Whine Session: Why On Earth Is It So Hard To Find What I Want?

Yes, this is basically just a long whine. If such content offends you and makes your eyes bleed, please look away. I don’t want to receive any angry messages from your next of kin.

I have been a very well-behaved writer, reading editor’s blogs, buying writing books, putting my pride and joy up for criticism and, of course, writing myself. I even bought the Australian Writer’s Marketplace in order to find agents, publishers and literary magazines who would want my work. Now I’m annoyed, to be honest. It seems every listing, particularly agents and magazines, do not want fantasy and/or young adult fiction. Some who want one will refuse to touch the other. Considering the current popularity of young adult fantasy novels, I find this extremely irritating.

I recently took to the book with a highlighter and perused (as in going over something with a fine toothcomb, which is the proper use of the word) the magazine listings. Out of what had to be several hundred magazines, only a small handful accepted fantasy. Even less were geared towards the adolescent reader. I understand that most people my age are not interested in reading short stories, especially as we are often forced to do so against our will in school. However, I know there are some well-read teenagers out there who are.

I have ordered a copy of the Aurealis Magazine, which appears to be the most prominent fantasy/science fiction magazine in the country, in order to see the sort of stories they publish. I’m hoping some of them will at least vaguely resemble the sort of writing I do.

I’m actually considering overseas publication at this point in time, considering how few agents in Australia handle the sort of material I write. I know the odds of being agented quickly are slim, and I fear I may run out of agents once my novel (It’s not finished yet. I’m thinking ahead.) has been rejected a handful of times. I’m not quite as concerned about the publishers, as they’re easier to find and there appear to be more of them handling the genres I’m interested in.

I suppose I’ll draw up a list of Australian literary magazines, agents and publishers and hope for the best.

4 thoughts on “Whine Session: Why On Earth Is It So Hard To Find What I Want?

  1. It does all seem pretty silly given the popularity of the genre now. I’ve never understood all the restrictions… Though the one that galls me most is along the lines of “Read our magazine so you know what kind of fiction we accept.” As if they’re ruling out any kind of progression…

    My thought with the smaller magazines & journals at least is, even if they say they won’t accept a particular genre, if you think your story’s damned good, send it anyway. They’d be foolish not to accept, and hopefully someone will decide not to be foolish. With larger magazines & agents that’s probably less effective.

    Wandered in from WordPress, by the way, hello.


    • I am essentially a gigantic chicken, so I don’t have the guts to try it. Maybe I’ll write a story for the Aurealis magazine once the first draft of my novel is finished. I’ve bought a copy of one of their issues. Unfortunately, it was one of their more horror-centric ones. I can see why we should read the magazine to see what sort of stuff they prefer. It’s always safer to try that first than anything else, I guess, not that I know. I suppose they have to stick with what works. With smaller magazines, they’re more likely to accept different stuff as long as it isn’t too far outside the box. I think branching too far out into a different genre will make those people cringe. Editors have their personal tastes as well. Again, I don’t know all this from experience, only what others have said…and common sense. Hello to you too 🙂


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