April’s NanoWriMo Camp month was good. I got about half my goal done. This is fine in my mind because I am crazy busy as usual: after day job, dance mum work and so forth, there is very little thinking time left. I’m famous at home for falling asleep on the laundry I’m folding. We had a big competition that required most of a week’s extra time and I can’t write while listening to dances in the Michael J. Fox theatre in Burnaby. Although I did keep my index cards with me and have thought of a few new plots.
My garden’s been planted now, too. That doesn’t take much effort, and I love my plots at the community garden at 39th and Alma. Sadly, it’s got a large sign up advertising the condos they’re building there. I hope we get a couple more years out of it.
Submission Portals for Short Story Writers
Just submitted some stories that had been returned. It feels good to find new market sources. I just got an account on a submission portal called:
Hey Publisher . Hey Publisher is used by only a few SFF magazines but it has some interesting entries.
I always use the terrific site The Submission Grinder created by Diabolical Plots. Initially, it took a little getting used to, and if he had more $$ it could be far sleeker, but it does the job the very best of all of them.
I love the fact that it offers me searchable SFF markets with valuable data that I like to know. For example, is a market dead? they tend to know at The Grinder. They invite updates and are open to changes. Also, the statistics are comforting. How long have they held your story? Is it typically-long for them? Or not? Lots of great data there.
Then there are the electronic submissions portals such as: Moksha and Submittable. I use these to submit when a magazine requests this. I don’t use any other services on these am not certain if they have any.
I recall receiving a survey earlier this Spring wherein they were trying to figure out if writers would pay to submit. The answer is “No”. I was not impressed. We’re mostly submitting to markets that hardly pay (at least in television $$ terms), and it’s ridiculous to also be charged to do so.
The quote in Science fiction circles is:
“The money must always flow to the writer.”
I’m sorry I can’t recall who originated that one, but it was one of the greats.
I’ve been busy and haven’t updated the blog in a while. I just found a new app to do images with so have been playing with @canva. I hope it’s better than @piccollage, which I love but isn’t that sophisticated. So here are some images from our summer vacation. It was a bittersweet vacation. I love seeing my relatives and friends, but my father’s 89 and slipping away from us now due to cancer. So it was sad but I was very glad I splurged out to take us there. Plus, we did a lot of enjoyable visiting.
Got this blog Google verified tonight. Not that hard to do. Working on writing a lot lately even though the day job is being stubbornly time consuming. I don’t mind 40 hours a week, but 60 recalls the bad old days of film & TV…
Accomplishments this week
Finished first draft of a new story and sent it to my beta reader.
Found out about another Polar Borealis upcoming poem publication.
Got a very nice rejection from Strange Horizons.
Sent out my On Spec and Tesseracts 22 submissions. These are important Canadian publications to be in and I hope I make it in!
Sent out another short story that is a hard one to get published. Unlike a lot of authors, I find my comic stories easier to sell than the more tragic ones.
Getting my own garden plot and going to first meeting about it.
Planted some more early flowers on balcony. I have a few 2 leaf plants now from last week’s early attempt. The petunias didn’t come up but the mixed hardy wildflowers had a few sprout!
Hyacinths almost done but were great! Street is full of cherry blossoms!
Enjoyed an hour at Southlands Nursery and bought way too much for a balcony and a small garden plot.
Emailed Garden Manager to see if I can have another plot.
POLAR BOREALIS Magazine #2 is finally published and available for free download to anyone who wants to read it. It contains the following goodies:
Stories by Stan G. Hyde, Ron Friedman, Steve Fahnestalk, Michael John Bertrand, Holly Schofield, David Perlmutter, R. Graeme Cameron, Catherine Girczyc, Dave Duncan, Nina Munteanu, Matthew Hughes, and Spider Robinson.
Cover art by Eric Chu.
Poems by Colleen Anderson, Rissa Johnson, Mary Choo, Eileen Kernaghan, Rhea Rose, and J.Y.T. Kennedy.
