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3 Things I Learned From A Mafia Don

Australia doesn’t have many publicly acknowledged Mafia Don’s or families.

We fall a long way short of our American cousins. The Gotti’s, Gambino’s and the movie famous Corleone’s are familiar names to most punters.

In Australia our ‘bad’ families keep a quiet profile avoiding the limelight most of the time except if you are part of the Williams family (not very Italian sounding I know) who go on a shooting spree every now and then.

In Sydney the supreme title goes to the Ibrahim family. Their patriarch is John Ibrahim, owner of strip cubs in the once notorious Kings Cross. These days the Cross is becoming a trendy redevelopment area and the brothels are moving a few streets back.

But John is still the pin up boy of the ‘Sydney Mafia’. So much so he’s been invited by the Sydney Crime Writers Festival to present Australia’s highest crime literary wards at this year’s Ned Kelly Awards.

And this is where I got the chance to be up close but no personal with this crime enigma. Here’s what I learned from Mr. John Ibrahim.

  1. Building A Brand
    Brand – what people say about you when you’re not in the room. Brands can be good or bad.

    The Red Cross brand is the third most recognized brand in the world. It stands for helping people, thereby making it a good brand.

    Malaysian Airlines, once a great brand for Malaysia, is somewhat tainted since their two major airline crashes. They are trying to rebuild but their trust factor for being a safe airline is severely tarnished.

    And then there’s John Ibrahim. Hmmm pretty dark. But in some circles he’s thought of being a ‘lovable rogue’. For the most part John seems to only get in a rumble with fellow crims leaving us innocent people to go about our daily lives without fear.

    And John’s brand is mainly made up of innuendo as well. He is known to being the Teflon Don as well – nothing sticks to Johnny.

    So as an author a brand can bring you a lot of notoriety – I’m choosing the ‘Red Cross’ path.
  2. Family is important
    John has got plenty of family around him. His brothers are also famous in the underworld. Michael and Fadi were busted in 2017 for trying to import 136kg of cocaine into Australia.

    His son and girlfriend were also arrested. Their trial starts now with John by their side – but not ‘involved’.

    Like in all families there are good and bad members. John has shown me that we need to stand by all and that’s admiral.
  3. We need to have structure
    Like any good organisation or business, there must be structure so the entity keeps moving forward.

    Tasks need to be done. Plans must be implemented. Decisions must be thought of and carried out.

    A good Mafia organisation has the same structure as a corporate entity. A CEO, senior managers and a team of foot soldiers.

    John Ibrahim is the CEO.

    In my little group, I’m the CEO along with a virtual team of editors, cover designers, book formatters, SEO experts, Facebook ad managers and other marketing specialists.

    Structure is important even in my little organisation.
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What Length Is A Short Story?

How Long is a Short Story?

How long before a story is short? It sounds like a brain teaser, but the question is asked by many aspiring short story writers – what is the right length for my short story?

Of course, the answer will be different depending on the author, the story and the intended publication. But even though there isn’t a single solution to creating the perfect story length, there are a few consistent ways to decide how long a short story should be.

What is a Short Story?

A short story is a work of fiction that is relatively quick to read. That’s about the only thing that is set in stone – while most short stories focus on a single plot line, with few characters, through a short space of time, other short stories might be more complicated.

Authors might use a short story format to explore an interesting character, or to quickly set up a world for a storyline to play out. Short stories come in a wide range of genres, although some genres are more popular for short stories than others.

More than the length or genre, the most important part of a short story is the impression it has on the reader in a short amount of time. The author has to find the sweet spot between carefully choosing their words and telling a meaningful, impacting story that will stay with the reader.

Story Length

Of course, there are many opinions on the correct word counts for each classification of story length – however, the following types of story length are based on generally accepted word counts:

  • Microfiction: Up to 100 words

There is a very famous piece of microfiction attributed to Ernest Hemingway – legend has it that in order to win a bet, he wrote a story using only six words:

 “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Microfiction (sometimes called microflash) is extremely difficult to write well, but there is a market for this story length. Publishers can easily fit microfiction onto a page, making it desirable for some publications.

  • Flash fiction: 100 to 1,000 words

Flash fiction delivers humour, romance or fantasy in a bite-sized story. Often found in magazines and online publications, flash fiction is a snapshot of a story that can be included on a page and quickly consumed by the reader.

  • Short story: 500 to 7,500 words

The most common word count for a short story falls within this range. Each publication will have its own preference, but 7,500 words is a widely accepted upper limit. That being said, others consider any work less than 10,000 words to be a short story.

Once an author exceeds 10,000 words, they have left the “short story” grouping and are creating a novelette (7,500 to 25,000 words), a novella (10,000 to 70,000 words) or a novel (50,000 words or more). Each of these word lengths have their own strengths and weaknesses, but they are unlikely to achieve the convenient length and punchy impact of a short story.

Choosing a Length

Obviously, there’s a lot of leeway in how long a story can be and still classify as a short story – a work of 500 words and another of 7,500 words are both short stories, but are likely to be very different.

There are other factors to think about in order to decide the right length for a storyline. Some aspects to consider when deciding the right length are:

  • How long does my story take to tell? It sounds simple, but it’s really important – a story should use as many words as it needs to tell the tale. Lengthy stories might need a sharp eye to cut out unnecessary passages, and authors writing stories on the shorter side have to pay special attention to setting the scene and how they develop characters.

But ultimately, the story should be as long as it needs to be – no more, no less.

  • Is it likely to get published? Some short story lengths have wider appeal to a range of different publications. For many short story publications and competitions, a submission of over 3,500 words will have less chance of being accepted.

If the short story isn’t specifically written with a publishing destination in mind, it might be helpful to keep it on the shorter side to increase its appeal.

  • Does it meet publishing guidelines? If the story is written with a specific destination in mind, the publication or competition will have rules that the author should stick to in order to increase the likelihood of acceptance.

Publishers and competitions will almost always have submission guidelines available, and the word count is an important factor that decides whether or not a story will make the cut.

  • Can it be read in a single sitting? Edgar Allen Poe described the ideal short story length as one that is able to be read in a single sitting, and it’s a helpful concept for the author to keep in mind.

Modern readers are often time poor and reading on mobile devices, so a short story that is gripping but can be quickly consumed is likely to find a wide audience.

Creating Short Stories

The most basic definition of a short story is a work of fiction that is between 500 to 7,500 words long, but there are many other factors that can influence the exact number of words included in a short story.

Short stories have to keep the attention of their readers. They have to fit in well with the publication they are destined for, meeting word counts and other criteria.  They have to leave an impression on their readers. And of course, they have to be worth reading.

If a story is well told, it will have appeal regardless of the length. Creating a short story is an excellent way to provide readers with an easily consumable piece of fiction that draws them in and leaves an impression.

Really, the perfect short story length is however long it takes to accomplish that feat.

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5 Things I Learnt From Pricks

In a world of 7 billion people there are possibly 3.5 billion pricks. One thing is for sure there are 7 billion arseholes.

The trick for us is to determine who isn’t a prick or arsehole in order to live a better life.

Here’s my observations and lessons I’ve learned.

  1. Leopards never change their spots, neither do pricks.
    Once a prick, always a prick.

    Some pricks try to show different sides. Some appear to have empathy, show kindness to you but it’s really a wolf in sheep’s clothing trying to lure you in for a kill.

    There’s always an agenda with a prick and it’s not yours.

    Pricks never change their spots; they’re always spotted dicks.
  2. Pricks are not good people
    A lot talk about being good people, but they’re not.

    Hypocrites at best, snake oil salesman at the worst.

    There’s a dude I know who says “Greg you’re one of the good guys”. But getting this guy to commit to a coffee or lunch is impossible.

    I’ve tried for years. I’ve been rejected for years. I would constantly beat myself up after each knock back. But why I used to think? He say’s I’m a good guy?

    But what I’ve realised is that good doesn’t mean valuable. I’m not seen as bringing value to him.

    He’s rather hang out with other pricks not good people. And I’m fine with that now.
  3. Pricks have no conscious
    They stick their heads in everywhere without a moral compass.

