It’s officially August, by just over eight hours, but I’m writing about July, so I think the headline still counts!

This past month, I’ve mostly been busy with writing first drafts for my two writing submissions for my second semester of my Master of Letters (Creative Writing). I wrote short stories for my first two units, which both received good marks (yay!) and are now out doing the submission rounds. This time around, it’s another short story – and a short play to mix things up a little. Because it’s all about word count, the play is going to be a most unhelpful length for production: probably about twenty minutes, which will rule it out for all the 10 minute play festivals, while it’ll still be way too short for a stand-alone play. The short story (Women’s Work) takes a first century AD Roman event and sends it into outer space, while the play (Liberty) is about a man who falls for an AI program. I think it’s safe to say that I’m all about the spec fic these days.

Both my partner and I have had a spate of stories get past slush and to the short-listed stage of things recently. It’s funny, but a rejection at that stage of things always seems to feel worse than getting the standard form reject after a couple of weeks. Logically, I know that it means I’m doing something right, and that the decision was about publication fit and editor tastes, instead of writing quality, but it still smarts a little. I have three submissions at that long-term stage at the moment, and I’m just hoping they don’t all decide to send rejections through on the one day 😉

I did, however, get a lovely and very helpful personal rejection from Shimmer last month. I think that Shimmer is one of the best publications out there at the moment, so it was particularly great to get some feedback from them.

August will be all about Women’s Work and Liberty for me. I have a lot of re-drafting to do on Women’s Work and Liberty is still quite a way from a finished first draft. Hopefully, next time I blog I’ll be able to say that both are in the polished draft stage, awaiting feedback from my lecturer.