Just go to http://polarborealis.ca and click on “Current/Back Issues” in the header, then scroll a short distance down to the link.
Anyone interested in film and TV should work in it even for a short time – in any capacity! Look for ways to get onto a film union list, starting as a PA maybe even? There are many jobs, too, not all of them on shoots. This includes the behind-the-scenes stuff or animation, distribution, etcetera. That way you really get a feel for your field & make contacts. I’m not a hugely successful TV writer, but I’ve sold over 15 scripts and all of them due to personal contacts – not the 2 agents (!).
2. Sell what scripts you have in the best way possible. I often use a real estate metaphor, because it is the same, believe it or not. As I learned the hard way, a local agent here like Integral or Characters won’t ‘sell’ your big script or new TV series idea. They’ll offer the ‘houses’ they have at their level – think Surrey. If you have a Shaughnessy mansion of a script, go to an LA agent. Many of them will look at new stuff from young writers. I will say that even a Vancouver agent would be good to start your talks with any producer though.
In this light, check out the Writers Guild of Canada. You can’t join until you have a credit, but they sometimes have open events and checking the website for good materials and references is good. WGC is the Canadian version of the WGA, in fact we have sharing $$ agreements with them.
It’s usually possible to meet with Canadian agents if you have a project. I’m currently not agented, due to the fact that I had to turn down the last 3 offers in a row (for bad reality shows that pay poorly).
All my work’s sold solely due to industry contacts but having an agent may have gotten me ‘in the door’. I have had 2 agents, both Canadian and neither earned me a cent I didn’t find myself. However, if you have a fantastic script, ready to go, for a movie, for example, you should try to get an agent to help you sell it.
I usually write TV episodes, so my work’s differently focused. If it’s a huge script – the Hollywood style ones have to be agented in the USA – our agents just don’t have the contacts to sell huge scripts. Check out the Hollywood Screenwriting Directory for ‘who to send it to’. https://www.writersstore.com/hollywood-screenwriting-directory It costs $29 US but is worth it.
Vancouver: ACFC is the easiest to get into. They don’t have ‘all’ the productions but they usually have something and are more willing to train. See http://www.acfcwest.com/become.html
ACFC also has a list of great links for beginners in film: http://www.acfcwest.com/industry.html They have a Production Office area and it’s good if he wants to get some local experience. Pay rates are lower than IATSE and hours sometimes longer but it’s a way in. Most ACFC members eventually join IATSE.
IATSE: This I’d recommend only if he’s going the ‘office’ route first. https://www.iatse.com/ Local 891 is Vancouver. It’s more or less a route to get into an office and see production and work from there.
DGC: This is where locations starts, also directors. But I never have seen Locations lead to writing gigs, they’re too far from the office and the writers. If directing is your interest, though, it’s good. They have offices in Vancouver and TO.
The TV and film world can look like a jungle, but I’ve had some great experiences and earned a lot out there at times!
p.s. Below is from http://thecollectortv.com/36.html and is the listing for 1 of my Collector tv series episodes. Producers: Larry Sugar, Showrunners: Jon Cooksey and Ali Marie Matheson. The Collector is a wonderful show – a dark fantasy & I thoroughly enjoyed writing two episodes for it!
So this week, I found two places that are accepting unpublished novels (slush basically) for a short period of time. Both of them want about 50 pages of a novel from any author who wants their novel read by a big-time publisher. I think these are great opportunities for those of us in SF/F. So here they are:
I’m not certain I will go for it, though. I don’t want to send my novel off until I’m ready. I don’t have the 80k finished level and it’s not polished as yet. But it is tempting!
Like my old friend the tomcat KittyCat or Quonsi as his owners call him, I have to assess our chances of getting good things from each hunting expedition. Not entirely certain that being in a veritable mountain of slush novel submissions is the best presentation for me…