    They are users, not givers. It’s all about them. Once they’ve had their feast they move on.

    I used to lunch with a prick every month for about 20 years. He always bagged his wife and sprouted his weekly conquests.

    I heard on the grapevine he has testicular cancer. Sixty seven is not old to die, except if you are a prick.
  4. Pricks are queer
    There’s a saying “there’s nothing queerer than folk”. The same applies to pricks.

    Over time I’ve done things to stay on the right side of people. Keep your friends close; keep your enemies even closer principle.

    But this philosophy doesn’t always reciprocate with pricks. Some days they give you a tick, others they ignore you 100%.

    In April I turned 60 – a milestone. Seven hundred plus likes and hundreds of comments from good people.

    But the pricks did neither. Another mystery. Pricks are queer.
  5. Pricks have no honour
    There’s no honour amongst thieves, nor in the prick club.

    It’s all about who can be the bigger prick. Who can out fox the other prick to further advance their own needs.

    Conclusion

    Pricks are easy to spot. They smell.

    They smell of self-centerness. They see others as pawns to advance their own journey.

    As good people we need to recognise that these people exist and not to give them any air, in our world at least.

    It’s time to choose ourselves and not be part of a prick’s world.

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Are Short Stories Popular In 2019?

Short Stories Popular? You bet they are. They are loved by both veracious and non readers and allow the writer to hone his/her craft. Out attention is small – short stories fill the need.

There was a time when good writers could make an extraordinary income from short stories, and often even full-length novels were published piece-by-piece in major publications.

Times have changed, but are short stories popular still? This type of writing has had a slight lapse in popularity, but with today’s modern lifestyle short stories are becoming more important than ever.

Short Story Authors

While great novelists can write short stories and vice versa, confining a story to a limited number of words (normally under 7,500) and keeping the writing compelling takes a very special set of skills.

As a direct result of the limited word count, authors must make every sentence count. That makes for a more defined purpose for the story, and therefore a more precise delivery.

They must be attention-grabbing and have a satisfying conclusion, while still drawing readers to come back for more.

For the author with many ideas, it’s a great opportunity to turn out a number of stories and to see which ones perform well.

Writing many stories at a time is fantastic practice, and it hones important skills like developing characters and improving dialogue.

Short stories might bring in less money per piece, but the author is able to finish them much more quickly.

Many of the most famous authors started out writing short stories, or began writing after their major novels took off – George R.R. Martin, Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Roald Dahl and Jane Austen are just a very few names from an extremely long list.

Many writing courses also prefer writers to create short stories instead of excerpts from longer works.

Why Short Stories?

Short stories are a quick window into a world, and readers generally come in cold with little understanding of what to expect.

The author has a very short window in which to grab their attention, introduce them to the world, create a storyline, and finish in a way that leaves readers keen for the next story from that author.

Because of the format, authors can jump into wildly different worlds, without the concentrated effort of creating context and world-building that usually applies.

The same goes for characters – readers are devoid of expectations, allowing authors to create quirky, memorable characters with pared down dialogue that advances the story.

Short stories allow authors to push boundaries, and to trial ideas that would be difficult in a novel. Cliff-hangers are common, and the reader understands that they are just peering through a window to see a quick flash of a story, with the implied understanding of a whole other world to explore and consider long after the story is finished.

Practically, short stories are a quick escape, easy to finish in comparison to a full-length novel. Short stories are not only popular, they are ideally suited to modern readers.

Why Do Modern Readers Choose Short Stories?

Of course, full-length novels are a “safer” option. There isn’t as much pressure to perform as well in such a short space of time, and readers feel like they are getting their money’s worth.

Printed publications are declining, some of which were traditionally a source of short stories. However, short stories are still popular, and with modern times come modern reasons for readers to choose a shorter option. Here are some reasons why short stories are popular.

  • Readers are time poor. Modern readers are busier than ever, and many do not have the time and mental energy to commit to a full-length novel.

    If a story cannot be finished in a single sitting, it often gets put to the side in favour of more pressing obligations.

    Short stories perfectly meet the need of people who can squeeze in 30 minutes to read during their commute, before bed or at lunch time, and can find compelling stories to fill in that time.
  • Modern entertainment is fast-paced. As entertainment moves increasingly online, readers are becoming used to quickly and fluidly swapping between different types of media, or even using them at the same time – checking Facebook while watching Netflix, anyone?

    Short stories are often compared to a TV show, where novels are more like a movie.

    Each has their place, but for a reader looking for a quicker read that draws them in, short stories fill that need.
  • Modern short stories are portable. In the days of print, purchasing and carrying a single short story around was not efficient.

    Unless the story was a part of a larger publication like an anthology or a magazine, it wasn’t a practical choice over other books.

    With Kindles and other electronic reading devices and apps, short stories make even more sense.

    They are easy to load, offer a wide variety and are perfect to consume quickly.
  • Some genres are better short. Some types of story are better in a shorter form. Erotica, for example, almost always comes in the form of a short story. Short science fiction and fantasy works are also extremely popular, allowing readers a glimpse of new worlds and characters.

    Writers can tell the stories of many characters within a single place and time, or offer wildly different settings. Longer stories will always have their place, but certain genres are just better short.
  • Greater access to publications. These days, the internet has opened up the writing field to millions of potential readers.

    Of course, it’s a double-edged sword – with so much content available, it can be harder to attract readers. That being said, there are many, many more readers to attract.

    The internet has the ability to bring together people with common interests from across the world.

    While previously short story enthusiasts would need to target short story publications and specifically sign up, modern readers can browse new genres and styles to see which are a good fit.

    The many publications that offer short stories attract new and old readers, providing a wider audience than ever before.

American fiction (and short story) writer Lorrie Moore says, “A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage.

A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.” There will always be beauty in all forms of writing, but is it true that modern times can continue to keep short stories popular? In this fast-paced age, it could be that this type of storytelling is more adapted to society than ever before.

Are short stories popular? You bet – YES!

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10 Best Short Story Collection 2018

What Makes The 10 Best Short Story Collection 2018?

The best short stories can can be intoxicating but a best short story collection can completely engulf your life. You start off with a short story over lunch. It seems harmless enough. You can knock back your ham and salad sandwich on rye while escaping through the fast paced words of a short piece or novella, soaking up the sun in your city’s lush green park. All seems very innocent.

Then you become engrossed in the story. You quickly devour the 1000 word piece or scramble through the 10,000 word novella. The author hooks you. Worse still you become addicted. You’re looking for the next short read by your new escape artist. Damn your alarm buzzes and it’s back to work. Your anxiety levels rise. It’s 24 hours to your next lunch break.

Then utopia hits. There’s a train ride home tonight. You need another fix but just one short story won’t feed your addiction. You’re on the train for an hour. You don’t want to look like a crazy person on the subway (although you may fir in) so you hit Amazon during your afternoon tea break.

Whola! You discover your author friend has a series and his short sties are available in the best short story collection 2018. With one click you hit buy. Your stress levels drop and you spend the rest of the afternoon in anticipation of a great train ride home that night.

So what’s in the best short story collection 2018 that’s going to rock your world:

  1. No Middle Name – The Complete Collected Jack Reacher Short Stories by Lee Child

    No Middle Name begins with “Too Much Time,” a brand-new work of short fiction that finds Reacher in a hollowed-out town in Maine, where he witnesses a random bag-snatching but sees much more than a simple crime.“Small Wars” takes readers back to 1989, when Reacher is an MP assigned to solve the brutal murder of a young officer found along an isolated forest road in Georgia—and whose killer may be hiding in plain sight.In“Not a Drill,” Reacher tries to take some downtime, but a pleasant hike in Maine turns into a walk on the wild side—and perhaps something far more sinister.“High Heat” time-hops to 1977, when Reacher is a teenager in sweltering New York City during a sudden blackout that awakens the dark side of the city that never sleeps. Okinawa is the setting of “Second Son,” which reveals the pivotal moment when young Reacher’s sharp “lizard brain” becomes just as important as his muscle.

