Monday, 9 July 2012

Freelance Writing and Submitting

I’ve been making a conscious effort this year to get as much of my writing as possible ‘out there’ – again! If we’ve been writing for many years, it’s inevitable that a little pile of finished, rejected, and soon-to-be-completed work builds up over the years.

Like many writers, I begin full of good intentions - sending work out in hope, then ignoring it for a while if it doesn’t sell and moving on to the next one on the list. As many of you know, I write in a variety of genres and sometimes neglect one in favour of another. I’m trying to earn some kind of living from writing, so I also do occasional adjudicating, and speaking about writing to supplement the paltry income, and am lucky enough to be invited to do so a couple of times each year.

This is all part of being a Freelance Writer and, as well as being fun, it brings variety to the writing year. But when it gets down to basics, we still need to write, edit, and send work out if we ever want to be consistently published. And we all have to start somewhere – even if it’s in small press, lower circulation magazines, or websites. Being published at all means your name is getting known and that’s all grist to the mill if eventually publishing novels.

So here’s a little breakdown of my submissions and results (so far) since the beginning of 2012 – (5-6 months). At least I think that’s all!

Tween Novel Published – One!

Short stories to editors/comps: 22 sent out. Two accepted; 1 competition win and published online; 3 rejections; 16 awaiting reply/results.

Articles to editors/comps: 3 sent out. One accepted; 1 not mentioned in comp; 1 awaiting reply.

Children’s stories to editors/1 comp: 5 sent out. One acceptance; 1 rejection; 1 not mentioned in comp; 2 awaiting reply.

Children’s short novel: 1 sent out. Awaiting reply.

Adult novella: 1 sent out. Awaiting reply.

Flash Fiction: 2 sent out. Awaiting reply/results.

Letters to magazines: 2 sent out. One published; 1 waiting reply.

Synopsis and 3 chapters of mainstream novel: 3 sent out in UK (same novel). One reply (no thanks); 2 awaiting reply.

Photos for Competition: 2 sent out. Awaiting results.

I’ve also sent a couple of poems out but don’t write as much of that these days so I won’t hold my breath with those, although I’ve had some published and some gaining a place in past competitions.

As you can see, the vast majority of submissions are still awaiting a reply of some kind – and that’s the bane of a freelance life. So what we most need is patience, perseverance and sheer determination to keep sending that work out. And the more we send out, the more chances of being published!

Good luck with yours.



Talli Roland said...

My goodness, you've been busy!

The waiting is the part of writing life that drives me CRAZY!

Joanna said...

You have lots of really interesting and varied submissions out there, Rosemary. Well done for a great half-year of achievements.

I agree the waiting is a drawback. But I'm sure it's easier when you have a large volume of work pending replies. It's always exciting to think that at any moment, that exhilarating email or letter or phone call might arrive.

Like you, I write the occasional poem. But I tend to neglect them in favour of stories. I also neglected the stories in favour of a novel. Sometimes I write lots of flash-fiction and then I leave that aside for a while. It's nice to come back to things after a break.

I think you've done so well this year with your submissions and your fantastic writing means there's bound to be lots of great news around the corner.

Erin O'Quinn said...

Dear Romy,

I'm staggered by the sheer volume of what you've done, and by your energy and persistence in submitting and resubmitting! I have two puny things "out there," and I've worn holes in my email box peering to see if I have a reply...

In the "old days," more than a year ago, I had literally scores of queries in the email boxes of literary agents. It took several months before I realized that I was shouting into a whirlwind. So I doubly admire your sticking to it. (I finally deleted every one of them from my yahoo "contacts" and vowed never to submit again.)

Your writing is very special. I hope that people will go to the following site and read your (very) short story, the one that won the UK competition:

Okay, everyone...Plug that into your search engine and enjoy! xxErin O'Quinn

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Me too, Talli - at least you've done something about it with your novels!

Thanks a lot for your kind words, Joanna - since you also have a good variety of writing styles and genres, you'll understand! And it's definitely better to have more rather than less out - I too enjoy the anticipation!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Aw, you're so kind, Erin - and encouraging - very good for my ego! I know exactly what you mean about the submissions, the waiting, etc - I guess that's why I prefer lots of different markets.

How lovely of you to give that link - I do appreciate your support!

Teresa Ashby said...

You've been busy! What a great list of varied submissions. I liked what you said in your first paragraph about it being inevitable that the pile builds up over the years. I'd never thought of it like that before, so I'm going to stop beating myself up about my own growing pile :-)
Great post x

Jean Bull said...

Phew! I was exhausted just reading your list. You have worked hard. I wish that I'd achieved half as much as you - and you do all that blogging on top of it. Memo to self - get down to work!

Carolb said...

You've been very busy, Rosemary. You've put in a lot of work so far this year, well done.

Hope the majority of those you're still waiting for a reply from, are positive responses.

Vikki said...

Massive achievement sending so much out (and you have a really good acceptance rate going on there too!) You are inspiring me to keep sending my stuff out!

Diane Fordham said...

Well said and well done Rosemary - great effort! x

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I'm sure you'll have hundreds more than I do, Teresa - both to be sent out and already published! But it's a fun occupation, isn't it?

Thanks, Jean - and I know I could be even more diligent, especially in finishing the longer length writing!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks, Carol - it's all part of the fun/angst awaiting results and staying hopeful!

That's good, Vikki - your stories deserve to be published and read!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thank you, Diane - you also know all about the writing, submitting and waiting!

Joan Fleming said...

What an impressive list, Rosemary. And a good acceptance ratio. If only the responses came faster - to cut down the waiting time.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Thanks, Joan - it's the waiting that sometimes gets to us, isn't it!