. The Year of the Writer ended in May when I lost my beloved son. I did, however, finish editing Book 1 in my children’s series and I wrote Book 2 of the series, so it wasn’t all bad.

I’ve been thinking about my options lately. And I’ve also been thinking about my lack of “movement”. Something has to change, and that something is me. I need a plan.

Firstly, however, I need to know what I have to plan with. What stories are finished and polished? Which of these are already “tied up”? Which are free to submit? What stories need more planning or editing? Which stories need to be rewritten from the beginning?

Here’s my current list of manuscripts, in their various stages of development:

Novels

Isle of Cotti (romance for adults) – (complete, 10 chapters rewritten in edit stage, second half needs replanning)

Kingdom of Marlinor Trilogy (fantasy for adults)
1. Whispering Caves (complete, but needs replanning and rewriting)
2. Windy Plains (in planning stages)
3. Butterweed Fever (in planning stages)

Westmore Castle (fantasy for adults) – (4 chapters written, needs proper planning)

Blood Red, White Fire (fantasy for young adults) – (22 chapters written of first draft)

The World of Jaishree (fantasy for young adults) – (written as a short story that should have been a novel, needs replanning and rewriting)

Sam & Arden (fantasy for young adults) – (4 chapters written, needs proper planning)

Mid Summer’s Day (science fiction for adults) – (fully planned, but not written)

The People of Miu Series (fantasy for children aged 8 to 12 years)
1. Cat’s Eyes (100% complete)
2. Cat’s Paw (complete in first draft)
3. Cat’s Whiskers (in planning stages)

Short Stories

Help Wanted! (general women’s fiction) – (complete)

Journey to Freedom (fantasy for adults) – (complete, but I’m still not happy with it, so it needs another edit)

Guards Mustering (fantasy for adults) – (complete)

Wynter Boundaries (fantasy for adults) – (complete)

Putting this list together has helped me in more ways than one. For starters it shows me that I have a lot of unfinished projects. I can safely say this is because in the early days of writing I didn’t plan, which meant I quickly ran out of steam, or cornered myself or just didn’t know where the story was heading and wrote in circles. And because these projects are from the “early” days, it also means that my writing skills were not the best. I’ve improved tenfold since then and all the stories need to be properly planned and rewritten from the beginning (even the finished projects).

The list also shows me that I’m unorganised because I don’t have many manuscripts polished and ready for submission. As a writer this is bad and I intend to change this.

For the moment, I only really have one novel manuscript which is 100% ready for submission and that is currently with a publisher in Sydney, so it’s not free for submission elsewhere.

I only have four short stories. I’ve never been keen on writing short stories. All my stories seem to turn into full length novels. Obviously, I can’t think small! Anyway, two of these are “tied up” with anthology projects and I must be patient with those, but I expect one of them to be released soon. The other two are free to submit now.

So what are my plans for 2007?

  • To edit Cat’s Paw and get it ready for submission.
  • To write and edit Cat’s Whiskers and get it ready for submission.
  • To finish Blood Red, White Fire. I only have approx. 4 chapters to go for heaven’s sake!
  • Plan all three books of The Kingdom of Marlinor trilogy.
  • Re-edit the story Journey to Freedom until I’m happy with it.
  • Query and submit all “free” short stories until they are accepted.
  • Write and edit two new short stories.
  • To read at least three writing “how to” books from cover to cover, which is something I’ve never done. At least one of these books must be on self-editing.

That sounds a lot, doesn’t it? But I’ve done my sums and I feel certain that this goal is not unachievable and it’s time I tried to stretch myself.

I challenge the readers of this blog to make their own list of manuscripts (for private use), but to make their 2007 writing goals public.