Issue #4 of Necrotic Tissue appears today, containing my story “After Michelangelo”. This is an important story for me, because it’s the one that got me back into writing fiction. From 1997, when I got the commission to write Professional DCOM Application Development, up until 2005, I either wrote about software or nothing at all. But in the autumn of 2005, I rejoined the Verulam Writers’ Circle, and one of the first things I did was enter the competition for the David Gibson Cup (a truly hideous prize, incidentally). The theme for the cup was “David”, and this story (which then went under the the rather boring title of “The Model”) was the winner by popular vote (although one of those present said that he would have voted for it had it not been so unpleasant, which I treated as a compliment).
I hadn’t really got into the groove of submitting stuff elsewhere then, so it sat in the proverbial back drawer for the next couple of years, apart from a couple of desultory attempts. However, at the beginning of this year, I began to take a more aggressive attitude to getting my work out there, and I heard about the fledgling Necrotic Tissue via Café Doom. I submitted it, virtually unchanged from its original form, fully expecting them to snap it up. Five days later, I received a rejection. Crucially, however, the editor, Scott McCoy, did what all really good editors do, and pointed out what I needed to do to make it acceptable. So I swallowed my pride and did just that. Next time around, it was accepted. Not only that, but the payment arrived two days after that, back in April. Even better, the T shirt (yes, you get an amazingly cool T shirt for every story that gets accepted!) came through the post shortly afterwards.
Anyway, hope you like the story.
In other news, the schedule for this month’s Every Day Fiction has appeared, and “Visiting Time” looks like it’s appearing on the 15th. And, wow, I’m on the same programme as Nuala Ní Chonchúir, who was the judge for this year’s Sean O’Faolain competition (and who inexplicably overlooked my entry – well, I guess she has her off days too 🙂 ).
Finally, we’re all excited at the VWC (yet again), because the lovely Meena Wells has just become the fourth member of the circle to get herself an agent this year (making five altogether). So, to all those out there who say that it’s a closed shop, you ain’t trying hard enough. And that includes me. Of course, it does help that Meena is a massively talented writer. Remember her name.
Yes, I do have off days! Sorry about that. Maybe it was in my ‘Yes’ pile, though!
Congrats on the Every Day publication, I’ll be looking out for it.
Hi Nuala, and welcome! I was, of course, only kidding – I’m probably going to have to up my game a little to make any sort of a mark on the SOF. I must say I was very impressed about your approach, though. I thought your blog post describing what you were looking for was exemplary, and I am amazed that you actually read every single entry. I shall look forward to reading your piece in EDF, too.
I knew you were joking, Jonathan!
Oh gosh, don’t get too excited re my story…!
Thanks for the kind words, though. I’ve entered comps for years so I have firm ideas about what I feel about rules, openness etc.
I’m a pre-reader for the Mitchelstown Prize this year. I posted about it on my blog a few posts ago if you want to spread the word! The first prize is great: 2500 euro and a laptop. And I’ll be looking for the usual: a flash-bang opening, darkness, humour, stylish writing!
I noticed your post about the Mitchelstown Prize – sounds interesting. I’ll certainly spread the word.
Randomly stopping by to say I loved After Michelangelo, and am telling all my friends and associates. Thanks for the good read.
Thanks for the kind comments, Katey! It’s always nice to know if something’s worked.