Sunday Subs

Rule One: You Must Write
Rule Two: Finish What You Start
Rule Three: You Must Refrain From Rewriting, Except to Editorial Order
Rule Four: You Must Put Your Story on the Market
Rule Five: You Must Keep it on the Market until it has Sold
Rule Six: Start Working on Something Else

Heinlein’s Rules of Writing

Sunday morning was submissions morning this week. I haven’t had anything one the market for a couple of months, taking a breather after Cthul-You perhaps but I also had been forgetting rules three and four and telling myself I would re-write a number of stories before sending them out. Wrong. once you have finished you need to draw a line, get things submitted and start on the next project or you never move forward.

Talking of ‘Cthul-You’, I have sent an enquiry to Postscripts magazine to see if they are interested in taking on the print rights following its production by the BBC. Postscipts is blazing a trail for contemporary horror fiction (they are responsible for bringing Joe Hill to us, a name you will all know well soon) so this would be a big win. ‘Chaser’ went out to Transmission Magazine, a non-paying market based in Manchester. I’m not sure whether they accept reprints so we shall see. They have a wonderfuly polite rejection letter so I don’t mind reading it again (for the 5th time if so). I’ve also sent out ‘Circe’s’ to Chizine, an online pro-market that I’ve enjoyed reading for a while now. And ‘Horizon’ becomes my first submission to Asimov’s magazine, after two years spent causing trouble on their web-forum. I have had ‘Horizon’ on the shelf for six months since it narrowly missed out on Hub, but its time to get it back out into the world.

Now I just need to start getting really strict about Rule Two. Its one thing to finish stories and have them rejected, its another to leave work mouldering half finished and then on the day you die have some supernatural being of ultimate judgement say to you ‘Yes, that would have won the Hugo and Nebula and topped the NYT Bestseller list…if only you had finished it.’

Do you have stories lingering on the shelf that should really be under the nose of an editor? Tell me about them and I’ll shout at you until you send them off, and maybe try and suggest a market. Comments below.


7 thoughts on “Sunday Subs”

  1. Damien, as you know, i have tons and tons of stories that I forget about and never send off anywhere! Could you find somewhere for “Medea” (the funny strip club story) or “Tinfoil Flowers and Stars” (if you’ve read it – it would be perfect for Tripod as its all about not being able to escape but I submitted it to them last time -late- and thought it might be just that little bit too cheaky to send it them again!!!)


  2. Definitely send it in for Tripod. The submission rules are strict so if it was late last time it wouldn’t have been considered.

    My opinion is that anything that gets finished – as in you have reached the end of the story and had the spelling corrected – HAS to be sent off to an editor.

    There rea great online market listings at Duotrope ( and Ralan ( A couple of UK markets I’d suggest for your style are Transmission Magazine and You should also take a look at Route Publishing, who do regular anthologies of emerging young fiction writers.

    Get those stories submitted!


  3. Looks like a great contest. I don’t think I have anything suitabel under 2k and I don’t qualify for thei enmtry requirements, having been paid for work in the last two years.




Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s