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Getting stories published

Discussion in 'Personal' started by lilpinkmiss, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. I've spent this summer writing about six short stories for young children about the adventures of my dog.
    Does anyone know of a publisher who would want this kind of work? I've googled it but it does seem rather confusing.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks, Lil x
  2. I've spent this summer writing about six short stories for young children about the adventures of my dog.
    Does anyone know of a publisher who would want this kind of work? I've googled it but it does seem rather confusing.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks, Lil x
  3. No. But as a writer of fiction for the other end of the fiction genre, I can tell you that for every one that is accepted, you will submit a lot that are thrown back. You need persistence and a very thick skin. And obviously, an alternative income.
  4. OP, I suggest buying this year's version of The Writer and Illustrator's Handbook. It gives very good advice on this type of thing, even providing a huge list of agents and publishers, with contact details.
  5. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    You could self publish? x
  6. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Is it not called the Writers' and Artisits' Yearbook? You need an agent first - and then go from there. the yearbook is the place to find out which agents and publishers publish the kind of thing you like to write.
    The best piece of advice I was given was to read, read, read, read, read, read, read the sort of thing that you want to write (to get to know what publishers like), and then you need to come up with a 'fresh' way of doing just that.
    Another way into children's books would be to get an illustrator on board?
    Isn't there a magazine called something like Writers Quarterly of something? Could be useful.
  7. Yes!
  8. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Phew. I thought for a moment there were two![​IMG]
  9. You don't need an agent until you are selling at least four or five a year. Indeed you won't be able to afford one. If a publishing house accepts your work they will allocate an agent, although they may call it something else,
  10. I had/have an illustrator's agent and I don't pay them unless I get work (they take a cut then)
    I say 'had' as I haven't really done any illustration since having the baby. :-/ Just the odd painting here and there.

    Maybe it's different for writers.
  11. For a writer of short stories, you have to be knocking them out at a phenomenal rate to be making a living. You get a bit more if the publisher asks you for a story (usually because of unusually good feedback from a previous) rather than the other way round , but believe me, teaching is far better paid unless you're the one in a million PotterGod.
  12. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    I suppose it depends what you are writing? I'm aiming for Mills and Boon (one more go, and then that's it, I obviously haven't got what it takes to make it 'fresh'!!), but they ahve a fairly standard contract, so there's no need for an agent to negotiate. I haven't bothered with an agent for short articles and sections in books (was contacted), but a couple of friends have both found agents first and then publishers after - but like Lily, they are not writing children's books (one is romantic fication, and the other is vampire thrillers). Horses for courses?
    And CK, now I've gone back to teaching I haven't much head space for writing [​IMG]
  13. I don't suppose you have any links to your own stories, do you? Je suis tres intruiged. :p
  14. sorry that was to LOF. I know she writes.
  15. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    Tsk. Shall flouce off in high dudgeon to consider the way that light bounces off of hair.[​IMG]
  16. I remember trying to write a Mills and Boon book when I was seventeen. Much harder than i imagined. :)

    Kudos to you both, anyway.
  17. Really, none to me. I'm so embarrassed by the shite I get paid for that only my brother and an old dear friend thousands of miles away are allowed to read them. And they think they're shite!
  18. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Market research. Get out there and find out who publishes stories similar to yours then approach them direct with a concise summary of the story and maybe a sample page or two. Look at their book formats - have you gone over or under their usual word/page limit for the age range you're aiming at? That can be a common mistake.

    I signed up for a writer's course about 18 months ago (Writer's Bureau), paid a large sum and ended up with a pile of slightly outdated guides to writing for various markets and some rather tedious assignments to plough through and submit for assessment. They go on at great length about writing exactly what the market requires and not branching out in your own direction or trying to be original. I've basically given up on them because I've had stuff published before here and there, and in each case it was me writing the piece the way I wanted then sending it in to niche market publications to gauge their interest. I got repeat work on the basis of unsolicited pieces being accepted. More recently I showcased some travel writing on a website I've set up and pointed various niche mags' editors at it. A few turned me down but one has asked me to submit a piece or two for further consideration, so that's served its purpose.

    Basically, be cheeky - do it your way, find someone who matches your type of story, and approach them direct. If they like it but want it changing they'll tell you. However, as Lily says, be prepared for rejection slips too.
  19. clear_air

    clear_air New commenter

    I like the challenge of making something that rings true/with emotional depth (that also doesn't sell the pernicious 'man makes everything better when he arrives on white horse tale') into sucha tight genre - I reckon if you can't do it in three books, then it's time to try something else! (I'm on number three!!) I also like the fact that they are only around 55000 words (I've a short attention span), and I've found (while at home with littlies) that I've needed a creative outlet. It's been a good way to meet some hilarious people too [​IMG]
    Ideally, I think I'd like to write shorter articles, but journalism feels a little bit too difficult to break into - bearing in mind that I know no-one and have no idea how to go about it. I have had some of my stuff published in newspapers and magazines - but the bearing of children sucked away a lot of my tenacity!!!
  20. I can't remember who wrote it, but there's a very bleak poem about the pram in the hallway being the death of the artist.
    Ah well. Keep on truckin'.

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