Some publishing houses like you to include a resume with sumbmissions and they don’t care if you can make a great cup of coffee. Getting published is more than just stringing a couple of thousand words together really well. Publishing houses are businesses and you must convince them that as an author you will be a good investment on their behalf. At the CBCA NSW International Connections dinner a couple of years ago Mal Peet said he thought being an author would be the perfect job, he could sit around and write all day, never having to speak to another living person face to face again, only to realise that he just about spends more time on speaking engagements than actually writing novels.
If that doesn’t put you off and you’re now wondering how on earth do you buld a resume – you’ve got to be published to get published. This isn’t actually as hard as you might first imagine.
Firstly, submit to websites or organisations that don’t pay authors (but avoid the ones that ask you to pay for a copy of the published journal). Don’t worry that you’re giving away your hard-won words for nothing. You will end up writing stories and that are even better; you will gain valuable industry experience and recognition; and provided there are not too many 4 letter words, your mum will be really proud of you.
The second place to send your submissions is to competitions. For extensive competition listings (local and international) join the NSW Writers’ Centre and subscribe to Buzz Words.
Both of these suggestions are great for honing your skills with short stories – basically teaching you how to cut out all the unnecessary crap.
So get typing and help Ryde Library meet their target – I might even take my own advice this time so look out for my name among the authors published.