Today I'm introducing Sue Moorcroft, whose novel LOVE & FREEDOM won the Best Romantic Read Award at the Festival of Romance 2011. Sue is published by Choc Lit, but she has been multi-published in short stories and knows the market backwards. Welcome, Sue! Over to you:
Sue's Tips for getting your short stories published:
- Read the magazine, several issues.
- List the adverts and regular columns for a rapid picture of the reader.
- Study the style, especially the fiction. Write to it. EXCEPTION: don’t study the ‘big names’ fiction because ‘big names’ are allowed to break the rules.
- Don’t confuse Readers’ Own Stories with the fiction. Readers’ Own Stories tend to be horrid; fiction nice.
- Think upbeat, not downbeat. Think exasperation, not anger. Think Planet Magazine Fiction – it’s a nicer place to live than Real Life on Earth.
- Style tends to be light, chatty, accessible.
- Even a mature readership doesn’t want to read about old ladies being shoved into homes by busy relatives. They really, really don’t.
- Don’t write from the point of view of an animal or inanimate object.
- Write to the magazine for their guidelines or download them from the Internet. Follow them.
- Avoid violence/gore/sex.
- When you send a story to a magazine, if you have been published send a brief, friendly, covering letter saying so.
- You need the desire to write for mags! – the operative word is ‘for’. If you don’t want to be part of a brand then magazine fiction is probably not for you. EXCEPTION. If you’re a well-known novelist you’re in a good position.
- Write to wordcount with a tolerance of +/- 3%. Yes, really.
- If you get a letter asking for changes and you can possibly make them, make them and send the revision with a nice letter thanking the editor for the guidance. You’re a big step closer to selling the story.
Sue Moorcroft writes romantic novels of dauntless heroines and irresistible heroes. Her latest book, Love & Freedom, won the Best Romantic Read Award 2011 at the Festival of Romance.
Sue is the author of over 130 short stories and 4 serials for the weekly magazine market, a ‘how to’ book, Love Writing – How to Make Money From Writing Romantic and Erotic Fiction, is the head judge for the Writers’ Forum fiction competition and a Katie Fforde Bursary Award winner.
Website www.suemoorcroft.com, blog http://suemoorcroft.wordpress.com/. You’re welcome to befriend Sue on Facebook or Follow Sue on Twitter.