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Why do you submit? (all markets)

 
Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Member
Posts: 995

Hi all,

Was reading a different post and got to thinking, why do people (read: you) submit stories to markets? We've asked why we write, and the most common answer seemed to be I must. But why submit? There's researching the market, formatting for it, getting the editor's name correct, listing in The Grinder (optional/not optional), then sweating until reply.

Here's some possible motivations:
1. To finish stories. Submitting can be a goal itself.
2. To have others read your words. Who doesn't want an audience for our art?
3. Money. We're not going to buy a mansion, but income is income.
4. To build a brand. The more you sell, the more you sell.
5. From PC to paper. Why leave a story on the computer, right? Kind of a "what the hell" option.

As for me, I enjoy submitting my flash fiction for #2.

I gave up submitting longer stories to other markets but this one because I just can't handle that kind of rejection. Additionally, the reward for this one is astronomical, and there's a forum, camaraderie, friends, etc. Writing for another market seems the kind of exercise one gets from the arm movement associated with eating popcorn. When I say writing for another market, I mean targeting - not submitting for any of the 5 reasons.

So, why you?

2x Finalist
2x Semi
6x Silver
9x HM
1 of 6 SilverHM. 1 of 3 DSF: Short Stories. My Finalist #1 Finalist #2 coming soon in 4th & Starlight

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Topic starter Posted : May 18, 2020 4:34 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1113

I'm some weird eldritch abomination comprised primarily of #2, #3, and #4.

I also submit because I've heard that short story sales can help when it comes time to try and sell a novel, and I've been slowly gearing more in that direction. Getting novels published (and hopefully making enough from them to help feed my family so that I don't have to go back to working a day job) is my long-term goal for writing in general, so it all kind of feeds into that in the end.

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it. ~ H.G. Wells
R, SF, SHM, SHM, SHM, F, R, HM, SHM, R, HM, R, F, SHM, SHM, SHM, SF, SHM, 1st Place (Q2 V38)
Ticknor Tales

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Posted : May 18, 2020 4:57 am
TimE
 TimE
(@time)
Silver Member
Posts: 339

These days, if I don’t like them enough I don’t finish.
Others read? Don’t let that happen very often. I think my preference would be to be a literary Banksy.
Money – nah. My expectations are low.
Brand – ha!
mmm… I’ve got plenty on my pc.
When I play sports I play to win, but would rather have a really good game and lose than win a bad game. Yeah, I ‘d like to win WotF but I write because I enjoy writing.
I submit very rarely other than WotF. But then I only read books from the library and WotF volumes that I buy.
I’m not the best to answer your question.

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Posted : May 18, 2020 7:03 am
Rey Nichols
(@rnichols)
Bronze Member
Posts: 56

1. To finish stories. Submitting can be a goal itself.
2. To have others read your words. Who doesn't want an audience for our art?
3. Money. We're not going to buy a mansion, but income is income.
4. To build a brand. The more you sell, the more you sell.
5. From PC to paper. Why leave a story on the computer, right? Kind of a "what the hell" option.

I think I can identify with these reasons in some form or another. There is a special kind of rush that you get when you take that leap of faith and submit. Its a bit terrifying, since there is a little piece of myself that goes into everything I write, but I've also discovered that the more I submit, the easier it is to open up about myself as a person and as a writer. It's become a lot easier to talk about my writing and network the more I do it, and its helped me to start building my author platform.

About #3: My end game is to score that magical six-figure deal and a yacht. I have an extremely long way to go, but, hey--nothing wrong with dreaming big, yeah?

HM: 5
R: 1
www.reynichols.com

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Posted : May 18, 2020 7:39 am
Morgan
(@morgan-broadhead)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 129

I submit because I'm a writer working to be a published author. Pure and simple.

