1. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    The best route for a begining short fiction author

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Nicholas C., Aug 15, 2011.

    What, in your opinion, is the best route for a writer of short fiction (4,000 - 6000 words) as far as publishing goes? I've seen some articles that advise unpublished authors to submit to writing contests like Writer's Digest, although paying a fee for this kind of thing rubs me the wrong way.

    Other options seem to be self-publishing, or submitting to magazines that cater to your genre. What is generally best, and is there anything I'm missing? Thanks :)
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Submit to short story magazines. It's probably your best bet.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    definitely!

    go to www.duotrope.com to find ones that are appropriate for what you have to offer...

    if you want to have a career as a writer, stick to paying venues... it's not easy to break in, but giving your work away won't make you look like a serious writer, imo...
     
  4. ThePublishr
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    ThePublishr New Member

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    I agree, write to short story competitions. Start a blog, increase your presence on social media websites so you can get more exposure - you never know who'll read your work. Good luck.
     
  5. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    The best start for a short-fiction writer is to start submitting your stories to the journals that you read stories you admire and want to be published along side. If you don't already have a list of such journals in your head, then your first stop is starting to read more, as it's improbable to expect to be published if you aren't reading the sort of publications you hope to be published in.

    I don't personally see anything wrong with contest fee. If you don't like it, don't enter, but usually it's a good way to make some money for a journal while also being able to pay out nicely for winning writers. Journals that simply charge reading fees, though, can go suck a lemon.
     
  6. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    Submitting for short stories is actually extremely easy. Haven't gotten accepted yet, but I've been doing it for . . . . . about 4 months now? I'm not sure.

    Just find some publications through duotrope.com and by asking people of publications they know (they'll all probably be magazines.) Submit your story to the writer's digest competition, too. (I'm going to be doing that as well.) And get ready for a ton of waiting, lol. They usually let you submit them electronically.

    In 4 months, I've submitted to two places. One I've received a rejection from: Clarkesworld. (They have really fast response times.) And the other one, Weird Tales Magazine, I'm still waiting to hear from after 86 days of waiting.

    Just submit to one place at a time (most magazines don't allow simultaneous submissions) and keep writing while you wait and also reading the stuff people write on those magazines. They often have samples on their sites, although not all places do. Good luck.
     
  7. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    How to get started as a short fiction writer:

    • Read a lot.
    • Write a story
    • Edit and proofread that story. Several times.
    • Find a suitable market for said story (as others have already said, www.duotrope.com is probably your best bet)
    • Submit the story to the market.
    • Start over.

    Really, persistence is what you need in order to make it. Keep writing, keep editing, and keep submitting. And bear in mind, that writers don't make it rich writing short fiction ;)
     
  8. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    Thank you for the replies.

    Yeah, I have zero intention of making it rich from writing short stories (or any stories for that matter). My main objective in writing them is to try and gain some kind of publishing resume before trying to have a novel published.
     
  9. Nicholas C.
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    Nicholas C. Active Member

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    Thank you for the replies.

    Yeah, I have zero intention of making it rich from writing short stories (or any stories for that matter). My main objective in writing them is to try and gain some kind of publishing resume before trying to have a novel published.
     
  10. Derrick Ryder
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    Derrick Ryder New Member

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    Don't Expect to be paid.

    Hey,

    My advise would be monitor your on-line presence carefully and don't expect to be paid. Competitions are a obviously a great way to go about short stories as a couple of wins, however minor will bolster your writing cv and help you no end when submitting work for consideration. Competitions with no prizes (and therefore no entry fee) can be a good start but check the quality of previous winners and decide whether it is something that you want to be associated with.

    As the other contributors said a blog is a great way to improve your on-line presence but always remember that you are writing in character. The character being the 'you that you want to put across to potential publishers. Whilst being published online is still considered somewhat less prestigious than in print (mainly due to the amount of dross out there) this is changing and there a number of sites for new writers that operate with the same quality controls as publishers. (www.thefictionshelf.com being my current site of choice.)

    I'm new here btw but I have had a brief look round and its great to find such great advice.
     
  11. Derrick Ryder
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    Derrick Ryder New Member

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    And thanks for the point towards www.duotrope.com/ I had never heard of it and it looks really useful.
     

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