cathschaffstump: (Default)

It's been a while since I wrote up something about the works in progress. This is more for me, but if you like, you can read along. I'll hide it after the first one, so you don't have to, either.

The Winter the Troll Danced with Old Nick: Undergoing 3rd rewrite. Will be finished and ready to go out at least by August 7th. Damn it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from Writer Tamago.

cathschaffstump: (substance)
Upon closer inspection of the guidelines for Polyphony, I see that Wheatland Press disprefers simultaneous submissions, and since I have sent Sister Night, Sister Moon to Drollerie already, I will not send it to Wheatland at this time.

Because it's always good to follow what a potential publisher wants.

I will have to try to keep something aside for just them in the future.

cathschaffstump: (substance)

Tried to send Sister Night, Sister Moon to Drollerie Press, but their submission address and their webmaster address do not work. Any intelligence out there?

SNSM may have to wait for the Polyphony submission only...


ETA: I found their live journal address, and their address there seems to not bounce. That address is

editor @ drolleriepress. com

So, that's off. One more submission to send out for it in December.

ETA: Received rejection from Tamar Ellen Rydzinski of Laura Dail. Just keeping track.
cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
And now...

Rejection from Denise Shannon.

[ profile] sonyamsipes is sending a contract soon for Hulk Hercules.

And this:

I read 130 pages or so of your book. There is definitely something compelling about these two boys who are children, but speak like grown men. as well as the curse, demons in the form of animals, and the dark tone that pervades the whole story. But for me, it was a bit plodding, and I'm afraid young readers would find it even more so. Unless you can move things along a bit more quickly, I'm afraid it's a pass.

Followed by this from me:

I usually don't ask this question, but, given the unless statement in
your message about the pacing, I wonder if you would be interested in
seeing a faster paced rewrite of it? If you are, I'd be happy to send
it again after tweaking it a bit.

Followed by this:

I am definitely open to reading a revised version. As I said, there were
certain aspects to the book that I found compelling. So, feel free to send
it to me when you are finished.


This changes a lot. I'll finish and send off Sister Night, Sister Moon, then get back in the saddle with Substance of Shadows. This agent is worth courting, given her agency and connections. This is VERY good news. Not necessarily the easiest or the best news, but good news. I think it may sound familiar to many of you who have landed an agent, especially [ profile] frost_light. I consider this a rock moving up the furthest I've ever had it up the hill. At any rate, good news I think.

At the same time, there's the Hulk Hercules book, so soon it may look like I have plenty of writing to do in my spare time.

I'm putting off plans to send out more queries until after the revision of Substance is done and I've sent it back to Agent A. Agent B is still out there with a partial.

Keep taking rice cakes and sake to the gods of publishing. It seems to be working. And send me A LOT of caffeine, 'cause I still gots the day job, so I'll need energy.


PS Will talk about Fantasy Matters some too. It was very, very good, and I got to see some cool people. I could go to conferences like that every weekend, but I would turn into a well-educated sleepy zeppelin.
cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
Since there were moments of brain fry today, I took to cleaning out my email box, paring it down to a fraction of the messages in it.

I have already mentioned [ profile] manzabar's long forgotten email about podcasting, which gave me a venue to send out one story.

My other sweetheart/champion of the day is [ profile] scieppan, who sent me several links to several artistic/speculative fiction sites. I've settled on sending Sister Night, Sister Moon to two venues simultaneously: Drollerie Press and Wheatland Press, both of which are well known and prestigious. Publication in either is a worthy endeavor.

So, as soon as that story is done, I have a couple of places to send to. Thanks, Jools.

Time for some plans, then.

List for Author Girl )

All subject to change depending on contracts, paying gigs, etc.

Sure I'm gonna get rejected some. But isn't this fun? It's so nice to be doing this!

cathschaffstump: (substance)
Just sent off The Initiation Rites and Incantations of the Vampire Killers Junior Auxiliary to Pod Castle.

[ profile] manzabar sent me information about these sites that podcast short stories some time ago, but Pseudopod was horror and Escape Pod was science fiction. Now that they're launching PodCastle, there was a venue for fantasy. They like humor too, so we'll see.

Here's the website in case any of you are interested.

ETA: A very quick rejection.
cathschaffstump: (isis)
Today out to William Reiss of John Hawkins and Associates, Jenoyne Adams and James Levine of Levine Greenberg (online form, so you get everyone), and Jennifer Carlson of Dunow, Carlson, and Lerner. Now, must finish getting partial out to Agent B.

