Writer resources and amusements

In my travels around the interwebs recently I’ve come across some sites that I thought I’d share with you in the hopes that they are useful to you … or perhaps are just an amusing diversion from your writing/editing or avoidance of same. (Never underestimate the value of a little procrastination, right?)

Literary Rejections on Display – http://literaryrejectionsondisplay.blogspot.com/

This one is a doozy. If you go into the archives under Dear Commercial Magazine Editor (http://literaryrejectionsondisplay.blogspot.com/2008/04/dear-commercial-magazine-editor.html) there are some heated debates about getting paid for writing vs. n0n-paying lit magazine markets.

I also enjoyed a more recent posting The Finest Fuck You Prose At The End of the World, about how Norman McClean, the author of A River Runs Through It, tells off an editor at Knopf. http://literaryrejectionsondisplay.blogspot.com/2012/04/finest-fuck-you-prose-at-end-of-world.html

Some of the paid writers post anonymously so as not to alert the editors of commercial zines, who they simultaneously get paid by and despise, that they have writers on staff who are inciting a revolt from within. It’s fascinating reading.

I’ve talked about the whole “pay” issue here before and you, my fine readers, haven’t necessarily voiced strong opinions either way. On Lit Rejections on Display, there is a heated debate (or was….) The issue continues to be unresolved in the lit mag community.

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Fiction Contests and Other Opportunities — http://fictioncontests.info/

This is a handy reference guide to fiction contests broken down by deadline month.

Also, I found Lit Rejections on Display in the “Invaluable” Blog Roll on the right hand side of this page. There were plenty of other blogs listed there too, and I plan on going back and reading through others.



13 Responses

  1. That Where Do I Send It is kinda interesting … although beyond most of the usual suspects in the first tier, I have no idea how the rest of the mags were chosen.

    Also worth noting is that they are strictly “literary” mags, nary a bit of “genre” to be found. A bit limited, if you ask me; especially when you consider that, 9/10ths of those mags would fail instantly if the university that sponsors them withdraws funding. Nothing wrong with ’em; it’s just that one could get the impression those are the only mags out there.

    Clifford Garstang’s list of pushcart winners is pretty useful, I think.

    • Yeah, I don’t think there was a scientific method for Tier selection, I believe it is based on the opinion of the blog page author – with some influence from accepted community standards … aka The Paris Review is in Tier 1. You’d expect that. Ironically though, the author is irritated by mags that do not allow Sim Sub – so they have their own purgatory section below the tiers. The New Yorker is listed in that section, along with many other prestige names.

      I also noticed on Lit Rejections on Display one post that spit vitriol at lit mags that don’t accept Sim Subs too… so I guess it’s a theme.

      Meanwhile Court, you’re starting to touch on the whole “pay the writer” or not issue I think. University journals would probably shutter their operations if they weren’t supported by their schools.

      Isn’t it ironic then that these mags are often still living in the past and do not allow electronic submissions? They also frequently require payment for electronic submissions WHEN they do accept them. The whole situation kinda stinks, in my opinion.

      • I will not pay to sub. I can see why lit mags do it, but man, supporting your endeavor on the backs of those who just want to participate … at least when the Little League charges a fee, every kid gets a certain number of at-bats (and what games, too, eh, which I guess is kind of the point). They should be surviving by getting subscriptions and advertising, no? No, me, I don’t pay to have a shot at playing; same reason I don’t enter contests, unless they’re free.

        As for TNY, the maintainer of that blog is mistaken; there is no written policy against SS’s that I can see; and also, the couple times I’ve subbed there, I’ve gotten responses in well under 6 months. Makes me wonder about the veracity of the other information.

        I’m only just now getting paid for some of my short stories; let me tell you, it feels good, damn good.

        I do work for a mag – PANK – that doesn’t offer pay. But we don’t charge to sub, either.

        • I wholeheartedly agree with you on paying to sub and on paying for contests. I Just Say No. It’s hard enough to spend blood and sweat writing these stories, I’m not going to pay for the “priviledge” to have someone reject them, nosiree.

          Yeah, re: Where Do I Submit – I think the information on the site is to be taken with a grain of salt. You must double check what’s written there. It’s really more about the concept of having tiers, putting journals into tiers, examining which journals are in which tiers, etc. As for the actual guidelines of a mag – check Duo or the mags website.

