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  • Wanna Review Something?

    Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    Feel that you aren’t getting enough readers, I certainly am!

    I don’t know if i’m actually any good, although my self critisism implies i’m not, but still every one wants to know are they good or not?

    Here’s an option, provide a link to a story your proud of, or even your entire collection. I trust most people on here are constructive, most are lovely!

    Even if no body posts on this thread, bar myself, you have the option here!

    To start us off, my name is Stewart, I write under the name Icarus Fell. All I’ve written is ready for critisism and review, i’m ready for it all. Help a fellow writer out, read some work that may be different to yours. In reality it doesn’t matter, we are writers! It is not an occupation but an action!

    (Too cliche’d? Probably but you get the point! Help a writer out, read, review and criticize if you think it’ll teach! But always be courteous )

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  • Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    In a world making so many demands upon my time, I cannot always read and comment.  I yearn to hear from others who may have found my work, continue to submit when I am able to give it the time it deserves and understand your feelings.  I gave up trying to read each and everyone of the stories posted.  Some are not interesting to me, but I admire the spirit that urged the authors to write and get it out there.  Our stories are being published on Shortbread and will be somewhere forever now.  Someone will remember and perhaps tell a child later that it reflected the times.  so we can do no more than write and read.  I vow to try to read and comment more.  Keep writing Stewart.Patsy Liles

  • Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    Hi everyone

    Not really sure where to start, but I would like to be a part of this. Icarus, I’ll read some of your stories and review. And anyone else who would like me to.

    In return, could you check out some of my mine?

  • Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    I’ve been without access to most of my internets functions (emails, websites etc) and imagine my surprise to return to so many responces. I thank everyone, for providing me with some marvelous knowledge!

  • Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    Right on Nik.  As my kids and grands say to me.Good to see you back.Patsy

  • Nik Eveleigh Guest Editor
    Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    Damn…I was hoping you wouldn’t mention Clive and his cohorts…! Thanks Diane - you are looking forward to the next spotlight feature almost as much as I’m looking forward to anyone giving me any suggestions (it’s been like Old Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard on that Gmail account this past month I tell ya…).

    Let’s start a competition - first person not called Adam, Diane, Anthony or Kate that suggests some stories for the spotlight wins a pencil sharpener in the shape of Che Guevara and a slightly worn badger…? :)

  • Diane Dickson Guest Editor
    Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    Oh very well done Nik - though you did miss out Little Red, Fox face and Colonel Major Sir Lord Thingy - oh yes and couple of flying pigs.  We missed you - I’m lookng forward to your next Spotlight feature. 

  • Nik Eveleigh Guest Editor
    Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    I’ve been away for a few weeks so it’s been nice to come back and read the comments already posted on this topic - thanks Stewart for starting it.

    I don’t have any remarkable insights to add to what has already been said (please, contain your shock) but I just wanted to say that a lot of what has been written makes a whole lot of sense.

    Rachel - not negative, honest and realistic

    Adam/Diane - I’ve generally followed your lead since day one of joining the site. I’ve tried to read and comment as often as possible - it was more to do with building my own confidence and understanding rather than trying to garner support - happily it has also meant I can generally rely (thanks to all who take the time) on most of my submissions getting plenty of feedback and some honest criticism and suggestions for improvement.

    Kate - I think your point about “if you don’t like it then bog off” is extremely important. I have very little experience when it comes to submitting work (everything I’ve written that’s fit for general consumption has been done since I joined Shortbread and is published here). However, I can relate submitting stories to the good old days of being in numerous highly (un)successful bands and submitting demos - the only time I can recall getting positive and constructive feedback was when I started writing music that I believed in rather than writing stuff you assume people want. There is no guarantee in any creative endeavour that you can please more than one person - so if you don’t even start by pleasing yourself what’s the point? (and ghastly is far too strong - I wouldn’t put you even a shade over deeply unpleasant hehe ;)

    Chris - I’ve constantly had a bee in my bonnet (assuming I owned a bee or indeed a bonnet) regarding lazy writing (spellcheck, bad editing etc) so making our work the best that it can be really is the long and the short of it.

