Almost six years after winning NaNo 2017 with the draft of the novel Under Her Wing, the first work of original fiction I completed since my teens, I finally finished rewriting it, and submitted it to a publisher. And not just any publisher! OFIC magazine specializes in publishing original fiction written by fanfiction writers. It’s a perfect match, but more importantly, it means they’re my tribe, and that made both the decision and the process so much easier than it would’ve been otherwise.
Specifically, I applied for the 2023 OFIC Press Prize. With no knowledge or intuition of the volume and quality of the applications, I’m careful not to develop any expectations, but I do very much hope to win the prize. UHW came out of this latest (perhaps final) round of edits a highly polished piece. It easily captures and firmly holds attention, and I think I’ve done a good job rendering the characters in the end. The one friend who beta-read the novel was surprised by the resolution, which made me beam with pride. But of course, I’ve no way of judging it objectively.
It might be a long while before the prize winners are announced—again, depending on the volume and quality of the applications, it might be months in the future. But after all the focused work I put into UHW lately, I’m happy to forget about it for a while. Other works await!
As a case in point, I have also submitted a story proposal for the Many Hands anthology from Duck Prints Press, another publisher specializing in original works by and for fandom at large, and I’m already working on it.
This has been an exciting summer, writing-wise. Regardless of the outcome of these submissions, having: 1) finished UHW, 2) gone through the process of submission, and 3) learned of two potential outlets for my writing, are huge milestones and, hopefully, my first steps towards the much-coveted status of a “published author”. Woohoo!