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littlewhitewolf
07-12-2008, 12:09 PM
Hi
I'm looking for opinions on whether there are any publishers/agents out there interested in Short stories.

I have written about a hundred, got quite a few published in paying mags, the rest lie, collecting dust, in my files.

Is there a market?

Any suggestions on who to try?

llw

JeanneTGC
07-12-2008, 12:20 PM
There are a few, very few, agents who take short story collections, but I think they focus on literary and I'm sure there are many considerations they have before taking on a new collection.

Agents will shop short story collections for their existing clients, who are normally novelists, because they can say it's a collection of, say, Stephen King's shorts. They don't get overly excited to do it, but I know there are agents willing to do so for their existing clients (mine, for one).

If your published shorts were in high-profile magazines and you have a "name" built or building it's a better shot than if you're just the average short story writer whose pieces may be very much enjoyed but who isn't a "name" yet.

littlewhitewolf
07-12-2008, 12:42 PM
Hi Jeanne
Thanks for your reply.

I have a feeling the market for books of shorts is about to improve - who has the time these days to read more than a few pages at a time - lol

I have built up quite a rep for shorts and am getting them published quite easily, but my idea of what is a high-profile mag is limited by what I write - mostly huimour and horror [sometimes combined]

I recently had four flashes accepted in an anthology of short stories, published by the northern Ireland arts council - I guess that was a decent one? Other than that Mags like Flash me, Bound off ect.

I have just sent off a full manuscript of a novel [not shorts]at an agents request - so I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that. Dammit does this mean I've got to be famous before I can clear out my files? LOL
lww

Puma
07-12-2008, 04:11 PM
Hi littlewhitewolf - There are contests for short story collections - one of them is done by the Ohio State University Press every January. And there are others - if you look in western and historical genre forums there are stickies near the top with contests I've found that are coming up in the not too distant future - and there are other contests I didn't list. You can also do a google search for "short story" contest - there's at least one site that has a listing by month (can't remember what it is right now). Hope that helps. Puma

littlewhitewolf
07-12-2008, 05:28 PM
hi Puma
Thanks for the reply.

Looks like I'm going to have to get busy! [What about all the housework says an inner voice - dammit, it'll all still be there tomorrow I answer :) ]

wolf

Kalyke
07-12-2008, 08:30 PM
Short story collections are still published. They are generally short stories by writers who are famous, and have a ready made audience who will buy anything they put out.

kuwisdelu
07-12-2008, 08:51 PM
I have built up quite a rep for shorts and am getting them published quite easily, but my idea of what is a high-profile mag is limited by what I write - mostly huimour and horror [sometimes combined]

I think that at least puts you in the realm of "realistic" when trying to publish a collection, then. Try to query it around a bit.

If you don't get any bites, try your hand at a novel and query them together. I don't really have much insight, but it seems to me that the combination of a good record of published short stories and the possibility of publishing a collection alongside a breakthrough novel might help you.

Or you could write some interrelated shorts and pass it off as some kind of postmodern novel, which is what I'm doing, but ssh! ;)

littlewhitewolf
07-12-2008, 10:59 PM
Or you could write some interrelated shorts and pass it off as some kind of postmodern novel, which is what I'm doing, but ssh! ;)

I won't tell a soul, my lips are sealed.

I have a whole manuscript out at the moment, awaiting a decision from the agency and to tell the truth I' scared to rock the boat. [How long do these guys take to make up their minds?] meantime it's bread and cheese for dinner and I'm getting hungry. lol

littlewhitewolf
07-12-2008, 11:08 PM
Short story collections are still published. They are generally short stories by writers who are famous, and have a ready made audience who will buy anything they put out.


I know! I've read some excellent authors whose short stories leave a lot to be desired. I think short story writing is more difficult [although not so tedious as a novel] and because you're good at one doesn't necesserily mean you'll be good at the other, yet they get published regardless - who says life has gotta be fair? - me :)

Kalyke
07-13-2008, 01:57 AM
I won't tell a soul, my lips are sealed.

