Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

The pumpkins are out in full force tonight, and I love the originality in the faces people carve. I went traditional and spiky...because I'm not very good at carving them. I did manage to nearly set it on fire when a candle split inside it though, which gave me a fright at least.

Pumpkins also mean pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Yummy! There's something that satisfies my soul and creative urges when I can cook with seasonal veg. I'm sure I've talked about it before, but creating something from start to finish satisfies creativity when you're stuck on a project where the end is nowhere in sight. I think that valuable idea came from The Artist's Way. It's made me gain a few pounds, I must admit!

As I write this there's a special Halloween themed Story Scavenger event taking place in Brighton, but if you don't make it there will once again be free creative writing workshops every Thursday at the cafe in Waterstones on North Street.

This time last year I entered the Writer's Weekly 24-hour short story contest, and won a small prize. Seasonal themes really do get creative juices flowing, it seems. I suppose because you're surrounded by the season and can relate to it in some way, you're in the mood, you can tap into your feelings more easily, and the 24-hour challenge seems slightly less daunting! 
I mention this because it was the first writing success I had, so I have something personal to celebrate today, along with the normal festivities!

Whether you're celebrating Halloween, Samhain or the Day of the Dead over the next two days, have a lovely holiday x

Saturday, 22 October 2011

A moral principle

I've written before about how I feel I have become better at handling rejection when a magazine/ezine takes time to contact me - even if it's just a form response - or if they specifically say how they'll announce the outcome. Recent events have made me want to rant about what I can't stand: silence. By silence, I mean when I don't even receive confirmation that my submission has been received.

I submitted a story to a magazine a long time ago...let's call it Magazine A. Now, I wrote the story with Magazine A in mind, because I liked the theme of the upcoming issue, it is published locally (i.e. in the UK) and it seems to have a growing, good reputation.

However, I received no confirmation letting me know whether my submission had been received, and there was no further information or updates regarding the publication of the issue. I even contacted them directly, and the response was frustratingly vague and uninformative. My hackles went up.

I then almost forgot about my story, until I stumbled upon another market about a month ago. Magazine B has entry requirements and content that it looked like my story would also suit. And, luckily, they accept simultaneous submissions. There are some downsides compared to Magazine A, as it isn't local and isn't a physical publication. But I decided to take a shot none the less!

I don't know the outcome for either publication yet, but if by some crazy feat of luck my work was to be accepted to both, I know which magazine I would let publish my writing: Magazine B has sent correspondence, has clear information on the website regarding dates, and has created an atmosphere where I, as a writer, would feel happy and comfortable letting them publish my story.

It may seem crazy to make this decision based on a moral principle rather than which publication would be more likely to help my dream career take off, but I think writers need to be treated with respect. These magazines would not exist if people didn't offer their writing, the result of hours of hard work and labours of love! Why should writers choose to give magazines the privilege of printing their creations if they're not going to be treated courteously and professionally? For the magazines, this is a pathway towards a bad reputation. For writers, it's a pathway towards regret and low self-esteem.

Rant over: mouth firmly shut and fingers still firmly crossed!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Farewell Enchanted Conversation

by sousakuteki @ da

I was so upset to hear that Enchanted Conversation magazine is suspending publication after the Little Red Riding Hood issue. Kate and the team have done an amazing job in creating something unique and special for fairytale fans, and this will be a sore loss. 

Fortunately the stories from this years publications are archived on the site (Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White, Cinderella, and soon Little Red Riding Hood)

The sister site, Diamonds and Toads, is still up and running, so you can still get a little fairytale fix over there~