SPACE STATION NEXUS
NEVER GIVE UP!
Thanks to the creators of Galaxy Quest, I now have a phrase that best sums up the long journey of my first professional fiction sale. (By professional, I mean an editor actually paid me genuine real money for my efforts.) EOTU Ezine of Fiction, Art, & Poetry (http://www.clamcity.com/eotu.html) published my story, "The Secret Life of Machiavelli Argent," in the June 2003 edition.
The Mac story, as I like to call it, began life in the late 1990s as a tale set in the Space Station Nexus universe, which at the time, was still firmly wedded to the Star Trek universe. In December 1997, STARFLEET: The International Star Trek Fanzine, Inc., fanzine, Stellar Visions 2 featured my story, "The Secret Files of Machiavelli Argent."
By 2001, I'd decided to write professionally and decommissioned Space Station Nexus as a member of SFI in order to reclaim all rights to the Nexus universe. I began rewriting the stories set in the Star Trek Nexus universe, putting them into my newly created Galactic Confederation universe. If you'd like to know more about Space Station Nexus and the Galactic Federation, check out: http://www.ssnexus.org. Here you'll find all kinds of goodies: a chronology of stories, timeline, glossary, cast of characters, etc.
Side Note: If you are interested in taking your Star Trek-based chapter fiction into the professional realm, you'll likely need to rewrite your stories into your own universe. Most, if not all, professional publications won't accept any fiction based on pre-established TV/Movie/Books, etc, series. The exception, of course, would be any Star Trek anthologies such as Strange New Worlds, but even then, you should check the submission guidelines for their acceptance policy.
But I digress... It took me several months to rewrite "The Secret Files of Machiavelli Argent" into the "The Secret Life of Machiavelli Argent." In order not to confuse myself, I keep the Star Trek and professional versions separate by using different titles for each.
Once I was satisfied with the results, it was time to find a market. After consulting several Speculative Fiction market websites (I highly recommend http://www.ralan.com), I began sending out the manuscript to various publishers. After several rejections, in September 2002, I received word from Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine that Mac had passed first reading. Unfortunately, it didn't make it past the second reading; however, along with the rejection came several excellent comments.
Using the feedback, I re-wrote the story yet again and sent it to another market, EOTU Ezine, which accepted the story for their June 2003 edition. Booyah!
So what advice would I give an aspiring writer? Check out the title of this article. If those words are good enough for the crew of the NSEA Protector and me, they can work for you as well:
"Never Give Up! Never Surrender!"
Copyright Allyson M. W. Dyar, 2003
First published in Communiqué #117 (June/July, 2003).
Communiqué is the bi-monthly publication of
STARFLEET: The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc.,
and is reprinted here by permission.
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