I have a whole manuscript out at the moment, awaiting a decision from the agency and to tell the truth I' scared to rock the boat. [How long do these guys take to make up their minds?] meantime it's bread and cheese for dinner and I'm getting hungry. lol

It can take 6 months to a year to actually hear back from someone. And another year for publishing if they decide to keep yours. Only 1% of manuscripts are published (or is that 10%). Someone said 5,000 books last year. Generally, you send it out, hope, and start writing a new one. -- no money. People who make a living off of books usually have a day job unless they hit the jack-pot. So turning in something that is "rarely published" will likely get fewer bites than the other full novels, so you need to have patience.

kuwisdelu
07-13-2008, 02:28 AM
I have a whole manuscript out at the moment, awaiting a decision from the agency and to tell the truth I' scared to rock the boat. [How long do these guys take to make up their minds?] meantime it's bread and cheese for dinner and I'm getting hungry. lol

If you didn't mention it in your initial query, I'd suggest just hang back and hope for the best. You have a little wiggle room in rocking the boat about your the manuscript in question after a few months of waiting, but only that manuscript. Wait until you're a client, and then--after a little while, like dating you don't want to seem overly-eager, but enthusiastically restrained--say "hey, I've also got this great idea for a collection of my stories..."

The life of a short story writer is definitely difficult, but I know a few small timers who've gotten their start in shorts and started with a collection before ever delving into novels. I took a class under one of them, too, so it's at least possible. ;)

Sargentodiaz
07-13-2008, 07:31 PM
As I've told others, check out the Agent List on Query Tracker

littlewhitewolf
07-13-2008, 08:13 PM
Query Tracker, is that a web site? Or within a website?

I'm new to all this.

Sargentodiaz
07-18-2008, 03:03 AM
http://www.querytracker.net/index.php

Jackfishwoman
07-18-2008, 04:08 AM
LittleWhiteWolf.... I used to detest short stories, until I read Alice Munroe. Now I love reading short stories and even write them myself. In fact, in this day and age of instant gratification, I think there is a need for short stories that can be read in one sitting. I find myself reading more short story collections because it's easier and seems to take less time than a 500 page novel. And, you can put a book of short stories down for a long period of time without being lost like you would with a novel.
Check out my publisher: they do short story collections of literay fiction. See the link below.

Ageless Stranger
07-18-2008, 02:50 PM
To be absolutely honest with you, I'm looking for some quality short story collections. Got Legends 1/2, all Stephen King's, All Neil Gaiman's and I'm on the look out for more. They're brilliant for journeys and those days when I just don't have the energy or time to dive into a new world for too long.

littlewhitewolf
07-19-2008, 01:25 PM
Thank you, Icabbie - I have just had a quick look [and joined] - loads of time needed to peruse that site, the amount of info is incredable!
Thanks again you have been sooooo helpful.

wolf

littlewhitewolf
07-19-2008, 02:04 PM
Hi Jackfishwoman and Agelessstranger.

Thank you both for your replies - like you, I have difficulty finding time to wade through a novel these days, if I get a decent amount of spare time I tend to spend it writing. Flashes are great for those odd few minutes, a quick coffee break ect.

Two books of short stories.

'Twisted'
'More Twisted'
Both by Jeffery Dever.

I intend to have a peep into the horror forum and perhaps post something.

Thanks again.

wolf

littlewhitewolf
07-19-2008, 02:10 PM
Hi Kuwis

Thanks for your advice.


but I know a few small timers who've gotten their start in shorts and started with a collection before ever delving into novels. I took a class under one of them, too, so it's at least possible. ;)

That lifts the heart! lol - all is not lost eh?

wolf

Phaeal
07-21-2008, 06:02 PM
The problem I have with short stories is that if one is really good, I'm sorry to have it end so soon. If it's not really good, well, I could have read as many words of a not really good novel and discarded it in the same amount of time.

Oh well.

Good luck on the novel submission! I'd say a novel in print and popular would be your best shot at getting a story collection well-published.

littlewhitewolf
07-21-2008, 06:18 PM
Hi
I know what you mean. I wish I had a dollar for everytime someone has said to me- You could turn this story into a novel :) My only wish is that I had the time and patience. The thing is, as soon as I start one story another one comes into my head Grrrr. Also I'm not that good at spinning out a story and I seem to want to get it finished and move on. Looks like my best bet is to wait and see what happens with the novel and go from there. Thanks for your thoughts Phaeal.

wolf