    In “Deep Down,” Reacher tracks down a spy by matching wits with four formidable females—three of whom are clean, but the fourth may prove fatal.Rounding out the collection are “Guy Walks into a Bar,” “James Penney’s New Identity,”

    “Everyone Talks,” “The Picture of the Lonely Diner,” “Maybe They Have a Tradition,” and “No Room at the Motel.”No suitcase. No destination. No middle name. No matter how far Reacher travels off the beaten path, trouble always finds him. Feel bad for trouble.

  2. Dead Set – The Complete Jack Creed Short Stories Collection by C T Mitchell

    Top Selling Mystery-Get ready for the ultimate Jack Creed adventure: a thrilling box set of seven previously published mystery novellas, together for the first time in one pulse-pounding short story anthologies and collections from C T Mitchell. Every single Jack Creed short story written by Australian author C T Mitchell is here. Murder mystery books at their psychologically chilling best. Action & adventure short stories with a big finish. A murder mystery series where you won’t pick the endings.Dead Shot48 hours to stop a killer or witness Australia’s first mass university shootingDead Ringer –Ten fingers and toes sadistically broken. Why?

    Dead Wrong – Society is broken when trust is broken. A 30 year old secret reveals the shocking truth.
    Dead Boss – A narcissistic boss – thought he could take whatever he wanted. But not everyone agreed

    Dead Stakes – A Malaysian casino tycoon, a greedy property developer and a dead chef. What’s the connection

Dead Lucky – Winning Lotto can be deadly

Dead Silence – Hookers, drugs and a dead Mayor. The a video tape surfaces

Enjoy these top-rated mystery-thriller books FREE as part of your Kindle Unlimited Prime Subscription. You can read the ebooks on your Amazon Kindle Fire, on a computer via Kindle Cloud Reader or on any smartphone or tablet with the free Kindle reading app. The best short story collection continues.

3.The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen



The Refugees is a collection of perfectly formed stories exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family.The stories were written over a period of twenty years by Viet Thanh Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American novelist and short-story writer, the winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.In the collection we follow a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, and a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half-sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will.

4.The Collected Stories By Jean Rhys


Jean Rhys was a Dominican-born British writer who was better known for her longer works, especially her novel Wide Sargasso Sea which she wrote as a prequel to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. This new Penguin edition collects all of her stories – stories in which she deals with diverse but almost exclusively sombre topics such as suicide, alcoholism, loneliness, lovelessness and poverty.

The stories span several geographical as well as thematic frontiers – wherever her characters go they find little but callous characters in impersonal cities where women are ignored or maligned, expected to “grow another skin or two” and “sharpen” their “claws” if they want to get on. Among the more solemn of recent short story collections, this book fully exhibits Rhys’s extraordinary talent for prose without which these sullen stories would be unreadable.

5.Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman



Multiple award winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman returns to dazzle, captivate, haunt, and entertain with this third collection of short fiction following

Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things—which includes a never-before published American Gods story, “Black Dog,” written exclusively for this volume.In this new anthology, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath.

Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction—stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013—as well “Black Dog,” a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection.

Trigger Warning explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them to reveal our vulnerabilities and our truest selves. Here is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explore the realm of experience and emotion. In Adventure Story—a thematic companion to The Ocean at the End of the Lane—Gaiman ponders death and the way people take their stories with them when they die. His social media experience A Calendar of Tales are short takes inspired by replies to fan tweets about the months of the year—stories of pirates and the March winds, an igloo made of books, and a Mother’s Day card that portends disturbances in the universe.

Gaiman offers his own ingenious spin on Sherlock Holmes in his award-nominated mystery tale The Case of Death and Honey. And Click-Clack the Rattlebag explains the creaks and clatter we hear when we’re all alone in the darkness.A sophisticated writer whose creative genius is unparalleled, Gaiman entrances with his literary alchemy, transporting us deep into the realm of imagination, where the fantastical becomes real and the everyday incandescent. Full of wonder and terror, surprises and amusements,

Trigger Warning is a treasury of delights that engage the mind, stir the heart, and shake the soul from one of the most unique and popular literary artists of our day.

6.Brides of Grasshopper Creek by Faith


Book 1: Mail Order Bride Hannah
: Hannah is thrilled to finally be on her way to the Frontier. She and her new husband Bradley have been planning this trip for as long as they have been planning their lives together it seems, and now that they’ve left Independence, Missouri on the wagon train west, it appears that all of their dreams are coming true.Within just a few short weeks of leaving, however, the harsh realities of life on the wagon train strike Hannah hard and she is forced to realize that the adventure she envisioned with Bradley is not at all what it seemed. Will Hannah overcome hardship when her adventure out west takes a tragic turn for the worse?

Book 2: Mail Order Bride Caroline: The Lord guides Caroline to an ad in the newspaper from a gold miner in Bannack who is searching for a lovely woman to become his bride. Soon, she joins the wagon train and anxiously makes the journey out west to start her new life.When she arrives, however, she discovers that the man she chose may not be the man she thought he was. She must decide where her loyalties lie—and if she can find it in herself to look beyond Bailey’s past and accept him for the man he is today.

Book 3: Mail Order Bride Louisa: After the death of her sweetheart, Louisa feels that there is nothing left in life for her, and wonders what she could possibly do to fill the years that lie ahead. When her sister suggests for Louisa to become a mail order bride for one of the men in the frontier, Louisa is appalled, but with the prospect of her sister and brother leaving on the wagon train with their cousins, Louisa knows that she must make the decision to either be left alone without any relatives and only her painful memories, or to enter marriage with a man she doesn’t know.

Book 4: Mail Order Bride Emily: Emily has never quite fit in with the rest of the high society young women who are supposed to be her peers. Raised in privilege—and expected to live up to the part now that she is old enough to marry—Emily cares more about her dream of becoming a teacher than the idea of hosting fancy tea parties and being courted by potential suitors. Feeling that she cannot continue being told what to do any longer, Emily makes the bold decision to go out west so that she can start a school and teach the children of the Frontier. In order to fulfill her dream, however, she must become a mail order bride.

Book 5: Mail Order Bride Charlotte: After the death of their parents, Charlotte and her brother Victor only have each other left in the world. Well past marrying age at thirty years old, Charlotte has nearly resigned herself to spending her life taking care of Victor when she suddenly discovers that he has been planning for them to move away from Philadelphia and seek out their futures in the Frontier town of Bannack. Though Victor refuses to admit it, Charlotte knows that having a single sister following him around is limiting to him, so she decides to take responsibility for herself and find a man who is looking for a wife.

Book 6: Mail Order Bride Betsy: Betsy always knew that love would find her eventually, and until then, she would be happy watching the young men who lived in her mother’s boarding house court their sweethearts on the front porch. Everything seemed perfect until the War came too close to home, and what was once an elegant and privileged boarding school became a bloody hospital. Left the suffer the aftermath, Betsy decides that her only hope is to get out of her hometown and go as far away as she could. In order to do that, however, she would have to find a husband.

7. 99 Stories of God by Joy Williams

Need a heavenly touch to add to your best short story collection? Despite their brevity, short stories are often considerably denser than novels. Packed with meaning and often intentionally elusive, it is often difficult to read a collection cover to cover and Joy Williams’s latest collection of stories is exactly this type.

Williams is an American writer whose novels and story collections have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and several other prestigious awards. The bizarre 99 Stories of God is full of Kafka-style micro-fictions that take minutes, hours or even days to properly process. Williams’ paragraph- or sentence-long “stories” are unusually inscrutable, lacking entirely in narrative and often austere in language.

The source of their allure is puzzling, but it is strangely fulfilling to decipher a story’s meaning after it has been sitting in the back of your mind for some time (which they do). One of the more curious recent collections,

99 Stories of God is a clever if occasionally frustrating exercise in short fiction.

8.Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

A best short story collection with a Japanese flavour. Haruki Murakami needs little introduction: a literary sensation abroad as much as in his native Japan, he has won multiple international awards for his novels such as Norwegian Wood and 1Q84.

