A List of Links: Flash Monsters & Famous Rejections

Here’s a short list of cool writerly things from the ‘ol blogosphere. Lot’s of useful stuff here for the rejectomancer.

1) Here’s a writing contest you should definitely check out if you’re into flash fiction and monsters. (And why wouldn’t you be?) The Molotov Cocktail, a fine purveyor of frightening flash, is currently accepting submissions for their Flash Monster II contest. The rules are so very simple: write a story under 1,000 words that includes a monster by October 15th. Real cash money prizes await the top three. Shameless plug: I took third place in the first Flash Monster contest. I’ll definitely be throwing a submission in to the hat for round two. You should too.

2) Apparently, I’m not the only blogger who talks about rejection. Weird, huh? Field of Words posted a great article called the Art of Dealing with Rejection. Solid all-weather advice here, and I love the list of famous works by famous authors and how many times each was rejected.

3) Cecilia Lewis offers lots of great advice for writers on her blog Lewis Editorial. Recent gems include posts on removing filter words and proper manuscript formatting.

4) Finally, if you’re a word nerd like me, then you’ll likely get a kick out of Hannah McCall’s series of posts on misused, confused, or just generally weird words and phrases. They’re even educational and stuff. Here’s the most recent post on the proper use of i.e. and e.g.

Duotrope – You Need This

If you’re a genre writer and you’re going to start sending you stories out into the cold, cruel world, your first step should be to sign up for a subscription at Duotrope (www.duotrope.com). What is Duotrope? Why it’s only the handiest, dandiest resource for genre authors on the whole goddamn internet. The front page of Duotrope describes itself thusly:

Duotrope is an established, award-winning writers’ resource, and we’re here to help you spend less time submitting so you can focus on writing. Whether you’re an experienced writer or just getting started… whether your creative leanings are literary or genre, factual or poetic… our listings cover the entire spectrum.

Basically, Duotrope is a search engine for genre markets. You can input search data based on the content of your story (genre, length, pay scale, etc.), and it’ll give you a list of markets that match your criteria. What’s better, it’ll give you some solid info on those markets, like their acceptance/rejection ratios, how long they take to respond to submissions, and if they tend to send personal rejections over form rejections.

They’ve also got a handy submission tracker that allows you to keep track of all your pieces, where you’ve submitted them, if they were rejected or accepted, and so on. It’s really helpful, and it’ll keep you from doing embarrassing, dumbass things like sending a story to a market that’s already rejected it, which I’ve very nearly done. Duotrope saved my ass.

The information they gather on various markets largely relies on authors correctly reporting their submission activity. So if you do use Duotrope, report everything. Report the submissions, report the acceptances, and when you get a rejection letter, fight through the tears and report that too.

A subscription to the site costs you the princely sum of $5.00 a month. Yes, there are other websites that do basically the same thing for free, but, in my opinion, they don’t do it as well. So pony up your five bucks and get the subscription.

Know about another invaluable writer resource? Tell me about it in the comments.