Plans to Enter a Competition

Way back when I entered the Glimmer Train Press’ monthly contests.  Nope, I didn’t win.  Between losing the contests and a bunch or rejection letters I almost gave up on writing.  Obviously, I didn’t completely give up hope.  After all, I’m querying agents with a new project.

I did think about giving up on Glimmer Train Press.  It’s a huge literary magazine.  Over 40,000 pieces of work are submitted each year.  That’s an average of 110 stories a day.  They only print 8 to 12 short stories every quarter.  In case you were wondering, that’s 32 stories a year.  Or 1 story for every 1,250 stories they receive.  Yeah, just a few rejections there.  Like less than 1% of stories submitted are accepted for publication.

The good news is that for their contests (which you can find on this page) they pick 25 titles to say “We liked these titles” and then those titles (not the stories) go out in a press release.  Everyone watches that list every month.  It gets sent out by magazines such as Writer’s Digest.  It’s huge just to be listed as a runner-up to the monthly Glimmer Train Press contests.

There are 25 titles on that list every month.  That’s 300 titles a year.  Which means there is a 19 in 400 chance a writer makes the Top 25 list.  Way better odds, even though I’m aiming for a win!

This month’s contest is for new authors.  Hum, I’m a newbie still!  No genre restrictions.  The rules are to keep it under 12,000 words.  And once Glimmer Train runs the short story I can use the story somewhere else.  I’ve got a couple of stories that need revisions in the right word count.  Complete stories that show just a glimpse of my characters’ lives, but are complete stories.

We’ll ignore the money I can win.  Money would be nice, but I’m more concerned about getting my name on that list.  And since this week is between querying agents this seems like the perfect week to revise a short story and submit it to Glimmer Train.  And I’ve got an idea for next month’s Open Fiction Contest, and the Very Short Story contest in July.  Maybe, just maybe, if my name appears on the Glimmer Train rolls as a good writer an agent will take notice.

I’ll let you know when I actually enter the competition.  (It’s open until May 31st this month.)  And I’ll let you know when the results are in later this year.


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