Sunday, September 25, 2011

Lit Cred And Validation.

There seems to be a number of writers currently questioning the value of certain publications and e-zines. Over the past couple of weeks I've seen this subject rear its head a few times. And I think it's an important question for new writers. (And this is the category in which I firmly place myself.)

My views are no secret. I believe I could have a longer published bibliography, but I've been fussy about where I submit my work. And I believe that a few publications in quality markets are ultimately more valuable than many publications in any old market.

With the prevalence of the internet and the proliferation of POD, there has been an explosion in the number of publishers throwing together zines and anthologies. And as such, there has obviously been a dilution of the quality of published work. I'm 'old school', as you young folk with your zany rock 'n' roll music like to call it, and there's nothing like having a published 'paper' book in your hand. Not that there's anything wrong with online mags. But I do feel there's a certain quality control, checks and balances, when you've been paid a certain amount of money, and you have a professionally finished product that can be held.

I wrote something (as a comment) along these lines in response to a post by Alan Baxter a few weeks ago.  Then I discover that my crit buddy and friend, David McDonald, wrote something similar in response to the fabulous Jason Nahrung.

I suppose it all depends on what your goals are. I have a list of personal goals, a list of markets I'd like to crack, and I'm actively taking steps to achieve those.  Brad R. Torgersen, has listed an interesting set of goals on his website, and I must say I love those.

If you just want to say you've been published, then sub away, anywhere. It'll happen. If you want to achieve some kind of cred in this business, then make plans, take active steps to achieve them, and be prepared for a lot of rejections.

But when you do receive an acceptance, or receive some kind of recognition, it's amazing the confidence and drive that accompanies it.  Gitte Christensen, who has just been published in Ticonderoga's Year's Best Australian Horror and Fantasy, mentioned on her blog that I've been mentioned on page 22 of said book. Looks like a ploy by Ticonderoga to make me buy the book.

It worked. I'll be picking one up next week.

But when your friends and peers have some success, we rejoice together. I'm pleased for Gitte's deserved tastes of success, I'm pleased David McDonald has some new work coming out. And I'm absolutely thrilled that my long-time Tokyo-brother, Allan Tong, (he's the man who taught me to chase my dreams and grab opportunities, or to create your own) has just scored a huge success at the Toronto International Film Festival.  And I know these people are happy when it happens to me.

Speaking of which, keep an eye out for Anywhere But Earth in the coming months. It looks fantastic!

See you at Conflux.


David said...

Thanks for the shout out, Steve!

Anywhere but Earth is an example of publishing credit that brings a huge amount of credibility, not just just because of the sparkling ToC but because of the publisher's previous high quality work. A real feather in your cap!

Well done on the Year's Best too!

Steve Cameron said...

Thanks David. And thanks for the time you take to crit those stories for me.

See you at Conflux! Looking forward to your panels.