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Question
I write short fiction stories of 500 to 1,500 words. I would like to submit to magazines and then once I have sufficient story put it together for a book. The premise is for a reader to use to/from work, doctors office, comffee break, lunch break any time you have 5-15 for a quick pick up read. My stories lead the reader to an unexpected conclusion. Some are humorous, dark, teach a lesson, etc. They get  to the point, have quick visual descriptions and hit hard. Any suggestion where to submit for magazines, publisher. Specific thought on where do I go from here. I am in several creative writing courses and my stories are well received and noted to be very different, unexpected happenings. One of the teachers is a writing coach. Good idea to work with her and if so on what specific areas? Would appreciate as much as you can tell me

I also have written a childrens book and am told its very good, but I have submitted it 30 times wqith 30 rejections. Any suggestions what I should now do? I am evidently doing something incorrectly. When I submit anytime  I go to the Writers Market Manual & research what type the Publishers want & only send to them, but still rejections. I realize 30 rejections is not a lot, but would like to get some interst. Any ideas on an agent, it seems most do not want to take on a new writer?
Help/Thanks!!!

Answer
Dear Bill,
It sounds like you have a good plan. Getting short stories published in magazines will help you build a resume that will make it more likely to get your short stories published as a book. You have to show strong references or no publisher will take on the project. Short story collections are a hard sell. You realize that, so that's good.
re. the children's book. As you know, that is a highly  competitive field and thirty rejections is nothing. Remember, you're looking for a needle in a haystack. You need to find that one publisher who is just perfect for you at just the right moment when they are looking for new blood. Keep trying. Did you know Writers Market publishes a children's market directory? I think if you sign up for their online membership you can search their whole database, including the childrens market database, online.
re. agents. You don't need an agent until you have several books out and you are fighting off the publishers. He he. You're right, agents usually like to work with hot properties, that is people who have a weekly newspaper or magazine column, TV talking heads, celebrities, famous politicians, people who are a news item,  etc.
re. your writing coach. I suggest that you start to work on longer fiction. You could start with another genre book and then move into mainstream novel writing. Mainstream is more difficult because you have to incorporate more subplots, but if you practice with genre writing, you can learn to do it. There's a much better chance of selling a novel. If you have a few novels published, it will stir up more interested in your short stories.
At my page for writers I have included the fiction writers workshop. Check that out and read some books about writing a novel. See if you feel up to it. You could expand one of your short stories or choose characters you've already worked with.
http://steamboats.com/writing.html
I hope this helps. Best to you,
Sincerely,
Nori

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Nori J. Muster

Expertise

Writing and publishing books, including e-books.

Experience

I have been writing for publication since 1981, including years as a staff writer, associate editor, editorial writer, and freelance reporter. At this time, I have eight Kindle books for sale at Amazon.com.

Organizations
Lakes of Tempe Authors, Tempe, Arizona

Publications
Betrayal of the Spirit: My Life behind the Headlines of the Hare Krishna Movement
Dreaming Peace: Your Thoughts Can Change the World
Cult Recovery Handbook: Seven Paths to an Authentic Life
Child of the Cult
Learning to Flow with the Tao: The 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching
Positive Quotations: Wisdom from the Master Mind
Collected Writings: Five Books by Nori Muster
Noriland Art Gallery: Secrets from the Vault
Spiritual Summer and Other Short Stories


Education/Credentials
UCLA Extension Writer's Program, 1988 - 1994
Master's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Western Oregon University, 1991

Awards and Honors
Interviews:
USA Today, Los Angeles Times, BBC World Services Focus on Faith, BBC Sunday Programme, Salon.com, Glamour Magazine, Portland Mercury News, W-Five TV (Toronto), Publisher's Weekly, Boston Phoenix, San Francisco Chronicle, ABC TV News - 20/20, ABC radio, Associated Press, The Age (Melbourne), Rediff.com, The New York Times, Religious News Service, Dallas Morning News, Columbia Journalism School, Whole Life Times (Los Angeles), Toronto Sun, the John Dayle Show (KFYI AM, Phoenix), the Eliot Stein Show (syndicated radio and Internet broadcast), Discovery with Josh Wagner (KKUP, 91.5 FM, Santa Clara, California), KOGO (News Radio 600, San Diego), Jupiterís Girl syndicated radio show, Lakes Log.

Book Reviews:
Publisherís Weekly, Feminist Bookstore News, Yoga Journal, New York Post, Choice Magazine, Boston Herald, Nexus (Colorado), Gentle Strength Times, Coastlines (UCSB alumni), Theology Digest, Nova Religio, Rapport, India West, Rediff.com, Amazon.com.

Book Signings:
Prescott College reunion; Gentle Strength Co-op, Tempe; Different Drummer Bookshop, Laguna Beach; L.A. Times Toastmasters; Biltmore Plaza Border's Books, Phoenix; Bodhi Tree Bookstore, Los Angeles; Health & Life Enrichment Expo, Pasadena; Sacramento Reads book festival, and others.

Publishers:
ISKCON World Review, Van Dhal Publications, Gentle Strength Times, Arizona Woman, Lakes Log, ICSA Today, Cultic Studies Review, University of Illinois Press, Kindle, steamboats.com, surrealist.org, Apple Books, and others.

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