Author to hold publishing seminar

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

Oct. 11, 2022 – DENTON – You've written a short story and feel pretty good about it. Friends have told you how great it is and you really should get it published.

How do you do that?

Answers can be found at a seminar on getting published, featuring author Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam on Oct. 18, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the TWU Student Union at Hubbard Hall auditorium. The event is sponsored by the TWU department of Language, Culture, and Gender Studies.

Stufflebeam, with more than 90 published short stories to her credit, will discuss the basics of publishing. The seminar will be followed by a question-and-answer session, and Stufflebeam will sign copies of her novella, Glorious Fiends.

"It'll be a lot of stuff about submitting work and handling rejection," Stufflebeam said of the seminar. "I teach a lot of newer writers, so I've done this seminar on when you first submit your work to magazines and the nitty gritty of some online tools you can use."

Another topic will be identifying publications looking for short stories.

"There's a huge market out there," Stufflebeam said. "There are fewer magazines that pay, and they don't pay anything like they used to pay in the 60s and 70s. You can't sustain yourself as a short story writer or even as a novel writer anymore, but there are a lot of markets that will pay you. You can definitely make money off your writing."

But a seminar on publishing would be incomplete without a discussion of the inevitable rejection.

"I do get asked about rejection a lot," Stufflebeam said. "How to deal with rejection, and how much rejection to expect. I've had more than 90 stories published since 2013 when I started submitting. It sounds like a lot, but I've also had over 2,000 rejections.

"I think eventually you just develop a thick skin," she said. "It is important to keep in mind that if an editor rejects your work, it doesn't mean your work is terrible. Often it's just that the work did not appeal to that editor. There could be any number of reasons. Maybe they just bought something that was very similar. I've had stories that were rejected by 60 markets, and market No. 61 picks it up. I think it's important to distance yourself from the work. Instead of obsessing over the places you've submitted, move on to the next thing. Write something new to put your thoughts into the future."

Stufflebeam's mainstay is horror stories, and Glorious Fiends was inspired by the classic movies of Hammer Films, the legendary English film studio made famous by actors like Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Barbara Shelley. Hammer produced a series of Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Mummy films.

"During the pandemic, I was asked by an editor to write a novelette that was inspired by Hammer Horror," Stufflebeam said. "I had never watched a lot of Hammer films, so it was exciting to get to dive into all of these classic horror films. After I wrote the novelette, I wanted to explore these characters more, so I started writing the novella, Glorious Fiends, which was published in September.”

The story follows a vampire named Roxanne who resurrects her deceased best friends only to be confronted by a dream-dwelling Guardian of the Underworld, who demands that she replace them in his afterlife with three equally nefarious creatures—or he’ll drag her there instead.

Publisher's Weekly described Glorious Fiends as "The story wears its horror influences on its sleeve with campy glee even as it dissects them."

"I was trying to write this really serious story, and I was stuck at home (during the pandemic)," Stufflebeam said. "I decided that instead of writing this super-serious thing, I would write whatever sounded fun. So I wrote this book that was based on horror that I liked and watched a lot of. I just wanted to have fun with it. It's very humorous, it's very zany, and the characters are very vibrant."

Stufflebeam, who pays the bills by writing romance games for the mobile app Chapters, has written a horror novel that her agent is about to start sending to publishers.

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Page last updated 10:36 AM, October 11, 2022