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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Conflux & Ditmar

I will be going to my first Conflux Conference at the end of April. Conflux is an annual Speculative fiction conference in Canberra. I'm going because I want to, and because I'm running a workshop. I'm running a workshop at Conflux because they asked for workshop submissions and accepted mine.

My workshop is called, "A mile in their shoes', the details can be found here on the Conflux web-sight. It's on at 8 am on the last day of the conference, so I'm expecting massive numbers. If you are going to Conflux this year, consider coming to my workshop.

Conflux is also the venue for 2013's Natcon, The 52nd Australian National Science Fiction Convention. Which means that it will host the Ditmars, The annual national award for Speculative Fiction writing and other related stuff. You can read about the Ditmars here.

It just so happens that I have two short stories that are eligible for nomination in this years Ditmars. What happens is that leading up to the Natcon eligible voters nominate their Favorited stories. The five stories with the most nominations are then voted for and the winners announced at the Natcon its self. The rules are explain fully here.

Just in case you are an eligible voter who may happen to want to nominate one of my stories. My stories are "Crossroads" and "Leprechaun in the Backyard" and can be found in the short story section of the Ditmar eligibility list found here. The place you nominate my stories, and others that you may feel are worthy is here.

I hope I see you are Conflux.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Rejection, the pain, the pain!

One of my stories got rejected about a week ago, it's taken me this long to have the strength to write about it. (Sob) It was so very quick. It submitted my story to a magazine, I won't name it, and expected it to be many weeks, or even months, before I'd know, but it was all over in less than two weeks.

The publication has a three level vetting process. In just six days my story passed the first stage, some wonderful person had read my story and said, 'yes', it was good enough for stage two. I was informed that stage two would take about 2-3 weeks for my story to work through stage two, a three reader assessment. Not to be, it only took seven days for a sorry, email to come. Rejection, the pain, the pain!

But wait! There had been a promise of feedback. I had even heard from others that the feedback was detailed and constructive. I opened the email with anticipation and found this:

"With a bit more showing and a lot less telling, and a bit of tightening here and there, this could be a nice read."

Not what I had expected.

Now, to be fair, any feedback, sincerely given, is good feedback, and the readers in this vetting process are volunteers. So, I'm grateful that they took the time to read my story, and for any feedback they have the time to give. However, what do I make of this? For the whole thing there are positives and negatives.


  • Rejection, the pain, the pain!
  • A kick in the ego.
  • Much less feedback than I would have hoped for. 
  • At least one person read and like the story, I got past round one.
  • A kick in the ego.
  • A very quick turn around.
  • Some feedback I can work with.
  • There is hope for this story.
I am sure that this whole experience has helped me in my writing journey. The feedback was only one line, but it was one line I didn't have before. I believe I know where I need to show (and not tell) more and this knowledge will help to make the story stronger. As for the tightening, I have no idea, but I'll try and work it out. 

I know this will make me a better writer.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Anywhere but Earth – A Review

This anthology is full of firsts for me. It was first lunched at my first spec-fic event just after I’d written my first short story. It’s also the first science fiction I bought on my Kindle. With all these first, I’m glad to report that it is a first rate book.
It’s also a big book, its physical size really stood out when I first saw it. I’m actually glad I was able to buy it on Kindle. Its size is because there are a lot of stories, 27 in all. With so many stories I’d expected to find some stories that I didn't like, but I didn't  There were some stories I thought I wasn't going to like; for example, a story that started with a single nude man on a beach and a love story with a time twist. There were some stories I would have disliked if they weren't so well written; for example, a story with an almost two clever twist and an intergalactic sex parasite. However, most stories I just enjoyed from the start to finish.
Just as there were no bad stories, no stories stood out as way above the rest. There’s a nice balance, no bad stories, many very good stories, no stories that over shadow the rest. I did have a favourite. It was a story of a man on a planet that has lost its stars who is sent by his boss to kill something in a town no one can find.
I've not mentioned any story titles on purpose. If you want to know which stories I’m talking about, buy the book.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

One Step Closer - The Proof

In Fabula-Divino

Today I received the Proof for the upcoming In Fabula-Divino anthology that includes my story, 'Crossroads'. The Proof is the final stage before printing where the author makes sure that no errors have crept into the text during the formatting stage to prepare for print. At least that is how I understand it.

The editor, the wonderful Nicole Murphy, has generously sent the whole book, not just our stories, which we have to proof. This means that in a week or so I'll be able to tell you just how wonderful all the stories. I will, of course, be completely unbiased.

The anthology is scheduled for release on the 11 of March, and is on schedule. To find out more you can go to the In Fabula-Divino web site.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Re-submission time

I haven't really submitted any work for publication for a while because I've started working on my first novel. Writing a novel takes a lot of time. Anyway, I do have some old work that hasn't yet found a home so I've re-work and re-submitted them to new markets.

Is re-submitting the right word? This question popped into my head as I wrote the above lines. Both the stories have been rejected in the past, but I'm submitting them to a new audience, not the ones that rejected them the first time (In one case, a first and second time.) I'm still really new to all this and so something that an experienced writers would know is an unknown to me.

Well, time will tell if these two stories find a home this time. I will let you know when I do.

I also don't know if it's ok to mention where I've sent them. The two stories are mine, so I'm sure it's not a problem for me to tell you about a little them, so I will.

The story that has tried and failed twice is the first story I ever wrote. It's called Bounty. It's the story of a meeting between a bounty hunter and a young boy. It's set in a world where both science and magic operate.  The boy is an apprentice mage, while the bounty hunter embraces science and is hunting the boys master.  I first entered it in an International short story writing contest. Looking back, I can safely say it didn't deserve to win anything, it was a mess. I read it to my writers group and helped me improve it greatly. So, had a go at submitting it to a major international Science Fiction Magazine. I got my first, 'Sorry, your story has been rejected', letter. I've not submitted it to an Australian publication.

The other story is a flash fiction piece. It's called 'Mouse' and it is very short. I previously submitted it to an international flash fiction contest. I received positive feed back from the judges, but did not win a prize. Again, I've submitted more locally this time.