    Patsy - well said, particularly with regard to being on a site where we are all going through the same struggles pursuing a common love for writing.

    Right…I think I’ve managed to successfully namedrop everyone without adding any tangible value. My work here is done.

  • Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    It has all been said, Rachel.  But I might add my bit, I did not come to Shortbread looking to publish.  It was simply a fun way to share with others our desisre to succeed at the craft of writing.  Family love will allow you to write anything and they overlook mispelled words, punctuation and plot and theme, and all those things you really need to know are happening in your work. They indulge you.  Best to go to strangers. I came when the work was being edited.  It was wonderful and rewarding and sometimes humorous because Yank (US) English is in a world of its own.  Ha.  Sometimes I had to chuckle when my use of ‘while’ was changed to whilst….changing everything to me.  But a reminder or two and Fiona Smith e mailed me to let me know they would try to be more cautious.  What a nice thing that was.  We were all growing together.  There were concerns regarding submissions from people of other countries, do we try to edit for change or just for suitability….the editors were growing too. With over 4,000 publishers in the US, and only God is aware of the number of agents, I have found marketing to be an insurrmountable task and have almost given up.  Yet, recently, after the usual agonizing rejections, an agent has approached me because of The Laptop, published on Shortbread in 9 episodes.  But She wants me to rewrite them and draw an older reader with more violence, sex, and well, you can see why I am not marketing.  I have poetry ppublished in seven anthologies over a few years and it was such a wonderful feeling to be asked for them.  This should have the same effect, but does not.  Many people are reading The Laptop on Shortbread, and commenting and I have no doubt in my heart that they are as they should be.  I write the stories that are in my space, reflect my training and knowledge of the craft and my desire to share them.  They will be acceptable to someone, not all.  That is all I ask.  Shortbread has given me new friends with the same struggles and I thank you for that.  You have trusted me to write from the heart and mind, not from a need to show off, or shock, or be politically or religiously held as hostage to my ideals.  I thank you for that.No Rachael.  Not negative.  Informative.  Thank you for that.Patsy R Liles

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    Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply
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  • Kate Smart Guest Editor
    Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    I don’t think it’s negative either.  I think we all know that Shortbread has its limits, we know it isn’t a publisher, we know that the trustees all have other commitments and their time is limited. I think that we are just having a discussion here, about our own experiences - it isn’t meant as a ‘dig’ at the trustees or the site, at all.  It’s about what we’d like, and what MIGHT be possible, either here or elsewhere.  Ifs buts and maybes.  It kind of reminds me of university, where you have all the input and excitement of your degree, and then when you leave - NOTHING - bye bye, you’re on your own.  Sink or swim.  We know that’s how it is, the site presently has its limits, and probably always will, I don’t think anyone is expecting the trustees to punt our work around for us, I am sure they have enough ‘punting’ to do of their own work, we are just wondering, I think, if we can create something different, somehow.  We just haven’t figured out how, as yet.  That is all.

  • Diane Dickson Guest Editor
    Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    I don’t think that’s negative Rachel I think it’s honest and there’s nothing wrong with that. 

    I think Kate hit the nail on the head as well.  These threads, and a couple of others I’ve been involved in have led me to think about my progress from the days when I used to parcel up double spaced, typed sheets and send then off with a self addressed envelope for the inevitable return of the thing with a reject note.  We are actually much, much more fortunate now.  Even back then I harboured no illusions, I never thought I would make any money from writing but I had experienced the unbridled joy of having a tiny thing accepted for inclusion in an anthology (I grinned for days and days)  and now I have that same pleasure when I click on my Amazon Kindle page and see that I have sold a book.  At least now we do have other options and if what we really want (and for me this is the case) is to have people read our stuff then it is possible and so we should perhaps rejoice and take the pleasure from that and keep on working at the rest in the old fashioned slog way that it always was. 

