View Full Version : Query Question

09-23-2009, 10:51 PM
I guess I know how to write a good query, but I don't know if you're supposed to present a short story in the same way you would submit a manuscript. So...what should I do when trying to get an agent to look at my short story?

09-23-2009, 10:53 PM
You don't need an agent for a short story. You send (via either snail mail or email depending on publication guidelines) your whole story to the publication you're submitting to and they either accept or reject it. Rinse and repeat. Good luck.

09-23-2009, 10:54 PM
Agents don't represent short stories. It's possible to sign an agent with a complete book of multiple shorts, but generally speaking, agents represent books.

09-23-2009, 11:02 PM
Hmmm. I just assumed that they would because agents do have it listed. Okay. Thanks

09-23-2009, 11:06 PM
Hmmm. I just assumed that they would because agents do have it listed. Okay. Thanks
What do you mean?

Where do you intend to send the short story? If it's to a literary magazine or other publication, for a contest or otherwise, you send the whole thing directly to them. If you have a collection of short stories you want to publish as a book, you need an agent to submit to publishers for you. Does that help you?

09-23-2009, 11:41 PM
Some agents represent collections of short stories, so if their listings say "Short Stories" that's what they're referring to. And yes, if you're querying a collection of short stories, it's similar to querying a novel, although generally you'd pitch the title story and then the "thematic" elements of the collection.

09-23-2009, 11:52 PM
For a great list of markets to which you can send short stories, check out duotrope (http://www.duotrope.com/). There's also a ton of info in the Short Fiction subforum here at AW :)

Remember: always read the guidelines first. Always.

09-24-2009, 01:30 AM
Many legitimate short story markets offer no payment except contributor's copies. Others offer nominal payments, say, $10-$25. A few offer "real" money in the 5-10 cents a word range, while a tiny percentage offer "big" money -- in the thousands. But even if an agent sold your short for $1000, he'd only get maybe $150 for his work. Not worth the trouble, unless you're already a lucrative client. And, since the majority of short story markets accept unsolicited manuscripts, you don't need an agent to reach them anyway.

Agents may sell short story collections, but they will seldom be interested unless you already have a reputation, either through well-published shorts or novels.

So, yup. Get ye to Duotrope.