Tuesday 31 January 2017

Why Wait?

Patricia G posted the following in the 'Got A Question?' section.

Can you or anyone else tell me why, once an unsolicited story is submitted to one magazine, should you wait (up to 16 weeks!) before submitting elsewhere? I've submitted several stories to WW, waited and waited and never heard back from them - not even an email to say they're not interested.

Waiting is frustrating, isn't it, Patricia? I quite understand why writers are tempted to send the same story out to more than one magazine at a time, especially if it's topical or seasonal.

There are several reasons for not doing this. Editors don't want to spend time considering a story only for you to withdraw it because you've had it accepted elsewhere. It's possible that by the time you inform them of this, they'll have worked on it and scheduled it for publication, so making a change will be extremely inconvenient. 

It's also possible that a story will be published by two magazines at the same time (stories of mine have sometimes appeared in print before I was aware they'd been accepted). This would be very embarrassing for both editors and if it happened because the author had chosen not to follow the guidelines, I doubt they'd want to publish more work from them.

If the story is rejected you may be told why, or you may read through and spot something that needs attention yourself. You can then correct or improve it and submit it elsewhere – unless you've already sent the original to that magazine.

Can anyone think of other reasons?

With regard to Woman's Weekly, they do usually respond to all submissions. If you've been accepted by them in the past and so submit by email, the response will be emailed. If you haven't yet had an acceptance, so posted your story, they will respond using your sae and will return rejected stories to you. The recent change of offices may be causing a delay, but if you've already waited longer than 16 weeks, I suggest you contact them to check the story was received and ask if it is still under consideration.

Sunday 29 January 2017

Mills and Boon

OK, so Mills and Boon aren't actually magazine publishers, but I think it's fair to describe their stories as being aimed largely at women - and this competition is being run by a womag publisher. Will you let me off?

To enter you need to send your novel's outline and first chapter by the end of March. There's lots of advice about what they're looking for on the website. The winner will get £500, publication of their book, a session with an editor, books and publicity.

(If you're interested in other writing competitions, see this blog. Details of new, free to enter writing competitions are posted every few days.)

Does signing the wedding registration certificate count as romantic writing?

Friday 27 January 2017

Woman's Weekly update

The editorial staff at Woman's Weekly have moved offices. If you usually submit by email then there's no change (although responses do seem to be a little slower, presumably as a result of this).

The address for postal submissions is now - 

Gaynor Davies
Fiction Department
Woman’s Weekly
Time Inc (UK)
161 Marsh Wall
E14 9AP

Other than that, the guidelines remain the same (so much so they still show the old address!)

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Something filling?

Lots of the magazines have opportunities for 'fillers'. These can be letters to the editor, household tips, funny anecdotes, cute pictures of children or animals, rants or opinions, jokes ...

Writing these can be a good way to practice 'tight writing' and teach you to stick to the point. As fillers are submitted online or by email, there's nothing to lose, other than a few minutes of your time.

Having one published and therefore seeing your name in print and getting paid for a piece of writing is also hugely motivating, especially if it's your first acceptance, or first for a while. I know this because I wrote loads when I started out.

If the magazine also publishes fiction, or it's one you might like to write an article for, then creating fillers is a great way to study the market.

Have you ever written fillers? Would you like details of the opportunities available? If there's sufficient interest I'll do a regular feature with links or email addresses.

Friday 20 January 2017

Little bit of good news ...

As you'll see from the end of the editor's blog post, The People's Friend are actively encouraging both new and established writers to submit stories. The blog is worth following as Shirley Blair often mentions the type or length of story she's currently looking for.

Because the good news was brief, I think there's room for a little bit of bragging...

I'm the featured author for the 'Where I Write' spot in the February issue of Writer's Forum. (Thanks to Philip for sending me the picture - my subscriber copy hasn't arrived yet.)

Both my writing book and this blog get a mention. I feel a little bit like a minor celebrity.

Btw, that teapot really does accompany all my travels. It's been to five countries, endured some rough sea crossings and helped me through at east two books and dozens of short stories.

Friday 13 January 2017

My Weekly pocket novels - updated guidelines.

My Weekly have produced clearer, more detailed guidelines for their pocket novels - and they're accepting new (to them) genres too!

(If you click on the image, you should get a larger version which is easier to read.)

Monday 9 January 2017

Devon Double

There are two events for writers coming up in Salcombe, Devon. At the first participants will be talking about me (well, they’ll be discussing one of my early stories) and at the second they get to talk to me and Anne Rainbow. If you’re local to the area, or want to treat yourself to a weekend away, we’d love to see you there.
Left Bank Writers workshop
Saturday 11 February: 10am-3pm, with a short break for lunch, at Harbour House, Kingsbridge
anneThe Left Bank Writers group welcome Anne Rainbow, playwright, author and inventor of RedPen Editing, to explain her 10 steps to successful self-editing using, as an example, a short story written by novelist Patsy Collins.
Anne’s Kindle book Editing the Red Pen Way is available from Amazon.
Cost: £12 to Left Bank Members; others £17. Some concessions are available. Contact Michael Elsmere melsmere@hotmail.com to book your place.red
Meet the authors: Anne Rainbow and Patsy Collins
Sunday 12 February: 4-6pm at the Cottage Hotel, Hope Cove
Anne Rainbow has published 100s of text books, written several plays and short stories, and majors on mentoring other writers in the art of self-editing using her RedPen method. Her Editing the Red Pen Way is available from Amazon.
Patsy Collins has 500+ short stories in a range of UK, Irish, South African, Canadian, Swedish and Featured Image -- 908Australian publications. Patsy also writes novels and is the expert on the womag market. Patsy Collins’ latest book From Story Idea to Reader is available from Amazon.
Annfinal-cover-small-front-251016e and Patsy will be having afternoon tea at the Cottage Hotel on Sunday 12 February and invite all local writers to join them between 4pm and 6pm to discuss writing, editing, self-publishing and marketing.
Book your cream tea (£5.95) direct with the Cottage Hotel on 01548 561555 to enjoy two hours in conversation with Anne and Patsy.
 My books will be on sale on the Sunday - no high pressure sales pitch though, I promise.

Sunday 1 January 2017

Happy New Year!

I'd like to wish a happy and creative New Year to everyone who has contributed to this blog – by being a guest or interviewee, providing information/images, commenting, asking or answering questions here, or sharing the posts on social media.

Your support is very much appreciated.

And a huge Thank You to everyone who has (or will) bought From Story Idea to Reader, or helped with its promotion in any way.