1. Eddyz Aquila
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    Eddyz Aquila Member

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    Short story question

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Eddyz Aquila, Aug 17, 2009.

    I'm in the process of creating a collection of 5 short stories with the theme of "Growing up/Maturing", basically having the stories of 5 children/adolescents/young adult having a very powerful experience and returning more "mature". Regarding this I was wondering 2 things:

    1. Would it be interesting for the reader? (the theme I mean)
    2. Would it be interesting for an agent?

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Unlikely. You should focus on getting individual stories published. Don't count on any "package deals."
     
  3. Eddyz Aquila
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    Eddyz Aquila Member

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    So if I have a single short story I sent it to an agent?

    But would the theme be interesting for the average reader?
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Coming of age is one of the classic story themes.
     
  5. Eddyz Aquila
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    Eddyz Aquila Member

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    Thanks. :)
    Last question - if the story is only like 8-9 A4 pages, is it still marketable?
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    agents don't rep short stories, only books...

    and they won't take on a book-sized collection of short stories by an unknown new writer, because publishers won't take them on, either... there's simply no market for them in the us [though there may be in the uk]...

    as for size, no one goes by pages in the publishing industry, only by word count... and the most publishable size for short stories is 5k, or less... if you are using proper ms format of double-spacing, 1" margins all around and courier new 12pt font, 8-9 pages will come out to about 2,000 to 2,500 words...

    you can check out the magazine and literary journals that take short stories and their submission guidelines here: www.duotrope.com

    you can also learn a lot about them, plus publishing basics in writers market annual editions, or on their website...

    hope this helps... love and hugs, maia
     
  7. tcol4417
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    tcol4417 Member

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    Out of curiosity, does that mean that the vast majority of short-story collections are written by people who are already known, archivists, publishers themselves or just overseas sources (assuming you're in the US)?
     
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Yes. However, I know that there a few people whose first publication has been a collection of short stories. But even then those people have established themselves by publishing individual short stories in magazines, anthologies, etc.
     
  9. jammie dodger
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    jammie dodger New Member

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    Collections of short stories are only ever considered if the author's work has been previously published. The best way to get noticed is to submit your manuscripts to the many short short story magazine's that accept unsolicited manuscripts. Usually these publications look for works of around 2000 words in length. The competition for publication in these is however, fierce. They usually recieve thousands of manuscripts per month, for issues that are usually only published quarterly or even bi-annually.

    The themes you describe are always a subject of interest to readers and have been covered many times before. It is more important for you to really analyse your writing style and the way in which you have approached the theme. Read as many short stories as you can and think about how these authors are working, the techniques they use, word choice etc. Think about things you like/ don't like about their writing style and apply the same critical view to your own work. If your writing is good, and when you are happy that your work needs no further revision, look into the types of magazine where it would fit and keep your fingers crossed!

    As a final note, do not be discouraged if your work is rejected. The standard for these magazines is usually very high.

    Keep writing!
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not really, though it's generally true... there have been some exceptions, but they're very rare, so one shouldn't count on being one...
     

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