1. Defekt
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    Defekt New Member

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    I want to start the process

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Defekt, Sep 12, 2010.

    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.
     
  2. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    Under the 'collected informative link for submitters' thread at the top of this category are two excellent resources for finding markets.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Some magazines do accept stories that have been published elsewhere, but check the guidelines to make sure. Also, it's very tough to get published in a prestigious magazine and/or a magazine that pays well. There's nothing wrong with starting small and working your way up. Most writers start this way. If you feel, however, that your story would be a better fit in one of these big publications, then go for it. Just keep in mind that these magazines are extremely competitive.

    There's a market out there for pretty much everything. It's just a matter of doing some searching to see which magazines would be a good home for your story. duotrope.com is a good place to search for markets.
     
  4. izanobu
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    izanobu Senior Member

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    I'd send it to Apex magazine or Clarkesworld first, from the sounds of the story. Either are pro paying markets (ie 5 cents a word or more) and reputable. Check Duotrope or Ralan for submission guidelines and links.

    If you are serious about a career in writing fiction, definitely start at the top markets and work from there. The worst they can say is no. However, and I mean this in the nicest way possible, if it takes you 6 months to finish a short story, you'll likely never make much money with them.
    Working your way up is actually not that great of a plan if you want credits to put into a query letter for novels. Editors will only care about the paying markets (and generally only the ones they've heard of). A big list of token or 4 the luv market credits means nothing. So if your goals are for a career, definitely aim at the top. :)

    Once you've sold a story once and the rights revert to you, you can sell it again and again to any markets that buy reprints. Just check the market guidelines and they'll tell you. Reprint rights generally sell for less money, but it is a way that one story can keep earning and earning and it can start add up.

    Getting published in top markets isn't for just the special or lucky. If you work hard, learn your craft, and get lots of stories out to markets, you will sell them eventually. Don't give up :)
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's good advice up there... pay attention to it...

    but having written/published short stories won't really help you to sell a novel, unless you've become a well-known and critically acclaimed short story author...
     
  6. Lmc71775
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    Lmc71775 Active Member

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    I don't think you need a query letter for a short story. All the times I did it, I never enclosed one with it...and I have gotten published.

    DF_Underground is a good venue. They are a paying market, I think 10 dollars and up. I think it depends on the length of the story. Good luck
     
  7. John Cleeves
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    John Cleeves Member

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    Google "Duotrope.com" to find a home for your story; it's a search engine, a massive one, for magazines in which you can search by genre, theme, pay, sub type, reply time, length, and more.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    lmc... i don't see anyone saying to send a query... only mention was of a 'cover' letter, which of course would accompany the submitted story ms...
     

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