Monday, March 17, 2014

The Long Game

I have a success to report to you this week. I’ve sold a short story to Woman’s Weekly magazine. This is the first time Woman’s Weekly has bought a story from me, despite me giving them plenty of opportunities to do so since 2005 ;-) At the moment, I don’t know whether it will be published in their weekly issue, or their fiction special.

It struck me that the story of this story reflects several of my comments on previous posts here. Last week, I commented about writing what you enjoy, especially when writing fiction. This was such a story. It began life as a piece of homework for a writers’ group I go to. It wasn’t written with a particular market in mind, to begin with, but as a piece of fun. However, after some good constructive feedback from the group I edited it for Woman’s Weekly. I had to tone things down a bit, and increase the word count. 

This was also one of those pieces that I needed to chase up. Woman’s Weekly are normally very good in responding to fiction submissions within twelve weeks, yet on this occasion my database flagged up that I had not had a response for over 17 weeks. Time to chase up.

If I’m honest, my gut reaction was that this would be a rejection, and indeed, that’s what many friends and fellow writers on Facebook suggested. But at least by chasing up and confirming the rejection I would be able to adapt my piece and send it off to a new market.

So I was astonished when I received an email apologising for the delay in replying, and accepting the story. Result!

Which reaffirms one of my many other postings here - persistence pays off. However, I also think there’s another lesson to be learned here: don’t prejudge the editor’s decision. Nothing is rejected until the editor says so!

I’m off to write another short story for Woman’s Weekly now. I just hope my next acceptance is a little quicker coming than nine years!

Good luck.