View Full Version : Would you like to be in one of my crime noir stories?

Ralph Robert Moore
06-16-2007, 02:22 AM
Most of my life I've been writing and selling speculative fiction, but lately I've developed an interest in noir.

I'm in the process of writing a series of stories that all feature the same main character, a killer for hire. The stories generally run about 10,000 words, are told in the first person, and have (what I consider to be) minimal sex and violence, but they do contain what my beloved grandmother used to refer to as "coarse language". Most of the focus in the stories is on the dramatic interaction among the characters. And each story, of course, ends with a killing.

After I finished a couple of these stories, and tried marketing them, I realized there really doesn't appear to be as wide a market for noir as there is, for example, for horror, sci-fi, or fantasy.

Do any of you here at AbsoluteWrite know of markets for crime noir fiction?

Specifically, print magazines that accept email submissions, or houses that might be interested in publishing a thematic short story collection, and accepts email submissions?

If any of your suggestions pan out to an actual sale (even if the sale is in copies of the magazine in which a story of mine appears), in payment I'll feature you by name as a minor character in one of the stories (minor means you'll be in at least one scene, with dialogue, and you'll be presented in a positive way in the story. In such an event we'll need to exchange a couple of emails, so I can get some sense of who you are, so your appearance is accurate.)

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Ralph Robert (Rob) Moore

06-19-2007, 02:55 AM
This has less to do with noir and more to do with story length.

You'll find it difficult to impossible to place a 10K word story in the print marketplace.

5K will suit you much better for the few venues available like Ellery Queen's, Hitchcock, and a few other mystery oriented magazines.

Lawrence Block's stories about a hitman named Keller were collected together in this book. (http://www.harpercollins.com/books/9780380725410/Hit_Man/index.aspx) I think he sold them to magazines first, though one of them appeared in an Anne Perry anthology. (http://www.amazon.com/Death-Horoscope-Anne-Perry/dp/0786711531)

Only long established favorites get to sell novella length pieces--and then only if the editor thinks it will sell issues.

Cut your word count by half and you'll have a much better chance of selling a story. Editors have a limited amount of pages to fill and they like to cram as many writers into a magazine as they can.

Good luck.

Ralph Robert Moore
06-20-2007, 01:34 AM

Thanks for the frank advice. I'm fairly ruthless in my editing, but stop once I draw blood, and unfortunately, that's often while the story is still at the 10,000 word mark. The Block and Perry books look interesting—I've always been a fan of Block's writing.

I appreciate you taking the time to reply. I'm not sure what I can do with these particular stories, sale-wise, but I keep writing them anyway (and having a lot of fun.)

Take care.

06-20-2007, 05:57 PM
I don't want to be in your story, Rob, but I've been looking into noir markets myself recently (www.duotrope.com is a great reference site), and I'm happy to share my knowledge.

There are a bunch of fairly new nonpaying neo-noir e-zines (a good news site about them is: http://crimezine.blogspot.com/), but the only paying print market I've found is Murdaland (I bought the first issue--it's pretty good). The UK magazines Crimewave and Shadows Mystery Magazine also publish crime stories, but I don't know if they do noir (I've never read them).

If anybody has more, I'd also like to hear about them.


Ralph Robert Moore
06-21-2007, 01:15 AM

Thank you so much for your help! Murdaland looks great—I just sent them a story. Plus it was a lot of fun looking at the Crimescene stuff.
Another print magazine I discovered that accepts email submissions (and is also UK-based), is ThrillerUK at http://www.thrilleruk.fsnet.co.uk/wanted.htm. From their guidelines: "Your short story can be any genre: detective, sci-fi, fantasy, spy, adventure, horror, or mixture of genres (basically, whatever your imagination can come up with :-). Stories should be between 2000 and 5000 (although longer stories can be serialised). We are looking for well plotted, well written stories that have good characterisation and plenty of action." Payment is in contributor copies.

Thanks again for your help, and good luck with your own writings!