In a 2004 interview with The Paris Review, Murakami remarked that one of the best things about writing books “is that you can dream while you are awake”. The dreamlike quality of the stories in Men Without Women is undoubtedly one of its chief attractions.

Murakami’s womenless men live in perpetual daydreams, a state of mind often prompted by a loss of some kind. In one story, for example, an ageing plastic surgeon grows obsessed with a younger, idealised woman whose perfection causes him to fade, quite literally, into nothingness. Murakami’s latest is a hypnotising study of male loneliness.

10. Cozy Mysteries 12 Book Box Set by Hope Callaghan

Book 1-Who Murdered Mr. Malone? Nothing exciting ever happens in the small town of Belhaven. Nothing that is, until a body was found in the woods behind the local elementary school.With the entire town in an uproar, “Garden Girl” Gloria Rutherford makes it her personal mission to find the killer or killers and solve the mystery with some help from her friends.With a little amateur detective work, Gloria is able to uncover enough clues that point right to the murderer.
She’s about to discover, however, things aren’t always as clear cut as they would appear.

Book 2-Grandkids Gone Wild” Garden Girl” Gloria Rutherford, has her hands full. Her mischievous and energetic grandsons are coming for a weekend visit. To top things off, she discovers someone is living in her barn. But who and why? As this amateur sleuth investigates what’s going on in her own backyard, another murder victim turns up in their sleepy little town. Hot on the trail of a murderer, trying her best to make sure her grandkids don’t end up in the ER and facing a budding romance, Gloria and her small town of Belhaven are once again about to be turned upside down.

Book 3-Smoky Mountain Mystery Life is good for “Garden Girl” Gloria Rutherford. Spring has finally sprung, love is in the air, and no dead bodies have turned up in the small town of Belhaven…lately.It seems as if it’s almost too good to be true. Just as Gloria starts to get settled into her familiar routine, she receives a mysterious message from her older sister, Liz.Certain that her sister, the drama queen, is once again bent on turning Gloria’s life upside down for no good reason, she almost chooses to ignore the dire message that she may be in danger.

When a key to her sister’s place shows up in her mailbox after Liz mysteriously vanishes, Gloria jumps in with both feet to track her down.

Crisscrossing the country with one of the other Garden Girls in tow, the two amateur sleuths find themselves on an adventure of a lifetime.

Gloria soon discovers her sister’s mysterious disappearance is the least of her worries. + nine more best short stories

10. Best British Short Stories 2017 by Nicholas Royle



Best British Short Stories
 invites you to judge a book by its cover – or more accurately, by its title.This new series aims to reprint the best short stories published in the previous calendar year by British writers, whether based in the UK or elsewhere.

It includes stories by Daisy Johnson and James Kelman, among others. The editor’s brief is wide ranging, covering anthologies, collections, magazines, newspapers and websites, looking for the best of the bunch to reprint all in one volume.

The best short story collection offers a varied mix to cover all tastes and should keep the reader content in 2018 – for at least some part of it.

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How I Wrote Twenty Five Short Stories In Twenty Five Months

Have you ever wanted to write short stories but procrastinated for so long you never got started? You’re not alone. Millions of people around the world want to write a book but through a number of obstacles never get started. I understand their pain. I was a ‘fully paid up, card carrying member’ of the ‘one day’ club. But one day, things changed. I decided to write my short stories. Here’s my step by step approach on how I wrote 25 short stories in just 25 months AROUND a full time job.

I wanted to be a writer

Actually more than that. I wanted to be a published author. See my books on Amazon; maybe even in book stores. That would be cool I thought. I had seen plenty of famous authors living in country estates and driving flashy European cars. That was the life for me. BUT

I had doubts

Thirty years of procrastination can do that to you. I doubted if I could actually write a book. At best I was a B+ English student at school. My vocabulary existed of either one syllable or possibly two syllable words. My A grade mates knew words as long as my arm – and they could spell them. Pretty damn scary to me.

I also doubted that once I did actually write the book, who would publish it. I was a nobody and no big name publisher would take a chance on me.

But assuming I could overcome these hurdles, who the heck would read my book. And would they think it was any good or at least ok. I don’t know about you but these fears were very real to me. I didn’t want to put a ton of time into something and end up failing – again. I had started many only ventures before and they were all disastrous.

However I couldn’t just sit back and do nothing either. I needed to bite the bullet, face up to my fears and give this a crack. I had been a fan of crime writers for years, so mystery books would be my genre. It is a big genre with very successful authors in it such as James Patterson, Lee Child and Peter James to name just a few. Why should these guys have all the market. I thought “It’s not fair that they hog all the market.  I need to get my books out as well”

I needed support – a guide – somebody who was publishing books successfully

I did some research. I found an online writing club who’s founder understood my problems. He knew my fears about writing a book and publishing it were very real. He had coached hundreds of would-be-authors before. Some had got onto the dizzy heights in the book world; while others were happy just to get a book out; something that could sit on the coffee table and perhaps a few friends may buy.

I liked his approach but I definitely wanted to be in the ‘James Patterson graduation school’

He gave me some great advice and we worked out a plan

  1. Write often
    This would ensure my book got finished. Sounds basic but it’s actually……true. Also flexing the writing muscle also steers an author toward a path of improvement – hopefully.
  2. Write to your strengths
    Having a full time job, I could not see myself knocking out a ‘1000 page mystery book monster’ nor had I the experience to do that. So I decided to play to my strengths. I could write 1000 words a day, before work and after dinner. In ten days I would have a short story done. In a month two or three short reads. Not bad, but as it turned out not a reality. Over 25 months I averaged to pen 25 books and got them published.
  3. Self publish
    Trying to get a traditional publishing contract would take time. Publishers make authors jump through a lot of hoops. The can be very demanding and my patience wouldn’t wear their pompous attitudes. Amazon had changed the game some years back. You could now write a book in quick time, outsource the book cover design, book formatting and editing, and upload the finished product yourself. Amazon can take up to twelve hours to approve your work but you are then a published author. This was my best option. Another box ticked.

Now it was action time

Every morning I woke at five and wrote to seven. I googled, editors, book cover designers, formatters and a whole lot of other stuff. I found courses, read marketing material and hung out in the my online writing group on their Facebook page and asked a ton of ridiculously stupid questions.

But people were kind. They gave away their tips for free. I listened to those who were actually doing what I wanted to do and applied their advice. I engaged others to do my covers. Sure not everybody was brilliant. I did lose some money but eventually I’ve found two exceptional designers for all my short stories. Through trial and error, I honed my online team. It’s an evolving group of professionals that will continue to grow and expand with me. I love them!

Life 25 books on = SUCCESS

IT’s pretty dam good. I’ve had nine books hit #1 Amazon US & UK within the mystery thriller and suspense genre. Over that time my social media following has exceeded 40,000 people. I have the best reader list of 10,000+ I chat with every single week. My author brand is moving forward.

In April 2017 Austin Macauly UK signed me and are producing Murder Secret into a paperback for me which will hopefully see it in book stores throughout the UK from early 2018.

Juggernaut India love mystery eBooks and has given me a 25 + book publishing contract which will expose me to a very exciting market from November 2017.

But

none of this would have happened if I had remained stuck. I never would have authored any books if I allowed my self doubt and fears rule my life. I’m glad I found a writing group, listened to their advice and actually got started. Without acting upon my dream I would now be sitting around saying “what if”. Twenty five short stories in twenty five months is just the beginning. I hope you act upon your dreams too.Share
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How To Write A Short Story By John Dufresne

John Dufresne Reveals The Secret On How To Write A Short Story

Fiction writer and professor John Dufresne offers some tips on how to write a short story and how to know when you’re on the right track. Dufresne was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012 for his creative work, with includes four novels and the short story collections “The Way That Water Enters Stone” and “Johnny Too Bad.”

