Most of us have ‘favourite’ stories, poems or articles that for some reason have never made it into print. For some
reason we particularly like these pieces but it seems no-one else does! Recently I resurrected a couple of stories which had unsuccessfully done the rounds but which I thought had a strong idea behind them.
The first was a ‘twist in the tail’ about a fortune-teller and was based on an anecdote that a work colleague told me. It was rejected by both Take a Break Fiction Feast and The Weekly News. I managed to distill the essence of the story down into just 60 words and emailed it off to Real People, which publishes a 60 word story each week and pays £25. And finally my fortune-teller tale found a home! It was published a couple of weeks ago and now I feel that I can stop fretting over that ‘favourite’ and move on.
Similarly, another story, set partly in the early 1980s and partly in the present day, had flopped in a couple of competitions and had been rejected by Woman’s Weekly. It then also got turned down by My Weekly – but this time with a few words about why it wasn’t quite right. I took notice of the comments, reworked the story and sent it off yet again – this time to People’s Friend. This week I had an email from one of the People’s Friend fiction team saying that they liked the story, but also listing a number of changes that would be necessary before it could be considered for the magazine. So now I’m editing the story yet again and crossing my fingers that when I re-submit it, People’s Friend will say ‘Yes’ and finally give my story a home.
So if you’ve written something you really love but can’t seem to get it accepted anywhere – keep trying. Persistance can pay!
Last week I was a guest blogger for the Writers’ Bureau. I chose to do my post about writing sub-1000 word stories for the womag market, in particular The Weekly News, My Weekly and Take a Break/Fiction Feast.
If you’re interested in writing for these magazines then read the full post by clicking here.
Anyone who is a student (or a temporarily lapsed student like me!) of the Writers’ Bureau is eligible to apply to be a guest blogger - just log in to the student community section of the Writers’ Bureau website for details. If chosen you will get a link back to your own blog – so if you’ve got something to say, it’s worth having a go.
Hope you all had a good Easter and are dusting off your best frocks and morning suits for tomorrow’s royal nuptials. In the meantime here are a few bits from my world of writing over the last 10 days or so:
- Those of you who subscribe to The New Writer will have seen Simon Whaley’s piece about receiving 12 rejections from the same magazine, on the same day – each in its own stamped addressed envelope. This made me feel a whole lot better about my own rejections – my personal record being 4 stories turned down by My Weekly in the same email, which made me feel pretty bad at the time I can tell you.
- The results of the Readers Digest 100 word story competition are now out here. They are also showcasing several of the entries on a daily basis on their website – if yours has been selected please leave a comment with the link here so that we can all share your success!
- I had a phone call from the David St. John Charitable Trust this week to tell me that I had won a competition that I entered in November 2009 ! It just goes to show that you should never give up hope.
- If you’re feeling lucky there are 6 sets of 6 nature/outdoor books to be won in a Telegraph Prize Draw.
- Finally, I have a story in the April 30th issue of The Weekly News (2 short story acceptances within a month is something of a record for me!)
Just a quick post to let you know that Jill Finlay at The Weekly News is no longer accepting short stories in hard copy format (i.e. in the post). She can now only accept submissions via email to the address email@example.com.
For full guidelines about submissions to the Weekly News (and all the women’s magazines) have a look at the fantastic womag writer’s blog.