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Discussion: Q1 Volume 37

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Dragonchef
(@dragonchef)
Silver Member
Posts: 279

HM for me. Pretty good for my first time entering, I think. Keeping up with a fresh story every quarter!

Congrats, Bee! Now go for the next level.

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Posted : April 21, 2020 12:31 pm
Kizer
(@kizer)
Advanced Member
Posts: 38

Silver HM for me! Just got the email.

Congratulations everyone! I'm new to the contest, so wondering if someone could explain the difference between Silver HM and HM.

Digging a little deeper, Dave (and Kary) do a first pass and start sifting into piles. Rs go into the R pile. Read this one goes into another pile. From there, HMs are sorted. Dave's done several Kicks about this, and I think someone recently posted it. Basically he finds a few things that stop it from going higher, but it's a well written story that deserves a level of praise.

After that you've got the possible finalist pile. Stories that Dave will read through again, or more carefully. A higher metric, if you will. While not absolute, in general this "final pile" makes up the SHM, SF, and F.

So it can be loosely said that if you received a SHM, your story was in contention and was scrutinized for inclusion, but was beat out by only 16 other stories. Thus, SHM is a good thing.

Thanks for the clarification Dustin!

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Posted : April 21, 2020 12:46 pm
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

Congratulations everyone! I'm new to the contest, so wondering if someone could explain the difference between Silver HM and HM.

Digging a little deeper, Dave (and Kary) do a first pass and start sifting into piles. Rs go into the R pile. Read this one goes into another pile. From there, HMs are sorted. Dave's done several Kicks about this, and I think someone recently posted it. Basically he finds a few things that stop it from going higher, but it's a well written story that deserves a level of praise.

After that you've got the possible finalist pile. Stories that Dave will read through again, or more carefully. A higher metric, if you will. While not absolute, in general this "final pile" makes up the SHM, SF, and F.

So it can be loosely said that if you received a SHM, your story was in contention and was scrutinized for inclusion, but was beat out by only 16 other stories. Thus, SHM is a good thing.

Thanks for the clarification Dustin!

I will add this. At his workshop, Dave said an SHM is often finalist quality but something needs fixing before you can win with it. He doesn't want the story to be a finalist yet because then the story is disqualified. He'd like to see it fixed and resubmitted. That's not what's going on for every SHM but it tells you how incredibly close you are.

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Posted : April 21, 2020 12:59 pm
JVAshley
(@jvashley)
Silver Member
Posts: 262

I too am out, but will be buoyed in spirit by a semi-finalist this time around. That's my best ever in a collection of many many R's so I will take it and run. But most importantly it means I finally get to live a personal fantasy and bust out this thing:

wotf057

(One day, one day, I want to fly the blue one.)

Woo Hoo, Galen!!!  fistinair

Still nothing but silence for me!
I think I need a hug.

wotf030 I've been there. It's not easy waiting it out. *hugs*

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Posted : April 21, 2020 1:15 pm
Kizer
(@kizer)
Advanced Member
Posts: 38

Digging a little deeper, Dave (and Kary) do a first pass and start sifting into piles. Rs go into the R pile. Read this one goes into another pile. From there, HMs are sorted. Dave's done several Kicks about this, and I think someone recently posted it. Basically he finds a few things that stop it from going higher, but it's a well written story that deserves a level of praise.

After that you've got the possible finalist pile. Stories that Dave will read through again, or more carefully. A higher metric, if you will. While not absolute, in general this "final pile" makes up the SHM, SF, and F.

So it can be loosely said that if you received a SHM, your story was in contention and was scrutinized for inclusion, but was beat out by only 16 other stories. Thus, SHM is a good thing.

Thanks for the clarification Dustin!

I will add this. At his workshop, Dave said an SHM is often finalist quality but something needs fixing before you can win with it. He doesn't want the story to be a finalist yet because then the story is disqualified. He'd like to see it fixed and resubmitted. That's not what's going on for every SHM but it tells you how incredibly close you are.

Thanks Chuck, I didn't realize if your story makes it to finalist level it isn't eligible to be resubmitted.

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Posted : April 21, 2020 2:07 pm
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

Because a finalist gets feedback it becomes disqualified if it’s not a winner, Maybe SFs too. I can't recall if they get feedback from the judges.

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Posted : April 21, 2020 3:21 pm
KD Julicher
(@kd-julicher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 119

Because a finalist gets feedback it becomes disqualified if it’s not a winner, Maybe SFs too. I can't recall if they get feedback from the judges.

Actually SFs get feedback not finalists. Finalist stories are considered publishable and as such don’t need feedback but they are disqualified for resubmission.

WOTF: HM x 16, SHMx2, SF x 1, F V31 Q3, V32 Q2, V32 Q4, V34 Q3, V36 Q1
Baen Fantasy Award Winner 2014
V32 Published Finalist
3rd place V37 Q1!