He has also written two books on the craft of fiction writing: “The Lie That Tells a Truth: a Guide to Writing Fiction” and “Is Life Like This? A Guide to Writing Your First Novel in Six Months.” Dufresne teaches creative writing at FIU

 

Short stories are the fabric of life because everybody likes a quickie

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7 Tips For Writing Query Letters That Win

Question: How do you schmooze a literary agent?

Answer: Sending them red wine, flowers or chocolates – or all three. Nope

Correct Answer: By writing query letters that sell your next book so easily to big name publishers and movie producers that your literary agent won’t need to break a sweat even while they are counting their commissions. Maybe a bit tongue in cheek but run with me a little

The literary agent needs to know:
1. What genre are you in?
2. What’s the story about?
3. What makes it unique?
4. Why should the agent take it on?
5. Who would watch this if it was produced?

Your first challenge will be divorcing yourself away from the book you wrote ‘as the best book ever written’ and treating it like ‘a product’ that is for sale. Sounds easy but it’s hard to do if you are emotionally tied to your work.

The next challenge for you will be actually writing query letters not to just one agent but potentially hundreds. If poorly done, it can knock you out of the game and end your writing career in an instant. But if you master writing query letters, the doors will open to a whole new world, potentially making you a New York Times bestseller and a multiple seven figure income earner annually. No longer will you have to cut out photos of country estates owned by successful authors and paste them all over your walls while chanting “I am a bestselling author” and tugging on a rubber band on your wrist, you will be one!

Here are the 7 tips to make all this happen (start dialling the local Ferrari dealership now):

  1. Answer the main questions
    Simple I know but writing query letters ain’t simple. Have a look at those five little gems at the beginning of this article. They are the main questions that need answered. Query letters are about marketing. Take off the beret and toss the ‘John Lennon’ specs. It’s time for the Ray Ban Wayfarers and to slick back your hair. Think Miami Vice not Oxford Professor.
  2. Follow the submission guidelines
    They ask, you answer. Don’t go floating off into some crazy trance that you think your wild ideas are actually wanted. Each literary agent has their very own specific questions and guidelines they need adhered to. Follow it to a ‘T’.
  3. Personalise the query 
    Yep we humans (and yes literary agents are human, especially the one that takes you on) love to hear our own name. Make sure you address the person by their name. ‘Stalk’ them on Facebook or LinkedIn and see what their interests are. Writing query letters to agents who love British bulldogs for instance should include a reference to your favourite dog. Yes authors, your new favourite dog (this week) is a British bulldog. Hmmm ok, avoid lying.
  4. Make your words count
    Literary agents are busy people. They need to read your submission while watching their favourite movie Jerry Maguire and screaming “show me the money”, but there’s only 24 hours in a day. When writing query letters include a brief bio, a short sharp punchy synopsis and a call to action. Don’t waffle and don’t pontificate. It was great that your year five English teacher said that one day you would become a great author, but how are you justifying the other forty seven years you’ve spent driving the Mr. Whippy ice cream van around town. Be concise and be relevant. Show me the money…..show me the money.
  5. Avoid the big mistakes
    You know the ones. Long, long, very long paragraphs. There’s a reason why Miss Davis at 63 years is still teaching grade five English and not writing books (and why she is still single). Short, concise, to the point sentences is what is required. Remember these literary agents are busy!
    Remember ‘show not tell’. The line “my theme is about……” is not required as it should be evident from reading your query letter.
    Outlining the ’75 characters’ that may appear in your book is not necessary either. Just talk about the two or three main ones.
  6. Write an effective bio
    Let them know the psycho they are about to get into bed with. Again be concise. Not too wordy but show some personalty and what makes you great. If you won the 1973 Miss Oklahoma High beauty pageant, congratulations, but it won’t be necessary to submit that photo. Your Mumma lied about how important it was to keep that original pic – look at the spouse it won you and you should get my drift.
  7. Don’t give ultimatums
    “Go ahead, make my day” followed by “reject me” may have worked in part for Clint Eastwood but telling the literary agent that he or she is just one of hundreds to whom you are writing query letters, may get your masterpiece tossed into the bin. Everybody wants to feel special. Don’t make out that you are such a hot commodity every agent in town is dying to sign you. The New York literary agents may all ban together and suggest you pitch their Albuquerque cousins instead.Just remember writing query letters is about the pitch. It’s a marketing letter. Get it right and you’ll be drinking margaritas on the beaches of the world – with your literary agent – they’re nice people too, really.

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Author Branding: Can Short Reads Improve Your Branding?

Author branding is a full time business in the life of an author. Whether you are a traditionally published author or a self publishing indie author, you need to continuously market yourself to your reader market. Author branding can take on many different forms including having a professional website, an attractive Amazon author page and well engaging social media sites.

But today I wanted to look at an author’s main asset, their book, and decide if a single 50,000 word novel is better for author branding or whether five 10,000 word short reads covering the same story gives better exposure.

In simple terms the more covers you have in the market, the more exposure you have and the more links to your author branding

Let’s look at this question from the perspective of a reader. Going onto Amazon and discovering a new author  is something most readers like to do. Yes they have their favourites but most readers like to expand their reading sphere by having new authors join it.

If a reader was to look at an author’s Amazon page and see just one single novel, they may think that author is a ‘oncer’ – it’s his or her only work. Readers like to be involved with authors who have a few books. They like to be immersed in a story and to see it continue into more books. They fall in love with characters and want to follow that character on their journey.

Single books, rightly or wrongly, give the impression that this it – there is no more to the story. Short reads on the other hand painted a totally different picture.

Readers buy with their eyes

When a reader visits an author page that is displaying five book covers, it appears that the author is more established and has done more work. It is a visual thing, the facts may not sustain that, but readers buy with their eyes.

Here’s a quick summary video to give your reading eyes a rest

More covers create more links

An author of a single book will create a few links about that book from different review sites, bloggers or media posts and interviews.

Short reads can create a similar number of links but now an author’s exposure could be five fold in the case I’m outlining here.

What would you prefer – one book with say 10 links or five short reads covering the same overall topic but now attracting 50 links?

Book samples are great BUT free books are better

Everybody loves a freebie. Readers investigating a new author will take advantage of the book sample to gain an insight into an author’s work. It’s free and doesn’t require a reader to give up their email address in order to receive a free book, one downside to a free giveaway..

But I’ve found that serious readers are willing to give an author their email address in order to get a free book or novella. It allows a reader to get to know the author, sample his/her work and if they crave more, they can invest their reading dollars into more books. Try before you buy scenario.

Savvy authors not only giveaway a free book to their readers. They also provide author insights into their writing lives, run competitions and other bonus chapters to keep their readers engaged for as long as possible.

Free books can definitely improve author branding.

Whether you take the single novel or short reads approach, author branding is a 24/7 business. If you want more exposure, create more links, build a larger reader group and earn as you write, short reads in my opinion win hands down!

What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment below

 

 

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Short Stories: Where To Publish

Short stories are in plentiful demand. They fill a void in the market when long stories or books are too much to handle.

As an author short stories are a great way to hone your writing skills. They give an author additional exposure into the market and can supplement their income in between larger works. But where does an author go to submit his or her works.

Here’s a list of 50+ places I’ve complied from credible literary sources on where you should publish your short stories.

Short Stories – where you should publish

(sourced via Writer Life)

1. The New Yorker

Might as well start with a bang, right? Adding publication in The New Yorker to your portfolio puts you in a whole new league, though it won’t be easy. Author David. B. Comfort calculated the odds of an acceptance at 0.0000416 percent!

It accepts both standard short fiction as well as humorous short fiction for the “Shouts & Murmurs” section. No word counts are mentioned, though a quick scan of the column shows most pieces are 600 to 1,000 words.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.newyorker.com/about/contact

Deadline: Open

Payment: Huge bragging rights; pay for unsolicited submissions isn’t specified. Who Pays Writers lists several paid pieces, though as of this post’s publication, no rates specifically for short stories.

2. The Atlantic

Another highly respected magazine, The Atlantic publishes both big names and emerging writers in fiction and nonfiction. Submission guidelines advise, “A general familiarity with what we have published in the past is the best guide to what we’re looking for.”

