Sunday, April 02, 2006

Submit to Submission

You've been tinkering with a short story for a while. Maybe you aren't sure how to market it. Maybe you've never submitted a story anywhere before. Maybe it has already been rejected a few times. It's sitting there on your hard drive, doing nothing.

It's time to send that story out.

I just got a rejection. This week, I'm going to submit the story someplace else, and I encourage you to share in the submission process with me and do the same.

April 3-7 is now officially "I Submit Week." Your job is to find a market for your story and submit that sucker by Friday.

So polish it up. Make sure it conforms to submission guidelines. Write a query. Squelch the fear and self-doubt.

Then send that puppy out there.

The market doesn' t have to be a paying market. It can be to a fiction website. It can be a small publication. It can be to a contest (unless you have to pay---don't pay to submit anything, ever!)
You don't even have to have a story in mind. Five days is more than enough time to whip something up.

If anyone needs advice on queries or markets, I'll be around.

Need more incentive? I'm still working on the rewrites to DIRTY MARTINI, to be published in June of 2007.

The first five people who submit stories will get characters named after them in this book. I'll plug you right into the rewrite.

Now move your butt---your writing won't get published on its own.


kalbzayn said...

Thank you. I've been meaning to take the time to clean up a couple paragraphs of one of my stories and send it out.

I will clean it up tomorrow and get it in the mail. I love when other writers peer pressure me into doing something that will be good for me.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Ha. Thanks for that.

I'm almost ready to send it to Tribe...

But I'm still picking on you tomorrow. Just a little bit.

Ken Hattaway said...

Thanks for the kick-start. The story's polished, printed, and ready to hit the mail.

Bernita said...

Submitted something Friday. My timing's off as usual.

J. Carson Black said...

My agent is submitting the third book in my series to my editor this week. Does that count?

JA Konrath said...

My agent is submitting the third book in my series to my editor this week. Does that count?

Conrgats! Much success to you!

But no, it doesn't count. Get a short story out there.

Justin R. Buchbinder said...


JUST submitted a short story to an upcoming anthology of gay inspirational fiction. My piece, called "Jamie and the Devil" is a re-tooling of the classic myth of Orpheus.

I also just submitted an older short story to a smaller gay press. Doubt it will be picked up, but who knows?

Now where's my name!?


JA Konrath said...

JUST submitted a short story to an upcoming anthology...

As in this morning? :)

If so, you're in.

If it was last week, you gotta submit somethign else.

Honor system, kids.

Justin R. Buchbinder said...


Nope JUST as in this morning when I got into work. I've been working on the story for a month... five drafts to final version.

Scout's honor!


Renee Holland Davidson said...

Hi Joe,

I've never posted here before, but lurk daily.

Just subbed a flash fiction piece to flashquake. I've been meaning to sub this piece for nearly a year, but kept on procrastinating. I've subbed a couple dozen other pieces to other venues in that time, but was nervous about this one. Anyway, it is now wandering cyber space, thanks to you. We'll see if that's a good thing.

Thanks for the kick in the pants. And thanks for the useful info--and entertainment--you provide here and on your website.

BTW, since this piece is only 500 words, and not mystery (mainstream leaning toward literary), it may not qualify for your incentive, but that's okay, I'm just glad I got it out there.

Thanks again.

Renee Holland Davidson

Joshua said...


I just submitted a short story to Ellery Queen Magazine, my first time (and I submitted as a first time fiction writer) - I got the idea to submit to them from your site, btw . . . thanks!

Did I make it.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if you've reached your first five, Joe, but I just sent out a short story submission (one I've been planning to send out but hadn't).

If nothing else, thanks muchly for the shove!


(p.s. -- you know my last name if you need it. If you've forgotten, send me an IM back at the the other place)

zdaddyo said...

I don't have any short stories, but looks like you are going to need a lot of named characters the way this is going. ;)

S. W. Vaughn said...

Oh drat. I've only got novels lying about. Short stories? But... but...

Oh, all right, you twisted my arm. I'll try and write one. Thanks for the kick in the ass. :-)

Kim Colley said...

Hey, I'd already re-sent something (after a bounce from Asimov's) before I saw your post. Can I still get a character named after me?

Steve Childress said...

Just this minute submitted a short story to The Harrow! Am I in?

Martel said...

I wrote a short story for Twilight Tales Red Light (Erotica) Night about the real reason we haven't had a Clinton sex scandal since he left the White House (this year's theme was sex & politics.) I wrote the story for fun and had no intention of ever submitting it only to get a tip today about a political erotica contest. Off it went and now the waiting game begins.

Jaye Patrick said...

Polishing two stories for one online magazine. I'm hoping to submit by the end of the week.

I'm alternately scared spitless and excited; oh, woe, the dual nature of the writer...

Mike Strahan said...

I'm submitting an alternative history piece titled "A Tower to the Moon," to Asimov's, today. It's ~3,800 words.

(Dances jig) Did I make it?

Jude Hardin said...

I just shot an e-query to Web Mystery Magazine for an 18K word story.

Thanks for the push, Joe.

Bernita said...

