Short Game #2: Contracts, Editing & Reality

 Rights, Clauses and Contracts! Oh My!

Author Douglas Smith treated us to a second workshop based on his book, Playing the Short Game. This workshop assumes you read the first half of the book details, and that you have sold a story. Before moving forward, we reviewed situations like being in the “slush pile” and “editorial need.” It was a quick summary of what happens before being accepted for publication. Now what? You’ve sold a story! It’s very exciting, but the work isn’t over yet.

A fair contract is essential. Douglas Smith took us through all the nitty-gritty, rights and clauses of contracts. A writer should exercise control over the contract. The first contract will favour the publisher and is just the beginning of a discussion. Learn where your “line” is. How far are you willing to go and change what you want? Don’t be afraid to ask for your own changes or clarify wording. Don’t sign anything you’re not comfortable with.

Even though your story was accepted for publication, that doesn’t mean the publisher thinks it is ready. Now you get to work with an editor. What will that be like? Douglas Smith outlined it for us. A good editor will make your story better. Can you accept constructive feedback? It is essential to working with an editor and therefore essential to getting your story published.

Douglas Smith’s presentation was full of knowledge and experience. We went deep into his book, learning about publishing short stories and what we can do as writers to make that happen. I’m looking forward to putting what he taught us into use.

Upcoming Events:

WYCR Annual General Meeting + Self-publishing 101 – Sunday, April 7, 1:00pm to 4:00pm, Victoria Hall, Aurora.

Optimizing Personal Appearances, with Gary McGugan – Wednesday, April 17, 7:00pm to 9:00pm at Chapters Newmarket, 17440 Yonge Street, Newmarket.

Mega Local Authors Event – Saturday, May 4, 2019 – Sunday, Jun 9, 2019, 10:00am to 5:00pm at Chapters Stores in Newmarket and Markham.

Pens ‘n Friends: Luncheon & Peer Critiques – Sunday, May 19, 2019, 12:00pm to 4:00pm at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex, Newmarket.


Written by

When Loni isn't reading other people's words or running around after her two young children, she spends time writing stories of her own. She finds inspiration in the little things, but also in momentous events. Loni currently resides in York Region. Twitter: @LoniStorm Instagram: loni_storm Facebook: @LoniCameronWriter

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