Next week, I begin the round of AAR agents who disprefer email.

Tonight: actual writing. Be there or be square. I'll be there and be square.


ETA: Already rejected from William Reiss!
cathschaffstump: (isis)
So, here's what agent A had to say about multiple submissions:

We rather frown upon exclusive submissions at ***, and never ask for them. We are supposed to be writers' advocates, after all, and this just decreases their chances of finding a suitable agent. Feel free to send your manuscript elsewhere, and let the competition it causes among agents be our problem!

So, I've learned something new. In your writerly experience, do you find that this is more often the case? Why do some agents still ask for exclusive submissions? I'd love to hear some discussion, especially from the established writers and agents who might be reading.

cathschaffstump: (Default)
Request for a partial. However, am checking with full request first. Special circumstances make it challenging to find posted views on exclusive query rights for this individual, so am exercising caution as better part of valor.

But two. :) Again, more to come after resolution.

Sisyphus has one rock ready to roll after the first rock rolls back down! Sisyphus is pleased.

cathschaffstump: (isis)
Sisyphus has rolled the rock further up the hill than before. She has had a request for a FULL manuscript. From a pretty potent agency as well.

Sisyphus will enjoy that for a while. Oh yeah. If the rock rolls down farther this time, given this agency, it was just an honor to be asked. Details forthcoming at resolution.

Thanks to all of you who helped with query and manuscript. And wish me luck. Take sweet rice cakes and sake to the gods who work to publish Cath, that sort of thing.


cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
Just received rejection from Daniel Lazar via his assistant.

Sent out another 5 queries: Ted Malawer of Firebrand, Tamar Ellman Rydzinski of Laura Dail, Kate Menik of Howard Morhaim, Shana Cohen of Stuart Krichevsky, and Russell Galen of Scovil Chichak Galen.

Whew. What a day. Work. 'Nuf said.

cathschaffstump: (isis)
I've sent Mistoreth's Eyes to Abyss and Apex. A November read for a January issue. More about Abyss and Apex here:

I've found a great spot for fantasy short story market information:

Didn't see anything that really looked appropriate for The Initiation Rites and Incantations of the Vampire Killers Junior Auxiliary, so I'll sit on that until opportunity comes along.


Now, to post Sister Night, Sister Moon up at the writer's group. This weekend I'll do some reading and get some ideas around for the website revamp.

cathschaffstump: (Default)
Good night, Jessica Regel. Thank you for the fast reply. Added Diane Shannon to the list of out there.

[ profile] ilona_andrews, thank you also for the fast reply.

Tonight: planning and plotting something new.

Good luck, NaNoers on NaNo Eve! Don't forget to leave your stockings out for data sticks!

cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
I'll be reviewing the premium member version of as soon as I've gone home and played with my new toy.

Meanwhile, nothing to see here except a finished novel and a rewritten query.

Who's got a good link to information on synopses: conventions and warnings?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
I thought I might squeeze in more writing time last night, but then I had a phone call from a longwinded, pedantic friend who decided to talk to me about, among many things, his own stab at being a writer some years ago. Since he quit after a mere 16 rejections, clearly he was wise to go into something else.

Certainly, however, he had a valid point. How do you keep at it while you're working another job? Because almost all of us do, and it actually gets worse when you get published, doesn't it?

So, I guess it's stubbornness, desire, and motivation. I was talked down to, however, because in my time, all this must be so much easier and less time consuming than it used to be. Back when he walked up hill. To school. In the snow. Both ways. Carrying a typewriter.

Dude, the tools make it easier, yeah. But the time you put in is still pretty intensive. Especially if you write novels, and not short stories. As in one short story. Ever.

And that's all I'm saying about that. While I was talking to him, I sifted through some more agents. With my SUPERIOR WRITING TOOLS! Bwah ha ha!


Part 2 of the conversation. Do you get published under any circumstances, just to say you have been? If that's the case, thanks to the Iowa Arts Council I am so in! But these days, I want to guard my career carefully and choose wisely. I'm not talking about buying my way into publication. That is verboten. My friend was impressed that he had been published once and had received complimentary copies as a payment. It was another reason to be pompous.