Sent a piece off this morning, but you're already full up, I see.
My timing again.
Thanks for the nag though, Joe.

Todd Wheeler said...

Great blog; always a pleasure and an inspiration to read.

The story was likely going out again soon but your push turned it into - now! Off it goes again. Maybe it will have better luck on the other side of the Atlantic.

Thanks for your posts.

JA Konrath said...

Keep submitting! You have until Friday, and I can always use more names...

Mike Strahan said...

How many do we have to submit for you to use the name "Funke Salame?"

Jude Hardin said...

Hey, my protag in the story I queried is named Kobbin Funk. He's an eleven year-old prodigy on the drums. My best friend and I created the character back when we were in the seventh grade, back when big bell Levi's, Converse All-Stars, and rock tour t-shirts were cool.

I guess things haven't changed much.

Anyway, I think Kobbin Funk is at least as weird a name as Funke Salame.

Can you imagine growing up with either of those names?

Sandra Ruttan said...

Wow, look at all the good boys and girls.

My FITG piece went in Sun night and up Mon. Does that count?

John Mohler Jr. said...

Submitted a short to Cricket magazine, and a column to the Bolingbrook Reporter.

Thanks for the kick in the pants, Joe, and for the signed copy of "With a Twist" -- my wife and I really enjoyed it (the twist and the kick).


Stephen D. Rogers said...

I subbed two new stories and one post-rejection today. (That makes 25 for the year so far.)


Douglas V. Gibbs said...

just came across your blog after failing to get onto your website for whatever reason. good blog. as expected, you are sharing your wealth of knowledge and motivating the peasants. - - Doug

JLB said...

Mine's out the door. Yahooo! Thanks for the encouragement!!!

Anonymous said...

Right after I read your post, I learned that I will NOT be included in the new MWA anthology. But, within the hour, I had my story on its way to another market. Cross your fingers!

Thanks for the shove,
Suzanne Rorhus

JA Konrath said...

Everyone seems to be kicking ass so far.

Winners (and their names) announced on Saturday.

Jaye Patrick said...

Story submitted to Shadowed Realms. Got the fingers and toes crossed.

Anonymous said...

Hey there...

I know, you were looking for subs for shorts, but I did send a proposal to my publisher just now for another novel. Your post was the kick in the butt I needed to let it go already and just send it.

thank you...and best of luck to everyone.


Stacey Cochran said...

I've got a little follow-up to this topic.

When the rejections start rollin' in, use the form-letter responses as toilet paper and then slip those suckers back in the mail to the assholes who sent it to you.

Can you imagine their faces when they open up that letter?

Even better, mark your envelope "Requested Materials."

JA Konrath said...

And the new Dirty Martini characters shall include:

Justin R. Buchbinder
Renee Holland Davidson
Joshua James
Patti (which Patti is this? I know several. Email me you last name)
Martel Sardina

If I need more characters named, I'll come back to this list and pick more names from those who have submitted.

But you all know you're already winners, right? Congrats on your submissions. I hope they all wind up published. And if they don't, send them someplace else!!!!

This is a marathon, not a psrint. Whoever stays in the race the longest, wins. Keep at it and never say die.

Anonymous said...

Patti from Backspace.

I've emailed you. Thanks, Joe.

JLB said...

Great job everyone, and thanks again Joe for the encouragement!

Truth be told, I wasn't really interested in getting my name in your book... it was just the mere suggestion of "surely you can send out just ONE short story submission this week" idea that really lit a fire under my ass and helped me encourage myself to do just one more thing before Friday.

Isn't it funny how something so small can produce such great results!?

Bhaswati said...

Hi Joe. Thanks for all the wonderful encouragement you give to other writers. It all adds up to the support system writers so require.

Can I link this post on my writing blog? It did prompt me to sub a story. And even though I missed the deadline set by you, I am in for the marathon.

Please let me know if I can link. Thanks!

JA Konrath said...

Please do, Bhaswati.

kalbzayn said...

I sent my story off late last night, but before midnight, to a magazine.

Too late to be a character, but at least I now have a story submission to keep track of.

kalbzayn said...

I sent my story off late last night, but before midnight, to a magazine.

Too late to be a character, but at least I now have a story submission to keep track of.

kalbzayn said...

I sent my story off late last night, but before midnight, to a magazine.

Too late to be a character, but at least I now have a story submission to keep track of.

kalbzayn said...

I sent my story off late last night, but before midnight, to a magazine.

Too late to be a character, but at least I now have a story submission to keep track of.

kalbzayn said...


JA Konrath said...

It's like deaj vu all over again...

Renee Holland Davidson said...

Hey Joe,

If you've got a character who's beautiful and brilliant... a bestselling author, perhaps, who lives a charmed life and is kind to the elderly, small children and puppies, well that would be perfect! ;0)

I've entered two of your short story contests to try to get my name in one of your books, but this way was much easier! Thanks so much!


kalbzayn said...

I know I submitted to late to get into the book, but if later on you have need for a character that you need to kill in a neat, graphic way, feel free to use me.

That would be way cooler than just being another minor character.