Writing Contests? With This Family?

Between being sick (chronic is wonderful), Cheekies and Champ I haven’t had a lot of time to write this month.  The days I feel like I can write have usually been spent chasing a baby or playing fetch with a pup.  Add Lumpy’s promotion ceremony into the mix, and I have no free time.

My plans for writing have gone astray.  Even the software on my phone hasn’t helped.  The idea of writing two short stories this month?  I was suffering from sleep deprivation when I thought of that.

One story.  I’ll be lucky to finish the one story that is close to finished.  The question has become “Do I enter Glimmer Train Press or Writer’s Digest?  If I get the one story edited, of course.

Luckily, I have about ten days to finish the story and decide.  Do you have any suggestions, Dear Readers?

February Competition Piece

Somehow I had my short story ready for submission to Glimmer Train Press’ in the middle of the month.  Which meant it was ready while there was still money in the back account.  That meant there was no excuse on why I couldn’t submit the short story I’ve spent months writing couldn’t be submitted.  So, I went ahead and submitted the short story.

Of course that means I’m am going crazy at the moment.  Was it good enough?  Will the judges laugh?  Why the heck did I think the story was good enough?  Seriously, what was I thinking?  This is never going to happen.  I’m not meant to be an author.  If I was I could write and take care of Cheekies without anything slipping.  If I really wanted to be a writer I could go without sleep and eating.  Really, it should be easier.

Yeah, just a little self-doubt going on at the moment.  This should only last until the winners are announced.  That should be on 30 April.  I’ll let everyone know what happens.  Now time for the finishing touches of the next short story.

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.