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5 Reasons Novelists Should Write & Publish Short Stories

1. Because it’s fun. If you don’t enjoy writing short stories, then never mind: you probably shouldn’t be doing it. But if you’re avoiding writing them because you believe that you have to write a novel in order to have a career as a writer, I beg you to reconsider. GIVEAWAY: Suzanne is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners can live anywhere in the world to win. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: Kris won.)

1. Because it’s fun. If you don’t enjoy writing short stories, then never mind: you probably shouldn’t be doing it. But if you’re avoiding writing them because you believe that you have to write a novel in order to have a career as a writer, I beg you to reconsider.

GIVEAWAY: Suzanne is excited to give away a free copy of her young adult novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners can live anywhere in the world to win. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: Kris won.)

gadget-girl-novel-kamata
suzanne-kamata-author

Column by Suzanne Kamata, author of Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible, (Gemma,
2013) which was originally a novella published in the magazine Cicada and the winner
of the SCBWI Magazine Merit Award in Fiction. According to Kirkus Reviews,
Kamata’s latest is a sharp, unusual coming-of-age novel.” Feel free to follow
Suzanne on Twitter or Facebook.

2. Because you can reach a lot of potential readers. The average circulation of a magazine is usually much larger than the print run of a book, unless you are super famous. For instance, Ladybug, which has published several of my children’s stories, has a circulation of 125,000. That’s a lot of readers! Some of those readers (or their parents) may remember my name when they come across my books.

3. To attract agents and editors. From personal experience, I know that publishing in literary journals can lead to book deals. Several years ago, I published a short story in a literary journal I’d found listed in the Novel and Short Story Writer’s Market. Shortly thereafter, I got an email from a literary agent in New York City who’d read my story, loved it, and wanted to represent me. She later sold my first novel, Losing Kei (Leapfrog Press, 2008). More recently, I mentioned in a query to an editor of a new YA imprint that a story I’d written had appeared in the children’s and YA section of Hunger Mountain, the literary magazine produced by Vermont College of Fine Arts (which I learned about from Children’s Writer’s and Illustrator’s Market). Little did I know, she was a big fan of Hunger Mountain and had just been hired to teach at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Impressed, she responded to my e-query within an hour asking to see the entire manuscript.

(How much should an outside edit cost writers?)

4. Because it gives you something to tweet about other than your book, your book, your book, and what you ate for breakfast. You can post on social networking sites only so many times encouraging friends and family and other followers to buy your novel before they start to tune you out. But most people are happy to learn about new stories and congratulate you, and will even read them on the spot if they are provided with a link. They might decide that they like your writing so much, that they need to buy your books!

5. Because you can recycle. Although magazine publishing is ephemeral, if you retain the rights to your story, you can publish it again and again – online, in anthologies, in short story collections, and in other journals. Even if you sell all rights initially, you can usually get permission quite easily to re-publish your story in an anthology. My story “Day Pass,” which was originally published in an obscure, now defunct literary journal for adults many years ago, was recently revised and re-published in a literary journal for young adults called Sucker Literary. Same story, more or less, but a new audience!

GIVEAWAY: Suzanne is excited to give away a free copy of her novel to a random commenter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners can live anywhere in the world to win. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: Kris won.)

2014-childrens-writers-and-illustrators-market

Writing books for kids? There are hundreds of
publishers, agents and other markets listed in the
latest Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market.
Buy it online at a discount.

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