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Radu Eugen Romaniuc
Posted on Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - 04:59 am:   

Hello.
First of all, please excuse my english skills. I learned the language alone and my own language is of latin origin.
Here we go.
I am new here. Everywhere.
After many years of trying to release my imagination in various ways I have returned to writing, and I'm now very close to finishing my first short-story. Actually it is finished but I decided to let it wait for some time just to see how it will read after I've completely left it's universe.
(I have no idea if this is a good thing to do, as I have no experience with writer's "methods", but I spent so much time inside it that I feel I no longer can read it)

Now I want to send it. To an editor. However I am completly new to this. I even discovered this board (and several others) after I decided I want to try and publish. I don't know any authors, editors, people involved in writing/publishing (except for a few directors and screenwriters, but they can't help me).

I have read the guidelines, but still some questions are lingering.
I don't understand a concept that floats around these boards : "literary piece". What exactly is it? Because the general consensus seems to be that "literary piece" is bad. Maybe it is like Michel Tournier's prose, where the author's voice and personality seem to prevail over the story itself?

Another delicate matter for me is, where should I send my story?
I started buying electronic editions of magazines trying to figure this out, but I think the real problem is that I can'r really define what niche my story fits in. As I wrote it I used to think about it as a love story, then as a speculative science-fiction story, then as a slow horror story, then as zombie tale ... and so on.
But the magazines I enjoyed most reading these last months (like F&SF or Asimov's) seem to contain pretty clearly defined pieces (except for "Magic For Beginers" by Kelly Link, maybe).
Do you think I should try somewhere else?

Thank you for your patience.
Radu R. Eugen
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M.K. Hobson
Posted on Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - 08:06 am:   

Dear Radu:

Before sending it to a magazine, you might wish to look for a crit group first, preferably with some members who are currently publishing short stories. Beside being able to help you gauge what kind of story you have (literary vs. slow horror vs. science fiction), whether or not the story is *ready* to be marketed, and advice about suitable markets.

If you submit a story to a market and they reject it, you generally cannot submit it there again. Thus, it makes sense to take the extra step to feel confident that your story is truly submission-ready.

There are good online workshops (e.g., Online Writer's Workshop) but I'd recommend finding a face-to-face group locally.

Best of luck,
M.K. Hobson
www.demimonde.com
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Radu Eugen Romaniuc
Posted on Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - 09:12 am:   

Thank you for your reply!
Online Writer's Workshop seems like a great place. It made me drool. And one of the editors is Kelly Link, who's writings I find delightful (I am totally disconnected from your publishing world so I don't know the others, KL I discovered by chance).
My problem with that place is that english is not my main language. If I am to send my work to an editor I will hire a good translator, but that costs money and I can't do that for reviews or for engaging in literary debates. Maybe my english is acceptable for conversations, but it is not suited for literature.
As for local groups...I did try one, and it did not work out well. The people seemed very friendly but also very self-sufficient, and while they were very happy with each other I needed something else. I'm sure their workshop works for them though.
I long for someone connected to f&sf that I could talk to. No one around, so I'm trying to create some involved readers at least. I feed my wife and my best friend with China Mieville and Neil Gaiman and Kelly Link and all the books that were translated lately and I could find in bookshops. It's a long shot and abit naive but at least I'll have two readers that know the frame of refference...
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - 09:54 am:   

Radu:

From your name I would take you to be Romanian. You might be interested to know that a Romanian printing and publishing house, SC Mediapress SRL, based in Botosani, is now preparing to launch a new weekly national magazine containing short SF stories. That may give you a market close to home.

For English-language markets, the place to look is Ralan.com.

Good luck.

