Join The Midnight Writers as they discuss writing short stories with special guest Amity Green.
Podcasters: J.L. Zenor, Amy L. Kessler, and Lena M. Johnson
Introduction Voice by Jon Eddy http://www.joneddyproductions.com/
Music: Moonlight by Wontolla https://soundcloud.com/iamwontolla/moonlight
Adapted by Brittany Thurman
Publishing short stories is a time-honored way for authors to break into the writing world. This publication used to come from magazines, but anthologies seem to have taken over this responsibility in recent times. Anthologies publish short stories that often have some sort of theme. These anthologies can offer many benefits to writers.
Writing a Short Story vs Writing a Novel
Writing a short story is different than writing a novel. A short story generally has fewer than 7,500 words. This limited word count means that each word must be essential and pack a punch. There is less time and space to get your mission done with a short story. An entire story arc must take place in these few pages. Since short stories are smaller, they can be written in a shorter time than novels. This means that they can be a good method for newer authors to practice different writing techniques.
Finding Anthologies and Coming Up with Short Story Ideas
There are websites to help you find anthologies, including those such as Duotrope Digest (https://duotrope.com/). You can narrow the search down by genre and word count. Sign up for email newsletter from these websites and watch for announcements of anthologies. Networking with other authors and those in the publishing industry can be an effective way to get notified when there are anthologies open for submissions. Once you find an anthology, you need your story idea. Many anthologies are themed, anything from Domesticated Velociraptors to A Hacked-Up Holiday Massacre. Not all themes are plot-driven—some may just have setting or character themes. These different themes can make it easier for authors to try out unfamiliar genres. You may not have to come up with a brand new story idea—look through some of your current ideas. Can any of them be molded to fit into the anthology’s theme?
The Benefits of Writing for an Anthology
There are several benefits to writing for anthologies. Not only do short stories allow authors to practice writing techniques and try out different genres, but they also give new authors the opportunity to add published works to their query letters and get their names out there. You may even get the opportunity to network with some of the other authors that are in the table of contents, and this relationship can create a connection that will assist you in future projects. Writing for anthologies also allows authors to explore their craft and grow as writers. While the pay is not glamorous, these benefits can help you become a better writer and more successful author.
What is your favorite way to find out about upcoming anthologies? What anthologies have you been published in? Share in the comments!