Submission Guidelines: http://www.theatlantic.com/faq/#Submissions

Deadline: Open

Payment: Unsolicited submissions are generally unpaid, although if the editors choose your piece for online content, you may receive $100-$200 depending on genre and length.

3. The Threepenny Review

This quarterly arts magazine focuses on literature, arts and society, memoir and essay. Short stories should be no more than 4,000 words, while submissions to the “Table Talk” section (pithy, irreverent and humorous musings on culture, art, politics and life) should be 1,000 words or less.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.threepennyreview.com/submissions.html

Deadline: January to June

Payment: $400 for short stories; $200 for Table Talk pieces

4. Zoetrope: All-Story

Founded by Francis Ford Coppola and Adrienne Brodeur in 1997, Zoetrope: All-Story’s mission is “to explore the intersection of story and art, fiction and film” and “form a bridge to storytellers at large, encouraging them to work in the natural format of a short story.” Submissions should be no more than 7,000 words.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.all-story.com/submissions.cgi

Deadline: Open

Payment: None, but this magazine has discovered many emerging writers and published big names like Salman Rushdie and Gabriel García Márquez, so publication here could win you some serious prestige points.

5. One Story

One Story is just what the name says: a literary magazine that publishes one great short story every three to four weeks, and nothing more.

Its main criteria for a great short story? One “that leaves readers feeling satisfied and [is] strong enough to stand alone.” Stories can be any style or subject but should be between 3,000 and 8,000 words.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.one-story.com/index.php?page=submit

Deadline: September 1 to May 31

Payment: $500 plus 25 contributor copies

6. The Antioch Review

The Antioch Review rarely publishes more than three short stories per issue, but its editors are open to new as well as established writers. Authors published here often wind up in Best American anthologies and as the recipients of Pushcart prizes.

To make the cut, editors say, “It is the story that counts, a story worthy of the serious attention of the intelligent reader, a story that is compelling, written with distinction.” Word count is flexible, but pieces tend to be under 5,000.

Submission Guidelines: http://review.antiochcollege.org/guidelines

Deadline: Open except for the period of June 1 to September 1

Payment: $20 per printed page plus two contributor copies

More Short Stories Publications? Ok you asked for it…

7. AGNI

Thought-provoking is the name of the game if you want to get published in AGNI. Its editors look for pieces that hold a mirror up to the world around us and engage in a larger, ongoing cultural conversation about nature, mankind, the society we live in and more.

There are no word limits, but shorter is generally better; “The longer a piece is, the better it needs to be to justify taking up so much space in the magazine,” note the submission guidelines.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.bu.edu/agni/submit.html

Deadline: Open September 1 to May 31

Payment: $10 per printed page (up to a max of $150) plus a year’s subscription, two contributor’s copies and four gift copies

8. Barrelhouse

Published by an independent nonprofit literary organization, Barrelhouse’s biannual print journal  and online issue seek to “bridge the gap between serious art and pop culture.” Its editors look for quality writing that’s also edgy and funny — as they say, they “want to be your weird Internet friend.”

There’s no hard word count, but try to keep your submission under 8,000 words.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.barrelhousemag.com/submissions

Deadline: Currently open for books, comics, and a few other categories. Check the webpage to see all open categories and sign up for the newsletter to learn as soon as new open categories are announced.

Payment: $50 plus two contributor copies (print journal); unpaid (online issue)

9. Cincinnati Review

The Cincinnati Review publishes work by writers of all genres and at all points of their careers. Its editors want “work that has energy,” that is “rich in language and plot structure” and “that’s not just ecstatic, but that makes is reader feel ecstatic, too.”

Fiction and nonfiction submissions should be no more than 40 double-spaced pages.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.cincinnatireview.com/#/submissions/guidelines

Deadline: August 15 to March 15

Payment: $25 per double-spaced page

10. The First Line

This cool quarterly is all about jumpstarting that pesky writer’s block. Each issue contains short fiction stories (300-5,000 words) that each begin with the same pre-assigned first line. You can also write a nonfiction critical essay (500-800 words) about your favorite first line from a piece of literary work.

If you really want to get ambitious, you can also write a four-part story that uses each of that year’s first lines (which is due by the next year’s spring issue deadline). To find each issue’s assigned first line, check out the submission guidelines below.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.thefirstline.com/submission.htm

Deadline: February 1 (spring); May 1 (summer); August 1 (fall); November 1 (winter)

Payment: $25 to $50 (fiction); $25 (nonfiction) plus a contributor’s copy

11. The Georgia Review

Another one high on the prestige list, The Georgia Review features a wide variety of essays, fiction, book reviews and more across a wide range of topics. You can read specific requirements for each in the submission guidelines below, but the common theme among them all is quality, quality, quality.

Bear in mind submitting requires a $3 processing fee if you’re not a subscriber.

Submission Guidelines: http://garev.uga.edu/submissions.html

Deadline: Open except for the period of May 15 to August 15

Payment: $50 per printed page

12. Boulevard Magazine

Boulevard Magazine is always on the lookout for “less experienced or unpublished writers with exceptional promise.” It accepts prose pieces (fiction and nonfiction) up to 8,000 words (note: no science fiction, erotica, westerns, horror, romance or children’s stories).

There is a submission fee of $3.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.boulevardmagazine.org/guidelines/

Deadline: Open October 1 to May 1

Payment: $100 to $300

13. Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura is a biannual independent literary journal that publishes contemporary literary fiction and photography. Fiction should be between 250 and 8,000 words, although its editors have made exceptions for the occasional “exceptional novella” between 12,000 and 30,000 words.

You can also try your hand at a “Bridge the Gap” piece, where you review the current photo gallery and construct a story that “Takes the reader on an unexpected journey from the first image to the next.”

Submission Guidelines: http://www.obscurajournal.com/guidelines.php

Deadline: Stay tuned to the guidelines page to find out when the next deadline is announced.

Payment: $1,000 to one featured writer published in each issue, as determined by the editors; all other contributors receive two copies of the issue in which they are published. The best Bridge the Gap piece receives $50.

14. Crazyhorse

Open to a wide variety of fiction from mainstream to avant-garde, Crazyhorse puts no limitations on style or form. If you’ve got something people haven’t seen before and won’t be able to forget, its editors are looking for it.

Crazyhorse also accepts nonfiction of any sort, including memoirs, journal entries, obituaries, etc. — we told you it’s open to anything! Keep your word count between 2,500 and 8,500 words.

Submission Guidelines: http://crazyhorse.cofc.edu/submit/

Deadline: Open for submissions from September 1 to May 31, except for the month of January (when it only accepts entries for the Crazyhorse Prizes)

Payment: $20 per printed page (up to a max of $200)

15. Story

Story Magazine is, you guessed it, all about the story, whatever shape it takes. Each issue is based around a theme, but its editors encourage writers to think outside the box when it comes to how to address that theme — fiction, nonfiction, hybrid forms, “hermit-crab essays” and more are all up for consideration.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.storymagazine.org/submit/

Deadline: Open January 1 to May 1 (print magazine); open February, April, June, August, and October (online)

Payment: Not specified

So you want more places to submit your short stories? Here you go….

16. Vestal Review

Prefer to keep your short stories extremely short? Vestal Review publishes flash fiction of no more than 500 words. Its editors are open to all genres except for syrupy romance, hard science fiction and children’s stories, and they have a special fondness for humor. R-rated content is OK, but stay away from anything too racy, gory or obscene.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.vestalreview.org/guidelines/

Deadline:  Submission periods are February to May and August to November

Payment: Ten cents per word (for stories up to 100 words); five cents per word (101-200 words); three cents per word (201-500 words). “Stories of great merit” in their estimation can receive up to a $25 flat fee.

17. Flash Fiction Online

Flash Fiction Online allows for slightly longer flash stories — between 500 and 1,000 words. Its editors like sci-fi and fantasy but are open to all genres. As with Vestal, stay away from the heavier stuff like erotica and violence. As of March 1, 2015, FFO accepts previously published works.

