Yesterday's e-mail brought a message with the subject "A Cup of Comfort For Golfers: Important Notice" and it caught my eye immediately. I'd sent a golf story for the book they were planning several months ago. Mabye this was my acceptance letter, or one saying my story was a finalist. In great anticipation, I opened the message and felt totally deflated when I read it.
They were writing to all the authors of stories submitted for the book to inform us that they were cancelling the whole project. Part of the message read: "This decision is based on economic conditions and other factors beyond our control that are affecting the book industry at large and that have hit the nonfiction inspirational book category especially hard."
It seems to be happening more and more. Jan Fields writes a monthly newsletter for writers of childrens' stories. One page is devoted to markets. She lists markets that are looking for specific kinds of stories and then markets that are closed. Lately, the list of closed markets has grown longer. One such page can be found at http://www.kidmagwriters.com/market/onemrkt.htm At http://www.duotrope.com/ you'll find listings of fiction markets. They, too, put out a newsletter, but on a weekly basis. One section is reserved for markets that are no longer open to submissions, and that list grows longer, too.
Yes, it's due to the economic downturn we're sloshing our way through. Will it get better? I certainly hope so. I want to believe that it will. How long it will take is anyone's guess. Meanwhile, getting published will be more and more competitive, so if you do have a story, article or essay published, be extra happy. You did it with the odds against you.
My thoughts today are going to include other places I might send my golf story.