Sunday, December 19, 2010

An Interview with Write1Sub1 Participant Aaron Polson

In the summer of 2009, when I started taking baby steps into the world of short fiction publication, I came across a writer by the name of Aaron Polson. It seemed that I couldn't research a market without finding one of his stories already published there. I may be exaggerating just a bit, but you get the idea.
This writer extraordinaire has successfully seen his work featured in several online venues and in multiple print anthologies. Visit his Amazon author page or check out his blog to learn more.
Last month, Aaron was brave (crazy?) enough to join us @ Write1Sub1, and last week, he was kind enough to grant us a mini-interview about his plans for next year:
What's your inspiration/personal motivation for this challenge?

First and foremost, Ray Bradbury.  I have nothing but respect for Mr. Bradbury and I love the way he loves stories.  He's really a special guy, and I feel fortunate to have seen him give a talk in person back in '97 at the University of Kansas.  Secondly, I always love a challenge.  Writing and submitting is a challenge, regardless of your rate of production.  Finally, I am a huge fan of the short story.  Short stories will never pay the bills, but they're fun to write and read. 

Where will you submit?

I'm going to shoot for pro-paying markets, but not exclusively.  I'd like to be able to add my third pro-rate sale and qualify as an "active" member of the HWA.  It's a goal, but one I can't make on my own.  All I can do is make sure I'm putting stories in front of editors at pro-paying markets.  There are several semi-pro markets for which I have the utmost respect, and I'll also target them.  I'm a fan of good online reading (it really helps build an audience because your work is "out there" for free), and online markets figure pretty heavily in my list.  I enjoy participating with an audience, so I want readers to have ready access to my material.  One of the more common definitions of "submit" is to give over power or yield control.  Nothing could be more true.

Any tips for how people can manage researching markets AND writing at the same time? can be a writer's best friend, but don't let it be your only friend. usually has a few markets listed which don't make Duotrope.  If I don't have time to read every short fiction publication (and who does), I find review sites such as Tangent Online or Locus helpful--they can give you a taste of a market through the reviews.  I've made myself a handy "submission template" email into which I can type relevant information...basically, "Please consider my short story, "x" (n words), for publication in y magazine...yada, yada, yada"  It saves time.

How will you stay motivated when the inevitable rejections come in?

Rejections are part of the game.  They sting less when you're constantly submitting/revising/writing.  Along with the inevitable rejections, if I work hard enough and write well enough, there will be an acceptance or two.  It's a bit like gambling, but gambling with more control.  I can improve my chances of success with a better story.  How do I stay motivated?  Read.  Write.  Repeat.  Sometimes, when I'm feeling the rejection blues, I just read excerpts of Year's Best volumes or classic collections, telling myself "This author was also rejected at some point".
Thanks, Aaron. It's great to have you on board!


  1. Great attitude, Aaron, and quite the collection of published works. Best of luck with the challenge - may it bring you better stories and bigger publications.

  2. Great advice and ethos :O)

  3. I'm a fan of Aaron's work and look forward to accompanying him in this challenge: steady production, steady marketing, steady improvement of my craft. Where will it lead? I'm anxious to find out.

  4. I dig Aaron's work too. And adore Ray Bradbury's passion. Good luck with the goals, Aaron! I'm really tempted to try the challenge but I'm so busy with longer work in 2011. What a great idea.

  5. Thanks, DM. Challenges usually have a nice way of paying off in the end. I hope this one does as well.

    Cheers, Madeleine.

    Steady production for the win, Mr. Ramey!

    Lee - You're pretty much conquering the world already! Good luck with your goals. ;)