I'm still floating, still grinning to myself, scaring the cats, still wondering what on earth this all means, how to integrate it into my life. I have asked some trusted advisers for their advice, regarding an agent for example. This makes me more attractive, right? (In publishing-speak only!). Even if I am that dreaded short-story-writer-no-not-planning-to-write-a-novel! But I would like to have an agent, someone interested in my writing, someone nudging me a little every now and then, someone who knows what the next steps might be. There is so much here that is a mystery to me. When I tell people I studied physics, they look at me with wonder, as if it is another planet whose language is known only to the select few. Well, I feel that way about the publishing industry: I don't know the culture, don't know the signs and symbols. A great agent is a translator, explaining what certain gestures mean, what the words and phrases stand for. I would be very happy to have that in my life. Will keep you updated.
Update: OK, that was quick, the universe works in scary ways: just got a message from my lovely publisher, Jen, that an "agent scout" has been in touch to ask for my book. Exciting! Something about "if she writes a novel...". Ah yes. No comment!
In the meantime, a few deadlines for you:
Extended to April 30th: Short FICTION Third Annual New Writer competition: Prize is £300 plus publication in Issue 3 of Short FICTION (due out September 2009). Writers without fiction book publication (of novel or short stories) are eligible. Entries must be of previously unpublished work (in magazine or online). Submitted stories must be under 5000 words. There is no theme restriction.
May 11th: Commonwealth Short Short Story competition: Commonwealth citizens only. No entry fee, up to 3 entries, 600 words. Prize is £2000 for the overall winner, and £500 each for regional winners. I can personally recommend this competition (!). Free entry!!
Some paying lit mag submission deadlines (coincidentally, both are Australian!):
April 15th: Etchings: Theme: From Dusk til Dawn. Fiction, personal & creative essays, poetry, art, and photography for issues 7 and 8. Payment AU$75.
May 31st: Going Down Swinging: Poetry, short fiction or non-fiction, flash, comic art, graphic art. GDS pays contributors AUS $75 per short poem / comic or graphic art; $100 per short story / poem / comic over 4 pages. These fees are subject to funding, and may change without notice.
And thanks to Tom for this, in honour of National Poetry month. Love it.