Tuesday, January 12, 2010

back on the submission track (or should that be rack?)

In our writer's group, we constantly discuss the topic of publication in online mags verus print. Granted, we all like to have and to hold a printed copy of a publication in our hands, to gaze at over and over, to show off to each other and to friends and family. As an old schooler and a hoarder of books and magazines, I was once an elitist and preferred submitting only to publications which offered hard copies. As a publisher, I especially like to see how other publishers present their publications. They're all so diffferent.
But I've recently been taught how on the other side of the equation, internet publications have some heavy-weighted aspects in their favor. The accessibility and circulation of online publications can be an incredible asset to authors seeking novel publication or who already have a book published. Online publications of our works can lead to more readers, who become followers and fans. And the quality of online writing now matches most print publications and is considered for many of the awards once reserved for the traditional print magazines.
So now, each time I spend a day or two doing submissions, I submit to both online and print mags, covering all the aspects of the current publishing industry. 
As I'll promote often, Duotrope, is the best online submission tracker resource any writer can have in their desktop tool box. They currently list 2,750 fiction and poetry markets with stats, for both writers and artists, including the areas of comics and gaming. Any writer not utilizing this resource is 40% behind other writers.   
So in 2010 I hope to best my Duotrope 2009 stats for submissions: 70 pieces submitted, both prose and poetry, with 30.26% acceptances. Today after completing, the final touches on Shaman Circus, I'm submitting short stories to various magazines in the magical realism, steampunk, fantasy and erotica realm.  Had a busy real world day yesterday (as many Mobdays usually are) and some heavy days coming ahead regarding my daughter's continuing medical issues, so must grab the reigns of the writing and publishing horse while I can.
I've submitted Red Rocket at Boar's Head, a fantasy/magical realism piece (inspired by a friend who changed my life when I lived near the ocean in New England) to The Absent Willow Review, a gorgeous internet mag with some of the most incredible art, (along with mags like Shimmer and Champagne Shivers). The Absent Willow Review also produces an annual anthology which is lovely. Writing is top notch as well. 
This won't be the first time I've submitted this piece and its garnered its share of rejections.  But I've rewritten it now to be more fantastical and further into the realm of magical realism after watching a Yule gift from my son, the A&E series Neverwhere written by Neil Gaiman with art inserts by Dave McKean. And even though the series was produced low budget and didn't have the amazing surreal effects of Dave McKean's art in Mirror Mask, the story and characters are still compelling.  And the storyline gave me the guts to really stretch it on out there with this new version of Red Rocket instead of playing it safe.
And then I braved it all following in the footsteps of one of my heros, Anais Nin, and sent an erotica steampunk piece, Marquette de Fleur out to Crossed Genres for their steampunk anthology. Forgive the lame pun, if they find it to their liking but too "steamy" for the steampunk issue, I hope they'll consider it for their erotica publication, The Little Deaths of Crossed Genres. 

It won't be my first published erotica piece. Dark Gothic Resurrected published my story, Dancing Girls and Chamomille Kisses in their Fall 2009 issue. This is a lavish perfect-bound, 81/2 x11 magazine, beautifully printed  with glossy cover, stunning cover art and interior illustrations. The 143 pages feature a wide range of stories, poetry, reviews, interviews.  Dark Gothic Resurrected is also listed in the top ten of the Preditor's and Editor's Poll, a coup in the small press world.
I've been writing in newspapers and magazines for years now and don't get all that excited when I see my byline anymore, but  I'm proud to see my name on the cover and my story within the bindings of such a gorgeous work of art. It's the kind of publication I wish my magazine, The Howling, had evolved into, but those were different times, prior to a wide ranging internet, digital publishing and all kinds of wonderful computer programs.  
Like every other writer, I've received my share of rejections in the past couple of months, didn't do as much writing or submitting as usual because of all the work on Shaman Circus, but did see some acceptances. 
In the yes, Virginia department, if writers are diligent and develop a thick skin, hopes do come true and writers do see their most favored children published. It's especially rewarding, in the world of writing where we don't get to see the reactions of an audience, when editors have time to give feedback. At Shadow Archer Press, I try to give feedback as much as possible, but it doens't always happen due to tight deadlines and a slew of submissions.  
It was really nice to receive a note from Nobius, editor at Calliope Nerve when he accepted three poems, Pull 17, Prelude to 2012, and Tales of the Cold Wars
"I'm thinking I should just give you the user id and password to our site," he wrote, "so you can post and cut out the middlemen. :) Great work."
These poems were published in late Dec. 2009. 
 My poem, The Quintessential Lauguage of Bridges, is also now up at at Full of Crow with some very nice words from editor, MK Chavez and I have a piece of flash fiction, Magic Man #17, soon to be published in Metazen.

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