The other day I thought I might still be in the running for the Writers of the Future 2009 Q4 contest. They'd put all the Honorable Mentions up on the WOTF blog. Since my name hadn't appeared, then either I was rejected, or I could still hope for a Semi-Finalist, Finalist or even eventually a winner. Alas, they found another 21 H-M's in the box and there I was. So on to the 2010 Q1 contest!
Got an e-mail tonight from Joni Labaqui at Author Services, the people who run the WOTF contest, letting me know about the H-M, in case I hadn't seen it on the blog. I ended up writing her a long reply and I thought I'd share part of it with you.
A Remarkable Run, For Me Anyway
I have no idea if anyone keeps any stats on these sorts of things. I doubt that it's a record, but I've entered the contest every quarter since 2002 Q3, with the following results:
Rejected 5 No Call 1 (apparently USPS lost some subs in Dec 2002) Finalist 3 (1 published in WOTF XXIV, 2 Finalists in one year, 2007 Q1 Q3) Semi-F 2 Quarter-F 10 (designation changed to Honorable Mention in 2007) H-M 9 (Quarter+H-M = 19) Total 30 (24 certificate rank) Subs 31 (WOTF 2010 Q1 in)
WOTF was the second place I ever sent a story. I'd been writing for decades, seriously for a dozen years before someone my wife knew was connected to a small press which was having a space station short story contest. I had a piece on a space station, so I submitted that on 9 June 2002. Then I looked to see where else I could send things. Found WOTF very quickly and sent my first entry, "Home Front" 16,800 words, twenty days later. The rest, as they say, is history. My second entry, "Out of Ashes...", has morphed into a novel which is now making the rejection rounds -- my first novel sent out in the world.
My first four submissions gathered three rejections, plus the one lost in the mail. My fifth sub, "Sideswipe", was a Finalist for 2003 Q3. Other than "Boxes", 2005 Q3 and "Pirates Amongst Us", 2008 Q4, which were rejected, the 24 remaining stories all placed Quarter-Finalist/Honorable-Mention or higher in the contest. Only five straight rejections since 2002 Q3? Pretty proud of these results.
Especially proud, of course, of having "A Man in the Moon" and "The Moons of Mercury" both fighting for a place as a Published Finalist -- with "A Man in the Moon" appearing in WOTF XXIV.
In addition, the following entries have been published:
- * "The Brother on the Shelf", May 2009 Analog, was originally part of that first entry, "Home Front".
* "Boxes", published in CrossTime anthology Vol. V.
* "Machine", published in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, #38, March 2009.
* "In the Blink of an Eye", published in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, #39, June 2009.
Another previous entry, "Hail to the Victors", a Semi-Finalist from 2006 Q2, is under final consideration at a market after a rewrite request.
Essentially, half of my published stories were once WOTF entries. That quarterly deadline has driven a lot of writing production. I'll be talking about this aspect of WOTF in a panel on Writers Contests for New Writers at ConFusion next week in Troy MI.
Now all I need is either a win in the contest -- or to finally make enough pro sales for SFWA membership...
And yes, I've penciled in the story I expect to ship for WOTF 2010 Q2. The Q1 story was sent in way back in October.
Yup. A pretty remarkable run for me.