Fellow Writers of the Future winner Brad Torgersen has some spot-on thoughts on what it takes to break into the field and thrive there.
The realities he describes are certainly something for me to keep in mind for two reasons. One is that I made just six submissions to pro markets before getting a publication, which is obscenely lucky. So if I feel whiny after getting a rejection notice for a story, it's rather pathetic. The second reason that these points are relevant is that I'm feeling whiny today after getting a form rejection without comment from a magazine that I submitted to.
Yeah, we all like to think that our stories are flawless masterpieces that publishers will trip over in their eagerness to get their hands on, but the reality is that there are hundreds of manuscripts competing for just two to four slots in each monthly publication. And even a great story won't necessarily be that one piece that an editor is looking for to round out his product. Besides, this is only the first on a list of twelve markets (magazines and websites) for me to shop this one out to. So, back to work with less moping and more mailing.
With graduation fast approaching, I'll soon have sufficient time to devote to genre writing again. Having said that, even in the time-sucking environment of school I did manage to crank out a solid short story and edit the book from front to back. So it hasn't been a completely unproductive year since plunging back into academia.
Also, fellow first quarter winners KC Ball and Tom Croshill have stories out in the September edition of Analog and current edition of Sybil's Garage respectively.