short stories

Writing Short Stories – A Smart Decision

 

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Why Writing Short Stories
Readers have shorter attention spans these days and consume the written word in radically different ways:  With smartphones, tablets, and netbooks, readers are more gravitating towards shorter pieces.  With all the distractions from other, flashier forms of entertainment it can be a struggle to set aside an hour or two and a find a quiet spot to read a book.  Short stories can be read in 20 minutes- while enjoying lunch break, riding the bus or standing in a queue.

Writing short stories before switching to lengthy novels seem to be natural. However, the craft of short fiction cannot help an author – this is an underlying prejudice held by others who see short stories as a minor league. Real authors write novels. Well, short stories are novels too –  or at least novelettes. Famous bestselling authors, such as Stephen King or Ray Bradbury are proofing it.
If you want to get a professional author platform and recognition by agents, publishers, and reviewers then placing stories in respected literary journals will help you tremendously.
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Short Stories are Training for Your 300-page Novels
Short stories are great for writing practice. Several short stories can be a great exercise or preparation for your full-lengths novel. Short stories, related to your upcoming novel, can be published as a prequel to offer something to read until your next book launches. Prequels promote your future book through short stories. They can serve as a gateway to your novels.
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Most Writing Contests Want Short Stories
Writing contests are a great way for both, beginners and seasoned authors to get noticed. A well-known writing prize contest can really make your portfolio stand out. For most authors, it’s scary to show their work to the world. But you have to bite the bullet, so you might as well do it for a cash prize!

Print collections of short stories are also a fantastic way for newer authors to break into the market, for example through the Chicken Soup series or the Best American Short Stories.  Find submission info at Duotrope duotrope.com and Writer’s Relief writersrelief.com, or at the websites listed below.
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Consider These Tips:

Kurt Vonnegut’s  short-story-writing advice to writers:
“For every rule (well, almost every rule) there is an exception. The greatest American short story writer of my generation was Flannery O’Connor,” writes Vonnegut. She broke practically every one of my rules but the first. Great writers tend to do that.”

“Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water. Each sentence must do one of two things–reveal character or advance the action. Give your readers as much information as possible – as soon as possible. To heck with suspense.”
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What makes short stories different from novels is that there has to be one strong, obviously “main” topic to the short story, everything else needs to be only hinted. The most important part of short story writing is editing. No matter how good you think your story is, it can be shorter, tighter, more compelling. Learn to strip the fat relentlessly, hunt out and kill repetition of words, make every sentence sing. And look for repetition in words – when you have so few to work with, repeated words really stand out.
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Benefits of Writing Short Stories:

  • Small, portable screens are changing the way we read. The iPhone has made people a lot more open to reading short stories. They can be read in one sitting and are downloadable.
  • Editors at small magazines often have connections in the publishing world.
  • The more titles you have in online bookstores, the more visible writers are.
  • Most writers can’t turn out more than two books a year, but they can write and publish short stories and novellas in between.
  • A prize, a short-listing or even honorable mention looks great in a query or bio.
  • Some of the biggest awards in literature are still for short fiction, sometimes offering a prize as high as $6,000 to $12,000.
  • Shorts keep readers interested while they’re waiting for your next novel.  Even a free very short story (2,000 words) in between is a great marketing tool. Consider writing several short stories about your main characters while you’re working on the novel and use them as prequels
  • Kindle Singles often sell for the same price as a novel-length e-book. Some large magazines still publish short fiction.
  • Most literary journals are available online, with larger readerships and you don’t have to subscribe to find out what the editors want.
  • Include the right keywords in your content, and people will find these short stories and articles in search engines.

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Amazon’s Kindle Singles
Amazon’s Kindle Singles program—which publishes works of fiction or creative nonfiction of 5,000 (better 10,000) to 30,000 words—it sold more than 2 million short titles in 14 months. Today, it’s further promoting short fiction with a Short Reads section—where customers can choose stories from the Singles library by the length of time required to read them—and Day One magazine, which showcases short fiction from new authors.

A prominent author of these Kindle Singles is Stephen King, with his Single “Mile 81” a top seller. So, instead of submitting your work to reader forums or our blog, you can sell those articles to the internet giant Amazon website and receive 70% royalties, even for Singles priced under Dollar 2.99. To be precise for Singles priced between 99 cents and $4.99.
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Other Criteria’s at Amazon are:

  • Original work, not previously published in other formats or publications
  • Self-contained work, not chapters excerpted from a longer work
  • Not published on any public website in its entirety
  • But they are currently not accepting how-to manuals, public domain works, reference books, travel guides, or children’s books!!!

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Amazon’s Submission Policy
“A Kindle Single can be on any topic. So far we’ve posted fiction, essays, memoirs, reporting, personal narratives, and profiles, and we’re expanding our selection every week.  We’re looking for high-quality writing, fresh and original ideas, and well-executed stories in all genres and subjects. We will consider e-books recently published via Kindle Direct Publishing, manuscript submissions, or pitches.”
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Where to submit short stories – other than as Kindle Singles?
Authors who are aiming to make a living from their short stories or supplement their income have to find markets at magazines, on Dueotrope or offer their books to Amazon for inclusion into “Kindle Shorts“.  Stories between 3,000 and 5,000 words are most marketable, however, there is demand for all lengths.