          Yep, I used to volunteer to do slushpile reading for a mag and I did it without pay. Heck, I’d willingly do it again too. It’s my way of giving back to our community and to me its worthwhile. Your work on PANK is more than just a volunteer experience too, you get to help shape the content of PANK!

          Finally – brother, I admire your persistence, talent and now your ability to reap the rewards you deserve. Getting paid for stories is only the beginning for you, I have no doubt.

  2. I’ve heard of the tiers idea before and that’s kind of how I structure my submissions. My tiers are different for each story, though–I find maybe seven places that I think would be the best home for the particular piece of writing in question and are the most “well-known”/followed/established/respected (maybe even paying) etc. and submit to all those at once. If I get a slew of rejections, then I have back-up tiers #2 and #3, each with about six or seven journals within them.

    I’ll be happy to get my stuff published nevertheless, but I like having an organized method that reaches high and gets considered by all sorts/levels of publications appropriate for it.

    • I think the only potential disadvantage of that is the waiting involved. Usually higher tier publications have the longest wait times (not always though) and if you wait for all of them to get back to you before submitting to the rest of your tiers, you could have a long wait ahead.

      How have you dealt with that issue Hannah?

  3. Hey, thanks. It’s hardly riches but the principle is nice, you know?

    • Hell to the yes! I’ve never been paid a thin dime for my work, and to me, even getting a token payment means something to me.

      Of course, it’s nice to fantasize about more than token payments too. Hey, you never know either because there are several short story collections that have won the Pulitzer Prize too… Olive Kittredge, Interpreter of Maladies, some would say A Visit from the Goon Squad, Tales of the Pacific (not sure if that’s the exact Michner title). If we’re going to dream, let’s dream big!

  4. Wow – cool sites you found. I shall use them per your suggestion (especially the literary rejection one!) as a way to procrastinate. I have just not been “in the mood” lately – for which I feel very ashamed. Anyway – obviously you have been in the mood my dear – as you are storming lit mag castles everywhere – I’m so proud of you! 😉

  5. I’m the author of the tiers and contests site.

    First, my tiering is strictly personal – mags I like and which have pubbed stories I respect. That is all. Not scientific. And not meant to be.

    I’ll try to explain my shitlisting of magazines that don’t accept simsubs. Mainly, it is time.

    Do you have the time to take one story you have, send it out to a magazine that could take up to a year to review it, then do the same thing all over again?

    If you do, I applaud you. In this day and age that is an unacceptable demand that a magazine makes of a writer. Especially with magazines that say they pull from the slush but which contain stories which are solicited from major writers and/or have an acceptance rate of less than 1 percent.

    And while I agree completely with you on not submitting to journals that require a fee for a standard reading, I disagree with the PANK worker above who won’t sub to a contest that requires one. That, to me, seems legit. To cover costs, payment to a judge, and, to a great deal, to push away writers who would send garbage or unedited work in droves. I’ve been a reader for fiction and know how that goes.

    As far as TNY – it’s fairly well understood that simsubs with them are frowned upon. Imagine the good fortune a writer would have to get accepted there and then have to tell them that a week ago, Podunk Monthly in Saskatoon took it already. Sorry.

    As far as veracity and accuracy and whatnot, the site, as I explained in a disclaimer up top is just my open working notebook which I use in conjunction with Duotrope, Newpages, P & W, Twitter, The Review Review and a boatload of other avenues to design a submission strategy for each of my stories.

    Anyhow, with all the shit I’ve gotten, I’m yanking tiers as a public site.

    • Hey Mark,

      You certainly could yank the site – it’s your site after all – but I think it’s an interesting take on the variety of markets available for writers and a way to think about them.

      I don’t agree with all the choices you’ve made for what goes where, but so what? Like you said, it’s your site and your rules. If I want to come up with my own tiers, that would be my choice, but you have provided a starting point.

      And yes, I know you’ve pulled the info from Duo, P&W, etc.

      I put a note in the comments section of the site asking if you wanted feedback on entries that are inaccurate so you could make corrections if you wanted. I was offering to help improve the information provided, (especially for dead markets so people don’t go looking for something that isn’t there anymore.)

      Thanks for your comments, I’m glad you did make the site available and if you continue to do so, I know I will continue to use it.

      All the best… Carol

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