Today’s post is a departure – a guest post from I.O. Kirkwood – but still within my “How to get Published” series theme. IO is a rising writer with a refreshing viewpoint. She, too was an unpublished writer until recently.  Now read on…



Since the age of 12, in almost 32 years, I have written over one-hundred beefy novels of complete crapola.

That’s ten million words, folks. I have authored my own Encyclopedia Crappanica, and I mean the umpteen-volume-set that requires a magnifying glass to read the entries. I don’t regret a single word (as long as they remain unread) because those ten million beauties reached critical mass in 2013.

Other people have a swifter learning curve than me: 


I dared to write about something close to my heart. I wrote the first draft in an hour. I didn’t edit because I’d written ten million words of crap already. It was a freeing experience. I wrote with joy and passion. I walked away from the writing. I returned a week later to edit. When I reread the words, my creation did something that only other authors’ works had achieved: my story moved me. It wasn’t, “Hey, that’s great. I’m so clever, ha-ha!” I was moved to freakin’ tears. I’m not a Hallmark kind of gal. This was an unusual experience. I hold onto that memory because it has become a sign post of what a good story feels like.


Now I don’t know about any other writer, but knowingly submitting anything I write to anyone is akin to strong-arming me into the dentist’s office. (I don’t like the dentist. I’m traumatized even mentioning it. Oh, the things I do for my art.) I submitted the story electronically after over an hour of dithering about whether I should click the mouse, for Mike’s sake. Now that I look back on it, what a ridiculous waste of time. I could have been writing more words.


I recently discovered that the story is one of eleven finalists in the contest. It will be published in an anthology in 2014.

So, in a nutshell:

  1. WRITE. One million-, ten million-, eleven kagillion-words, it doesn’t matter. Build the bedrock upon which future writing will rest.
  2. DARE. Go to the place that gives you the emotional willies. Move yourself to tears.
  3. SUBMIT. The answer is always NO if you don’t ask. Interestingly enough, my second successful submission came a month after I submitted the first and will publish before the first! I am hoping my success will breed as quickly as bunnies, much like my word count did.

 * * *

 Thanks, IO. Many publishing successes to you!

4 thoughts on “WRITE, DARE, SUBMIT – Guest Post

    1. Glad it was a tonic. And it does happen, writers DO get picked-up for publishing. I’ve had 5 short stories published in recent months and a few more coming up, despite a series of rejections.

      Don’t let the wotsits grind you down!



  1. Pingback: Anthologies and Contests | Andy McKell

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