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Posted : April 21, 2020 5:18 pm
Beth Powers
(@bethpowers)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 127

R for me--I have higher hopes for my Q2 submission!

Beth Powers
-----
Silver HM x 2
HM x 15
Entries x 55
-----
Collected Stories: Sorcery & Widgets

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Posted : April 21, 2020 5:25 pm
TimE
 TimE
(@time)
Silver Member
Posts: 339

Disappointed with another HM - but I reckon I've critiqued likely winning entries for Q2 and Q3. Can I reflect in that?

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Posted : April 21, 2020 7:33 pm
iota2000
(@iota2000)
Active Member
Posts: 7

Rejected again. I won't be entering in the future.

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Posted : April 21, 2020 8:29 pm
Dragonchef
(@dragonchef)
Silver Member
Posts: 279

Rejected again. I won't be entering in the future.

Please don't give up, Io. This is how you become great! We have all received more than enough Rs (I'm still waiting for mine). It just means that there is more to learn. All the folks here in the forum are here to help each other. Get critiques on your stories. And sand, polish, sand polish.

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Posted : April 21, 2020 11:08 pm
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

Because a finalist gets feedback it becomes disqualified if it’s not a winner, Maybe SFs too. I can't recall if they get feedback from the judges.

Actually SFs get feedback not finalists. Finalist stories are considered publishable and as such don’t need feedback but they are disqualified for resubmission.

Ah! Now I remember. Thanks for the correction

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Posted : April 21, 2020 11:09 pm
HermioneLee
(@hermionelee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 163

R for me

What matters is that you wrote a story, finished it, and submitted it. That's a big deal. Keep on writing and keep on learning and keep on submitting. Smile
Thanks Leah! I'm working on my Q3 submission

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Posted : April 22, 2020 12:37 am
HermioneLee
(@hermionelee)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 163

Congratulations to all who received good news! And to those who got rejected (like me), don’t give up! Preston Dennett entered the contest for forty seven times before winning, and of course, our wonderful forum administrator, Moon, who had been submitting for twenty five years. So, just keep striving and work on the Q3 submission! I hope I’ll see you all in the discussion thread of Q3

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Posted : April 22, 2020 12:42 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1113

Because a finalist gets feedback it becomes disqualified if it’s not a winner, Maybe SFs too. I can't recall if they get feedback from the judges.

Finalists don't get feedback; semi-finalists do. Both are ineligible for further entry into the contest.

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 : April 22, 2020 12:47 am
Disgruntled Peony
(@disgruntledpeony)
Gold Star Member
Posts: 1113

Rejected again. I won't be entering in the future.

I'm sorry to hear that, iota2000. I hope that, at the very least, you keep writing.

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 : April 22, 2020 12:52 am
TimE
 TimE
(@time)
Silver Member
Posts: 339

wotf056

About what I expected, to be honest. The story's been out to so many markets and seen so many revisions that I just... need to be done with it, so I've posted it on my website.

I enjoyed reading it. Thanks for putting it up.

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Posted : April 22, 2020 12:59 am
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

Rejected again. I won't be entering in the future.

I hope you reconsider. Yeah, an R hurts. You put your guts into a story, and you really like it, and you think its good and then Wham! An R. Or a form rejection. Over and over. I sure thought my submission was good this time and it got an R.

I really think if you have some ability. And you do something like a great workshop or two. Or study Dave Farland's or Wulf's teachings, you can succeed. You'll still get Rs and rejections, but maybe you start getting a personal rejection here and there. You get a non-professional sale. Then (I hope it happens to me) your first professional sale.

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Posted : April 22, 2020 1:54 am
chuckt
(@chuckt)
Silver Member
Posts: 419

Because a finalist gets feedback it becomes disqualified if it’s not a winner, Maybe SFs too. I can't recall if they get feedback from the judges.

Finalists don't get feedback; semi-finalists do. Both are ineligible for further entry into the contest.

I remember now. Thanks for the correction. wotf007

36: R, R, R, SHM
37: R, HM, R, HM
38: HM, R, ?

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Posted : April 22, 2020 1:55 am
Dustin Adams
(@axeminister)
Gold Member
Posts: 995

Wen I'm feeling down I turn to Stewart Baker's history for inspiration:

R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner (1st place).

Or Tina Gower:

R, R, R, Winner (Golden Pen).

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 : April 22, 2020 3:04 am
Galen
(@galen)
Advanced Member
Posts: 47

Wow, amazing histories there.

With that kind of lens one could even argue if you're not getting the occasional R, it is possible you might not be taking enough risks to reach the summit.

Sort of like what someone once told me once in the context of downhill skiing. When you reach the stage where you've stopped falling completely, you've also reached the stage where you've stopped improving.

