Saturday, 6 August 2011

Bumper Post!

The magazines all publish Bumper Summer Issues so I thought I would join them, as there are loads of snippets of news to tell you all about.

Firstly, I was out shopping today and bought 3 items in WHSmiths which I urge you all to buy also. They are:

1. Writing Magazine, the issue dated September 2011. It contains a marvellous article by Vivien Hampshire, entitled Save Our Short Stories. She's interviewed several fiction editors, and gives a run down on which magazines are not entirely closed to fiction and which are still accepting fiction or even expanding their fiction requirements. She recommends (as do I!) joining the Bring Back Fiction campaign on Facebook. Great article, Viv, and thanks for the blog-plug!

Added 22:20 - just realised this mag also includes an article by Elaine Everest on using your own experiences in your writing, and she's quoted me. I'm everywhere, me! Another reason to buy the mag!

2. The latest issue of Best, which contains a short story by Bernadette James (well done Bernadette!) It also contains a fiction token - you need to collect 4 to enter their forthcoming £1000 short story competition I posted about a couple of weeks ago.

3. Sally Q's latest My Weekly pocket novel, entitled Sunlit Secrets. I believe it's the first 50,000 word pocket novel she's had published (after several 30,000 word ones). It occurred to me that pocket novels are a low-cost, low-tech alternative to Kindles. I've been considering buying a Kindle to keep in my handbag so I would always have something to read. Pocket novels do the same job, for just £1.99 an issue! By the way, get over to Sally's blog for the chance to win a copy of Sunlit Secrets, and also to take part in her forthcoming birthday bash. She even gives away her age. Which I, being two years younger than her, would never do. Oh, oops.


Now then, here's a new ongoing monthly competition site for short stories. It's run by experienced writer, competition judge and Writers' Bureau tutor Andy Ellis. The interesting thing about this competition is that Shirley Blair, the fiction editor of People's Friend, has been in conversation with Andy about these competitions. It's possible that in future winning stories will also be considered for publication in People's Friend. Andy's accepting stories in 4 categories - romance, historical, horror (not for PF!!) and children's. Entry fee £7. Top prize is 70% of total entry fees. Go take a look.


Adrian Magson, whom subscribers to Writing Magazine will know through his regular columns, has written a How To book - Write On! which has just been published. He's sent me a copy, (thanks Adrian!) and has offered a signed copy to a reader of this blog. I'm going to run a little competition in a couple of days time, with this book as the prize so make sure you come back here and enter! The book looks like a very useful addition to any writer's bookshelf - I'll review it when I've finished reading it.


National Short Story week is not until November, but do bookmark this site and keep an eye on what's going on.


Thanks to everyone who has emailed me via this blog to tell me of their successes. I love to hear how this blog has helped people on the road to publication. It's great to know it's not all doom and gloom, and new writers are still able to break into the markets and sell their stories. Keep it up, everyone! And if you do come across a new market or writing opportunity, let me know!

And to those who've asked - editing of my novel is going well. Summer's difficult because of holidays, but I've been able to get on with it in between camping trips. Still on target to have it ready for submission by the end of the year. I veer between thinking, hey, this is ok! and blimey, this is awful. Which I guess is normal and healthy behaviour for novelists.

31 comments:

Pat Posner said...

Fantastic post, Kath!
Thank you

Pat

Pat Posner said...

P.S. Glad the editing is going well.

Patsy said...

Thanks for the bumper issue!

Viv said...

Glad you liked my article and that it seems to have helped to increase members joining the facebook campaign page. Keep on spreading the word!

Diane Fordham said...

Top post - THANK YOU! I have to say writers are an amazing bunch of people. I love the way that although we are in competition with each other everyone is so supportive and helpful. We congratulate each other on achievements and we encourage each other when it's needed.. and it is amazing at what can be achieved when we unite! x

Old Kitty said...

Lots of gorgeous helpful lovely links!! Thank you!!!

I did buy this week's issue of Best and loved the story!!! It completely led me up the wrong path with the ending! LOL!!! Great stuff!!

Yay for your continued successful editing!! Take care
x

Dream it, then do it said...

After submitting in November and getting accepted in April my story has finally appeared in the latest (September) issue of T-a-B Fiction Feast.
I've also heard this week that I've sold another to That's Life! (Australia).
Thanks to being kept up-to-date with the latest guidelines here.
Thanks womagwriter.

Lana Starbright said...

I am going to apologise in advance...as I am about to say something 'negative' and I already feel guilty! Sorry! It is just that I didn't actually think that the twist in the tale story in Best was actually good. I thought it was predictable but at the same time misleading, if that makes sense! Would not the daughter have always lived at home anyway if her mum died? Why would the daughter, who was a 'looker', have to leave home anyway? Or was it that she returned home after her mum's death...? Maybe I'm analysing too much! I know we were meant to think it was romantic and all that but perhaps I have read too many of these tales and found it the same as many others. Though, I did think it was well written just the plot didn't do it for me.
I have also had a twist in the tale story published in Pages of Stories, Summer of 2011 so please do offer constructive criticism if you can! I can take it :-)
Your blog is absolutely fab! Love it.

Bernadette said...