Matt Hughes
The Spiral Labyrinth
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Radu Eugen Romaniuc
Posted on Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - 11:00 am:   

Thank you, Matt. Actually Botosani is my birth place!!!! Whoa that was a surprise!
But I'm not looking for a market close to home. I have two reasons for this :
The first is the money. Imagine that the fee that a magazine like Asimovs would pay for a short story (a very short story, like mine, heh) is like a third (1/3) of my monthly wage, and I do have a highly paid job (advertising). I don't want to sound bitter, that's just how things work around here. So I would work for a month on my story, sacrificing time spent with my wife and daughter (and that hurts badly) or simply time spent enjoying life and a contract here wouldn't get me too much. I don't have alot of spare time, not with my job.
The second reason is even more important to me. I write the story because I like the story. I want people to read it. So I could take the easy way and publish in my Botosany magazine and maybe it will be read by a few hundred people (maybe!!!!but I think less). I want more. Not for me, for my story. Maybe it's just vanity, I don't know. I'm not used to "being a writer".
But I do remember something on this matter. A few years ago I worked on a project with the romanian director Catalin Mitulescu, and he had just found out that he won the NHK Award from the Sundance Festival. He was very proud (in his very silent way) and as we were walking to the pub where we would celebrate the event I asked him how much money the award got him (yes, not a clever question, but consider that I was winning 200 $/month at the theatre and my rent was 120...money was The Point for me). And he said dreamily, it's not the money, this award got me distributors for the movie, can you imagine how many people will get to see my movie now?
Well, mine is a short story not a movie and I don't even consider myself as talented as he is, but still I do like my story, maybe the one in my head rather then the one I managed to get on paper. I think we should respect our stories and care about them, as silly as it sounds. So I want many people to read it, as many as possibile. That is why I try to publish in your world rather then in mine. It will be very hard for me, and daily I feel scared by the quality of work I can read in F&SF or Asimov, or the anthologies that I could find...
But still my wife thinks I'm really great and what more can a man wish for.
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GSH
Posted on Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - 11:16 am:   

Radu...

You might find StoryPilot's Science Fiction & Fantasy Market Engine useful. You can play around with the search parameters to narrow or broaden the results of your search, which will be listed at the bottom of the screen. If you check "All details except pictures" under the "Show" header, you'll get fairly detailed market discriptions, which often include a link to each market's own website. (Don't check "Novice writers" under "Include markets for only..." unless those are really the only possibilities you want to see.)
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Radu Eugen Romaniuc
Posted on Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - 11:38 am:   

Ooooh, shiny!
That's something to play with tommorow at work.
Thank you so very much, to all of you.
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Oskar Ortiz
Posted on Wednesday, August 01, 2007 - 05:02 pm:   

I want to thank all of you for your suggestions. Though they were not directed at me, they helped me tremendously.
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Radu Eugen Romaniuc
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 02:28 pm:   

Happy.

This has probably nothing to do with the people here, but this IS the only place frequented by writers that I know so :
I made my first sale!

No, not a sf or fantasy story, not even a story. Just a short film screenplay, but it was bought by a Palme d'Or winner, and ... eh ... HAPPY. HAPPY.
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Dave Truesdale
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 05:09 pm:   

Congratulations, Radu!! Excellent news, and you should be proud.

Dave
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Sheila Finch
Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007 - 06:00 pm:   

Oh, Radu! That's very good news. Do let us know what happens next.
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GSH
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 11:02 am:   

Hey, congratulations Radu! To have your work selected by such a person is no small thing!
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Matt Hughes
Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 04:12 pm:   

Well done. May it lead to even greater things.
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Radu Eugen Romaniuc
Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2007 - 12:59 am:   

I have no idea why, but I was thinking that after my first sale I'll magicaly start to write easy and flawless. Some sort of a writer's spoils of war.
It didn't work.

Thank you very much for your words, it means alot to me.
I hope the movie will go into pre-production soon, there's talk about financing and other stuff that do not concern me. If that is so, it will be filmed next summer, most likely.
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Kaza Kingsley
Posted on Tuesday, October 09, 2007 - 12:31 pm:   

You might want to check out a copy of the Writers Market from your library. It's full of submission sites for fiction and nonfiction.
Good luck, and have fun!
Kaza Kingsley,
Author of the Erec Rex series
http://www.erecrex.com

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