  • Rachel Marsh Guest Editor
    Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    I think it’s my turn to be a negative nelly.

    Being a professional writer is a tough business. That’s just the end of it. No matter how much we wish it were not the case, making a living off your writing (or even just having your writing chosen to be published for free) is difficult. It takes commitment, years of practice, and a bit of business acumen. Because, unlike ShortbreadStories, publishers are not a charity.

    ShortbreadStories can go a long way in helping you develop your talent, and—with appropriate funding—there is a lot more we can do to help you develop your talent. We can give you pointers, and we can help motivate you (motivation in the form of comments are the best medicine, and something we [I] need to find ways to increase). But we are not a publishers. And, more importantly, we cannot shield you from the reality that getting published is tough, nor can we make it happen for you in a painless way.

    The best thing you can do is work on your craft, outline some publishing targets, and go for it. Then support those on the site with advice on how you did (or didn’t) do it.

    (Please note, when I say ‘you’, I mean ‘the populous/Shortbreaders/the world’.)

  • Kate Smart Guest Editor
    Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    I agree Diane, there is so much good work here, especially compared with the utter dross in many other internet outlets.  There are plenty of magazines out there looking for submissions, I see them all the time on Twitter, but I have not sent any work away myself as yet.  It is my ambition this year to do so though.  I think the main thing is to enjoy what you do and then it doesnt hit you as hard when you get the inevitable knockbacks.  I know a couple of writers who have had a bit of success followed by an utter desert and who have got very p*ssed off.  Hopes built up and then dashed type of thing. So, best to ‘hone’ your style to your own liking and then fire stuff away and hope for the best, and if you fail at least you’ve failed with something you feel is OK and you’ve done your best - that is my aim anyway.  If they don’t like it they can BOG OFF!  Diane you have got such an accessible popular style I am SURE you could/will get a book deal, and Adam I think it is just a matter of time before you do.  Sci fi will always sell and publishers like genre fiction (so I’m told). 

  • Diane Dickson Guest Editor
    Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    Perhaps if there was ever time to do it Shortbread could submit some of the work on here to various competitions or magazines.  I know that they did do it once, not sure what came of it. Of all the people on the site who read and comment there are very few of us I think who truly know just how good any of the stuff is compared to what else it out there.  The Shortbread team who are working in the literature world are the best placed I should think and probably the most realistic about quality. 

    However, I should think it would be a very time consuming task.  Perhaps a better way would be to try encourage magazines etc to let Shortbread know by blog or tweet perhaps when they have a competition or are open for submissions - would that be possible or is it just silly?  it would be a great incentive if writers felt that at the least they could be directed to these outlets (oh now that sounds like a fashion shop!!! )

  • Adam West Guest Editor
    Posted 4 years ago Please login or join to Reply

    I guess that people just move on. I think a definite problem with Shortbread is, that there is nowhere for writers who do progress, to move on to - you have to find a publisher or somewhere else to put your work, under your own steam.  Which is quite difficult.

    I guess the next step (for those who want to move on but not everyone does I suppose) is to get published in a short story magazine.

    I have just sent off only my second submission to a magazine since joining Shortbread three and half years ago. I previously sent The Unholy Trinity off to two science fiction (online) magazines - one rejected it within a day - the other had it 12 weeks - before also rejecting. My most recent effort entitled We Lived, which no doubt I will publish here after it gets rejected - I sent to Firewords Quarterly - a new quarterly print magazine that sees its first issue (funded via Kickstarter) out in May I think. There is another similar print magazine called The Journeyman - based in Sheffield that a Shortbread member Al McClimmens was published in that has had two quarterly editions out to date - no doubt there are others.

    http://www.the-journeyman.co.uk/

    http://www.firewords.co.uk/

    I hope that in the unlikely event I get published anywhere other than Shortbread I remain active here as I enjoy the interaction.