Thursday, June 19, 2008

He's a Pro!

A while back y'all may remember me announcing the news of JP's first pro-level sale. The post is here. Now, many of you may not be familiar with the short story market (esp. the SFF short story market) I certainly wasn't before JP started writing in it. But it's a tough market -- an incredibly tough market. And there are levels -- SFWA (Sci Fi Writers of America) has guidelines which essentially rank markets and the highest level is pro -- it's a tough market to crack!

Baen's Universe is one of the pro-level markets and a while back they created an "introducing slot." The way I think of it is that these are writers who Baen's wants to claim saying "we're the ones that found him! We're the ones to thank for bringing you this amazing new talent!"

JP is one of Baen's Universe's introducing writers for June with his story, Spamdemonium. It's an amazing story. I thought it was an amazing story when he first wrote it years ago. And the story behind his sale is even more amazing. He wrote Spamdemonium a long time ago, back after we'd conceived of the 10 Year Plan. He submitted it to Baen's and got feedback which he used to revise before submitting it again. It was passed up the main editors out of the slush and there it sat. And sat. And sat. For over a year. For 480 days.

Mike Resnick spoke at ConCarolinas about being an editor for Baen's and the time the slush readers sent way too many stories up for review -- hundreds of them. And how it took almost a year to cull through them. He said that only those amazing few made it past his review-- and one of those was JP's. And I know this because after Mike's talk JP introduced himself and Mike told that to him-- that JP must have been one of the few really incredible ones. For those of you counting, his story came out 735 days after submission. Wow!!

I'm in constant awe of short story writing. I'm amazed at the economy of words, the ability to parse things down to their most important. I realized a long time ago that I would write novels because I don't have the skill for short stories -- I'm way too verbose.

But JP has that talent. He really is an inspiration. And I have learned a lot from him and his writing.

So I urge you to check out his first pro-level sale, Spamdemonium. It's worth it! Totally worth the wait!!

Plus they commissioned original art to go along with his story -- how cool is that?


Vicki said...

WhooHoo JP!!! That's awesome! I'm with you Carrie, there is no way I could write short stories and those who do amaze me.

Anonymous said...

Congrats, JP - that's no small thing. Carrie, please pass this on I publish Spacesuits and Sixguns, a webzine of contemporary pulp fiction. I don't pay what Baen's does, but it's 3 cents a word. I'm hoping to be able to increase that next year.

Your picture looks familiar - did I happen to meet you at the Agents and Editors Conference in Austin this past weekend?

I love short fiction - reading it, writing it, publishing it - despite the contracting market and ridiculously low pay rates. I like the brevity, the challenge of evoking place, character or setting with a single sentence. I sometimes have trouble with the extra space of novels. Maybe that's why I haven't published one yet!

I wrote up my impressions of the conference - including my freshman attempts at verbally pitching agents - at my website. It's The post is long, but comprehensive.

Great to read your blog, Carrie! Something else to add to my already overburdened RSS list ...

Anonymous said...

Oh, Lordy. That was supposed to be "please pass this on -" with a hypen. I just love it when a typo appears in the second sentence. Great professional impression!

Erica Ridley said...

Wow, what a story! Super congrats to JP!!!