[Call for Quotes] How Did You Get Published?

Hi folks,

Based on the popularity of my article yesterday for SFWA.org entitled Message to New Writers: It’s Okay to Focus on Your Craft, I would like to follow up in July with a new article that highlights how published authors got their start.

    If you are a published author who has gotten paid for your fiction, please consider telling us about the first story you ever published and where it was featured.

    You may contact me directly or provide a quote in the comments below along with your website.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: no two paths within this industry are alike. You and I may have opinions about the approach an author has, but at the end of the day those thoughts mean diddly. What matters, is focusing on your own work. What you are comfortable doing. What you are happy with.

I hope by exploring other people’s stories, in addition to my own, that we’ll not only shed some insight on these diverse paths, but we’ll also provide new authors with some much-needed encouragement.

7 Responses to [Call for Quotes] How Did You Get Published?
  1. Matt Forbeck

    My first published fiction, outside of a gaming product, was the short story “Crocidilopolis,” which appeared in the Strange Tales of the Nile Empire anthology. That was based on the RPG Torg.

    • Matt Forbeck

      I’d done a little work for West End Games, and that gave me an in with the anthology’s editors.

  2. R.S. Hunter

    “Runner” was my first published short story. It appeared in the Abaculus II anthology by Leucrota Press. Surprisingly enough I heard about the call for submissions on Writing.com where it was posted as a contest. I’d written the story in college in lieu of a final essay for a world lit. class. It was the first thing I’d ever submitted. Imagine my surprise when I got the letter saying it was going to be published.

  3. David Earle

    My first published work (for pay) was the short story The Assassin’s Dilemma, in the Death & Dishonour anthology set in the Warhammer Fantasy world.

    Black Library was running an open submission window/contest for the book. I wrote two entries for the contest, one of which I had a lot of fun writing but didn’t quite follow the rules (no monster protagonists!). As it turned out, that’s the one they asked me to develop into a full story.

  4. M. Joseph Young

    The company publishing my gaming products wanted to start a comic line based on the game, and asked me to write the text. They canceled the comic because the art was too much trouble, but they liked the story and asked me to turn it into a novel.

    I’d published some game-related fiction on other web sites, as well as a lot of non-fiction articles by that time.

  5. Patrick S. Tomlinson

    I had been writing a novel and short stories for over a year when I started submitting to markets. After eighteen rejections for various stories, I finally got an acceptance from “Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine”.

    My story was a unique take on the zombie genre, one where a campaign worker had to raise the dead of her district as zombies so that the could go and vote in an election. Austrailia, where ASIM is based, just happened to be coming up on an election of its own. The editor thought the story was both funny and well-timed.

    That was the spark for me. Since then, I’ve grown in confidence, and others in the industry have started to take me more seriously, making sales easier to get. There’s still a LONG way to go before I can call this a living, but it feels like I’m on the path.

  6. Aaron Rosenberg

    My first paid fiction was a pair of Highlander short stories, “The Blade” and “Churchyard Stories” for Castle News by Thunder Castle Games. I’d met the TCG crew at GenCon and started playtesting the Highlander Card Game with them, and they invited me to write stories for the magazine. That was back in 1995. Writing those stories helped lead to my doing novels for Exalted, Star Trek, Eureka, and others, as well as my own original work.

Monica Valentinelli is a writer, editor, and game developer. Her portfolio includes stories, games, comics, essays, and pop culture books.

In addition to her own worlds, she has worked on a number of different properties including Firefly, Vampire: the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Hunter: the Vigil, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, and Robert E. Howard’s Conan.

Looking for Monica’s books and games that are still in print? Visit Monica Valentinelli on Amazon’s Author Central or a bookstore and game store near you.

Want to Interview or Hire Me? Send Fan Mail?

Would you like to hire me? Because my projects and manuscripts are in flux, I am always open to discussing new opportunities with publishers and studios. As a full-time writer, I spend a portion of my time seeking new gigs–so don’t be afraid to reach out. If you’re interested, please e-mail me via my Contact Page. I typically reply to work-related e-mails within one-to-two business days.

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