Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Find Your Writing Niche

While I was getting a short horror story ready for a contest this week, Black Petals, an online ezine, accepted one of my other horror stories.

I am so excited, it's difficult to conduct my regular life. I found myself giggling at work this morning, all the angst of writing forgotten for a brief celebratory moment. However, sanity is returning. With validation for my work, I'm doubly determined to edit and send out my manuscripts. 2015 will be my year.

One thing I've learned through the process of sending out my babies, is to pay strict attention to the type of writing that agencies accept. In my initial foray into magazines, I thought all horror was the same. Oh, pity this foolish woman. 

The contest I just entered gave the following categories of horror: gothic, dark fantasy, erotic, noir, psychological, quiet/soft, and suspense. Wow! I had no idea in which group my story fell. 

The choice of an online magazine that might consider my work was difficult. When I read through representative stories looking at the writing style, obvious sub-genre differences leaped out at me. I crossed those off my list.

Similarly, when choosing a place to submit my books, I've been told to look for books like mine and see who published them. If a publisher is making money from a certain type of book, they'll be looking for more of the same.

I've also gotten good ideas about places to submit my work from my online writing groups, SinC, Guppies, RWA, FF&P. It pays to become part of a writing community whose members have succeeded. Most authors are generous and enjoy helping out the newbies. 

My biggest asset has been my in-person writing group. We meet weekly, discuss our work, pass on writing tips, and cheer each other on. The ezine who accepted my story came from one of their tips. 

It's all about finding your niche, finishing your manuscript, and sending out.

Have a wonderful holiday.

And always -- Keep writing!

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