Saturday, 30 June 2018

Leicester Writes Short Story Festival

On 30th July I attended a day of sessions about getting a short story collection published, with talks by Divya Ghelani (who was tutored for a year by Venessa Gebbie - small world), Rupert Dastur (TSS), Farhana Shaikh, Rebecca Burns, CG Menon, Alison Moore, Mahsuda Snaith and Megan Taylor - all of them good. A good audience too - lots of us are trying to do what so few of us will succeed in. The points I noted were

  • Think about using long, striking titles. It's the second time this summer that I've heard this advice. Such titles still feel gimmicky to me, but I'd better try.
  • Publishers like to take on people with many Facebook friends and Twitter followers because each friend/follower is a potential buyer. I'm going to have trouble there too.
  • People who read lots of submissions have a good idea of what topics to avoid - e.g. "weeping", dead babies, kitchen dramas with couples discussing their failing relationship.
  • Enter competitions. Even long-listing is worth adding to one's record (I don't bother mentioning anything unless I won a prize).

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