Big leagues, baby, big leagues

I've been pretty fortunate: I've convinced editors to publish my short stories before. Here, here and a few other places I can't locate right now. All online. And all unpaid. Which, yeah, okay, recognition is nice, but recognition minus actual payment still leaves an amateur taste in the mouth. I mean, your mom could publish your work on a Xerox machine. Getting a total stranger to fork over cash — however small, and it is usually small — for short fiction is a minor miracle.

Today, I can officially say, I am a writer. A Paid Fiction Writer.

There is a qualification.

Well, two. No. 1 is I don't exactly have a check yet. Just a contract offer.

No. 2: I'm getting paid for the podcast of the story. I still won't be a paid, written published author, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

Meet Well Told Tales.

It's a pulp-fiction podcast, which means they do these 15-30 minute podcasts once a week of short pulp, sci-fi or horror, read by actors. It's free, and you can sign up for it at iTunes. I read about it on Boing Boing just as the first one was going up last April. Anyway, I started vetting submissions about two months ago as a volunteer thing — because I thought well, if I like what's getting on the podcast I might really like some of the stuff that doesn't make it to podcast. Free reading! Amazingly, they were happy for my help.

So I read. I read a lot of drek. I found a lot of good stuff. And even read one story which the author had copyrighted in 1973. Most of what I've given thumbs up to has ended up on the podcast since, which either means I'm in agreement with the guy who runs the site, or it's just luck. But it's been fun, and hard: I don't like judging other people's writing.

Anyway, reading what I read either got the juices going or made me realize I couldn't do worse than some of this stuff that folks had proudly put forward and I got an inspiration after going to my mom's place in Austin for Thanksgiving. The story popped out shortly thereafter, and after a rewrite or two, voila. It seemed tailor-made for the podcast, so I sent it off.

Tonight I heard back: Yep, they liked it. Yep, they'll pay. Yep, it's a 14-page contract (seriously) that involves two years of movie options, should they want to option. You get paid extra if they exercise the option (they already made one film based on a short they have, and that should be out later this year). Meanwhile, I can send it off elsewhere, should I desire (and I might do that).


The only downside is it's got a holiday theme and I didn't finish it until the first of this year, so it won't be out until December-ish. But I'll be sure to update in this space once I know.

It's a nice, nice feeling!


  1. purly on 1/19/08 at 9:27 pm


  2. Armchair News on 1/19/08 at 9:46 pm

    Hey, thanks! 😀

  3. snoringKatZ on 1/19/08 at 10:23 pm

    [this is good] I’m not really up on the latest in terminology but, based on what I have seen over the past year or so, I believe the appropriate response to your news is


    I could be wrong, though, so perhaps the more mundane “AWESOME!” will suffice?  :)  I’m so happy for you!

  4. Armchair News on 1/20/08 at 8:50 am

    That is so AWESOME of you to say. Thanks so much!

  5. mKc on 1/20/08 at 4:53 pm

    Congratulations!  That’s really exciting.

  6. Armchair News on 1/20/08 at 6:02 pm

    Thank you very much!

  7. Cameron G Rose on 1/23/08 at 6:56 am

    I’m so excited! I can’t wait to hear it. Thanks for turning me onto the website.