Julie's Quest

Hello, and welcome to my blog. My blog is about the trials and tribulations of writing, where we celebrate successes and commiserate our near misses. We tell it like it is here and will do our very best to help you on the road to being published and pick you up after the rejections (they will come!) Whether you are a professional or amateur writer you will find something useful here.

I hope you enjoy reading my posts and will visit again soon.

Happy Writing

Julie Phillips - freelance writer - member of the Association of Freelance Writers - member of the Society of Authors

Friday, 23 August 2013

Live, it, breath it

One of the best nuggets of advice I've ever had since I started writing short stories is that you need to read, write and sub them regularly. And that's exactly what I've been doing over the past few weeks. But one of the most frustrating things about writing short stories for the women's magazine market, however, is that it can take a long time for stories to be read, processed and either rejected or accepted for publication.

It can take anything from a couple of days to six months or more to hear back from the fiction editors. Now, there isn't a lot that writers can do about this The editors of these magazines receive hundreds of short stories a week and it takes time to read through them with the limited staff and time they have.

So what can writers do while they're waiting? The most obvious thing to me is to keep reading, writing and subbing short stories. The more you have out there the more you are increasing your chances of publication. And when one story comes back rejected, the impact is less because you have several more out there. Plus, if you are writing them regularly, you'll have more to send out straight away when one comes back.

I've been experimenting with how I organise my writing of short stories and have been concentrating on targeting one magazine, Woman's Weekly. I'd heard Linda Lewis advocate this method at one of her workshops at last year's NAWG festival and I thought I'd give it a go - it obviously works for her.

Her theory is that by fully immersing herself in the style and stories of one magazine at a time - the essence of the magazine and stories will infuse into her creativity and she will be better able to match her writing to that of the stories the editor wants. And that's what I've been trying to do as well. It's interesting how much closer you can get to the stories and what they are about when you just read them from one magazine.

Now, I don't know if my method will work. It's early days yet and I might not hear anything this side of Christmas! But one thing I won't be doing is sitting round and waiting for the editor to reply. I will be reading, researching and analysing the magazine, writing, editing and subbing more short stories but, most of all, enjoying the process - because if we don't have fun while writing, what is the point?

Happy writing
Julie xx


Carole Anne Carr said...

A great idea, Julie, and I'm sure one that works. Note to self, get organised!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks for your kind comment, Julie, he is still suffering, but I'm hoping he can leave the house at the end of next week, I have so much planned.