Making a Pitch

So my favorite RPG system, Eclipse Phase, the one that got me to find my favorite Podcast that prompted me to start writing, got me my first editing job, find my writer circle, and led to this blog (among other things), yeah that RPG? The publishers put out a call for proposals to write for a booklet (on plot hooks) in the upcoming second edition.

I missed the tweet initially, but someone in my writers circle saw it and asked the group if anyone planned to submit a proposal (because we're all capital-N Nerds about RPGs), which got it on my radar. 

Guys, I did it! I sent in my proposal yesterday! I don't talk much about my self-doubts about my writing here because, honestly?, I cope with them by ruthlessly ignoring them, but they do exist. Mostly around trying to get published/paid. If I'm writing something for my own amusement or just to share here on the blog, no shame, no trouble showing other folks. Heck, very little trouble dealing with solicited critique. Haven't gotten any unsolicited critique so far, so we'll see how that goes down, if it ever happens. 

But the second I think to submit something cfor publication/money? Man. AGONIZING over the email submission. Poking Partner to read my email for mistakes/error/social blunders. Staring at the send button. It's no fun.  

But this weekend I came up with 12 plot hooks/ideas for the setting that I'm happy with, distilled them down to one sentence pitches, added a couple opening and closing lines to the email and sent it off. Even got a short 'receipt acknowledged' email back from the developers this morning. (Well it was sent last night after I went to bed, so I saw it this morning.)

I'm just... happy with myself for following through on this and pitching. If (if, if, if) I get this job, it'll be my first writing credit for something I pitched. And that's really exciting.

Wish me luck guys! I'll find out on Thursday. 

First Rejection

What with starting to write flash fiction consistently, I decided recently to try selling some stories to online writing markets. As of now, I have no intention to hold back on publishing stories to this blog, so anything I send out is going to be a reprint most likely. That's going to limit the markets I can submit to a bit and since I don't have to depend on sales for eating money, is not like I'm going to be putting more effort into finding markets and submitting quickly.

That said I submitted my first piece (Dani & Jak-Jak) to a YA podcast on the 13th (yes, right before MarsCon) and got a rejection noticed on the 15th (yes, while at MarsCon).

I'm absurdly pleased about this.

I'm going to be indulging in some rejectomancy on this, but let me explain.

Thank you for sending us “Dani & Jak-Jak”. We appreciate the chance to read it. Unfortunately, the piece is not for us. Our readers felt the story was more appropriate for a middlegrade audience than the 12-17 year old target age group of XXX.
There are lots of articles out there on key differences between the two genres - here’s one we like:

If you are still searching for a podcast or magazine to publish this story, you can find a list of recommend venues on our website under Markets. And say hello for us!

Thank you again for sending us the story. We wish you the best of luck, and please consider submitting again.


So first off, my immediate reaction to seeing the email in my inbox so soon was not 'oh no they must have hated it.' It was 'wow, they're really professional to get back to people so quickly, I should make sure to submit to them in the future.' Also, 'man, why they working on the weekend??' Yes, I was pretty sure that meant the story had been rejected (I was right), but seriously, if the first thing I ever submitted anywhere got accepted... I'd check for jacks into the Matrix?

Second, that's about the nicest reason to be rejected I can think of, being for the wrong audience. But not completely the wrong audience, just slightly off on the audience. Now I'm reasonably sure this is a form rejection. But. Someone had to read the piece to realize why this one is off for them and  they've taken the time as a company to create a form that directs me to two different pieces of useful information: the difference in audiences and appropriate markets. I mean if they thought it was a bad piece they could have just sent the form rejection saying no thanks. Instead I get as much feedback as anyone could reasonably hope for from a rejection. That's really nice to get.

So, as expected, a swing and a miss on the first time submitting for publication but with feedback I find encouraging. Neat.