Thanks for the mention, womag. My very first sale was to Best many years ago so I was delighted to see that they are publishing fiction again (let's hope they keep it after the summer) and to be published by them again.

Pleased you enjoyed the story, Old Kitty, and sorry it wasn't to your taste Lana. Each to their own, I guess.

Karen said...

Excellent post, packed with info! Glad the editing's going well.

I have to say I loved the story in Best this week, and thought it worked really well. I had a story accepted by them just before they stopped publishing fiction, and would love to write for them again so I hope they keep it going.

Nan Sheppard said...

Welcome back! Thank you for all the great advice as usual... I've had two more articles accepted so I'm getting there!

Maria said...

Thank you for the useful advice, and for sharing.

Happy Sunday

Maria

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks for a great little bumper post! All good wishes for the rest of the novel.

Rena George said...

Another brilliantly helpful post, Womag. Much appreciated. Can't wait to read that book!!

Olivia Ryan said...

What a lot of info in one post - just had to pop in and say well done, Womag, and thank goodness you're keeping going - where would everyone be without you!
x
Good luck with your editing, and yes, I think every novelist does feel exactly as you describe. Well I do, anyway ...

HelenMHunt said...

Absolutely great to see fiction back in Best. And I loved Bernadette's story. Long may this quality content continue.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Lana. The twist in the best story was misleading, rather than a satisfying reveal when you realise that you could have guessed it by piecing the clues together corectly. I much preferred the previous efforts in best by Messrs Kelly, Mullarkey et al. That said, each to their own, as the writer of the father/daughter story graciously said, and it's certainly good to see short stories being published and discussed.

Anonymous said...

Hi Womagwriter - great post as always. I'll echo Olivia Ryan's sentiments and say 'where would we all be without you?'. Also like to say I enjoyed Bernadette's story. I didn't analyse I just went along for the read and found it gave me a warm fuzzy feeling and a smile. So, well done Bernadette. Good wishes to all.

Kath (Not Womagwriter Kath)

26and1 said...

Thanks for the bumper issue - lots of useful links. The 'Save our Short Stories' was very informative about the state of various markets. There was a very similar article in the Writers' forum magazine - obviously an issue of concern at the minute. The more coverage it gets the better!

Lindsy

Suzanne Jones said...

Thank you for the great post. :0)

I have to agree with everyone who really enjoyed the story in this week's issue of Best. Well done, Bernadette.

XX

Amanda said...

A great bumper post - thank you.

So good to see the short story back in Best - and what a great one to start the ball rolling - well done, Bernadette! x

Pat Posner said...

Everybody is entitled to their opinion. I don't think this blog, where we are usually all so supportive of each other, is the place to express one so strongly.

Olivia Ryan said...

I agree, Pat. The odds against being published in any of the magazines these days are so great, any story that makes it has been through rigorous editorial selection and its writer can only be congratulated! No story is to everyone's taste - but if it's published, it was obviously what the editor was looking for and that's what we're all trying to achieve. Well done Bernadette.

Geraldine Ryan said...

Lovely bumper post, Womag! A nice surprise when I clicked on your site today!

sallyjenkins said...

Thanks for all the useful info! Am busy collecting the Best tokens and analysing the stories they've printed - ready to pen my owm masterpiece!!

penandpaints said...

Thanks for a brilliant post, Womag!
It's great news that Best are publishing stories again, congratulations to Bernadette!
Best wishes for your novel editing, Womag.

Quillers said...

Thanks for the plug for my novella, Womag! It's in the shops till tomorrow ... ahem.

Well done, Bernadette for getting into Best magazine, especially so soon after they started taking fiction again. I remember how thrilled I was when they published one of my stories (and I hope it was only a coincidence that they stopped taking fiction straight afterwards!).

Kath said...

Thanks for the bumper post, Womag. Got Writing Magazine today and bought Best too but it's the 16 August edition so looks like I may have missed the one with Bernadette's story in it. Afraid I'm a bit behind through having been away.

I have to say that, in my opinion, negative criticism of a published story helps nobody and is particularly inappropriate on a blog like this which is intended for womagwriters and where the author concerned is highly likely to read it. Luckily, Bernadette is an experienced author who knows better than to let it bother her but I hope it doesn't set a trend as other writers might find it quite hurtful.

Karen said...

Well said, Kath :o)

womagwriter said...

Yes, well said, Kath.

I agree - this post is not the place for negative comments on a story.

gaelikaa said...

The world of womagwriters is very supportive and I have been amazed at how ready everyone is to share contacts and tips. However, it's a tough world and rejections sting like mad. When we look at the womagwriters who are getting published when we're not getting published ourselves, it's sort of sour grapes isn't it to think: why them and not me?

The truth is, it's never been as competitive as it is. Womag writing is a very particular genre and if we are not making the grade it's either because we're not doing it right or because somehow, the competition is extremely tough. I know it's disappointing to get rejections again and again, but if you can't take it, you should leave the game. I always feel happy when a fellow writer gets a hit, even if the story wasn't my to my taste. At the end of the day, it's the readers who decide. If anything, the rejections make me more and more determined to try to do better next time.

Let's keep our community jealousy free and keep supporting each other.