Submission Guidelines: http://flashfictiononline.com/main/submission-guidelines/

Deadline: Open

Payment: $60 per story, two cents per word for reprints

18. Black Warrior Review

Black Warrior Review publishes a mix of work by up-and-coming writers and nationally known names. Fiction pieces of up to 7,000 words should be innovative, challenging and unique; its editors value “absurdity, hybridity, the magical [and] the stark.”

BWR also accepts flash fiction under 1,000 words and nonfiction pieces (up to 7,000 words) that examine and challenge beliefs and boundaries. There is a $3 submission fee.

Submission Guidelines: http://bwr.ua.edu/submit/guidelines/

Deadline: Submission periods are December 1 to March 1 and June 1 to September 1

Payment: A one-year subscription to BWR and a nominal lump-sum fee (amount not disclosed in its guidelines)

19. The Sun Magazine

The Sun Magazine offers some of the biggest payments we’ve seen, and while its guidelines specifically mention personal writing and provocative political/cultural pieces, they also say editors are “open to just about anything.”

Works should run no more than 7,000 words. Submit something the editors love, and you could get a nice payday.

Submission Guidelines: http://thesunmagazine.org/about/submission_guidelines/writing

Deadline: Open

Payment: A one-year subscription plus $300 to $2,000 (nonfiction) or $300 to $1,500 (fiction)

20. Virginia Quarterly (VQR)

A diverse publication that features both award-winning and emerging writers, VQR accepts short fiction (2,000 to 8,000 words) but is not a fan of genre work like romance, sci-fi, etc. It also takes nonfiction (3,500 to 9,000 words) like travel essays that examine the world around us.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.vqronline.org/about-vqr/submissions

Deadline: Submission periods are June 15 to July 31 and October 1 to November 15. VQR also accepts nonfiction pitches from June 15 to December 1.

Payment: Generally $1,000 and above for short fiction and prose (approximately 25 cents per word) with higher rates for investigative reporting; $100 to $200 for content published online.

21. Ploughshares

Ploughshares’ award-winning literary journal is published by Boston’s Emerson College. They accept fiction and nonfiction under 6,000 words and require a $3 service fee if you submit online (it’s free to submit by mail, though they prefer digital submissions).

Submission Guidelines: https://www.pshares.org/submit/journal/guidelines

Deadline: June 1 at noon EST through January 15 at noon EST

Payment: $25 per printed page (for a minimum of $50 per title and a maximum of $250 per author).

22. Shimmer

Shimmer “encourages authors of all backgrounds to write stories that include characters and settings as diverse and wondrous as the people and places of the world we live in.”

Traditional sci-fi and fantasy need not apply; Shimmer’s editors are after contemporary fantasy and “speculative fiction” with strong plots, characters and emotional core — the more unique the better. Keep your stories under 7,500 words (4,000 words is around the sweet spot).

Submission Guidelines: http://www.shimmerzine.com/guidelines/fiction-guidelines/

Deadline: Opens for submissions on September 4

Payment: Five cents per word (for a minimum of $50)

23. Daily Science Fiction

Sci-fi and fantasy writers, this one’s for you. Daily Science Fiction is looking for character-driven fiction, and the shorter, the better. While their word count range is 100 to 1,500 words, they’re especially eager to get flash fiction series (several flash stories based around a central theme), science fiction, fantasy, and slipstream.

Submission Guidelines: http://dailysciencefiction.com/submit

Deadline: Open except for the period between December 24 to January 2

Payment: Eight cents per word, with the possibility of additional pay for reprints in themed Daily Science Fiction anthologies

Still need more places to submit your short stories? Try these

(thanks to Jacqui Bennett Writers Bureau UK)

Aesthetica The UK’s cultural arts magazine that features writing, art, music and film. It reports on the arts and publishes features, interviews, news, articles and reviews that stir the imagination around current themes.  Website: www.aestheticamagazine.com

Analog Science Fiction and Fact (http://www.analogsf.com) is one of the world’s leading sci-fi magazines. Published eleven times a year in paperback format, editor Stanley Schmidt chooses fiction and articles that demonstrate a sound understanding of science and an imaginative vision of possible scientific futures. Contact: Analog Science Fiction and Fact, 475 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016-6901, USA.

Any Dream Will Do Review Dr. Jean M. Bradt, publisher and chief editor of the Any Dream Will Do Review, has created a new story genre, Fiction in the Raw, and she seeks new or accomplished authors who wish to try writing in this genre. Fiction in the Raw is fiction that contains raw emotions (not raw sex, which will be rejected). Writers of Fiction in the Raw are unique in that they are not afraid to honestly expose their own deepest emotions. Can you meet this challenge? See website for submission guidelines: http://willigocrazy.org/Ch09a.htm

Aquila Dedicated to encouraging children aged 8-13 to reason and create, and to develop a caring nature. Short stories and serials of up to 4 parts. Occasional features commissioned from writers with specialist knowledge. Approach in writing with ideas and sample of writing style, with sae. Length: 700-800 words (features), 1000-1100 words (stories or per episode of a serial). Illustrations: colour and b&w, cartoons. Payment: £75 (features); £90 (stories), £80 (per episode). Jackie Berry, New Leaf Publishing Ltd, PO Box 2518, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 2BB. Tel: 01323 431313. Fax: 01323 731136. Email: info@aquila.co.uk Website: www.aquila.co.uk

The Artillery of Words A new online magazine to showcase budding writers. All submissions are welcome – anything from poems to short stories and fiction to non-fiction. Plays and children’s literature are also welcome – the word limit is 1,500. Website: http://theartilleryofwords.weebly.com

Black Gate Magazine is looking for submissions of adventure-oriented fantasy fiction suitable for all ages, including urban fantasy, sword and sorcery, dark fantasy/horror, romantic fantasy. Pays six cents a word for up to 7,000 words, $420 for 7,000-14,000 words, and three cents a word for longer works; buys First North American serial and electronic publication rights. Guidelines: submissions@blackgate.com or the website (www.blackgate.com). Editor: John O’Neill with New Epoch Press, Attn: Submissions Dept, 815 Oak Street, St Charles, IL 60174, USA.

Bloodlust UK Vampire fiction. Details: http://www.bloodlust-uk.com

Carillon Magazine Stories, articles, fillers (maximum 1,400 words). Quality work only. Website: http://www.carillonmag.org.uk/index.html

Chapman Scotland’s quality literary magazine. Features poetry, short works of fiction, criticism, reviews and articles on theatre, politics, language and the arts. Unsolicited material welcome if accompanied by s.a.e. Approach in writing unless discussion is needed. Priority is given to full-time writers. Features: Topics of literary interest, especially Scottish literature, theatre, culture or politics. Maximum 5000 words. Fiction: Short stories, occasionally novel extracts if self-contained. Maximum 6000 words. Special Pages: Poetry, both UK and non-UK in translation (mainly, but not necessarily, European). Payment by negotiation. Editor: Joy M. Hendry, 4 Broughton Place, Edinburgh EH1 3RX. Tel: 0131 557 2207. Fax: 0131 556 9565 Email: editor@chapman-pub.co.uk. Website: www.chapman-pub.co.uk

Countryside Tales Your story can be in any genre as long as it has a ‘countryside’ feel or setting. For example, you could write a crime story about a village policeman or a romantic tale set in the country. Your story should contain interesting and believable characters and have a beginning, middle and satisfactory conclusion. If there is a ‘twist in the tale’, it should not be obvious.Fiction, poetry, articles, writing competitions. New writers encouraged. Details: Countryside Tales, Park Publications, 14 The Park, Stow on the Wold, Cheltenham, Glos GL54 1DX; contact editor David Howarth (tel: 01451 831053) to discuss ideas, or send sae for guidelines. Email: enquiries@parkpublications.co.uk Website: www.parkpublications.co.uk

Crystal, The Magazine for Writers Stories (true and fiction), poems, articles, fillers. No bad language or erotica. Regular features: writing with flair, wordsmithing, readers’ letters, competitions. Occasionally Subscribers’ News and Advertising. One sample copy free. Visit website for details.

