4 Comments

Writing Shorts

The Heir CoverAs you know if you’ve been following me for awhile, I’m pretty into short fiction. My short story collection, The Heir, is coming out soon (stay tuned!), I’ve done quite a number of short stories on this blog, and of course I’ve done plenty of them via Splickety/Havok.

I really like writing it. I like cramming an entire world into a little tiny space and crafting something so every word is perfect.

Recently, my boss, Ben, said he’s going to start challenging himself to writing and submitting one short story per week to various venues, and he tossed out the idea to others, as a way of gaining support and accountability.

So I said I’m in. Starting after Realm Makers, I’m going to try to keep up with the one-per-week goal.

And actually, writing is the easy part. It’s finding an appropriate market and submitting it that’s the hard part. It’s letting things out into the world instead of keeping them in a file that takes effort. It’s risking rejection and taking criticism that’s the risk. It’s researching markets that takes time and energy.

But those are the things that make writing successful. You can write all the time, but if you never do the legwork to find where your stories fit, put your work out there, accept criticism so you can improve, try again, and keep going, then you won’t have the success as a writer that you’re looking for.

So, I got the Writers Market Guide and looked up some short story markets. I’m making a list and checking it twice. I’m starting the process. I’m going through my files and seeing what I have that’s usable.

And I’m going to challenge myself to commit and get it done.

So what about you?

What goals are you trying to reach? What markets have you found? And do you want to go in on this with us? Holding each other accountable, sharing successes, pointing each other to new venues, and so on?

I’m also going to try to do some more short stories here. I love starting a series and having people come back from week to week for the next episode.

So, as a reader, what would you like to see?

I’m planning to do another series in The Amulet Saga. Another story set in the same world, at a different time. Would you read that?

What about some of the sillier ones I’ve done, like The Gnomes of Destruction or Cricket Warfare? More of those or do you prefer more serious writing?

I’d love some input on a direction. Thanks!

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About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

4 comments on “Writing Shorts

  1. “Ark” is still my favorite story of yours.

    I saw Ben’s challenge, but for me the obstacle is that I can’t justify working on spec. I mean, if I have an idea for a story and I’m gonna write it anyway, then I can do that and maybe find an outlet for it. But to go hunting up outlets and then rack my brains to write a story on the hopes of maybe getting a publication…I’m not up for that. I’d rather work on my book. But then I’ve been a long-form girl for many years now.

  2. Short stories, both reading & writing them, were my first love. That’s really never changed although I love longer forms, too. As a story junky, I read widely with no preference for comedy over drama over adventure over etc. save for the what-I’m-in-the-mood-for-at-the-moment preference. As a writer who juggles projects, I always have multiple stories in various stages & various projected lengths going at the same time. My goals are to finish & submit everything in the WIP queue as well as those in the waiting-for-a-place-in-the-queue queue.

    I browse the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market (not really interested in the full version) as well as the Poets & Writers database, and I subscribe to Freedom With Writing (free). Duotrope’s out of my price range for a while. Ralan.com has updates on the statuses of speculative mags & anthos (which was how I found that a place where I’d sent a story closed forever without notifying submitting authors).
    I don’t normally write on-spec, but if a place has a specific submission call so compelling to me that a story “arrives” and I just gotta write it, then I do. Mostly I write first, then start a line-up of possible places to submit.

    The challenge you’re doing is pretty cool, and it sounds like there’s a core group for accountability as well as support & mutual cheering on. Personally, I don’t have a problem with worrying over piece or fearing rejection–I usually forget about them once I hit Send and move on to the next WIP.
    The children of my mind probably think I’m a bad mom.

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