"If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever."
- Stephen King
Drop me a line at https://morganbroadhead.com

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Posted : May 19, 2020 3:01 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

Validation

V ery much want to become a professional
A nything I write has a chance of outliving me
L ove creating new worlds and situations
I t keeps me centered on my expectations from life
D oing what I love takes me to my happy place
A lways love the element of surprise that comes from a well written scene
T he need to succeed at the pro level drives me
I can't see doing anything else
O ld ways replaced by new ones enhance the chances
N ever had a better chance at success thanks to the support of fellow forumites fistinair

Today's science fiction is tomorrow's reality-D.R.Sweeney
HM-V32/Q3
HM-V36/Q4
HM-V38/Q1

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Posted : May 19, 2020 6:01 am
Reuben
(@reuben)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 216

Good Idea!

Submitting is difficult,
Unending,
Back breaking,
More stories’ you say
It just doesn’t pay!”
That is not the reason,
The reason of pay
Instead, why I do it every season
No matter the day, is to
Grow, and get people to read my work…

So yeah,
Numbers two and four
Are what drive me on,
Reading, 'riting and submitting,
Endlessly.
wotf011

Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm ~ Winston Churchill
V37: R, R, R, HM
V38: SHM

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Posted : May 19, 2020 8:11 am
AlexH
(@alexh)
Silver Member
Posts: 255

I submit because I set myself the target of making two professional sales (or one plus WotF), and I don't want to fail. I've put too much effort into it to give up now. Sometimes I think I've chosen the wrong thing and wonder what I would've achieved if I'd spent all that time on something easier. But every time I think about stopping writing, I keep going.

When I make those two sales, I'll set myself a new target.

Initially, it was probably to reach a wider audience, so that too. I think I have at least a couple of stories that could have a positive impact on someone's life.

There's also something about being published in a market I enjoy reading or where my favourite writers were and are published. My favourite gigs playing in a band were the ones at the venue I most enjoyed watching bands at.

Dustin - rejection is part of writing. It's nothing personal! I know you know that, but I bet you have great stories that would be accepted at some pro publications.

35: - R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM HM HM SHM | 38: HM HM

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Posted : May 19, 2020 8:26 am
JVAshley
(@jvashley)
Silver Member
Posts: 262

I submit because I'm a writer working to be a published author. Pure and simple.

This is it in a nutshell. I submit, because it is an essential part of becoming a professional author.

Also this...

There is a special kind of rush that you get when you take that leap of faith and submit. Its a bit terrifying, since there is a little piece of myself that goes into everything I write, but I've also discovered that the more I submit, the easier it is to open up about myself as a person and as a writer.

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Posted : May 20, 2020 5:38 am
LDWriter2
(@ldwriter2)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1263

To markets in general: still have some hope I can sell another story. A couple of editors have liked a story or two but they were not buying. But neither case it is what writers of short stories do.

Working on turning Lead into Gold.
Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Posted : May 21, 2020 4:55 am
Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Member
Posts: 995

Louis!
Good to see you again. Smile

2x Finalist
2x Semi
6x Silver
9x HM
1 of 6 SilverHM. 1 of 3 DSF: Short Stories. My Finalist #1 Finalist #2 coming soon in 4th & Starlight

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Topic starter Posted : May 21, 2020 6:10 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2277

You write because you are a writer. You submit to markets because you want your stories to be read.

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Posted : May 21, 2020 6:26 am
LDWriter2
(@ldwriter2)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1263

Louis!
Good to see you again. Smile

Thank you. As you may have read elsewhere here I couldn't get on for months,

Working on turning Lead into Gold.
Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

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Posted : May 21, 2020 3:22 pm
HermioneLee
(@hermionelee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 163

I submit, because I want to be recognized as a true author. Also, I can learn and grow while submitting. It helps me foster good writing habits

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Posted : May 22, 2020 6:08 pm
vjalrik
(@vjalrik)
Advanced Member
Posts: 49

The biggest one for me isn't really on your list:

6.) Self-assessment. How good/bad am I?

