Friday, 21 May 2010

Looking at the market

OK, don't judge me but I had a short story shortlisted for a magazine last year that was distinctly commercial. And romantic. And a bit gooey. So I fished it out with literary rubber gloves and spread it out to look at it. Not bad, though I now can see why it wasn't a winner but the basic ingredients were there. Plus goo. So I picked up some women's magazines, the ones that do short fiction, and had a look at whether I could place a revamped improved version with them.

First I thought about People's Friend, OK, not exactly my sort of magazine because I assumed everyone who read it would be over 80 but there were a few stories that weren't written about Grandma's or set during the war. One was a neat little commercial romance, by a Nicola Cleasby, that I thought did the job. There were also stories by a Rebecca and an Alexander, which is quite cool because my name is Rebecca Alexander, so I took it as an omen. Anyway, the contributor's guidelines completely ruled out divorce as a theme or for a leading character, which seems daft given how many people - older ones included - end up divorced, many through no fault of their own. So, I had a look at Women's weekly, which might be a better place to send that one though they get 1000 a month, unsolicited, apparently, according to the Story website Is that crazy? When I was writing for magazines before a dozen a week was the most you had to contend with, maybe 20. Is the story one in a thousand? Hmm.

OK, story 2, still gooey, sent back from a competition because it told more than it showed and definitely had some very wonky, unrealistic dialogue. But no-one gets divorced, and there is a happy ending. So, I'm struggling with the story, trying to give it a better framework and much neater ending, when I realise I'm enjoying it. This literary, clever stuff is one challenge, but actually, there's no harm in belting out good stories if they entertain someone. And at this point, I would just love to be published, anywhere! So, I'm trawling through the old stories and mostly finished drafts, and adding the odd sprinkle of glitter or goo where needed. No harm in sending them out, it's only postage!

No comments:

Post a Comment