Thursday, February 28, 2008

Short Stories

If you're like me, sometimes it's nice to get in and out of a story fast. The investment of time is minimal and leaves me time to er . . . nap.

This is true whether I'm acting as a reader or a writer.

But what are the benefits of writing short stories?

The first benefit is honing your craft. You've got to jump in, get the story told well, and jump out again within a limited number of words. You learn to write tight and understand what truly is important to tell your story and what is so much fluff.

The second is that it's generally easier to break into print through a short story publication. That's no small thing when it come to putting together your resumé and bio for agents and editors.

Third, you can start to build a readership through shorts. People will begin to seek you out because they like your voice. How cool would that be?

Fourth, you get the satisfaction of completing something fast. THE END are sometimes two of my favorite words.

So, where do you start?

Target some publications and become familiar with them. Read a couple of their issues and make sure your story would be a fit.

Read and follow their submission guidelines. You never want your name to be on the wrong kind of list.

Here are a few recommendations from other writers:

Crime and Suspense Magazine is a favorite of many.

Mysterical-e Magazine has been around for a while.

Here are three more:

Mouth Full of Bullets
Spinetingler Magazine
Apollo's Lyre

And one of my all-time favorite information sites for short-story publications:

Duotrope On Duotrope you can enter whatever parameters you're looking for and you will get a list of possibilities for your consideration.

Sheesh, now I want to get to work on some of my own!

It's all better with friends.

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