Wednesday, June 29, 2011


As optimistic as I try to be (I'm one of those people who strive on turning a negative into a positive) the last couple of days have been a true tester of my resilience. Not one, two or three, but eight story rejections! That has to be some kind of record - perhaps that is the positive? I don't think so.

The increase in writers and the dwindling of magazines publishing stories is making it increasingly difficult to secure that elusive acceptance. What are the options?

Option 1 - Accept that the battle is already lost and hang up the pen. This option I would prefer other writers to take, which in theory should reduce the supply of stories therefore increasing the demand for my stories (laughing).

Option 2 - Focus on giving my stories the edge. Write to create a story which stands out from the rest, for all the right reasons. Revise and edit until I am true to myself and know it is a publishable story. Resubmit my stories. As I remember it was only a couple of weeks ago the same story I sent three times to the same publisher  was finally accepted, there is a glimmer of hope.

I choose Option 2.

So, in conclusion, I will continue to be optimistic and I will turn this negative into a positive by using those rejections to challenge myself to become a better writer.

At the end of the day, despite the dwindling short story market and the mountain of rejections, I know what I want - I want to write!

Keep on writing ....

Saturday, June 25, 2011


As writers we eventually develop our own writing processes for each stage of the creation of our story. The page is blank. You know you want to write a story, but where do you start?

I have been guilty many times of procrastinating. I know what I want but I run around in circles searching for that starting point, or worse still I busy myself with other things which shifts my mind’s focus. I’ve come to realise this doesn’t achieve anything, because I’m only satisfied when I accomplish the goal I set. Wasting time procrastinating is a useless endeavour. I’ve learned I am a much happier person when I set myself a goal and just do it!

The first thing I do is believe in myself. I trust that the material for my story will present itself. Armed with this belief and trust I search for the inspiration that will plant the seed of my story:

Ideally an idea pops into my head; the jist of a story.

If I am completely lost (more often than not) I set myself a project. It could be a specific genre, word count or a story with a twist. I read a lot of short stories and set myself a task of writing a story to the guidelines of a specific magazine.

I search for inspiration by going for a walk and becoming the observer. I watch the characters in my outside world and the situations that unfold. I ask myself a lot of ‘what ifs’.

Watching television, reading newspapers, magazines, fiction and non-fiction books stirs up my creative juices and sparks up ideas. It could be something that is thought provoking, moves me emotionally, something I’m passionate about, something funny, intriguing or mysterious that makes me wonder and ask questions. It may give me ideas for a beginning, middle, ending or simply a title to a story. I take whatever comes and build from there. Once there are words on my page and I have something to work with, there is hope.

Your story won’t write itself. Believe and trust in your ability as a writer and search for inspiration. Don’t think about it – JUST DO IT!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I have to say that I am impressed with all the readers and writers who have put an effort in and joined the crusade to bring back fiction to women’s magazines. THANK YOU!

The facebook page, Bring Back Fiction to Women’s Magazines, begun by Julie Phillips has reached 74 members, and growing.

People have commented on the various magazines facebook pages and have written letters to the editors of the magazines. On a positive note some of these magazines have read these requests and have passed on the request to see fiction returned.

If you are interested in saving the short story and bringing back fiction to women’s magazines please post your comment on the magazines’ facebook pages and write letters to the editors.

The magazines that I know of who have dropped fiction are:

Australia – The Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day and New Idea.

UK - Chat, That's Life, Best, Bella, Woman, Woman's Own, The Lady, Take A Break (weekly) and Candis.

We are a huge voice when we stand united, and I believe if we all put an effort in to make our voice heard we will achieve positive results!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Further to my post SAVING THE SHORT STORY MARKET, I have made an attempt to show the magazines that we are interested in reading short stories by leaving messages on their facebook pages. I’ve included some links and am hoping you too can show your support by visiting Facebook and ‘liking’ my comment, adding to it or creating a comment of your own: (Australian Women’s Weekly) (Pat Posner started the comment for Woman magazine – thank you Pat)

If the UK short story writers would be kind enough to post some links to the magazines that have stopped publishing fiction it would be greatly appreciated, and I would be more than happy to express my interest in short stories being again published in their magazines. THANK YOU! J

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I enjoy reading short stories and I enjoy writing short stories. I write because I am passionate about it. Writing puts my head in a good place. When you are passionate about something, you persevere and you never ever give up.

How precious is that feeling when a publisher accepts your story? How gratifying is it when an editor feels your story is so good that they want to pay you? How exciting is it seeing your story in print and knowing so many people are going to read it? EXTREMELY!

I (and I am sure there are many others) am painfully aware that the supply of stories exceeds the demand. Unless you’ve been living under a rock on a planet in a galaxy far, far away you would have noticed that the short story market is dwindling. We’ve lost far too many markets. It is disheartening as competition to get published becomes fiercer than it has ever been. What to do?

Persevere - Improve your skills. Read, read, read, write, write, write and read and write some more. It’s time to raise that proverbial bar. Don’t be disheartened or panic; polish your story until it shines. Set yourself a goal to be one of those writers that other writers envy.

Be Proactive – If we, our family, friends, acquaintances and neighbours write into magazines showing an interest in reading short stories this will bring back the demand for the short story.

We can hope, wish and some may even pray for the short story market to improve, or we can do something about it – at the least we have to try.

Meanwhile… keep on writing and never ever give up!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I have to admit the marketing side of writing takes me completely out of my comfort zone. The butterflies in my stomach go crazy as they collide into each other not really knowing which way to fly. So, out of the way butterflies, as marketing is a part of writing and something I need to do. Here I go:-

DREAM KEEPER is a contemporary fantasy novel. The dream travellers’ desires to fulfil what is missing in their waking world imprison them in their dreams. Dream Keeper is building his kingdom; The Dream Tunnels. People are falling asleep and not waking up. How was Senior Investigator Macarthur T Egan supposed to apprehend and arrest someone who popped in and out of dreams? DREAM KEEPER is about our desires and the consequences. It is also about facing our fears!

DREAM KEEPER is available at a pre-release price through the publisher at for $US13.50 plus postage.

Happy reading....