Learning to read Writer’s Market

I’ve started looking through the 2014 Writer’s Market book for short stories and novels. It’s been fascinating. And a warning, this is very stream of consciousness. I’m sorry.

After last year, I learned a lot. If it says “We accept all nonfiction, fiction, and poetry,” what they really mean is “We do not accept genre fiction.” In one case, it even went so far as to mean if it wasn’t about horses, don’t submit it. What about if it’s on Sleipnir? Will that be accepted?

To be honest, last year I think several days were spent figuring out what genre fiction is. Followed by a few more failing to figure out what speculative fiction is. I currently comprehend both, which means I’m flying through these pages much quicker.

I also learned people really don’t like religious pieces or they love them. There’s a lot of “Not overly religious” and “Only religious” posts.

If it mentions a region, it’s likely not for you. It’s for people from ’round them parts. Ethnically diverse magazines are actually based solely on one ethnicity to the exclusion of all others.

If they’re accepting genre fiction, there’s a low chance they pay. If they accept speculative fiction, you’re likely doing it for the love of the craft. These realms aren’t considered “real” fiction. However, who really wants to hear about some guy and his family getting popped by robbers on the side of the road because grandma talks too much? Now add magic and dragons, we’re in business.

LGBT literature is a genre. Why? I’m not talking about their rights or anything. I’m talking about categorized genres. It’s a fight to convince people fantasy is not part of science fiction when they’re obviously completely different. But if it’s two guys it’s no longer romance? What of the Knight of Flowers? Is Song of Ice and Fire now LGBT instead of fantasy? We should all be incensed! Speculative fiction LITERATURE writers for not getting their due separation, and LGBT supporters for being separated from the rest of the genre! Here here! (Seriously, a love story is a love story, no matter who is involved and no matter what the genre surrounding it is. And if you’re making a point about discrimination, civil rights based literature is a sub genre.)

Erotica (porno lit) is like religion. People either ask for it or tell you to stay away from them with it. Generally depending on which it is depends on the name they use. If they don’t want sex it’s porn. If they do, it’s erotica. We are writers after all. We’re really good at massaging sentences to build up that tension and squirt exactly what we mean all over the page. Smooth.

I’ve also found my favorite rejection to my genre. “Doesn’t want any genre literature.” Thank you. Thank you for accepting us as literature. We will not let you down! Nor will we submit to you. Thank you for saving us time.

It feels this is as much to solicit writers as to sell copies. You get fifty words max, then “read multiple publications to get an idea of what we’re looking for.” I mean, I understand why, but I already don’t have any money and you’re not paying.

Followed by the most hurtful: “Does not want cliche-filled genre-oriented fiction.” Apply cold water to the burn area.

There are some really weird and specific magazines out there. I didn’t realize there were callings for these, especially in an era when periodicals are all but dead. I refuse to say what. Just in case I end up writing for one of them.

There is hard and soft science fiction! I never knew this. Is it like what Asimov wrote when young compared to old? Heh. Heh. Anyway, apparently hard sci fi uses more technology. Soft sci fi is based on social aspects. That’s right social scientists, the sci fi genre finds you inferior! Or at least softer. I suppose if you’re a woman, that’s kind of a nice thing. I prefer high and low fantasy. High means the world is going to end. Low means you’re following around a meat farmer and ultimately his biggest concern is a plague to his swine.

I’m finding whenever I see a PAYMENTS/TERMS section my thoughts consist of “Holy sh*t, they pay!” Kind of telling as to how this search is going.

Well I’m through the B’s. Tomorrow I’ll print and edit my short story a final time, then Wednesday let the submissions begin! I have a few marked already. Should be fun.

4 Comments on “Learning to read Writer’s Market

  1. When I was studying film, genre actually meant something. Today in literature it only serves to be a hair-splitting nitpicker for creating niche-marketing.

    • It’s really annoying. Over all terminology seems to change rapidly. And what for? It only creates confusion and miscommunication.

    • Haha. Well it says it’s important to have a platform. It entices publishers. I think you’ll do just fine 😉 I’m still very much so finding my footing.

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