I put my story in the mail Dec. 5 - not up against the deadline, but not too early, either. The 'twins' story is my entry for this quarter (which I'm going to put in the mail tomorrow). This HM is for a story called "The Wedding."
It looks from the press release that the rest of the honorable mentions will be announced next week, so if you're not on this list, you don't have long to wait for the next one.
[This message has been edited by JenniferHicks (edited March 04, 2010).]
The same thing happened last quarter - it was published elsewhere first. If I remember correctly, it took a day or three more for the blog to update.
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The list is legit (and I'm not just saying that because I'm on it <g> ). At my newspaper job, I keep an eye on all the press releases and articles that move on our wires system, and the WoTF release was in there. I wouldn't have known to look for it, otherwise. Its source is prnewswire.com, which distributes press releases for just about everything.
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Thank you for all the kind words, but honestly, I'm a little embarrassed because that wasn't what I was looking for when I started the thread. If anyone is deserving of praise, it's Brad and Skadder, who both won the contest. And there might be among us a semi-finalist or finalist this quarter, but it isn't me. My purpose with this thread was to find out whether anyone else from Hatrack was on the first list. It sounds like most of the others who entered did so late in the quarter, though, so we won't know more until next week.
[This message has been edited by JenniferHicks (edited March 05, 2010).]
From rejections to HM among a lot of serious works submitted- that means your story caught the eye of many of the famous authors and serious critiquers in an already competitive contest. They saw *something* good.
I'm not on that list and have yet to hear anything. I suspect I'll get a reject because the fantasy element isn't introduced until about the bottom of page 3. Probably chose the wrong story to send in.
Must finish the polish on the story for Q2 as the deadline is looming.
And here I thought I was on top of things for posting about the advance leaks of the second set of Q01 honorable mentions. Guess I only missed first post by about 7 hours though. lol. Congrats, everyone! Great job!
[This message has been edited by WriterDan (edited March 19, 2010).]
I saw that, too, Snapper. I've always heard that about 10 percent of entries per quarter reach the level of honorable mention or higher. Maybe the "thousands" is referring to the number of entries over the entire span of the contest.
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quote:Is that a 1000, plural? Coudl it be they get a lot more entries than previously believed? Don't ever believe I have heard anyone at WotF ever give any hint on how many stories they get a quarter.
I believe I heard on a few occasions that the amount of entries varied a lot by quarters, but on average it was between six and eight hundred. Could be that this was one of the big quarters or as mentioned by someone else, it could be a reference to the entire amount of entries over the year.
quote:My understanding is that HM is generally the top 10-15%. Still goes down as a rejection on my spreadhseet, though. However, the last time I got an HM, the story sold to a pro-rate market on the next submission, so fingers crossed for a repeat of that.
You are right about the percentage. I am still shopping my HM from the last time I entered about a year ago, but the problem with mine I think is the word count. It was pretty long, also it is milieu based, and I have since altered some info now that the milieu has been further developped and therefore it has made the story a little off according to my world so I have since tossed it to the side.
I realize that K.D. Wentworth has to read all the entries and therefore doesn't have time to offer her crit on anything but the semifinalist, but I wish there we could at least get the point system she uses like 7/15 or whatever, but even more valuable and seemingly reasonable request would be for her to list the elements she judges and just a simple checkmark next to the elements she conidered needed strengthening. It seems that she would make notes like these anyway simply for her own use in refering back to the stories that she read. I would be thrilled to get that simple report card. I think writers would really find that valuable to their advancement and it wouln'd be that difficult for her to do. Hell, she could even make a stamp with
with a simple numerical value assigned that she could pen in, that would be absolutely great in my opinion.
Granted there are stories according to her, that she knows pretty much in the first two pages that is going to get chucked to the reject pile, but even to know that was the fate of your story would be a valuable thing to know about your story.
I really can't complain though. I have enormous respect for her ability to read all those stories and still maintain a succesful writing career. She did say that even if she knows it is bound for the bin, she still reads them all through to the end. Not even slushpile readers give us that honor.
[This message has been edited by Bent Tree (edited March 20, 2010).]
Having graded a number of papers in my career, you would not believe the amount of mental energy and time it takes me just to assign a number to a piece of writing. It's even worse if I also have to figure out which element - exactly - isn't quite working. It certainly isn't as bad as a full critique, but it takes long enough that I would hesitate to ask for it even for just the HMs.
That said, of course it drives me crazy when I can't figure out for myself why a piece HM'ed. What did I do right? What did I do wrong? Argh. :-)
I see your point Kay-Ti. Fotunantly or not, I typically understand my failings, once I look at them, but comparing notes with the judge is always nice
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Wasn't me! Twas Kitti. Similar, but different people entirely.
I'd love to have some clue why a story of mine was rejected vs. HM'd, or even more detail, but there's simply no way. I know from reading Flash Fiction Online slush I often reject in the first few paragraphs (though in our case because stories are 1000 words or less, that may mean 20% of the way through the story or more.) I can't always put my finger on why, though I do give some kind of wording around my rejections to the coordinating editor. Usually things like unlikable MC, laughable/unbelievable premise, gross, annoyed by withholding, issues with writing/communication (e.g., excessive use of colloquial spellings.) I imagine KDW has her own list that is something along the lines of what you posted, Bent. Plot, characterization, plausibility, grammar/language use, etc.
My second consecutive HM. Considering the level of talent I was up against, I'd say I did a decent job.
Of course, that story is back in circulation already. In fact, I just got back. Normally, taking my packaged story from my job to the post office across the street is called "The Walk of Joy." Today, I renamed it: "Drive in the Rain Because I Left My Jacket at Home...But Still I Drive with a Sense of Joy." I'll work on shortening the title some other time.
I once asked Kathy if she'd consider putting an "X" at the spot where she stopped reading the story. Simple, I thought, and effective in relaying information to the author. She declined, mostly on the idea that there would be some people out there that freaked out that she had written on their manuscript (in a bad way). Jim Hines backed her up, so I dropped it. Anyhow, I've been told that Kathy will make hand-written comments on the top of HM's that got very close to the semi-finalist pile. Just read that last week or so. I got one of those two quarters ago and it made me totally re-evaluate that story. From what I understand, comments like that are about all the feedback she does give, and/or will give, to non-semi-finalists.
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Well, I marked my MS as disposable, and only sent a #10 SAE, so I'm not expecting anything.
In general, the advice of any editor who has rejected a story should be looked on cautiously. Just because they dislike it or stop reading does not necessarily mean that another editor will do the same (as noted, my first WOTF entry got an HM, then a pro-rate sale at its second market: whereas this one has already been rejected by one pro-rate market but was described as "probably the best-written story I have ever had to reject" so I have some hope for it yet).
Unless it is pretty obvious a story has a major flaw, I don't consider revising until I've had 5 or 6 rejections. Rewriting to the taste of an editor who's already rejected it, after all, is pointless, and runs the risk of changing something that another editor might actually have liked more.
I guess all you can do is write the best story possible and hope for the best. Still, makes me wonder how many really good stories are out there... I assume the 15 non winners of the quarter all submit to other sources and put "semi-finalist" or "finalist" in their query letter making them stand out even further.