In fairness, I know too little about skiing to know if this is actually true, but it kinda makes sense and stuck with me.

Finalist x1
Semi x1
SHM x3
HM x7
R - lots!

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Posted : April 22, 2020 3:22 am
KD Julicher
(@kd-julicher)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 119

Wen I'm feeling down I turn to Stewart Baker's history for inspiration:

R, R, R, R, HM, R, R, R, R, Winner (1st place).

Or Tina Gower:

R, R, R, Winner (Golden Pen).

Am I wrong, or did Tina get an R the quarter after her win?

Whereas my trajectory is like: HM, HM, F, HM, HM, HM, F, R, F, HM, Hm.... F, HM, SF, ... HM, F.... on and on and on.....

WOTF: HM x 16, SHMx2, SF x 1, F V31 Q3, V32 Q2, V32 Q4, V34 Q3, V36 Q1
Baen Fantasy Award Winner 2014
V32 Published Finalist
3rd place V37 Q1!

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Posted : April 22, 2020 3:25 am
officer
(@officer)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 110

Rejected again. I won't be entering in the future.

As others have encouraged, I hope you keep writing! And consider submitting again in the future.

You're in good company. Everyone will get rejected eventually (and likely often). Once you accept that, there's no risk to submitting, even if you decide WotF is your last-choice market. There are enormous benefits to winning, and the quarterly deadlines and camaraderie are motivational for many of us.

For what it's worth, my R had gotten personal rejections at respectable markets before I submitted. I still believe it's a strong story--and significantly better than my HM, which got form rejections everywhere else. However, I took a risk on the intro knowing full well it might turn off a first reader.

Everyone has room for improvement. For many of us, there are objectively poor decisions we make that confuse readers or otherwise impair their experience. Getting crits can help you learn what those are. I had a number of bad habits, which I recently corrected thanks to others here on the forum.

Then there are the subjective decisions we make because each of us reads differently. But we need to write stories targeting specific editors/judges/audiences. For example, I hate reading descriptions that don't further the plot or character development; I skim them as a reader and go light on them as a writer. But most SFF readers like being immersed in a new world, so my personal preference goes against conventional taste.

When I was in college, my student newspaper rejected an article I wrote. Instead of getting knocked down, I aimed higher--and sold it to TIME Magazine for some serious beer money. Use your rejection to motivate you to improve. That's my plan!

HM, R, HM, R, R, SHM*, HM, ?, ?
*Finalist, 2021 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award

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Posted : April 22, 2020 3:55 am
Earthling
(@earthling)
New Member
Posts: 2

HM here.

Are HMs included in the anthology or mentioned at all on the WOTF website?

Also, would you recommend including this honor in a cover letter for other submissions?

Thanks,

Earthling

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Posted : April 22, 2020 4:34 am
CCrawford
(@ccrawford)
Bronze Star Member
Posts: 225

Rejected again. I won't be entering in the future.

I'm going to echo what others have said--please don't give up! I had four straight R's in a row before finally seeing some improvement this quarter with a Silver HM... and I've been sending stories out to markets all year with nothing but rejections. Rejections can mean lots of things -- sure, there might be some technical things that could have been better, but it can also be first reader/judge preferences, or even simply that the story wasn't right for this particular market's goals. Have you checked out Wulf Moon's Super Secrets thread? I can't recall if I've seen you over there or not, but it was very helpful for me, even before I joined this year's challenge! I learned a LOT just reading through all the posts.

Also, PM me, please, if you would like someone to read and give feedback on your story. It makes my heart cry a little to see a writer wanting to give up! I want to help. If you have just determined this isn't your target market, I understand. But please don't give up on writing and submitting wherever is the best fit for your work!

v35: Q4 - HM
V36: R, R, R, R
V37: SHM, HM, HM, SHM
V38: SHM, HM, ??
Indie author of The Lex Chronicles (Legends of Arameth), and the in-progress Leyward Stones series--including my serial, Macchiatos, Faerie Princes, and Other Things That Happen at Midnight, currently available on the new Kindle Vella platform. The Vella story is also available through my Patreon, along with side stories, behind the scenes content, and in-progress drafts of other books from my Leyward Stones world.
Website: http://ccrawfordwriting.com. I also have a newsletter and a blog!
Upcoming short story publication in DreamForge Anvil, October 2021 issue!

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Posted : April 22, 2020 4:37 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 555

HM here.

Are HMs included in the anthology or mentioned at all on the WOTF website?

Also, would you recommend including this honor in a cover letter for other submissions?

Thanks,

Earthling

HMs are listed on the blog post that announces the winners! However, I've seen advice that says not to include HMs in your cover letter. I'm sure others can chime in on this who may have other experience, though!

