Wicked Words Issue 2

It’s done!



This reading for this issue took much longer than the previous issue, this was due to two main factors; I was finishing off my Open University degree and had to write a 4500 word essay concerning 15th century Flemish Altarpieces and the other factor was the amount of submissions, well over 250 this time.

A lot of strong stories which made it even harder to choose which to include, but the ones I have included are:

  • The Sled by Edward McDermott
  • Closing Schrödinger’s Box by Michael W. Lucht
  • 6/13 by Luke Walker
  • The Corruption of Rome by Nick Nafpilotis
  • The Spume Horse by Bo Balder
  • Pit Stop by S. Kay Nash
  • The Duke’s Fountain by Hugh O’Donnell
  • My Four Foundling Fathers by Michael Andre-Driussi
  • Red Zoo by Paul McMahon
  • Whatever It Takes by Wendy Hammer
  • Like Father by Justin Koch
  • The Watchmaker by Todd Scott Moffet

A few weeks of formatting and editing ahead to get it ready to publish in September and then continue reading the stories already submitted for the December issue, there are already approximately seventy submissions, a large majority of which are Novella-sized.


Some advice (again)

Some advice from Janet Evanovich:

Write something every day, even if it means getting just a few sentences on the screen. Here are a few different ways to accomplish this:

  • Do it by time: Start small, if you want. Start with five minutes and increase the time by five minutes a day. In two weeks you’ll be sitting at your desk for about an hour a day. Add more time as you choose.
  • Do it by pages: Start with one paragraph a day and work toward a page a day. If you do only that, by year’s ends you will have written 365 pages.
  • Do it by word count: Plan to write a specific number of words a day. Hemingway wrote around 500 words a day – approximately two pages.
  • Do it by appointment: Treat writing like any other part of your daily routine. Carve out a place – the corner of a room or the kitchen table – and a certain time of each day for writing. Then show up for work.

Again this is something I have to remember to do and not be lazy and post smart-arse comments on Facebook and Twitter and think that this is writing.

I’ve brushed off some hobby-specific blogs and I’m working on them at the moment to stretch the writing muscles a bit, to ensure that I get words down from my mind about a subject in a cohesive manner.

The next step would be to get this writing practice back to writing poetry and fiction, as I have really let that slip.

One foot then the other

Does everyone go through the rigmarole of life, one foot in front of the other and only at 2am with a bottle of whiskey in front of them and their day behind them realise the futility of their existence.

Looking back 30 years to the Golden Age of their faded youth, the soundtrack of their loves blaring through the earbuds whilst pouring another golden inch.

Is this the reason for the Citalopram, the panic attacks, the hate and anger?

Or is it clearer than that?

30 wasted years regretting one day, not able to give fully ever again, not wanting to be hurt as much as that ever again. Easier to not care, comfort and familiarity over passion and danger.

Another evening of boredom and regret, looking forward to another day of ennui and familiarity.

Not enough passion to hate, not enough care to leave. One foot then the other into the future.

Wicked Words Issue 1

All the stories for the first edition of Wicked Words Quarterly have now been chosen and I’m in the process of editing and formatting for publication. It still seems to be on track for the 1st of June 2014.

The contributors for the first edition are:

  • Nicole Tanquary’s “In a Tower”
  • Logan Merriweather’s “Pipe Monster”
  • Jason D’Aprile’s “Odin Waits”
  • DJ Cockburn’s “Spookmoth”
  • Deborah Bailey’s “Stranger Has Disconnected”
  • Robin Wyatt Dunn’s “The City of the Wren”
  • Phyllis Green’s “The Diary of Margreth Frogonne”
  • Terri Cross Chetwood’s “Diamondback”
  • Adam Gaylord’s “Mac the Repairman”
  • Mai-Chi Pham’s “Dinner Time”
  • Matthew Barbour’s “The Flicker of Farolitos”
  • J.J. Steinfeld’s “The Old Neighbourhoods of Mars”
  • Maggie Denton’s “2007 OR-10”
  • Tony Peak’s “Dare to Sleep”

The final count of submissions was 242 and this is what made most of the choosing difficult as there were so many good stories to read and it was a great privilege to do so.

Hopefully you will enjoy these stories when they are released in less than a months time as much as I’ve enjoyed compiling them.

Inscribemedia Short Story Competition

A Darlington-based company runs a monthly short story competition.

There is no set theme and works have to be 2000 words or under.

Why not give it a try!


Less than a month left…

The deadline for submissions to the first issue of Wicked Words Quarterly closes on April 1st 2014, so if you haven’t yet submitted anything for me to consider get it in soon 🙂

I’ve been really pleased with both the quality and quantity of submissions, 140 submissions of great writing across all the genres that were asked for. This makes it really difficult to choose which seven or so stories to include out of that great selection.

I do try to make the rejections personal but with so many submissions that can be hard at times, so please don’t be disappointed with what has been written as I have enjoyed reading all the stories.

Hopefully I will be able to sort out more emails this week, and if you have received a rejection and have other work to submit please do.

Again thanks for the enthusiasm and quality of the writing that you’ve all submitted, looking forward to publishing in June and seeing what people think of my selections.

Another Use for Scrivener

I know we all (don’t we?) use Scrivener for our own personal writing. I also use it when I’m writing and researching a T.M.A. with the Open University, great for keeping all my notes together and for putting footnotes in a place to keep them out of the way.

My latest discovery (probably not the first to do so though) is that it is great for reviewing submissions to Wicked Words Quarterly.

The first task was to set up three folders in the Draft area; Submissions, Accepted and Rejected. Every time a new submission comes in it is placed as a text document in the Submissions folder. I then format the document to the same standard as all the others and as I want to final document to be compiled, this makes all the stories easier to read. With the Inspector panel open I start making notes, such as; name, address and contact details of the author.

Then I use the Comments & Footnotes tools to make notes on the story itself, these help me with the winnowing of stories, they also help with possible edit suggestions to the author. The other thing they help with is to make the rejection letter more personal, with concrete reasons for the rejection.

Once I’ve made suitable notes and comments on a story it can be moved to either the Accepted or Rejected folder.

The next step will be to compile all the accepted submissions into a document for exporting to Kindle, and as I’ve been formatting the stories as I’ve received them this should come out as a connected document with all the stories looking as though they work together as a whole.

I was going to use a spreadsheet to keep all this information in but using Scrivener instead means that the workflow is in place for making the actual book as I do the review of submissions, cutting out a couple of steps in the process of making the Quarterly, making my life easier 🙂