Submitting just to help you finish a story might get you into the first market, but what then? And that first market will most likely be a rejection, so it couldn't be just to get your words read either, unless you count slush readers. Or to build your brand, since no one will see any results from most of those submissions. Even if you got accepted, the money won't buy you more than a nice meal, at best, and there are much easier ways to earn that kind of money. I went 30 years before I wrote my first short story, so I don't have to write. If I want to see my words on paper, I have a printer. So -- why submit?

Your friends and family might tell you they like your stuff, but how do you know where you really stand? You enter the field and let the chips fall where they fall. This is the arena. And in this game, your level of skill is measured in cents per word. If, after weighing all the evidence, the referees decide you've scored -- that tells you a lot about where you stand. And if you whiff -- well, that tells you a lot too.

Van Alrik
V33 (-- HM SHM R), V34 (SF R R HM),
V35 (HM R R R), V36 (R HM F HM),
V37 (SF HM HM HM), V38 (HM HM, Q3-Pending)
Latest sold story (10 total):
"The Church of Raw," Thuggish Itch: Scientific, Oct. 5, 2018

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Posted : May 23, 2020 11:42 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 555

I submit because it's a challenge. Submitting to other markets is different than submitting to WotF. First, each story only gets one shot at each market, so you really have to make it the best it can possibly be. Second, you're competing against pros AND amateurs at other markets. I want to know how I measure up. I want to see if I can stand among the giants. Third, at other markets, there's always the chance of a golden nugget of advice with a rejection. Should you always try to fix your story based on a personal rejection? Absolutely not. Very rarely, actually. But once in a while an editor will give you a brief few words that strike at the heart of what your story is missing. You'll know when it's true because it'll hurt right in that spot where you were most worried about what you submitted. I got one of those recently, and I changed some wording here and there, replaced one scene with a new one, and the result got to second round at Clarkesworld. Still got rejected, but I think that small change made the story much stronger. However! Be extremely careful with this. Only do it if you know it's objectively an issue with your story. If the editor says they just don't like the colors you chose for your characters' clothing, that's a personal problem, and you can safely ignore it. Smile

R, 3rd place Q4 v36!!!
Stories in Apocalyptic, Cossmass Infinities, and Podcastle

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Posted : May 27, 2020 1:18 am
AndyDibble
(@andydibble)
Bronze Member
Posts: 86

"#2. To have others read your words. Who doesn't want an audience for our art?" is the prime mover for me.

Although I have another, possibly entirely wrong-headed, motivation: I want to have my work and ideas published. Once upon a time, I planned on being an academic, and academics care about such thing.

#1 - Finishing stories, also impacts my thinking. I think a lot of what sets people about is refusal to stagnate. Finishing works and creating something of value is worthwhile, even if it doesn't win a spot in a fancy magazine.

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Posted : July 7, 2020 8:35 pm
AlexH
(@alexh)
Silver Member
Posts: 255

"#2. To have others read your words. Who doesn't want an audience for our art?" is the prime mover for me.

Although I have another, possibly entirely wrong-headed, motivation: I want to have my work and ideas published. Once upon a time, I planned on being an academic, and academics care about such thing.

#1 - Finishing stories, also impacts my thinking. I think a lot of what sets people about is refusal to stagnate. Finishing works and creating something of value is worthwhile, even if it doesn't win a spot in a fancy magazine.

I think sharing ideas is a good motivation, even via fiction. I can understand that. I enjoy meeting like-minded people and reading ideas from like-minded people (though I also read opposing views for balance, and that can be interesting too).

And it's your ideas, so you're writing about something you're passionate about. You may not have won WotF without that passion, at least not so quickly! I also thought "A Word That Means Everything" was one of the most unique story ideas. wotf008

35: - R R R | 36: R HM R R | 37: HM HM HM SHM | 38: HM HM

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Posted : July 9, 2020 9:48 am
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