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Monday, 1 June 2015

Writers' Bureau Course, Short Story Markets and Reading Research

So, today I have been quite productive in that I've read a book and done part of the next assignment from The Writers' Bureau that I've had sitting around for far too long.

I was going to start on the next question too but it involves writing a short story aimed at a specific market and, right now, I have absolutely no idea of any markets for 2000 word stories. Hence, I've ground to a stand still until I can get some more information on that front - any advice would be great appreciated! Luckily the Womag blog is already on my Bloglovin Feed so I'm sure that will have useful info, as it always does, thanks to Patsy and the other fabulous writers that contribute, like Carol. I think I need a trip to the newsagents in the meantime too to start looking at a couple of the mags that I know do still accept short stories, like Peoples' Friend. To be honest, I've never been great at short stories, so this bit of the course is quite daunting, more so than writing a novel! But all I can do is try.

As mentioned in the previous post, there are a couple more competitions I have in mind to do - so far - this year, if possible, both in the Harlequin Mills and Boon realm. This is a market I've aimed at before, and had some encouragement in, but then life got in the way in a rather major way and it all got pushed aside a bit. But I have been wanting to get back to it, as I enjoy reading these fun little escapist novels, and writing them - even if I haven't got one published yet. I'm a demander of 'happy ever after' in my reading and, obviously, my own writing. My view is that there is enough bad news and depressing events in the real world so if I can read, or create, one where I know it's going to turn out ok, then that's just perfect for me. Now, of course, that doesn't mean things can't happen in the middle - they have to in order to make that happy ending all the more appreciated. So, with that in mind, this is a market I feel happy making the effort in. Taking part in the Boot Camp last week really was a good exercise in building enthusiasm so I'm now in the process of pulling out the plan of a book I made a looooong time ago and pretty much rewriting the few chapters I had already written.

As for the other competition, I'm not sure what to work on for that. I do have an idea rattling around but I need to build on that and see where I want it to go, and talk to the characters a bit more and find out who they really are. I'm not entirely sure which line to aim this one, and they have expanded a lot since I last looked into it properly years ago so  I am enjoying diving back into this world and reading a bunch of books in the different lines to see which one I feel I may like to have a try at.

As a quick tip, it seems the digital editions are often a certain amount cheaper than the print versions, so that may be something to bear in mind. I'm not normally an ebook girl - even though I've got a Mark One Kindle (hubby loves technology and thought I would too as it's 'booky'...) but finally, years later, I have taken advantage of this sweet present from him and have just finished my first full novel on there. And, you know what, it wasn't a bad experience! I could even eat my cereal whilst reading without ending up wearing half of it. Bonus. This may be a turning point. Although, my, it's tempting to buy those books so quickly, isn't it?

Good luck in whatever you are working on at the moment.

Happy writing!


  1. You're clearly getting on with everything, Maxi. Well done.

    The Womag blog is brilliant, but sadly the choice of women's magazines taking short stories has reduced, and some won't accept stories unless you've been published with them before.

    But I do know the People's Friend and Woman's Weekly accept 2,000 word stories. Good luck.

  2. Thanks for the comment, and the info, Carol. Much appreciated. It can be quite frustrating when publications only accept articles/stories from those they've used before as it's a Catch 22, isn't it? How do you get into these places if they won't let anyone in?! I'm still trying to think of an idea for that short story so I should probably worry about that first!


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