Showing posts from December, 2012

Diversification and Selling Short Stories

I am going to make a rather bold statement about short stories and say that the only thing that ensures an increase of overall writing income over a prolonged period of time is diversification. The number one mistake people make is publishing a single short story in a single genre.  The story never sells so they automatically assume there's no money to be had publishing shorter works.  Not true. Publishing short stories is a constant process of throwing spagetti on the wall and seeing what sticks.  It's stupid to put all your hopes on a single strand.  This type of mentality should be left to the novel writers as they slave for years over their supposed masterpiece.  Short story writers don't have this kind of luxury. You must experiment and you must make your work available to as many readers as possible.  My sales increased once I stopped thinking that I was a sci-fi short story writer and started thinking that I was a short story  writer.  I branched out.  I start

SFWG 2012 Speculative Fiction Contest RESULTS

We would like to thank everyone that took the time to submit to our first contest. We received a number of very intriguing stories that led to some fun discussions for us. SFWG does plan on making contests a regular part of our yearly events. So there will certainly be more prizes to earn in the future! And now for the results! First Prize goes to Aaron Engler for his story “Event Zero.” You can read this story for free   here . Second Prize goes to Erin Lawless for her story “Deadlands.” You can read about the collection containing this story   here . Third Prize goes to Anthony Stevens for his story “Statuary.” You can read this story for free   here   and read about his upcoming project   here . Short Fiction Writers Guild

Review of "Low-Budget Monster Flick," a single story in a collection by Mary Anna Evans

Summary: An eight-year-old girl who has just watched as her sister was kidnapped... A nurse who holds the lives of a mother and child in her hands... A makeup artist who has just found a murdered starlet on a movie set... Find these characters and more in this book-length collection of short works by Mary Anna Evans, author of the Faye Longchamp mysteries. This collection includes stories and essays originally published in anthologies including FLORIDA HEAT WAVE, A KUDZU CHRISTMAS, MYSTERY READERS JOURNAL, NORTH FLORIDA NOIR, MYSTERY MUSES, and A MERRY BAND OF MURDERERS, as well as never-before published stories by Evans. Bonuses include a story by guest author Libby Fischer Hellmann and an excerpt from her environmental thriller WOUNDED EARTH. Mary Anna Evans is a recipient of the Mississippi Author Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, a Florida Book Awards Bronze Medal, the Patrick D. Smith Florida Literature Award. KIRKUS REVIEWS called her latest release, PLUNDER, "deli

Genre and the Short Story

Short stories generally tend to belong to more artsy genres.  By this I mean that's it's not at all uncommon to classify a short story as a fantasy/fairy tale/sci-fi/young adult/thriller hybrid. For a novel, this would probably end up being confusing for the reader.  But often for a short story, it makes perfect sense.  Starting mid-action in order to lead up to a slightly twisted ending often requires pulling elements from multiple mainstream genres. While fun to write and even more fun to read, the lack of clear genre makes it tricky to market to your target reader.  Therefore, it's important to keep two things in mind: 1)  Who is  your target reader?  Think about the personality type of the person shopping around and let that be your guide.  For example, say your story is a bittersweet romance with supernatural elements.  At first glance, this type of story could fall under "paranormal" and "romance."  But is your story the type of plot those sh