Tuesday, August 30, 2011


"Rejected" - Photo by Oppet2

Well, 50 Days have come and gone, and I'm still not rich or famous. However, I am a little closer to fulfilling my dream. As many of you know, back on June 19th, Father’s Day, I made my first official submission to a publishing company – Black Library – in honor of my father. Black Library has a policy that they don’t send out rejection letters, instead, you have to wait 8 weeks after the submission deadline – in this case June 30th - and if you haven’t heard from them during that time period, then you can consider your submission rejected.

Today marks the end of that particular quest for me. Rejected.

Surprisingly, I feel pretty good, despite the rejection. Obviously, if given the choice, I would much rather they had accepted my submission, but not all is lost. The process of getting material ready for submission was a great learning experience. For one, I learned how to write with a deadline looming over my head. Granted, I had experienced this many times before in college, but its one thing to be under pressure to write for a good grade, it’s quite another when the future of your career is on the line. I also learned the importance of having a solid Synopsis and Summary, required elements by most publishers.

Most importantly, in the end, I have over 8,000 words of science fiction written that I feel very proud of, and while Hawk Rancore may never grace the pages of Black Library, he will always hold a special place in my memory banks. Writing is never a waist, published or not. The process of developing interesting characters, a solid story arc, and a seamless plot lend themselves to good practice. Like many other aspects of our lives, sometimes we learn and grow much more from failing than succeeding.

If Kathryn Stockett could endure 60 rejection letters before her best selling book, "The Help" was published, and if legendary author, Steven King, could endure hundreds of rejections letters before getting his first book published, then surely I can endure my first rejection letter.

Fear not, this obstacle has not detoured me from my chosen path. It has only strengthened my resolve. In fact, Alisha has already compiled a huge list for me of publishers and contests looking for submissions. Alisha has been amazing through this whole process. Not only is she my resident editor, adviser, marketer, and publicist – she is also the love of my life and my biggest fan. I’m truly grateful to have her in my life. Having her by my side makes being rejected far less painful – she is my rock.

So I’d like to share her handiwork with you, in case you also have the desire to write and submit your own written works of art.

http://redhen.org/dev/awards-2/rpa (Sept 30 deadline, $1000 to winner)
http://www.poetrysociety.org/psa/awards/annual/individual/ (poetry society of America, Oct 1-Dec22)

http://zouchmagazine.com/zouch-magazines-lit-bits-fiction-contest/ (Prizes to winners)
http://www.glimmertrain.com/fictionopen.html (Sept 30 deadline, $2000 - 1st/ $1000 - 2nd/ $600 - 3rd)
http://www.writersofthefuture.com/contest (Sept 30, $1,000, $750, $500, Annual Grand Prize: $5,000 additional - this is a quarterly competition, so you can enter each quarter!)
http://www.all-story.com/contests.cgi (Oct 3, $1000/$500/$250)

Contest listing Subscription Site: 

Submission pages of Publishers:
http://www.tor.com/page/submissions-guidelines (TOR short fiction publication submission guidelines)
http://us.macmillan.com/Content.aspx?publisher=torforge&id=255#ctl00_cphContent_ctl30_lblQuestion (TOR Books for novel submissions)
http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pages/specialinterests/scifi/submission.html (ACE and ROC are owned by Penguin - here are their submission guidelines)
http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pages/daw/submissions.html (DAW - also a Penguin affiliate)
http://www.baen.com/FAQS.asp (BAEN books)
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/writersguidelines (Wizards of the Coast - not accepting original works for publication right now, but are reviewing writing samples for review of potential new writers of adult shared world fantasy fiction)

Michael A. Walker
Defying Procrastination 

Do you have a submission story to share? How about other writing contests and publishers soliciting submissions?

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