Free Week!

I really need to get back to writing posts ahead of time.

This week my grandson is visiting. He’s just turning 7 weeks old, so he brought his mother and aunt.

As you can imagine, the time disappeared for writing and reading. All the new notes and ideas for WIPs which my mind has been working on and my fingers have made notes on were not placed in stories.

I stumbled across what seems like a good chance at a venue for one type of my works, but have not gotten past finding the particulars to submit.

Submissions; I am very bad about them anymore.

I used to go out with them when I wrote non-fiction articles and it paid off,  so why am I so bad about my non-fiction submissions?


Do/did you delay submissions?  I imagine once you have a regular publisher, (like I did with a willing, buying publication for articles), it is easier; you know them, they know you, you are more confident;it also went for my poems, but this is harder for me.

I was more secure in facts and the way to put down information that is easy to understand than I am with fiction, I suppose.
I know that I have been too detailed in one short story, I truly  know that. I knew it before I sent it, so go figure my reasoning…it simply wasn’t there. I know what needs to come out so I can send it out to likely publishers, but I haven’t done it.  I knew that the one publication where I sent a childrens’ story did not often publish rhying stoies, (which mine did, so no shock that it wasn’t picked up, but I never sent it back oout). The rest are good stories, hopefully executed fairly well. I have surprised myself when I reread them, but I am having trouble getting into the submission gear.

I fear that things may change and I won’t get myself going again before it is too late, be it do to my health, the economy, something changes in the family, something else…

I have yet to submit a novel-length work, so please share with me your experiences.

Did you, at first, shoot for big publishers?  Did you try small publishers to get a better chance? Did you try both? (I have ignored the “no simultaneous submissions” warnings for smaller pieces and non-fiction, which paid off. How would they know? Why make me wait nine months before I can try somewhere else? That is not fair.)

Did you know the publisher or someone there? Did you research publishers for a ‘good fit’?

Any general information would be encouraging to me, any info would be helpful, novel/novella-wise.

Meanwhile, I have been kicking back, more often with baby on lap! Here I have had houseguests, one whom I had never met, family in for dinner in two shifts, yet it’s been generally restful. Ben-the-Baby got to meet his uncle and cousins on this side.

Forgive my delayed answers; he’s leaving tomorrow, and I supposed, taking his mother and aunt with him again,
(although I am not completely sure about his aunt because she really seems to enjoy my cooking).

About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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14 Responses to Submissive

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    First of all, congratulations on the new life in your family. I saw at least one photo of you holding that bundle of joy.
    I believe most authors — except those big-selling names with one of the Top NYC publishing houses — have periods when it far more difficult to prepare and submit one’s writing. It can be scheduling issues, health issues, general personality issues (like my own procrastination), or a temporary wall of self-doubt. It can be some combination of those factors… and perhaps others not yet on my short list.
    Just as one very brief and ancient example, I was experiencing great reluctance in “sending out” any of my poems, anywhere — in the middle 1970s — and this was AFTER I’d already had some success in significant contests. In discussing this with my big brother, already published in his professional field, he said, “give me your six best poems and let me send them out for you.”
    I thought he was nuts… and figured I’d never hear anything, but I polished up those pieces and sent them to him. He went through his copy of Writer’s Market and found some possible matches.
    Well, guess what! He found a home for one of my favorite pieces — in a little literary quarterly in NM somewhere. No, that wasn’t the big time and I only got “paid” with a contributor copy, but one of my poems was published!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent! But what of your novels? That’s where I was seeking advice.


    • Jeff Salter says:

      I entered my second completed novel into many contests, even though — in retrospect — it was NOT in a condition to be submitted. I later overhauled it twice before it eventually got published.
      I submitted my 4th completed novel to several agents… only one of whom expressed interest, but that fizzled out.
      It was my 7th completed novel ms. which finally got the attention of a small publisher, who I learned about through a friend of a friend. That publisher liked the story but said it needed several major changes before she’d contract it. Was I willing to make the changes?
      YES. It was difficult, but I cut the parts the publisher and editor didn’t like, changed other sections they wanted changed, and re-submitted it.
      And there — I truly believe — was the actual turning point. Had I not been willing to make those adjustments, I may still — 9 years later — be waiting on a publisher. But I was willing — even though I didn’t particularly LIKE doing so — to change my “creation” to match the requirements of that publisher.
      From there, I’ve gone on to contract 19 more titles, including 15 full length novels.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Enjoy your family time! And after they’ve gone and you’ve cleaned up and reminisced, think about submitting. To borrow a phrase from Nike: just do it. To answer your question about who I submitted to first and how, I had a historical novel I’d been working on for seven or eight years. One of our former foxes, Joselyn Vaughn, belonged to my local writing group and learned about a call-out for novellas at Astraea Press (now Clean Reads). I wrote a short prequel to my novel, and fortunately they liked it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Patty, that’s what I needed to hear. You are right; I don’t understand why , when I have had no problems before getting things out there. I guess I’ll have to re-read the former guest who boosted my confidence, the psychologist, Dennis Palumbo!


