Phew, we have met our deadlines and reached the editing stage for Write On Magazine Issue 55: Time Travel with initial selections made.
We'd love to thank the young writers who submitted almost 600 pieces!
600 pieces and we only have room for about 80!
Not only that, but the quality was exceptionally high this year!
That is a tough process because we would publish so many more if we had the room.
So how do we make selections?
The first part of the selection process was to find all the pieces that felt finished, pruned and polished. Best advice: Finish your stories and redraft your writing so you've pruned all the scruffy bits and made the best bits sparkle. Writers rarely get it right first time.
Then we read them all again. This time we looked for the pieces that came across as fresh perspectives; meaning nothing too cliche or obviously written to a formula. We encourage writer voice at Write On and that means your voice, not what you think a writer should sound like. There is a difference between 'being inspired by' and 'sounding just like'.
We still had hundreds of pieces in the pile and knew the next part was going to be agony. We grouped pieces into our theme categories such as time travel, tiny moments in time, and those about a specific time or season. We had a big pile that didn't match the theme but that wasn't a problem. If they were really good we still wanted them. There was lots of writing about animals, as usual, and this time a lot of writing about writing!
From there we put pieces beside each other. Some had similar ideas... "so this one or that one? " Some were really long and we agonised over this because one piece of 1000 words takes the room of about 3 or 4 also wonderful short pieces. Longer pieces had to be really stunning to get in. (We are looking at a new way to publish longer form stories and poems in the future!)
Many pieces had to move to the "if only we had room" pile. Some hopped back over again! And then, hours and hours later there they were— the pages ready for proofreading.
The next stage is to get the pages to the designer and see if what we've chosen can actually fit in the magazine without looking cramped. That's why we can't tell anyone yet if they have been selected until early next month. We might have to cut a piece here and there.
The process is all about selection and non-selection. The word rejection doesn't come into it! There was something wonderful in all of those almost 600 submissions.
We'll be contacting some of the young writers whose work just missed out on selection and asking if you're happy for it to go on our blog. Please look out for it on the site here soon.
We will be launching Write On 55: Time Travel on December 8th at Tūranga, Christchurch Library 5:00 to 6:00 pm