Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Short fiction week

You know how it is, when you've put together the best-laid plans, yet something else happens? As a writer, this happens with me a lot. I try to plan out my week to include time spent working on my various projects going on: Books (usually more than one), book reviews, the occasional SIGNews article, freelancing, editing/revising and research. I try to plan it all out but, sometimes, life plans it out for me.

That's exactly what happened this week. I became immersed in everything related to short fiction: Writing, revising, researching and submitting short stories. Even finding markets for short stories. This ended up being provident, since this week, I was also focused on typing up the chapters I'd written for the section of my Revisions book on revising short fiction. So, in a way, I could "practice what I preached" as far as what the chapters covered. On days I didn't write, revise or submit short stories (and, actually, that was just one day out of the week, because I changed my mind about submitting a short story because I decided it needed more work), I read short stories as well as articles on the writing and revising of short stories.

Of the 6 short stories I sent out, 5 were accepted. I am still waiting to hear back on one other short story. I am ecstatic about this acceptance rate. These stories were accepted for publication in various anthologies, and while I think it is fun to do the anthology thing, I know I must challenge myself to take the next step: Getting short stories published in magazines. I have had only one short story published in one magazine and one short story published in one E-Magazine. I have received rejections from one magazine in particular I tried to break into. I need to try some others and see how that works out. Before that can happen, however, I must finish and polish the remaining short stories that I have, if not write up some other ones. That will take time.

As mentioned, I did get some acceptances this week, which I am very grateful for. I could NOT believe my luck! And I just felt so exhilarated when the editor accepting my stories commented that I am a "gifted storyteller." (Don't worry, I won't let that go to my head. It was so nice for someone to say that to me!) One of the stories accepted is one which I wrote many years ago. I gave it a complete rewrite, tailoring it specifically for a particular anthology's theme, and I am happy it will now see print. Another story is one of several I spent a whole week writing. That's right: For one week, I did nothing but write short stories. The ones which I felt were ready to submit are the ones I revised and sent off. The others...need a little more tinkering.

But that brings up an important point. We writers DO need to spend time just writing whatever strikes us. If it's a story, write it. If it's a poem, write it. It may not be perfect right now, and we may not have a market to submit it to right now, but the important thing to do is JUST WRITE IT. Get that story out of your head and onto paper. Write that article, write that poem. Chances are good a market will come along for that piece later, and all you'll have to do is pull it up, give it a good edit/revision, and send it off.

It worked for me. It can work for you, too.

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  • At 11:54 PM , Blogger Lillie Ammann said...

    Congratulations on your productivity and high acceptance rate, Dawn.

  • At 12:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


  • At 7:54 AM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Thank you, Lillie. :) This is the first time I have had such a positive acceptance rate with so many submissions in the span of one week, especially for short stories, so I'm really excited about that.

    Thank you, Nancy. :) It's very exciting! It's nice to have more short story credits.

  • At 5:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


    drop me your email and I'll send you the dragonfly I made. I am cancelling the contest and will have a new contest/drawing in September. But I wanted to send you the dragonfly since you liked it.

  • At 6:39 AM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Hi, Alyice! Thank you for stopping by my blog. Hooray! I am thrilled that I can receive the dragonfly! It does look lovely. I am sorry to hear you had to cancel the contest, though. I hope the next one goes well. Sending you an email. Take care. :)


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