Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Over to you!


Do you have any womag news?

Are you researching, writing, subbing? Had any acceptances or rejections? Any other news?

Feel free to use the as a picture prompt. If you'd like other writing prompts, short exercises and story/scene suggestions then you might find this book useful.

I'd love to hear your competition news.

Have you entered any writing comps? Had any luck? Heard about interesting contests? Got any tips to pass on? (Although I only feature free to enter competitions in my posts it's fine to share news about other competitions too.)

Do you have writing tips to share, questions to ask, or suggestions for this blog?

The #WritingChat topic tonight is using humour in our writing. Everyone welcome to join in by tweeting 8-9 UK time, using the hashtag.


ChrisC said...

Loving your writing prompt Patsy. I ve live near a place called The Mumbles so I might just write a story based there after seeing this! Selected in last months secret attic monthly comp and shortlisted in another comp, so not bad in competitions. Two rejections from TPF from May '20, still others out there but it all seems very slow and quiet!

Marguerite said...

I am finding Secret Attic's weekly writes a good focus in the absence of my writing group. I've been selected twice for those and twice for the longer short stories in the past few months. They are selective as I certainly haven't had them ALL selected! ;)It does give me a bit of boost though :)

New girl on the block said...

I love Secret Attic too. I've had a winning weekly write and two selected short stories. It certainly does give a boost!
I had a poem rejected by TPF - I'd submitted it in March 2020, so they're certainly a long way behind!
I'd like some advice please on two stories which I submitted to TPF in November 2019 (!) This was obviously significantly before even the first lockdown, and I've heard nothing. Do people think I should do some gentle chasing (I did try this for these two stories in January this year, but had no response}, or assume that so much time has elapsed that they must have been rejected? All thoughts welcome. Thank you!

Liz said...

I've sold one story to The People's Friend this month. I have several others with them, dating back to December 2019, so I'm assuming they're in their massive backlog. I've successfully pitched another feature idea to them too, and will be starting work on that soon.

Fiona said...

Thanks for the writing prompt Patsy. I’ve had two stories accepted by TPF recently - one for autumn, the other a Christmas story. I only started submitting regularly to them during the first lockdown and I try to send one story a month. Busy thinking of my story for July!

Sharon boothroyd said...

New girl on the block - why not bring this up on the TPF twitter hour every Tuesday 11 am - 12?

Eirin Thompson said...

New Girl On The Block - I don't have any brilliant advice, but I share your pain. I absolutely hate bothering editors with queries and when I do so it is with great reluctance. However, I do think that if you've been waiting for an answer to a query since January, then a gentle nudge will probably be received graciously. Good luck!

Patsy said...

@ ChrisC – Well done on the selections, and I hope you do write a Mumbles story.

@ Marguerite – It's good they don't take everything – getting selected wouldn't mean so much if they did, would it?

@ New Girl – Well done on your secret Attic success.

I wouldn't assume that story has been rejected. They do aim to reply to everything, even though it takes a while and sometimes stories are held onto for a long time before they're used.

@ Liz – Well done for the story and the feature.

@ Fiona – Well done! I think it's a good idea to regularly write something specific for the magazine(s) you wish to submit to. I found my success rate improved when I started doing that rather than writing whatever came into my head and then looking for a market to send it to.

@ Sharon – That is a good place to ask general questions. It would be interesting to know how far back the backlog goes. I'll try and remember to ask that myself if nobody else does.

For those who don't know, The People's Friend host this 'event' on Twitter each week. It's a friendly chat about writing and other topics, plus a chance to ask questions of the fiction team.

@ Eirin – I hate chasing up stories too. I try not to be impatient and wait until it's clear that either my story or the response must have got lost somewhere – which might well be the case for New Girl.

Marian said...

I'm fairly new to submitting to magazines, so I don't have much to contribute here yet, but I am finding your blog very inspiring and I've finally plucked up the courage to comment!

New girl on the block said...

Thanks to everybody for your ideas and advice. I'm not actually on Twitter, and I'm busy with my day job on Tuesday mornings, so it would be great if somebody could ask the question about the backlog and post the answer here please. Then I'll know whether to gently chase again or not.
It's so good to be part of such supportive group.Thank you!

Patsy said...

@ Marian – thank you for being brave!

@ New Girl – I raised the question with The People's Friend Fiction editor and have put the reply in a new post.

Anonymous said...

I subbed a Christmas story to TPF two weeks ago, and just like the story I sent them in May, it was rejected the following day. Perhaps it’s magic theme made it unsuitable, as their guidelines say they don’t accept fantasy stories. I’d have thought a touch of magic in a Christmas story would be very acceptable. But who knows. I’m now busy tweaking a story I wrote last year and hope to send it off to the Secret Attic before the end of the month.

Michael D

Patsy said...

@ Michael D – yes, the magic may well have been the reason (and I agree with you that a touch of magic doesn't seem out of place in a Christmas story). The way I sometimes get around this is to provide an alternative rational explanation (ARE). With these you include both the magic (or other fantasy type element) and a more mundane explanation and the reader is free to decide which they believe. This approach has worked with me for ghost stories in TPF.

Please don't be discouraged by the quick rejections. I know it seems as though they've not spent long deliberating, but I don't think any editors have that luxury and it's their job to efficiently decide which stories to accept or reject. A longer response time only means it took longer for someone to get round to reading it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice, Patsy.

Michael D

Pamela Gough said...

Yours magazine have recently changed their guidelines. They now ask for stories of 1000 words, not 1000-1200 as previously: