US Magazine 'Carve': open for short fiction and poems

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Is 'first publication rights' the norm? This area is all new to me.
My impression is that, for magazines, yes it is. Usually all other rights revert to the author immediately after publication. Some require exclusivity for a period of time after first publication, usually 3 or 6 months, with all rights reverting thereafter. Of course, first publication rights can't revert, coz they have already gone.
 
I have noticed there are different attitudes to this between different cultures? British seem to be less inclined to pay than Americans.
I would really like to hear what @AgentPete has to say regarding this.

Before the benefit of expert opinion, and as a duly-appointed representative of America, I would not pay anyone for the opportunity at a 99% chance of rejection. That's why I've very seldom gambled. Or gone to the bar looking for love. I would be overjoyed to pay you after you've accepted my manuscript, and to be honest I don't particularly care how much. I would operate at a loss to be published. But I don't like the idea of throwing money at odds that slim.
 
I would really like to hear what @AgentPete has to say regarding this.

Before the benefit of expert opinion, and as a duly-appointed representative of America, I would not pay anyone for the opportunity at a 99% chance of rejection. That's why I've very seldom gambled. Or gone to the bar looking for love. I would be overjoyed to pay you after you've accepted my manuscript, and to be honest I don't particularly care how much. I would operate at a loss to be published. But I don't like the idea of throwing money at odds that slim.

Interesting perspective as before I took @Meerkat from here and some general attitude on facebook as my yardstick. I still see more good old british reservation myself included. But of course everyone colours their opinion with their own experiences.
 
Interesting perspective as before I took @Meerkat from here and some general attitude on facebook as my yardstick. I still see more good old british reservation myself included. But of course everyone colours their opinion with their own experiences.
Oh — I see:

One of the magazines I submit to all the time requires an entry fee for its competitions. The reason is so that the editors can pay the winner $1500. ;)
I can appreciate such a concept, fair enough, if the fee accumulates into the prize then it's worth it but i have seen some that take a fee but give no cash prize.
It's like charging an entry fee to a nightclub, pure profit for the company lol
See... I would have a hard time even doing what's described here. How many submissions did that one competition have, that had been talked about in the Colony a while back? Like Four thousand, or something like that? That's a 0.025% chance of winning.

Ooh! Han Solo meme time!
han solo.jpg
 
See... I would have a hard time even doing what's described here. How many submissions did that one competition have, that had been talked about in the Colony a while back? Like Four thousand, or something like that? That's a 0.025% chance of winning.

I won awards by default because not many had entered and they needed to 'give it away' :p
A lot of my projects came to life because of this mentality of giving it a go.
My success ratio was 1:9. I would win 1 in every 9 attempts.

Things are getting harder now but we have to be more innovative too with new and unusual ideas for stories/projects.
 
"You can't succeed unless you try." I know. It's true!

But, with so many options and long odds, is it worthwhile to pay at that stage of the process, is what I'm wondering.
 
Hey, I can go $3. Right now, that is... maybe not next week...
I had a grisly, 3K word short I figured they might enjoy, so I submitted it.
Is it only $3? Never mind! That's a scratch-off lottery ticket — I have done that, a handful of times! Won $50, once. Neither here nor there.
 
"You can't succeed unless you try." I know. It's true!

But, with so many options and long odds, is it worthwhile to pay at that stage of the process, is what I'm wondering.

For me time is more precious than money. Though they are equally important in many or all cases.
Everything is a gamble of sorts..how calculated a risk is the reason we edit. What are the odds of making a great return on our book investment? (time wise)

If a competition is worth the price of a coffee I don't think I would bother cost it up. The fun of entering is always worth it.
 
If a competition is worth the price of a coffee I don't think I would bother cost it up. The fun of entering is always worth it.

Fun? Not for me. I think we have about the same chances of winning a prize as we do of getting our pieces published, and that's not fun. Paying to submit, with such long odds, seems to me like just throwing money away. And I know it's not much money, but if you enter a lot of competitions, it will add up. And anyway, it is the principle of the thing; writers get a hard enough time as it is, and I dislike the idea of having to pay for said hard time. It's not right, and I won't support it.
 
I would really like to hear what @AgentPete has to say regarding this.


Frankly, I’ve never heard of any magazine, UK or US, asking for potential contributors to pay for the privilege of being read.

They’re doing what - until quite recently - would have been considered by many prima facie evidence of literary dodginess – charging for submissions, and also running an editorial consultancy. Until recently, that would have been enough to be labelled a vanity press.

However, today this doesn’t mean that the operation is a scam. The whole industry is experimenting with new financial and business models now.

It’s easy to cry “Scam!” – and quite a few bloggers have established some personal visibility in the writing community by doing precisely that – but the truth is actually more nuanced.

So, you need to ask yourself (“do I feel lucky...?” – damn, that just slipped in...) questions like these; not just about Carve, but about any new operation that’s not run along traditional lines...

  • Where is their income stream predominantly coming from? And is there solid evidence that they have a proven market for your work? If a publisher presents themselves as being able to take an author’s work to a substantial readership, then that’s one thing... but if they are mostly in business to take funds from hopeful writers, and aren’t focused on (or forthcoming about) their distribution/readership, then beware.

  • You should speak to other writers who have been through their process from start to finish. Their names shouldn’t be too hard to find. Contact half a dozen. Ask them candidly about their experience. What did they actually get out of it? And did this accord with their expectations (or the sizzle they might have been sold)?

  • Ask yourself, what is the best outcome – and then, the most likely outcome? Then in the light of these outcomes, consider whether your personal investment would be justified. And finally, ask yourself – where will this actually get me? Will it advance my career?

For example, if you get an offer from a PRH (Penguin Random House) editor for your ms, then the best outcome would be a shot at the bestseller lists... and the most likely outcome that you would be reasonably well published. OK, so what’s your personal investment on this? Not much, really, since you presumably have already got a fairly complete manuscript. Where would it get you – would it advance your career? Yes, it most likely would: it could open up publishing contacts, give you the status of being a published author with a respected house, and would certainly put your next book on the agenda.

The thing about many of these online literary magazines (perfectly well-intentioned, I’m sure) is that few people really care about them. MFAs are often the same... I’ve lost track of how many folk I’ve spoken to who have completed degrees of one sort or another in creative writing... and the world didn’t change. Neither of these things are in the least scams. But... they may not represent a very effective use of your personal writing investment, either.
 
I don't like the idea of paying, but how much would it cost to do say 10 book signings? Almost all promotion costs money, and at least if you pay you are improving the odds from zero. Exposure has to be a good thing (unless one's writing is total c##p). I don't do short stories, but it seems that at least it's worth writing out the cost equation. If a win does result, then that adds to one's marketing story.
 
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Poets! Readers of Dylan Thomas. Film Buffs

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Help Please! First attempt at a query letter, please help.

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