Twilight Times Special Feature
Practical Tips for Online Authors # 2
Lida E. Quillen
This column is primarily for speculative fiction writers who have a few completed stories or a finished novel under their belts (or under their bed). If you are a beginning writer, there are literally hundreds of resources to help you at each stage of the writing process. You will find quite a few in upcoming columns to get you started.
By now, you are subscribing to a writer's monthly magazine, you have read several books on writing and you are a member of a critique group. You have made the changes your writing partner recommended and you are ready to send your masterpiece out into the world. Go over the story again. Look for typos, failures in logic, misspellings, the usual. Make certain the story is your very best effort. It may appear on the web for a very long time.
Read submission guidelines carefully and submit according to the specifications. Some ezines prefer you send the story in the body of an email message. Other ezines will accept file attachments in specified formats. If you've been sending and receiving email messages, you can send your story to an editor as a file attachment. Send a test message to yourself or to a friend to ensure you are doing this correctly before you submit.
If you feel you need more help, check out this email program tutorial.
Be careful what rights you are giving away. One-time electronic rights and the right to archive for a year or two seem standard. As a courtesy, you should not submit elsewhere until the story has been online for ninety days. You should always mention if the work has been previously published. Word does get around.
Start researching the paying online magazines first. If you are still getting rejections after a dozen submissions, look for web sites that list new ezines. Low Bandwith, Paula Fleming’s Market List, Ralan.com, SpecFicWorld.com and Preditors and Editors ™ come to mind. You will have a better chance of a careful reading from a new magazine.
Resource Page -- a terrific tutorial on writing, submitting and finding
speculative fiction markets.
Again, read the submission guidelines carefully. If your story is in a genre different from the ones listed, move on. Avoid inappropriate submissions. Do mention if artwork is available to accompany the story. At times, this may tilt the odds in your favor.
Do try sending your story several places before you simply upload it to your personal web site. Very few ezines and even fewer print magazines will accept previously published material. Getting accepted by ezines will get your work into the hands of readers, build your confidence and your publication credits. And be patient. Response times may be a few weeks longer than stated.
When your story appears online, be sure to list the web page info with places such as BitBooks.com and search engines in order to receive more exposure and more hits.
Where do you find other magazines that might be interested in your stories? Join writers' email lists to find contests and new markets mentioned by list members. Look up the magazines and check out their submission guidelines. One good place to start is the Zine Guild.
Note: I have it on good authority that "bovine free wyoming!" desperately needs submissions for the upcoming issue. Needs poetry, reviews, essays, prose, whatever.
Deep Magic is a new ezine seeking high-quality fiction and artwork submissions.
The Emporium Gazette is seeking submissions of articles and/or short stories for upcoming months. Check out the guidelines and planned themes. Pays $5 per article or short story.
Netiquette tip: Don't send out multiple submissions. When an editor receives an email message addressed to twenty magazines, I can assure you that message goes directly to the recycle bin.
Recommended Web Sites
For the Pros:
Esquire has a new fiction contest for writers unpublished in the novel. Pays $4,000.00
to the winner, has no entry fee, and the deadline is 10 September. Tip: Ensure you
submit your *best* work.
The following web sites are recommended for semi-pro writers:
**** SFF Net -- a gathering
place for authors, editors, readers, and publishers to get together to discuss
books, stories, the art and craft of popular fiction, and all aspects of the
says they want your words and they will pay. You can have a personal profile
and/or you can post articles for free and receive ongoing revenue.
Payment is generated by banners ads posted with each article. The more often
the article is viewed, the more you get paid.
Here's a few worth checking out as they are very open to amateur writers:
**** Quantum Muse
is an ezine seeking submissions of science fiction, fantasy and alternative stories to 8,000 words. Very open to unpublished writers. Accepts electronic submissions. Pays $10. Tell the editors Lida sent you.
Writer's Hood gives a friendly welcome to readers, veteran and beginning
writers. Accepts electronic submissions. Free critiques. Current response time four to
six weeks. General fiction, genre fiction, poetry and stage plays. No payment
indicated on the submissions page. Tell the editor Lida sent you.
About the Author
Lida E. Quillen is the author of a non-fiction book, Practical Tips for Online Authors
Owner/Publisher of Twilight Times Publications
Pubisher of the eBook Ecstasy newsletter.
Moderator of online authors email list
Member of Phenomenal Women of the Web.