However, another author, upon giving me advice, suggested that if you get paid less than $500 for a short story, you're doing yourself a disservice. Yet another friend said that if you can get published in a prestigious venue, regardless of payment, you should. I believe too that there are good causes: the aforementioned Iowa Arts Council gig which netted Schaff-Stump a $50 honorarium, but made money for flood relief. Or getting in on the ground floor of something. Or good exposure. All sorts of things. What do you think?

Meanwhile, no new rejections, BUT a seriously interesting and cool offer that I'm THINKING about carefully.

While I'm at it, thanks to [ profile] ilona_andrews for helping Schaff-Stump think about the hook in her query. Conflict? I am so a sub-plot girl! Did conflict for the individual book, rather than the whole series, even occur to me?

So, before the next query goes out (and I think I've got time, because I think I'm through all the trigger finger email back agents ;P ) I'll recraft that puppy.

Crumbs. Time to weigh in.

cathschaffstump: (substance)
I wrote to Nathan Bransford just to get it out of the way. I had my rejection in hand in five minutes. As I mentioned, I expected one from him, and one from Ellenberg, if I get a reply from Ellenberg in two weeks at all. BTW, [ profile] manzabar, I forgot to mention that Ellenberg is John Scalzi's agent. I know how you feel about him!

I don't necessarily expect a rejection from my next query, Kathleen Bransford, who is both a fantasy and a young adult agent. I feel my chances are more on an even keel there. Those who have corresponded with her have good things to say.


You know, what is interesting about using a tool like Query Tracker is that you really can research agents thoroughly, and since I'm not approaching this from a desperation angle (I'm determined to find an agent with a good fit) I've easily ruled out agents that have been rude to others often, weird, philosophically unaligned (can you see Substance being represented by a fundamentalist Christian?), or who aren't shopping for my genre.

I would like an agent, but not at any cost. It's like considering a hire from this angle as well. If I get a bad vibe, or a place doesn't feel suitable, I'm not hooking up.


The slush pile is hardly a reality yet. I've searched and found 216 agents. Thirty of them do not accept unreferred writers. That gives me 186, of which I've discarded 5 and queried 9. Two are still out there. Seven are nos. That gives me a whole 172 agents left to query. That could keep me busy for a bit.

So, the plan is first AAR/email agents. Then AAR/snail mail. Why? Ease, pretty much. I'd also like an ecologically friendly work place if I can get it. Then nonAAR/email. Then nonAAR/snail mail. Pretty straightforward.

Will I do the slush pile if all this comes to naught? Realistically, all could come to naught. I probably will. I could sit on the manuscript, or I could try for the longshot. I'll have the rest of my life to sit on the manuscript, and if I have a book deal in hand, it might leverage an agent.

All right. Enough of this for today. Back to the students, the emails, and the planning.


(to quote Donkey from Shrek: Pick me! Pick me!)
cathschaffstump: (isis)
Good bye to Stephen Barbara, who thought I had a good query letter, but that the project was wrong.

Hello to Ethan Ellenberg. I will wait until Halloween for Mr. Ellenberg, because if I haven't heard in that 2 week period, I won't.

Next up: Nathan Bransford.

Earnestly, I don't expect Ellenberg or Bransford. They are very popular and get a ton of submissions. But, you gotta knock on the doors, right?

Ooookay. Dinner, papers for tomorrow, and a chapter of actual editing. Seriously.

BTW, this:

has pretty much eliminated my need to do a big list of agents. While I'll still look through Agent Query and Preditors and Editors, this service found me 216 agents to research AND helps me keep track of my queries. I will, as soon as I get the chance, send them $25 dollars to support the site. I could do it for free, but then I'd be a lowlife, and that wouldn't be cool.

At least email makes the whole query/rejection process so much faster. Remember kids, just because it's getting rejected doesn't mean it's not good. It means a lot of things, but it doesn't mean that.

cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
Next submission of Substance to Stephen Barbara of Donald Maass. Here's hoping that he will like the fact that one of my main characters is named Stephan...

I understand his turn over is also quick. Stay tuned.

cathschaffstump: (gossamer)
Received rejection from Kristen Nelson of the Nelson Agency. That's 3. Two requests for partial.

Next up: Maya Rock of Writer's House. Maya is very well affiliated, even if she's not in AAR yet. However, most of the agents she works with are, and I'm convinced it's a matter of time for her.

More about Maya here:

Just gotta keep going! It stings, and I can sure see why people quit. Rejection is no fun as a lifestyle, is it? :D



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