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

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Posted : April 22, 2020 5:28 am
SwiftPotato
(@swiftpotato)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 555

Rejected again. I won't be entering in the future.

iota - I can't say much that won't echo what others have already said. Rs come with the territory of being a writer, but it's tough to put your heart and soul into a story only to get that flat rejection. Especially when you psych yourself up for a few months on a story sitting at WotF. But if nothing else, if it's something you love, just keep writing. Maybe you're burnt out on WotF right now, but submit to other markets and get other responses. Get some crits from some some folks to see if you can sniff out your weaknesses and stop them out. Keep leveling up. And if someday you feel you've got a story that would do well here, don't hesitate to submit again, and don't hesitate to come back to the forums. We'll be here and we'll be happy to have you back. Smile

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

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Posted : April 22, 2020 5:36 am
RETreasure
(@rschibler)
Silver Star Member
Posts: 745

HM here.

Are HMs included in the anthology or mentioned at all on the WOTF website?

Also, would you recommend including this honor in a cover letter for other submissions?

Thanks,

Earthling

HMs are listed on the blog post that announces the winners! However, I've seen advice that says not to include HMs in your cover letter. I'm sure others can chime in on this who may have other experience, though!

Anything except the first three placed winners is essentially a rejection. There's some back and forth about including finalists in cover letters, but I would recommend against mentioning the HMs.

V34: R,HM,R
V35: HM,R,R,HM
V36: R,HM,HM,SHM
V37: HM,SF,SHM,SHM
V38: F, SHM, P, P
Available for critiques - PM for availability.
www.rebeccaetreasure.com

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Posted : April 22, 2020 5:39 am
Wulf Moon
(@wulfmoon)
Platinum Plus Member Moderator
Posts: 2277

Thanks for the clarification Dustin!

I will add this. At his workshop, Dave said an SHM is often finalist quality but something needs fixing before you can win with it. He doesn't want the story to be a finalist yet because then the story is disqualified. He'd like to see it fixed and resubmitted. That's not what's going on for every SHM but it tells you how incredibly close you are.

Thanks Chuck, I didn't realize if your story makes it to finalist level it isn't eligible to be resubmitted.

Just to add to this, Finalists do not get feedback, other than Joni perhaps saying, "But Tim Powers really loved your story." They are not allowed to be resubmitted because they had their chance. The judges voted on them already, and they did not make the final cut. Semifinalists are the ones that get a brief critique from David Farland, the contest coordinating judge. This critique disqualifies the author from submitting that story again, because they had help from the judge on what it would take to make it a Finalist, and that would be unfair to others in subsequent quarters that did not receive such help. My story, "Weep No More for the Willow" was such a story. Dave said on the level of world building alone, it was stronger than all the other winners in that quarter. But he also said I need to "kill my darlings." Based on his critique, I toed back in my descriptions, sent it to Deep Magic, and it was published in the Fall 2019 issue. It shows you that semifinalists are very close, and with just a few words from a bestselling author and instructor like Dave, you can figure out how to make them winners. So, while you can't send them back to WotF, you can sell them elsewhere, and have a better chance at it, as I and others have proven.

Sometimes a story is at Semifinalist level, but Dave hopes to see it again. Instead of disqualifying it by helping the author with a critique, he gives them a Silver Honorable Mention, which he has said among some of those, he hopes the author will revise it and submit it again. Is yours one of those? Only Dave knows. But a pro likely will also know. Try to get someone that has pro sales to take a look at it. If you have the means, hire a pro if you can't find one--some do freelance editing. Or submit it to a workshop that has pro authors offering critiques. You might find with a simple fix, that story could be perfected.

So, when you get a Silver HM, Dave has told you he liked your idea, but there's something you need to fix. If you can figure it out, and I mean really figure it out by getting someone with more experience than you to point out what it is, you could submit that story again. It might just be your winner.

Best of success!

Wulf Moon

JOIN THE WULF PACK! http://the super secrets.com
"Super-Duper Moongirl and the Amazing Moon Dawdler" wins WRITERS OF THE FUTURE VOL. 35 & BEST SF&F STORY OF 2019. Order WotF Volume 35 HERE!
“Muzik Man" in Deep Magic Fall 2020 wins BEST SF&F STORY of 2020
NEW! Don't miss the Super Secret "Character Agency: I Need a Hero!" in DreamForge Anvil Magazine!
JUST RELEASED! BEST OF DEEP MAGIC ANTHOLOGY TWO! Three Super Secrets Workshop members made it into this best of the best anthology! KD Julicher, Brittany Rainsdon, and some guy named Wulf Moon. Click HERE to get yours!
NEXT MASTER CLASSES AT FYRECON ONLINE, NOV. 18-21ST. Click HERE before they are sold out once again!

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Posted : April 22, 2020 6:28 am
storysinger
(@storysinger)
Gold Member
Posts: 880

R. Good luck to everyone still waiting for results and congrats for those that placed.

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 : April 22, 2020 7:49 am
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