Aside from signing an agent and finding a publisher for my debut novel, my goal for this year is to publish three short stories in three literary magazines so that I can start to build my portfolio as an author.
Just a couple of weeks into this new season, it has already been a stretching and challenging experience.
- Finding the literary magazine that is the right fit for my style and taste, as well as appealing to a broad enough audience to be recognizable and respectable… That’s no simple task. For now, I’m aiming at open submission calls from smaller anthologies. Not only do I stand a better chance than I do with, say, The New Yorker, these calls often come with specific story ideas or requirements. That’s a great way to get ideas as I start building a short story portfolio for the first time.
- Short Stories are very different animals from Novels! That doesn’t take much explaining. Obviously, they’re very different. But in the same way that pushing through to the finish of my first novel taught me a host of lessons otherwise impossible to learn, so it is with the construction and refining process of short stories. It’s a highly spcialized genre of story telling.
- I’m finding, all over again, that writing is my life’s work. Published or not, commercially successful or not, I love to write. Short stories are a great way to remind myself of that since reaching “The End” comes so much more quickly than with a novel. (Although the final draft of short stories can be just as long in coming since every. single. word. counts.)
Off to the holidays, then back to the drawing board with the next round of query letters.
The adventure continues!