I have a cold. That explains in part why I'm a day late with this weekly update.
This past weekend was Heppner's Wee Bit 'O Ireland celebration, one of the two biggest events in our small town's year. For me, that mainly meant making sure the local stores were stocked with plenty of gelato. That translated into hours spent churning those dozens of pints...only to turn around this week and realize I need to start all over again.
Throw in a funeral on Wednesday and a few church obligations, and my body was ripe for the cold virus my niece and nephew brought to us during the middle of the week. Saturday, the day of the big festivities, saw me with sinuses ready to burst a nose leaking like a faucet. My darling daughter was not much better off.
It took me three days to re-enter the land of the living. Three days is a pretty good record for me and colds, but seemed interminable when combined with an active 2-year-old and my pregnancy-enforced absence of meds. That's right...no Nyquil, Dayquil, Robitussin. No meds.
So, not a lot of writing got done this past week. That doesn't mean nothing got done. Remember that short story I wrote a week or so ago? I wrote it with Woman's World in mind, and last week I emailed them for their fiction guidelines. I received a response yesterday. For those who are interested, I'll post their fiction guidelines below. From what I hear, it could take several attempts to break in; the number of submissions they receive is phenomenal. They pay pretty darn well, though, especially for this economy, so it's worth the effort.
As for tonight's writer's group...I've missed the past two weeks and I'm not sure how I'll feel about it tonight after a day playing catch-up. We'll see how it pans out.
We buy contemporary romances of 800 words. Stories must revolve around a compelling, true-to-life relationship dilemma; may feature either a female or male protagonist; and may be written in either the first or third person. Characters may be married, single, divorced or widowed; should be down-to-earth (no yuppies or jet-setters); and their dilemma should be poignantly or humorously conveyed. Please think carefully about a story's setting, mood and plot, and tell the story with interesting action and dialogue. (Every sentence, paragraph, and scene of the story should deliver more information about your characters and their situation and/or briskly advance the storyline).
We are not interested in stories involving life-or-death matters, nor are we interested in fluffy, flyaway-style romance. When we say romance, what we really mean is relationship--whether it's just beginning or is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The emphasis in our stories is on real life-which is why we do not buy science fiction, fantasy or historical romance.
We pay $800 per romance and retain First North American Serial Rights for six months after publication.
Mini mystery guidelines:
We purchase short "solve-it-yourself" mysteries of 700 words--a count that includes the narrative and the solution. Stories should be cleverly plotted, entertaining cliffhangers that end with a challenge to the reader to figure out whodunnit or howdunnit. The solution to the mystery is provided in a separate box.
Robbery, burglary, fraud and murder are acceptable subjects, but spare the readers any gory details or excessive violence, please! We are also not interested in ghost stories, science fiction or fantasy.
We pay $500 per mystery and retain First North American Serial Rights for six months after publication.
Manuscripts should be double-spaced in legible size type.
Where to send manuscripts: Fiction Editor, Woman's World, 270 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632. Indicate Mini Mystery or Romance on the envelope.
How to send manuscripts: (1) You must include a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope to receive a reply. Manuscripts not accompanied by a SASE will be discarded. Note: A #10 SASE is necessary not just for a response, but for your contract if we purchase your story. (2) Please DO NOT fax or e-mail manuscripts--because such submissions do not include SASEs, we have no means of responding to your submission.
Get to know us: Please familiarize yourself thoroughly with our romances and mini mysteries before submitting your work.
Be patient: Because we receive a tremendous volume of manuscripts, our turnaround time may range from one to six months. If you still have not heard from us after that time, feel free to re- submit your manuscript. Please do not call or write us to inquire about a manuscript's status.