You should buy and read short story magazines. For lots of reasons.
The selfish reason first – I write short stories. The more people who buy and read short story magazines, the more money these magazines have for acquiring work and the more likely they are to buy mine.
But here’s the other reasons. Short stories are, perhaps, the best way to get into reading fiction. People who feel unsure about reading books will find that the shorter lengths (as few as 100 words, sometimes!) are less opressive. Because they’re short, people can read them in a few spare minutes in their busy days.
Short story magazines are cheap. Usually cheaper than a book for dozens of seperate stories!
And they’re complete stories, with characters and a plot arc and all the things you love from TV and video-games, but there’s no unnecessary extras. Just the story.
Short story magazines cover all genres and interests. Upset that there aren’t enough fairy-tale retellings in the bookstores? There’ll be a magazine you can read.
As for why you should pay for them? Well, there are plenty of brilliant free ones out there, it’s true (I suggest popping over to 101 fiction for good, very short pieces, and not just because a story of mine will be going up there soon) but the competition for writers to get into the paying market is fierce. Which means you get the best of the best. The brilliant ones.
So, you’ll be supporting the careers of writers, ensuring hard working creatives get paid, and enjoying yourself at the same time. Win win!
Some of my favourites:
Most of these publish spec fic, as that’s what I like to read and write. Some publish literary or have a small niche.
If you want to read short stories and don’t know where to start, a good place to look is duotrope. It exists mainly as a way for writers to keep track of submissions, but you can search it for specific genres and sub-genres, and you may well find a magazine you like that way.
No matter how hard you work or how good you think your work is, you are not entitled to representation or a publishing contract. This is a business, not a sponge-bath for your ego. If an agent doesn’t think they can sell your work, or a publisher doesn’t think they can make money on it, they will reject it. Accept that.
You are certainly not allowed to assault a literary agent because your work is rejected, and if you have any sympathy with the man assaulting her you are a shitty human being and you can unfollow me right fucking now.
Cross-posted on my other blogs to boost signal.
In that I am also, obviously, a writer. Perhaps it’s a thing. When you love reading and books so much, perhaps it’s natural that you want to write, bring some of that joy you felt to another person.
I NEED TO STOP GOING OFF TOPIC SO FUCKING MUCH.
I am a writer, as yet unpublished by anything more than a few non-paying webzines and the like (you can see my published works up there). This is fine! I’m at the start of my career. Now, one thing I don’t want this blog to be is yet-another-unpublished-writer-talking-about-writing blog. There’s only room for a few of those, and they are dull, so I promise to keep writing chatter down to a minimum (though I will tell you when I get published things and the like).
But what I would like to do is occasionally- very occassionally – post some of my shorter works that I don’t think I can find a market for on this blog. These will be things I like that, for one reason or another, I don’t think I can get published by someone else. You will not be getting my shitty rough drafts, but it’ll be something else for you to read other than my self-indulgent writing about books.
Also, it’s a way fro you to tell me what I suck at, and for me to practice my skills, and perhaps a way for me to see where I can improve. Also, if I have a schedule (1 a week/fortnight/month) I’ll get more into writing regularly as I should.
Do you like the idea? Would you keep reading, or go away?