This morning I sold my first short story to Yours! As this was also my first ever submission to Yours, I'm chuffed to bits. I'd never thought about sending anything to Yours before, mainly because they seemed to be such a closed shop. However, I always read my ma-in-law's copy when we go to visit, and the stories always seemed to be my sort of thing - blue-collar, middle-aged, feel-good, amusing... So, I did all the boring-but-vital stuff like studying the magazine inside out, working out the word count of published stories (mine ended up at about 1500 words), dreaming up a suitable plot (light-hearted look at middle-aged first-time love) and then emailed it, addressing it simply to the Fiction Editor, as I didn't have a name.
Since sending it (about 3 months ago) and deciding it was a lost cause, I've discovered the phenomenally wonderful and helpful site (ooh, I wish I'd discovered it ages ago!) - www.womagwriter.blogspot.com - and found out that the Yours fiction editor's name is Marion Clark and she likes to have a 150 word synopsis and short author CV as well as the story. Wise after the event, I reckoned my submission really didn't stand a chance.
But - whoopee - this morning, despite not getting my submission quite right, I've had a lovely email from Marion offering to buy my story. Sorry to go on - but I'm so excited by this. I'll never get over the thrill of selling a story to a new market. I'm just relieved that the story was suitable which means that Yours kindly overlooked the rest of my submission faux pas. I'll certainly do it right next time. And there will be a next time - nothing spurs you on better than a sale, does it?
And then, because it has been One Of Those Really Lovely Days, I've also sold Happy Birthday audio rights to Isis, and have been told that I'm (well, Happy Birthday) going to be a feature/review and win-a-book competition in the November 1st issue of Inside Soap magazine. As well as all this, I got an advance copy of the People's Friend Xmas Spesh - in which I have a festive feel-good story (PF readers must live in a lovely old-fashioned cosy cocoony world - and I love writing for them). To round off this lovely day of Good Writing Things, I was offered a slot (also on Nov 1st) on BBC Radio Oxford to plug Happy Birthday and promo my Happy Birthday launch party (at Abingdon's Bookstore) on Nov 8th.
Oh, there is one more down-to-earth writing snippet - I also got my UK royalty statements this morning. As predicted/expected they were nowhere near as sensational as the German ones... Sigh... Still, I did get some money (£168.63) for my five mainstream books still in print, so it was good news really - and £168.63 is a lot, lot, lot more than I'd expected and I'm going to spend it on finishing decorating the hall/stairs/landing which we started five (yes FIVE) years ago and never got round to finishing because life (and death) got in the way.
Ooh - yes! And it was Weight Watchers - and despite the Manc Lit Fest excesses and the cake tasting I've lost another 1lb this week (must all be down to the 0 points sick soup???). So only 6lbs to go to be Overweight! Yay!
I probably won't blog for a few days now because there are lots of meetings and things to sort out for the charity walk (many,many thanks again to all those who have sponsored me) on Sunday. But I'll be back on Monday - if not before - no doubt in a very sorry state, to let you know how we all got on...