Dark Tales Created as an outlet primarily for unpublished writers of sci-fi, dark fantasy and horror short stories. Published stories are the winners and shortlisted entries from a quarterly competition. Fiction should be strong on characterisation as well as original, thought-provoking ideas.   Website: http://www.darktales.co.uk

Descant An established, Canadian literary magazine. Descant considers submissions of poetry (submit about six poems), short stories, novel excerpts, plays, essays, interviews, musical scores and visual presentations. Standards for acceptance are high. They receive a large number of submissions every month – please send only your best, carefully edited work. No submission may be under consideration by another publisher, nor can it have been previously published. Please note that it can take up to 12 months to hear back regarding your submission. More information on the website (http://www.descant.ca). Submission Guidelines: http://www.descant.ca/submit.html

The Edge Wants modern/psychological/urban/imaginative science fiction/horror/crime/erotic fiction. Enclose sae/IRCs. No reprints or email submissions. Editor: Dave Clark, Unit 138, 22 Notting Hill Gate, London, W11 3JE. Website: www.theedge.abelgratis.co.uk

Every Day Fiction Every day, we publish a new flash fiction story (1000 words or fewer), perfect for your coffee break, your commute, or whenever you have a few minutes for yourself. The maximum 1000 word count is firm. We pay $3 US per story, plus an additional $1 US if the story is selected for our annual print anthology. Details: http://www.everydayfiction.com

Fleeting Magazine ‘The Best Short Writing in the World’ – competitions, photography, et cetera. Website: http://fleetingmagazine.com

Historical Novel Society See Solander below.

Interzone: Science Fiction & Fantasy Unsolicited mss welcome ‘from writers who have a knowledge of the magazine and its contents’. Website: http://ttapress.com/interzone

Irish Pages is a biannual journal, edited in Belfast and publishing, in equal measure, writing from Ireland and overseas. Its policy is to publish poetry, short fiction, essays, creative non-fiction, memoir, essay reviews, nature-writing, translated work, literary journalism, and other autobiographical, historical, religious and scientific writing of literary distinction. There are no standard reviews or narrowly academic articles. http://www.irishpages.org/

Ken*again, the literary magazine A quarterly, nonprofit e-zine presenting a hearty, eclectic mix of prose, poetry, art and photography: accessible, obscure, soothing, disturbing. We do not pay cash but we publish authors’ bios and often link to their sites. Prose and poetry may be sent either in the body of an email or by attaching MS-Word Documents. Art should be attached in jpg format or we should be directed to Artists’ and Photographers’ websites. Edited and Published by John Delin and Pamela Boslet Buskin. Website: http://kenagain.freeservers.com Guidelines: http://kenagain.freeservers.com/contact.html

The Lady Not currently accepting unsolicited short stories. Website: http://www.lady.co.uk/

Mslexia Women writers’ magazine – always with plenty going on. Frequent competitions. Highly recommended. Submissions to: Mslexia, PO Box 656, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE99 1PZ; tel: 0191 233 3860; e-mail (for information only, no submissions):postbag@mslexia.co.uk Website: www.mslexia.co.uk

My Weekly Check latest edition of magazine for submission details.

New Welsh Review Welsh literary magazine in the English language. Welcomes material of literary and cultural interest to Welsh readers and those with an interest in Wales. Website: http://www.newwelshreview.com

The People’s Friend Entertaining, optimistic stories are required by this publication – throw in a touch of nostalgia and let your fictional world move more slowly than today’s and you’ll stand a far better chance of succeeding. Stories should usually be between 1,000 and 4,000 words, but there are occasionally slots for shorter pieces of 500 to 1,000 words.. Website: http://www.thepeoplesfriend.co.uk/

Prole is a new publication that focuses on accessible poetry, short fiction and creative nonfiction. We aim to publish three times a year. If money is made, contributors will be paid a share. Website: http://www.prolebooks.co.uk/index.html

Riptide New short fiction by both established and emerging writers. We are committed to providing a forum for high quality, innovative fiction, expanding the readership of the short story genre and enhancing its standing. We invite work by prominent authors who believe in the continuing importance of the short story, but we aim to include new voices in every issue. Details: http://www.riptidejournal.co.uk

Scribble Quarterly short story magazine now in its seventh year of publication. Offers prizes of cash prizes for the best three stories in each issue of the magazine, on any subject, up to 3,000 words. Details and guidelines: Send sae to: Scribble, Park Publications, 14 The Park, Stow on the Wold, Glos GL54 1DX. Website: www.parkpublications.co.uk

Sniplits publish short stories of up to 9,000 words in audio. Website:http://www.sniplits.com.   Guidelines and submissions calendar in Authors Room.

Solander Payments are being offered for publication in the Historical Novel Society’s magazine, Solander. Many contributors published in Solander have found agents and gone on to further success. Any theme or period is acceptable, and the editor is prepared to read time-slip or alternative history as well as ‘straight’ historical fiction. All genres will be considered and submissions are not restricted to members, although contributors should read a copy of the magazine first. Membership Details on Website: http://www.historicalnovelsociety.org/main.htm

Spec Magazine A Canadian magazine seeks fantasy, horror, ghost and fairy stories; both poetry and prose. Guidelines and pay rates: http://www.onspec.ca/ or contact Spec Magazine, Box 4727, Edmonton Alberta, Canada T6E 5G6.

Stickman Review (www.stickmanreview.com) is an online literary magazine published twice yearly. Editors Anthony Brown and Darrin English welcome e-mail submissions of literary fiction (fiction@stickmanreview.com), non-fiction (nonfiction@stickmanre view.com) and poetry (poetry@stickmanreview.com). Although they do not rule out genre stories, the editors emphasise that this is a literary magazine, and their major interest is the quality of the literary style. Contact: Stickman Review, 2890 N. Fairview Dr, Flagstaff, Arizona 86004, USA.

The Strand Magazine is a quarterly print publication offering a variety of crime short stories, book reviews, articles on the mystery genre, and interviews with prominent authors or people with a decided ‘criminal’ interest. Managing Editor Andrew F Gulli looks for tales written in the best traditions of the classic writers. Weave a mystery, sprinkle it with red herrings, and introduce characters with whom the reader can sympathise. Explicit sex or violence are not welcome. Stories of 2,000 to 6,000 words should be submitted by mail to: The Strand Magazine, PO Box 1418, Birmingham, MI 48012-1418, USA. Website: http://www.strandmag.com/

Tin House (http://www.tinhouse.com/) is a quarterly literary magazine that publishes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. It accepts submissions from around the world. Non-fiction articles include interviews with literary figures and essays on writing and literature. Pays from $200 for short stories and $50 for poetry. Contact: Tin House, PO Box 10500, Portland, Oregon OR 97296-0500, USA for further information (enclose sae and IRC), or visit the website for fuller guidelines.

Ulster Tatler Articles of local interest and social functions appealing to Northern Ireland’s ABC1 population. Welcomes unsolicited material; approach by phone or in writing in the first instance. Fiction: Max. 3000 words. Payment £150. Editor: Richard Sherry, 39 Boucher Road, Belfast BT12 6UT. Tel: 01232 681371. Fax: 01232 381915 Email: ulstertat@aol.com Website: http://www.ulstertatler.com

Vintage Script is looking for short stories and articles that are original and well-written, and must be on an historical theme. Short stories and longer articles should be no longer than 2,000 words. Also interested in shorter articles of 500-1,000 words. Contributions should not have been published elsewhere. Look at the Submissions page on the website if you have a historical story or article to share. Website: http://www.vintagescript.co.uk/

Woman’s Weekly Full submission guidelines: http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/family/471247/woman-s-weekly-fiction-guidelines

Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special See previous entry.

Yours A fortnightly magazine covering general women’s interest and lifestyle. Aimed at readers over fifty. Publishes general interest short fiction. Website: http://www.yours.co.uk Email: yours@emap.com Features Editor: Caroline Chadderton, Bretton Court, Bretton, Peterborough, PE3 8DZ

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