Saturday, February 1, 2014

W1S1 January Update (2014 edition)

Toward the end of 2013, I did neglect this portion of the challenge. Didn't fail it or anything, just didn't feel the need to update. I'll try to do better.

 As far as the stats go...

Stories written: 2 (both flash pieces, one being more of a vignette tho)
Stories submitted: A whopping 36! (including resubs and sim-subs)
Stories accepted: 2
Stories rejected: 34

Yeah, heavy on the rejections, but I've gotten some very nice personals, which helps the medicine--err, rejections go down.

Now I've already mentioned one acceptance from Unlikely Story, but there was another...which I rejected. Interesting experience, really. It was a flash horror story accepted by a new market, and I was all gun-ho, because I like giving new markets a chance, until I saw the contract. What a mess. It was vague, unclear, had a horrible clause where the story could be edited to the publisher's sole satisfaction. What about the author? I asked if there could be some changes made to the contract, and was basically told that if I didn't like the contract, I should withdraw my story. Which I did. I don't like doing that, but I do expect editors/publishers to be able to compromise.

The takeaway lesson here folks is: READ THE CONTRACT.

Acceptances are nice and all, but be wary that there are publisher who can and will screw you over. And it is perfectly okay to ask for revisions to the contract if it is not to your liking.


  1. Bravo on the subs and the acceptances, Siobhan. I think I got an acceptance from the same publisher recently. I wrote back asking for clarification of the clauses. The clarification sounded fine. And the publisher's going to run any changes by me, so I accepted the acceptance.

    1. A contract shouldn't need clarification. I should be able to read and understand it myself, without having to consult the publisher. The editing clause wasn't the only thing I disliked; there was also one about how the story could be reprinted into any book or anthology containing 50% material from the blog. So what's the other 50% going to be? He told me this was for "best of" anthologies, but wouldn't that mean 100% blog material?

      Sorry, I wasn't going for that.

  2. Well done for rejecting an acceptance. There are magazines/sites/publishers/agents that assume (rightly in some cases) that authors will sign anything put in front of them.

    1. And some do, sadly. This why I would encourage writers to be a bit more intelligent about these things, 'cause the publishing world is not always (and mostly) a nice place.

  3. Good advice, Siobhan -- and glad to have you moderating the W1S1 site this month. It will be awesome, of course.