Monday, September 06, 2010

"What do you do...?"

I received the following via email this morning and thought I would share my response.

"Do you have confession stories that have not been accepted after sending them around? What do you do with them?"

I don't have many unsold confessions. Up until the black confession magazines (Black Romance, Jive, etc.) ceased publication a few years ago I had sold every confession I'd ever written. Now, with fewer confession magazines and the existing magazines (True Love, True Story, etc.) not as interested in some of the stories that would have easily sold to the black confession magazines, I have a few confessions hanging around in the filing cabinet.

But I do what I've always done:

1) If I can see a flaw in the story, I revise, retitle, and send the story around again. (I've sold a few this way.)

2) If I don't think there's a flaw in the story, I wait until an editor changes jobs and submit to the new editor. (I've sold many this way.)

3) And, lately, I've been keeping my eyes open for opportunities--anthologies, other magazines, epublishers--that don't identify as confession markets but have guidelines that make me think a confession or confession-like story might be appropriate. (In the past couple of years I've sold half a dozen or so this way.)


Graham Powell said...

Here's another question: do you ever get the rights back? You probably have a half-dozen collections of confessions in your drawers. Er...

Michael Bracken said...

Alas, no. Not from the primary publisher of confession magazines. They purchase all rights.

Back in the day--before one publisher gained a lock-hold on the genre--some of the confession magazines purchased limited rights, and I have a few stories from back then that I might someday be able to repurpose in some way.