Thursday, 27 March 2008

Writing Success Story: Sue Burke Lands a Story in Asimov's

Fellow speculative fiction writer and critique partner Sue Burke has a short story in the March issue of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, one of the biggest markets for sf. A graduate of the famous Clarion Writer's Workshop, she's a hard worker and doesn't pull any punches in her critiques. About her success she says:

"On the same day that you asked me to participate on your blog, I got my fourth rejection so far that week. And it was only Tuesday. I recently had a story published in Asimov's, my first sale to that magazine. It was the twenty-fifth story I had sent to it.

I want to believe that I owe what success I've had to superior writing skills and a fertile imagination. Quality sells better than crap, obviously. But I know that thick-headed blind persistence has been at least as important. I've seen too many writers with extraordinary works who don't send them out. These writers, doomed to failure, simply can't stand rejection.

But I have come to see rejection as proof that I'm doing the right thing. I can't control what editors do, but I can control what I do. I can give them ample opportunities to buy my stuff. Four rejections in a week? Not bad, since it was only Tuesday. I sent them all back out immediately."

Sue has an important combination of traits for a writer--talent, persistence, good work ethic, thick skin, and a healthy dose of reality. Keep on writing, Sue!

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Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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