Writing Books/General


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?

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.
I hope this helps. Best to you,

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Nori J. Muster


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