Hi everyone, I joined today in hopes you might be able to assist me deciding how and where I should send a short story I have written. I have re-read and edited many times over the last half-year or so, and I am confident that it's in good form now. Here are some details about the story. Genre: Abstract, dark (horror) fantasy. Perhaps more "magical realism", technically. There is division half-way through the story, where everything before it is very beautiful, light and fantastical, but afterward delves into a nightmarish, horror climax. Length: 4,400 words (not precise, but very close, will have the precise number before sending out) Themes: Empiricism, insanity, taboo sexuality/romance, misanthropy. About the themes. Generally speaking, these are not themes that are existing at the same time and competing for attention as you read the short story, rather they are each independent possible ways to interpret the entire story. For the most part. I only intended for one theme originally but I realized several more ways it could be interpreted as I re-read it over and over again. There obviously may be more for all I know. Also to consider: when I say "taboo sexuality", it is extremely implicit. Nothing explicitly sexual occurs in the story. ------------------------- I am not published and this is my first time attempting the process. Now, a big question I have is: it seems like you can only get a short story published anywhere if it has never been published before. So it seems to follow that you can only ever get a short story published once. That concerns me slightly because it makes me think I have to aim for the big publications first in order to avoid getting stuck in some super-local publication that no-one cares about. Which means more time and resources and inevitably more rejections as I would work down from the big ones. Is this a real concern? I don't care about money right now, and I realize only very lucky or special people can actually make a living publishing short stories, but I ask this as far as using this as a vehicle to possibly start a career in writing novels. Does having works in smaller publications have a significant effect on one's prospects in this regard? Now, I am going to write the cover letter probably tonight. I would just like some opinions about if I look to be in good starting condition and where I should start investing. Do you guys think there is an interest out there for philosophical and minimalistic, 'avant-garde'-ish style material out there? Thanks in advance.