Most of the writing competitions take place every year. If the deadline for this year’s contest is expired, mark your calendar for next year’s contest. However, there are many more opportunities, such as top literary magazines, newspapers and hundreds of niche magazines where writers can submit fiction and non-fiction short pieces.  These pieces are often not only handsomely paid, but also given additional exposure to a large new audience. Never give your work away for free – except in particularly worthwhile places, such as a charity.

http://www.nottinghilleditions.com/essay-prize-intro

https://www.bridportprize.org.uk/

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

http://www.one-story.com/index.php?page=submit&pubcode=os

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

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

http://www.everywritersresource.com/topliterarymagazines.html

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These links are just a few examples of several hundred more that readers of our next self-publishing guidebook can expect: How to Make (More) Money With Writing – launch in late March.



6,000 Canadian Dollar Prize for a Short Story

Short-Story-Prize

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Fantastic Prizes for Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada who s
ubmit an original, unpublished short story before November 1, 2015.
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Only one Author per Entry.

All works that have been published in print or on the Internet, including self-published works, as well as works that have been broadcast or delivered in front of a public audience, are considered previously published and are therefore not eligible for the short story competition.
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Length:
The word count must be between 1200 and 1500 words. Word count includes titles.  Submissions over or under the specified word count (including the titles) will be disqualified.  For works submitted by mail, an electronic version may be required in order to check the word count.
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Deadline:
The Short Story Competition runs from September 1 to November 1. Usually, the winners are announced about four months after the deadline.
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How to Submit:
While the competition is active, submit online by clicking the “submit” link or, if you wish to submit by mail, you can download the offline submission form.

A fee of $25.00 (taxes included) for administration purposes is required for each entry. Detailed info can be found at:
http://www.cbc.ca/books/literaryprizes/rules.html

Publication of the winner’s short story will be at Air Canada’s enRoute magazine and on CBCBooks.ca and there is also a 10-day writing residency at the Banff-Center in Alberta.

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Other Canadian Competitions:

Creative Nonfiction – Competition opens: January 1, 2016, Deadline: March 1, 2016
Poetry – Competition opens: April 1, 2016, Deadline: June 1, 2016

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For American Writers – and Everyone else:
Robert Lee Brewer, Senior Content Editor, Writer’s Digest Community, just released a “Call for Submissions” for the Writer’s Market 2017.
He announced: “Running October 31, 2015, I’ll be accepting pitches for articles in the Writer’s Market 2017. Sometime in November, I’ll start making assignments. The best way to figure that out is to read a recent edition or two of Writer’s Market. Learn more about the Writer’s Market 2016 here.  Anyone familiar with the book will know that I’m looking for articles that will help freelancers find more success from a business perspective.”
“Previous articles have tackled queries, book proposals, taxes, record keeping, business management, and more. If you’re an experienced source and can interview other sources, that is ideal.”
Read more details at Writersdigest.com

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also “Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

 

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Difference Between Marketing and Advertising

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Advertising / free day campaigns are just a very small part of marketingAs very well described here, it is only a tiny slice of the “marketing pie”.  A humerus approach to illustrate the difference between Marketing, PR, Advertising, and Personal Branding can be found in these examples. The huge variety of Online Marketing approaches are shown in this wheel-shaped graphic below. 

Continue reading after the graphic
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The Noob Guide to Online Marketing - Infographic
Unbounce – The DIY Landing Page Platform

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Book Marketing Strategies
Selling your book for a very low price or for free is not really a marketing strategy, unless … And it should only be done and only works well in these circumstances:

  • when you have already a name,
  • when you have several books or
  • when you are a well established as a writer.

It costs money to advertise and then you loose sales, the sale of a couple of books short after the free days will soon be over and the book will turn back into it’s old Amazon rankings. See also a former blog post blog post “Free Days on KDP Select - is it for you?

Consider this too:  You must commit exclusivity with Amazon for 90 days, which means that you must remove your e-book (NOT the print version!) from all other retailers and give up your e-book royalties from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBook store and Sony’s Nook eBook store or wherever else you sell it.
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Giving away a short story (1000 to 1,500 words) or writing guest  blogs is a much better approach – and publishing stories on a high-frequented magazine or newspaper websites helps to find new readers (and you might get even paid for it). You can split your book into many short stories (re-write or spin it a bit to make it “new-looking”).  Tweeting or posting about these free short stories will bring you even more additional promotion for you book – and links to your sales page and your own website, where you hopefully have an opt-in form for your email newsletter to invite readers to your next book.