  4. When I first started writing, I tried submitting to an agent instead of a publisher but soon found out that I wasn’t ready to have anything published. I was a novice at fiction writing. Then I started hearing from other writers who had experienced the same thing. After that, I kept writing and by the time I was ready to try again, I had three novels written. I took classes in writing fiction and kept in touch online in Facebook with all the other writers and authors I knew. I found a writers group to join and found many more writers like me.

    A Physician Assistant in the doctor’s office I worked in had a published friend. She gave me some advice about finding an agent, but it was a friend of hers who had gone the traditional and self-publishing routes who gave me the best advice, in my opinion. He said if I believed I’ve written the best work I can write at this time in my writing career, self-publish it. I did, and I’ve never turned back. Of course later on, I found that my work wasn’t where I wanted it to be, so I rewrote those three books and republished second editions.

    As for submitting, once I had an established place to submit my work, I’ve never hesitated. I write my stories, taking notes on index cards about what each scene is about instead of making an outline first (Yes, I’m a pantser). Then I go back through each chapter with a read-through, audio read-through, and editing program before I submit that chapter to my critique group. I’ve been with the ACFW Scribes critique loop for over two years and because of the system they have, I never hesitate to submit the chapter to them. When I’ve submitted every chapter and received every critique, then make the changes I think should be made, I do a final read-through and submit the ms to my professional editor. Once we’ve gone back and forth on all necessary changes, I’m very anxious to get that ms submitted for publication so I can get my proof to read as a book.

    I’ve laid all this out to show you that once you have a pattern that works for you, you follow it. It eliminates all the “what should I do next” hesitation. You get used to submitting your work. Maybe my system would help you, Tonette. It’s worth a try. I’ve never had writers block, and this may be why.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Love this quote and totally agree:
      “I’ve laid all this out to show you that once you have a pattern that works for you, you follow it. It eliminates all the “what should I do next” hesitation.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sharon, I have no problem writing in my head, and no trouble getting it down once I get in front of the computer,and get much more added then. It’s working for me and I am a firm believer in “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” How to write is not a problem. I appreciate the information about how you first got published, thanks.


  5. trishafaye says:

    I’ve also enjoyed seeing you having a good time with your visit on your FB posts.

    My submission rates also seem to ebb and flow with real-life influencing them far too much for my liking. My submissions for 2019 (for essays and articles) was the lowest for a long time. Only 24 submissions/queries over the year. I was determined that 2020 would be different! I started out good, with 10 submission in January. Then…this past month, with my own real-life issues and increased work for the PT job…only sent in TWO. Ugh!

    I haven’t submitted to any traditional publishers yet. I did have one book proposal that I was working on to send to a small press. I was about half way done with it – and the computer crashed and I lost it. That was 3-4 years ago. And I’ve never gone back to it. I have three ideas now for the same publisher….and still haven’t worked on getting the first one together. (Can you say ‘Master Procrastinator’ here?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Trisha, since we have the same birthday, can we (please) blame the stars??? LOL! You may as well have just added this to my post.
      I am so sorry for your lost work. I lost some good starts and parts when my computer crashed.Fortunately,I had saved the bigger pieces, but I learned to save, save, save.Thanks for the reminder; I need to save a few notes!
      Thanks for visiting and commenting,Trisha.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Elaine Cantrell says:

    My first published work was A New Leaf. I won a writing contest whose prize was publication of your novel. That gave me courage to submit to other publishers. I’ve always been published by small publishers, usually in both print and ebook. I think it’s hard to put your work out there because we don’t know how we’ll be received. Good luck with getting writing submitted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Elaine. Well, that’s the basis of all fears, I suppose. I have had enough of a defeatist background that once I simply go with it, the rejection is not all that hard; at least I tried.I just don’t try enough.I know that all BIG-TIME writers met with many rejections. I don’t think that is the problem.My first things were accepted pretty well. I’m out of the groove.


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