Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Up Yours

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...

11 comments:

Debs said...

Wow, what brilliant news, no wonder you're delighted.

Well done on the weight loss too.x

Mummy said...

Wow!! What a day! I'm still not brave enough to send my stuff in! lol There's not much hope is there??!! hehehehe

well done with the lb loss too, I'm 1.6lb down this week too :) YAY!

Christina Jones said...

debs - thank you. I get really, really thrilled when I sell a short story - probably because they are my first love. And the rest of it was just wonderful too - isn't it funny how it all comes at once like that though? I'm just going to pop over to your blog and check on your weight loss because I know you were doing brilliantly and were way ahead of me...

mummy - thank you so much - it was a great day. And congrats on your weight loss too. Is the WW blog up and running yet? Must check it out.

Debs and Mummy - SEND STUFF!!! SEND IT NOW!!!

Margaret McDonagh said...

Fantastic!!! I am so delighted for you, well done. And on the WW success, too.

And good luck on Sunday. I shall be thinking of you all and be with you in spirit.

Lots of love,
Mags xxx

Jan Jones said...

Oh, well done you! I've never managed YOURS.

Discovered womagwriter some time ago - fabulous blog, isn't it?

I had nice post too, this morning. The Nov 4th edition of Woman's Weekly that I have a story in. Rushed out to shop to get extra copies - and of course it isn't actually out until next week...

Excellent about all your other news too.

Pat Posner said...

Great news on the sale to a new to you market! And so glad you found Womag's.
Royalties, PF Crimbo Special, Audio rights... oh, and weight loss, too wow, what a fantastic day!

Best of luck for the charity walk!

Christina Jones said...

mags - thank you. I know you'll be with me in spirit on Sunday and I really, really appreciate it.

Jan - thanks so much - I never in a million years thought I'd be able to write anything suitable for Yours. Yes, womagwriter is absolutely wonderful - I've learned loads from there now. And many congrats on WW - I'll buy it when it's out because I love your stories. Do you remember when we both used to be in Loving at the same time? The good old days...

Pat - many thanks. I suppose to some writers none of that stuff would be excting but it is to me! And thanks for the good wishes for Sunday -I'll try not to cry...

Julie Day said...

Good luck with the charity walk. Congrats on the short story to Yours and finally getting royalties. £168 is not to be sneezed at despite it not being that much, it's something.

I am looking forward to reading Happy Birthday when it comes out. Is it in pb? Hope so.

Christina Jones said...

julie - thanks so much. Raising money from the walk means so much to me so I'll definitely give it my best shot. Yes, Happy Birthday is out in paperback on 6th Nov - which would have been my dad's birthday...

womagwriter said...

What a fantastic day! Pack it up in bubble wrap so you can treasure it for ever - they don't come round often enough.

Thanks for the plug for my blog!

Christina Jones said...

womag - wow! Thanks SO much. You have no idea how much you have helped me (and no doubt countless others) with your amazing blog. So much detail, so honest, so generous - just everything any wannabe womagger needs. I've learned loads about new markets (and where I've been going wrong with the old ones!) - many congrats on all your successes, too. I now recommend your blog to everyone I know who asks questions about the how-to stuff on subbing to the mags. You do it better than anyone - ever. THANK YOU.