View Full Version : Q about subbing shorts

05-04-2011, 05:00 AM
My agent (like nearly all agents, I believe) doesn't send out short stories, though she will look over a contract for a short for me, should I place one myself.

Would it behoove me to mention, when sending out shorts, that I have an agent for my longer work (something along the lines of: my novel-length work is represented by XXX)? It isn't a publishing cred, certainly, but it's something. I just have no idea whether it's appropriate to mention it or not.

Becca C.
05-04-2011, 05:48 AM
I'm not an expert, but it's something I would mention.

05-04-2011, 06:30 AM
I mention it when I send my shorts out. I'm not sure if it does any good, but it certainly hasn't done any harm.

05-04-2011, 02:25 PM
Agreed with both of the above posters. Having an agent means you write well enough to have someone spend time and energy to get you published without making a cent unless you do publish.

05-04-2011, 06:12 PM
No. Merely having an agent is meaningless to magazine editors. Less than meaningless. Saying you have an agent really means, "I have an agent, but she hasn't been able to sell any of my novels, or I would have said I have had novels published, not that I have an agent."

Having published novels out there does have some meaning to magazine editors. It means you will likely be bringing some readers along with you. But even then your story still has to be one of the best the editor sees that month.

05-04-2011, 11:19 PM
Okay, I'm most familiar with the SF/F markets...but most seem to only read the cover letter afterwards. It's something I actually love about the short story market -- the fiction gets looked at first.

05-05-2011, 01:11 AM
The fact that you are good enough to gain an agent should be evident from your writing.

05-05-2011, 01:23 AM
You could have a great story that fits what the magazine wants yet not have an agent. Or you could have an agent but the story isn't what they want or the writing isn't up to par (can happen, even to the best writers). It's the writing that gets you published.

My two cents: Don't bother mentioning it, unless they specifically ask you for your bio if the work is published.

Corinne Duyvis
05-05-2011, 02:42 AM
I vote yes. It might help, and it can't hurt. All stories need to stand on their own in the end, I totally agree on that, but these things might just have an editor sit up a little straighter before reading your story. It's no different from other publishing credits in that respect.

05-05-2011, 03:19 AM
Thanks, everyone!

05-05-2011, 08:52 PM
I've never mentioned my agent when subbing shorts, only my publications.

Just me, but if I were a mag editor, I'd find the mention of an agent irrelevant. Unless, of course, my mag paid so much that the agent did the subbing. ;) And if I was feeling snarky (who, me?), I might find the mention of an agent sans sale to be pretentious and a tad desperate.

I'd also read the story before bothering with the cover letter. I'm not going to publish the cover letter, after all.