Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Story submissions

Sent the baseball story to F&SF

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Folks, I’m glad that editor C.C. Finlay said in his post announcing his guest editorship for the July/August issue of the greatly respected Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF for short) that he wanted to see some humor, because that’s what I do best.  And after first readying the other story for F&SF (all I can tell you is that it’s science fiction, as that one’s off to the Writers of the Future contest, as I said before), I wasn’t sure what I could polish up in time to send, under the circumstances.

Then I remembered the baseball story.

I wrote the baseball story a couple of years ago for a humor anthology. It didn’t work for the editor of that anthology, possibly because it was shorter than I’d envisioned and cut it down to fit the anthology requirements. But once I’d fleshed it out, I sent it to a few of my writer-friends . . . and they laughed.

Mission accomplished, right?

Well, partially. You still have to make sure you send in a clean manuscript, which is why the “dusting and polishing” phase is mandatory, and you have to make sure you conform to whatever the formatting is the editor in question wants.

Here, that was not onerous; the editor wanted more-or-less standard formatting (double-spaced, Times New Roman or another font that’s unobtrusive, identifying marks as appropriate in case the story is printed out and the pages get separated, etc.). But sometimes it can be really interesting to get to that last phase — for example, if an editor wants a single-spaced manuscript with underlines around italics (yes, I’ve seen this, and as it’s actually how I tend to write e-mail because I’ve been writing e-mail since the Internet was first popularized — don’t tell anyone I’m actually that old, will you?), you have to give the editor what he wants or you have zero shot to sell a story to him.

(Or her.)

Anyway, the baseball story is off — and in case you’re wondering, it’s because of working on not one but two stories this past week that I wasn’t able to review anything over at Shiny Book Review. So do look for a book review (or maybe two, if I’m feeling ambitious) late next week . . . just in time for the deep freeze gripping much of the United States (and most definitely my home state of Wisconsin) to ease up a trifle.

So if you live anywhere in the frigid zone, do what I plan to do: Stay home, put up your feet, watch the Green Bay Packers game later today, then read several good books. That’s by far your safest option . . .

. . . but if you must go out, be sensible and have an emergency kit along for the ride (at bare minimum, the kit should include a blanket, some water, and some food in case of emergencies; if you have a candle, bring that along as well).

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Finished Short Story and Sent it off to UFO Anthology

with one comment

Folks, the “UFO Anthology” referenced above is actually UNIDENTIFIED FUNNY OBJECTS — an anthology that accepts either science fiction or fantasy short stories, providing they are funny.  I sent in a funny urban fantasy story that’s about baseball; I don’t know what they’ll think about it, but I do know that it at least has the virtue of being original.  (Not many urban fantasies written about baseball these days, for reasons that elude me.)

Now, this was more difficult than I’d expected, considering that my main claim to fame (such as it is) is due to being a funny fantasist.  (ELFY, if you can say nothing else about it, is funny.  It’s meant to be.  I did that on purpose, even.)

Why was this, you ask?  (Maybe you didn’t ask.  But I’ll answer anyway.)  Simple — I came down with a sinus infection several weeks ago.  I was finally diagnosed last week, and got some antibiotics; only after taking antibiotics for several days was I able to finish up my latest urban fantasy story.

The good news is that I was able to complete my story on time; the bad news, as always, is that I wasn’t invited to submit to this anthology.  (I don’t have anywhere near the name recognition for that, nor the story sales to back me up, nor anything except sheer cussedness and a dab hand for urban fantasy to recommend me.)  And thus far, over 700 people in addition to those invited into the anthology have submitted stories; only a handful of stories have been accepted, at most, with another handful being debated among the editors for possible inclusion.

** Edited to add:  The official stats, from Alex S.’s blog post of 8/22/12, are these:  745 stories had been read.  18 stories were accepted totaling 55,600 words in length; 19 stories were held in round 3 (meaning they’re still being debated among the editors), totaling 35,000 words.  Now back to our regularly scheduled post.

How do I know this, you ask?  Well, Alex Shvartsman, through his blog, has given excellent updates throughout the process as to what he’s taking, why he’s taking it, and what he really doesn’t want to see any more of if he can help it.  (Fortunately for me, baseball stories were not among his “thou-shalt-nots.)

If you’re like me, though, and finished your story up the day before the anthology closed, then sent it in before the anthology was officially declared closed (as it says quite clearly that the “anthology window” is between July 1 and August 31, 2012), you can still get your story in if you hustle.  Go to the link provided above (click on UNIDENTIFIED FUNNY OBJECTS), follow the directions, and submit your story.

Otherwise, wish my little baseball-oriented urban fantasy well, will you?

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm