Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Archive for September 29th, 2010

Furiously trying to finish a story for WotF

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My blog once again has been suffering this week, partly because I’m doing my best to finish a story in time for the 9/30/10 deadline for the Writers of the Future contest.  I have done a great deal, but I still have at least three or four more solid hours of work to go, providing the story continues to hold together — only then can I send it off with a clear conscience.

I don’t know how much longer I’ll be eligible for WotF, as once a novel (not a novella, a full-fledged novel, something over 60 K words) is published with my name on it, I will be ineligible.  This could happen soon; I am holding a positive thought.  Which is why this particular quarter might be the very last time I am definitely eligible for the contest . . . and it’s why I am working as hard as I can to bring a story together, so I can say I entered every quarter I had something ready until I was declared ineligible.

I suppose I should give some context here.  My first entry into the Writers of the Future contest was the Winter quarter of 2002 — which is their first quarter, the end of December deadline.  And I have entered more often than not ever since, mostly entering stories I’ve written alone, but sometimes entering co-written stories.   I’ve never received an honorable mention, much less semi-finalist or finalist status, yet thousands of people enter the WotF contest every quarter, and I know the only way to win a prize (they give three) is to enter.  Which is why despite how frustrating it’s been over the years to never get any recognition at all, I have kept at it.

Basically, to be eligible for WotF, you have to have three stories or fewer published — full credit stories in magazines that have circulations of over 5,000 people, or at an online publication where your story has received 5,000 hits.  The places that are known to meet this criteria are those that are Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America-eligible also — some of those include the Grantville Gazette, the Intergalactic Medicine Show, Strange Horizons, Apex, Fantasy magazine, the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Asimov’s, and Analog.    As I have only one-half a story credit by that measure (I’ve sold three stories, all co-written with my late husband Michael; two of them do not count by WotF standards as they do not meet SFWA guidelines of 5,000 circulation or 5,000 hits), I would only become ineligible when I either sold three stories on my own (or six more co-written stories with Michael or anyone else), or if I published more than one novella (so far I haven’t any novellas), or more than one novelette (only one of my stories, co-written with Michael, is even close to that), all with a full credit.  But a novel, whether it’s co-written or not, will immediately disqualify me no matter what — and something I’m working on now may go over the 60K word count and be published sooner rather than later.

At any rate, that’s what I’ve been up to, along with researching two different, disparate stories (one being the fourth “Columba” tale, which I discussed last week); that leaves very little time available for my blog.

But as soon as I have something that interests me after I’ve completed the story for WotF, I’ll be blogging away again — no worries about that.  So watch this space, as I might just surprise myself.

Written by Barb Caffrey

September 29, 2010 at 10:50 pm