Monday, June 9, 2008

Question: Send it or Leave it?

Tip of the Day: Just because you could take your mild mannered four-year-old out on errands doesn't mean that, when he turns five, he won't turn into a perpetual energy machine capable of mass destruction who should stay penned in the backyard instead of waiting for Mom at her hair appointment.

In January, I sent 2 short stories to the annual Highlights Fiction Contest. The theme was "the future." Highlights received over 1,100 submissions. I was not one of the three winners (but Congrats to them ... talk about a lot of competition!)

Anyway, I received my stories back in the mail recently. One of them, well, I never felt like I nailed the ending, you know? It was a cute idea, but I'm not sure I found the right way to execute it. The other story ... well, I really like it. It's probably too old for Highlights, but I was happy with it anyway, so I went ahead and sent it. And now I have it back.

So what do I do with it?

I know, there's no point in having something written to stay hidden away. It's done, I like it, I should take a chance and send it out. BUT there's not exactly a huge market for short stories for this age group. And even if Highlights bought 100 stories from the contest, which would be remarkable, that still leaves 1000 stories floating around. If everyone feels like I do, there are potentially 500 stories about the future being mailed out as I type this.

I guess could sit on the story awhile and see if I still like it in a few months. I don't know, any other ideas of what I could do with my story?

-- Kate, Miss Apprentice Writer


DeenaML said...

Up the creepy factor in it and send it to Crow Toes Quarterly!

I like that story, too. I say research other mags where they might like it and send it out!

I also wonder how many of those other 1045 stories are floating around as well, making their way to other magazines.... :)

D. Moonfire said...

I'm in favor of shopping it around for a bit, and if it doesn't sell, throw it on a website. Of course, that is what I do, so I'm highly biased. :)

Kristina Springer said...

I was just about to say what d. moonfire did-- throw it up on your personal Web site as a writing sample. I'd keep sending it out first (but I'm not sure where) if you can.

Emily Marshall said...

I'd definitely say shop it around. It doesn't hurt. The worst anyone can say is "no." Get a Writer's Market from the library and try to find someplace that will take short stories like it.

Anonymous said...

Send it out, Kate!
If everyone who has a futuristic short story right now thinks the way you're thinking (and let's face it, they are), imagine yourself being one of the three or so people brave enough to submit it anyway.
Those are great odds. When we committed to writing, we committed to persistence, right? Go for it!

Kate Fall said...

OK, you have all encouraged me! I'll do some research and mail it on out!