A few folks have asked me if Write1Sub1 will continue into the new year, so now's probably a good time to announce that YEAR THREE is on it's way!
That's right, folks, W1S1 veterans and newbies alike will be spending 2013 in Ray Bradbury's shadow, writing and submitting a new short story every week (or every month). At the end of the year, they'll have a whole batch of stories that wouldn't have existed without this challenge, and along the way, they'll be part of the most supportive writing community the blogosphere has to offer.
When we started in 2011, I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it: 52 new stories written, revised, and submitted in 52 weeks? But somehow I managed to pull it off, and so far, 30 of those submissions have been accepted for publication. This year, I completed the challenge at the monthly level, and 4 of my 12 stories have already been published. Next year, I'll be a monthly participant again as I focus on getting more of my novel-length work out the door, hopefully landing a book deal by year's end.
Why write short stories when I have novels demanding my attention? Three reasons: short fiction hones your skills as a writer, expands your readership, and builds your list of publication credits. Furthermore, if you're able to break into pro-paying markets, you'll then qualify for membership in organizations such as the SFWA, which can lead to greater networking opportunities with top-tier authors, editors, and publishers.
What if your ideas are too expansive for short stories? What if you're too verbose for short fiction? If you've tried in the past and ended up unhappy with your attempts, then try again. Seriously, the concept that a novelist can't write a short story is complete bunk. Writing short fiction forces you to make every word count, to create instant characterization, and to focus on line-by-line tension. The last time I checked, this is what Donald Maass and other agents are looking for in manuscript submissions.
Write1Sub1 2013 is just around the corner. Consider this your official invitation: Come for the challenge. Stay for the community. You'll be glad you did!