Most Successful KDP Free Day Campaigns
Authors with multiple books or a series of books use promo days to give away the first book in a series (or the third or fifths, hoping that customers will come back and buy the other books from that series. Which they often do. You can use each of your books to advertise everything else you have written.
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Don’t forget:  If you have only one book there is nothing that readers can actually buy from you, after they received your book for free! The only benefit is the lending program for Prime Members that bring you some revenue – but only if you have priced it higher than $2.99, as readers usually prefer to borrow higher-priced books.

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $159 for three months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/  to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

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Tagged: clever marketing, content marketing, Difference between Marketing and Advertising, Huffington Post, Marketing mix, nouns in books, short stories, teasers, write for blogs and newspapers


Treasury Of Bizarre Christmas Stories

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Bizarre-Christmas-Stories

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Fiza’s first compilation of short stories makes her come across as a sort of modern day neo-mystic.  Through the 22 stories in the book, the author communicates to us lessons in faith in a way that will appeal to both adults and children alike.  The language is simple and lucid, yet enticing and appealing at the same time.” Reviewer for ‘The Examiner’

This collection brings together, a variety of bizarre Christmas stories never heard before. From creepy dark catacombs to a haunted winter wonderland, this treasury brings with it, a mystical side to Christmas and the birth of a legendary baby. Whether deep in a forest of India or back in time, in Bethlehem, ‘Treasury Of Bizarre Christmas Stories’ brings to its readers the holy, the Almighty, the haunted, the obsession, the innocent, the magical and the reason to celebrate.
Enter to Win!  Goodreads Giveaway from 11.12.2013 till 21.12.2013 
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About the Author:
Fiza Pathan holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and Sociology. She is a qualified teacher having a Bachelor’s degree in Education, her special subjects being History and English. Fiza is an avid reader of books of all genres and writes short stories and articles. Don’t miss to read Fiza’s blog regularly:

http://insaneowl.com

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Fiza Pathan is also the author of ‘S.O.S. Animals And Other Stories‘ and ‘Classics: Why we should encourage children to read them‘ which is available as a paperback edition and various digital formats on Amazon and other platforms.
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e-Book version
http://www.amazon.com/Treasury-Bizarre-Christmas-Stories-Pathan/dp/1481081764

Paperback
http://www.amazon.com/Treasury-Bizarre-Christmas-Stories-Pathan-ebook/dp/B00ADQ7HMK

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If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $159 for 3 months! Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 950 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing

http://www.111publishing.com

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Tagged: Author Fiza Pathan, Christmas Reads, Classics, S.O.S. Animals And Other Stories, short stories, Treasury of Bizarre Christmas Stories


S.O.S. Animals And Other Short Stories

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Short-Stories-by-Fiza-Pathan

Short Stories by Fiza Pathan

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How did the animals aboard the Titanic save themselves?
Fiza Pathan gives readers answers to questions, such as: How did a lion save Christians in distress? Can dolphins pray for the dead and can a snake solve a riddle? Do last wishes come true and is there really a Santa Claus? Can animals lie like human beings? Why did barn animals enter a mall? Can Tigers long for peace? Can a giraffe be self-conscious of its looks and is the strayed lamb saved by the shepherd?. All these and other questions are answered in the book “S.O.S. Animals And Other Stories” in a manner never narrated before.

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“Beautifully written, touching and original.” 
Fiza Pathan writes: “‘S.O.S. Animals And Other Stories’ was the first book that I wrote, a book of short stories which can be read by people of all ages, and I am delighted and humbled that the stories were appreciated and reviewed by Margaret Kell Virany, who said:
“beautifully written, touching and original.”  And I might add: the ideal bedtime stories to read to your children and talk with them about the stories’ content.

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Fiza-PathanFiza Pathan is a teacher for History and English to the Senior students. Being literary minded from a young age, she participated in and won many competitions at College in essay writing and short stories. Fiza now lives with her maternal family and writes novels and short stories which includes almost all genres, Religious writings being her forte. She has been ‘adopted’ by two stray cats who answer to the names of Lopez and Brownie.She can be followed on her website.
She published two other books besides S.O.S. Animals and Other Short Stories: CLASSICS: Why we should encourage children to read them and Treasury Of Bizarre Christmas Stories
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Review ‘S.O.S. Animals And Other Stories’ by Margaret Kell Virany
Review by Br. Joshan Rodrigues

“SOS Animals and other Stories is a beautiful expression of faith through the eyes of a believer, in a manner both different and unique. The language is simple and lucid, yet enticing and appealing at the same time. The book can be used as a veritable resource book for catechesis and for moral development. The stories in this book can also be used as a simple read for daily reflections.”
Br. Joshan Rodrigues- The Examiner Issue, date 03 November 2012.
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Digital version: $0.99 http://amzn.to/1h9pWEt
Paperback: 110 pages $5.65 http://amzn.to/16WYAaH

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xSOS_

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Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 900 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

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http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK

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Tagged: Author Fiza Pathan, CLASSICS Why We Should Encourage Children to Read Them, Margaret Kell Virany, S.O.S. Animals And Other Stories, short stories, Treasury of Bizarre Christmas Stories


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