Monday, November 07, 2005

Shorts or Novels?

One answer to the short story vs. novel conundrum, via Miss Snark. Remember, the source is part of the answer too.

A while back I considered short stories as a way to get publishing credits. But when I started looking at the markets... Gulp. It was information overload. Trying to fathom which publications would carry weight (yet might realistically still publish my writing) and which were a wash out, started consuming ALL my fret time.

I decided to concentrate on finishing the damn book instead. Recently the idea of writing short stories stirred again. Any suggestions on where to find a concise list of reputable short story markets?

And while we're on the topic of short stories, let me use some fret time to ask IF they do get published what are the chances of selling them as part of an anthology down the line or is new work the buzz for new writers?

There are all sorts of places that publish short fiction. Writer's Market publishes lists of them I think. But, pick up a copy of "Best of -insert category here-" the anthologies published at the end of the year. Best American Short stories, Best crime writing, best sports stories, etc.

Look in the back. There's a list of where the winners were first published, and more important a list of where the top 100 were first published. Yes, there is a preponderance of New Yorker, and Playboy and Esquire, but there are lots of others too. Make a list. Check them out.

Next, go to your local indie book store and find the fiction buyer. Ask her/him what journals are good.

Next, go to your local library. Ask the librarian who buys fiction what s/he reads or looks at or considers a good source.

And don't fret. Write.

This question is one that is fiercely debated in my head and at my critique group.

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