If you are friends with me on Facebook or Twitter, you will notice a whole pile of Sucker-related posts since Sucker Literary Volume 3 came out April 15th. Now this is just one of many firsts that I have experienced with the lovely people at Sucker.
I originally wrote my story, Her Tree Boy Blaze, for a call for submissions for an anthology on the Urban Green Man. It was rejected as most of my writing usually is (not feeling sorry for myself- that is just the way the cookie crumbles in the writing game). But since this story had a definite YA focus, I started thinking of shopping it around, seeing if there were any YA focussed anthologies or magazines out there. You will not be surprised to hear that there are not many- Sucker Literary stood out as one of the more serious ventures and it just so happened they were accepting submissions for Vol. III!
So I sent in the piece and promptly forgot about it. Until, one day last Spring, I got an email from the editor, Hannah Goodman, saying that they really liked my story, but that it needed some work. Would I consent to go through a mentor process with some of their editors?
Hmmm. I think I said something like, I would be please to go through a mentor process, but really I was thinking, hell to the yes!
A couple of weeks later, I received my story with a whole bunch of comments and critiques from two, count them two! editors. Some were easy- word changes, typos. Some were structural. This character does not make sense. When the main character does this, you make her seem like a raging psychopath (that can be a problem. Not always, of course. But in this case it was).
I sent in my revisions. They said thanks! But not quite. They sent it back with more. I did them again. They said thanks! By the way we love your writing! But there’s just…. and so I revised it and sent it in again.
Once that was done, another set of eyes proofread and sent it back again for my approval.
And did I mention that all these people are volunteering their time? Or that the comments and feedback on my story were some of the most professional, thoughtful and in-depth critique outside of my writer’s group that I have every received?
And then came all the work on the promotion, also managed and kept alive by volunteers. They have an awesome website, are on all the social media platforms, are trying to get as many reviews on amazon, blogs, websites as possible.
I am in awe at the dedication to emerging writers demonstrated by Hannah Goodman and her amazing editorial staff. My involvement with Sucker Literary has taught me a- how a good editor can make a story sing (instead of just humming along with a rocky tune) and how important it is to have a coherent social media marketing plan.
As a person who has just recently forced herself to utter the word “writer” in conjunction with herself (calling myself a writer still gives me a dizzying case of impostor syndrome), all of this mention of my new piece has sent me into a tailspin of neurotic doubt. What if people think I am boasting? What if people don’t care? Oh my god. What if people actually read my piece?
But that is stupid. I know it is. The reasons behind these feelings are complicated and nuanced, and apparently common to most women in professional spheres if Sheryl Sandberg is to be believed, but that is another post.
So thank you Sucker, for making me get over myself. But most of all, for making me a better writer.
If you want a print version of Volume III and live in Canada, alas it won’t be available for another 6-8 weeks. But you can buy it through Createspace.
Here is the Book trailer:
Also check out Sucker literary Volumes 1 and 2 which are available on Amazon.ca
See? I’m learning…