Ignore Career Advice From Established Writers

We don’t know anything about breaking into today’s market

Screengrab of Judith Merril introducing Doctor Who on TVOntario, in the 1970s.

“Breaking In,” is my latest column for Locus Magazine; it’s both the story of how I broke into science fiction, and an explanation of why there’s so little to learn from that story.

When I was trying to sell my first stories, I obsessively sought career advice and memoirs from established writers. I sat in on countless science fiction convention panels in which bestselling writers explained how they’d butter up long-dead editors to sell to long-defunct publications.

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