Friday 27 April 2018

Other submission opportunities

In case you didn't know ... I run another writing related blog. On there, I regularly post details of free to enter writing competitions (short stories, poetry, novels, non-fiction, plays etc), many of which have reasonable cash prizes, and links to publication opportunities in non womag markets.

There's also a monthly Insecure Writer's Support Group post, Wednesday word of the week – and as many of my garden and travel pictures as I think I can get away with.

Do you just write for womags, or are you interested in other genres and formats too?

Monday 23 April 2018

Your Go

Here's another monthly random photo for use as a story prompt. 

It's also your chance to share success (or otherwise) ask questions*, report any womag news**, tips, advice you may have, or make womag related comments or observations. (If you have news or a question relating to a particular magazine, it's also fine to add it as a comment to the latest post for that magazine.)

* If you can answer these, please do.

** Or you can email me with the details, particularly if you feel it deserves its own post, or you'd like to create a guest post on the subject.

Is anyone trying anything new? Targetting a different magazine, attempting a serial, or story in a genre they don't generally write?

Wednesday 18 April 2018

The Weekly News – another update!

I've just had an email from Shirley Blair (head of fiction at the People's Friend and therefore also responsible for fiction at The Weekly News). She's given permission for me to reproduce it here ...

"Hi, Patsy. As you know I pop into the Womagwriter’s blog fairly regularly, and I picked up on the concerns about there being no auto-acknowledgement from the Weekly News email address when there had been in the past. It’s fixed now.  Just to prove we do listen and act where possible. J

I think that's great news – both that writers concerns are taken note of, and that we'll get the acknowledgements from TWN. I'm guessing I'm not the only person who feels frustrated about waiting for replies when I'm not even sure my submission was received.

Now, how do we convince Take A Break and Ireland's Own to reinstate the auto-reponses they once had and persuade the other magazines which accept emailed submissions, and don't yet auto-acknowledge, to introduce this system? 

Friday 13 April 2018

Re-using previously published stories

Several people have asked me what, if anything, they can do with stories after they've been published.  The answer is – it depends!

You'll need to check which rights (copyright) you've sold. This information will be in your contract if you have one, or will have been included in the guidelines (or competition rules) or on the letter or email of acceptance. If, as is the case with Yours magazine, you've sold all rights then you no longer own the copyright – you can't do anything at all as it's no longer your story. You can't sell it, put it on your blog, enter it in a competition. Nothing.

If, as is far more usual, you've sold first rights, or first rights with extensions, then you can offer the story elsewhere after it has been used by the first publication. There may be a time period before you are permitted to do that. Again, this information will be in your contract. (This is one reason it's so important to read and understand contracts before signing them.)

When submitting a previously published piece of work, you must also take into account the requirements of the publication you hope will accept it. Some will consider reprints without restrictions, but more usually they won't want work which has already been published wherever their publication is on sale. You may think that because you've only sold to a UK publication that the story will only have been published in the UK. That may not be the case. Depending on the terms of your contract, the buyer may have the rights to print it in other magazines within their group (at no extra cost to them) – and if they do, it's unlikely you'll be informed.

If the publication you hope to sell to only publishes work on a first use, first rights, or all rights basis, then you'll have to write something new. That doesn't just mean changing the title and character names!

Depending on the terms of the contracts, it may be possible to sell the same story multiple times. I do that whenever I can.

Assuming you haven't sold all rights, the buying publication have used the story and any exclusivity period has passed, then you may also publish the stories yourself.

I've just put together another collection of my short stories. The stories in With Love And Kisses originally appeared in My Weekly, YOU (South Africa), Allas (Sweden), Woman's Weekly,  Woman's Weekly Fiction Special, That's Life (Australia), The Lady, Pages of Stories (Canada), Stories That Lift (U.S.) Cafelit, Ireland's Own, Take A Break's Fiction Feast, The Weekly News, or were placed in competitions.

Buy it (or read free with kindle unlimited) here.

See my other blog to discover how one of these stories was written at the instruction of Norah McGrath (former fiction editor for Take a Break's Fiction Feast), and to see my wearing a peculiar hat.

Wednesday 4 April 2018

The Weekly News – update

I have a story in the current (7th April) issue of The weekly News (TWN). Of course I'm always pleased to have a story accepted, but a TWN acceptance brought me the greatest joy as it was my first ever. That was back in 2005. (And today sees my very first publication in The People's Friend!)

TWN is open to submissions of 1,200 to 1,500 word stories, from all writers, whether or not they've sold stories previously. They usually publish two each week, but ocassionally use a few more. The publication is actually a newspaper, not a womag, which is important in several ways – the stories aren't always aimed at women and don't always feel typically womaggy, no ALCS is paid on published stories, and you'll need to look for it amongst the papers in most newsagents.

If you click on 'The Weekly News' immediately below this post, you'll find lots more information on TWN and the type of stories they're looking for, but I also strongly suggest reading a few current issues. You may need to ask your newsagent to reserve copies for you (a good thing to do as anything which prompts more sales is in the best interests of all womag writers).

Submissions are not acknowledged (a shame as at one time an automated response was sent after each submission – I do wish that would be reinstated). There isn't a dedicated fiction editor for TWN; submissions read by the fiction team for The People's Friend (PF).  For more detail on this, see the response by Shirley Blair (head of PF fiction team) to this post.

If no response is recieved within three months, the story has not been accepted and you're free to submit it elsewhere.

Occasionally a rewrite will be requested. In this case, you'll be told which changes are wanted and it's your choice whether you make them or withdraw the story. There's no guarantee the rewrite will be accepted, but there's a good chance of that happening.

If/when the story is accepted, you'll be emailed with that information, plus the intended publication date. If you've not previously signed a contract with DC Thomson then you'll be requested to do so. (As with every contract, please do read it and be sure you understand and agree before signing!). You'll also need to provide your bank details (nothing confidential – just what they need to make payment).

No complimentary copies are sent (very few publishers now have the resources to do this).

Payment is made soon after publication. You'll be emailed a 'self billed PO' and a 'remittance advice' with the details shortly before the money arives in your bank account. (I don't post payment rates for any markets on this blog unless the publishers make them public knowledge as in some cases rates vary and/or our contracts prohibit this.)

Whilst searching for information online, I came across this history of The weekly News, which you might find interesting.