Guest blogger of the day is friend of the Moose Craig Wallwork. He writes for eZines and knows lots about them.
So, you’ve written a story, or two, maybe joined a workshop, which has helped polish your mighty opus, now it’s time to send it out. As previously mentioned, there are many websites out there which will read your work for free, and, providing it’s noteworthy, publish it. Most never pay for this privilege; so don’t be booking that holiday in the South of France just yet. I would urge you to do your homework. Don’t settle on the first publishing website you find. Read their archive sections to determine the type of prose they prefer. There’s no point in sending out your transgressive neo-noir cyber-punk vignette, if they only publish horror stories. Moreover, don’t send out a story with a word count of 50,000, when the company only accept a maximum of 1500 for short stories. Read the submission guidelines, and make sure what you’re sending fits their style. There are plenty to go at, but a few good e-zines to get you started are, 3AM Magazine (UK), Beat The Dust (UK), Dogmatika, (US), The Beat (UK), Word Riot (US), and Thieves Jargon (US).
It’s unlikely you’ll receive a reply the next day, or the next week. If you’re lucky, they may get back to you within 3 months. So, don’t be disheartened, and however tempting it may be, don’t pester them. I think the first couple I sent out I added at the end of the email a request for notification that they’d received the story. I didn’t get one. My final words on this are don’t hold on too tightly to that story. The common mistake most new writers make, myself included, is thinking their work is too good for just publishing on a website. It might be, and you might want to send it to a few well-respected magazines to see how it goes (try Glimmertrain, and Succour, in the first instance), but the chances are you’ll receive a reply that only has its place on that spike. Let the story go, because if you can’t write anything better, then you’ve already ended your career as a writer.
Now, if haven’t already drove that spike into your forehead, or you still have enough sole on your feet to take a few more extra steps with manuscript in hand, then I’d highly recommend sending it to Bluemoose Publications. They’re one of the few independent publishing companies still out there driven solely by allowing new voices the freedom to reach a larger audience. Kevin Duffy’s intentions for Bluemoose is very much the same as the sorely missed Rebel Inc, in that it’s more about the story than it is about the pocket. In an industry that currently saturated with regurgitated chick-lit, reality bios and true life harrowing memoirs, Bluemoose has a lot to offer a new writer. As always, good luck. And if you remember anything from this, remember that, “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach.
Craig Wallwork lives in West Yorkshire with his wife and baby daughter. His stories have appeared in Colored Chalk Magazine, Cherry Bleeds Magazine, Beat The Dust, Laura Hird, The Beat, Dogmatika, Thieves Jargon, and Nefarious Muse. He’s currently working on his fourth novel.
Follow his progress at: craigwallwork.blogspot.com