Michelle here. I am thrilled to introduce our guest, Jenny Schwartz, to Magical Musings for the first time. Jenny is a writer based in my own part of the world, Western Australia, and believe me, there are not that many of us. Jenny and I have even managed to catch up for lunch and talk books, writing and publishing for hours on end, which is always glorious. So take it away, Jenny . . .
When Harlequin announced their new Australian digital imprint, Escape Publishing, at the Romance Writers of Australia conference in August, I raced to check out the guidelines. As with the other recent announcements of Australian digital imprints by the big publishers (Destiny Romance, Momentum, Romance at Random), a huge part of the appeal for me was the chance to work with an editor in my timezone. Heaven to be able to chat in real time.
However Escape Publishing surprised me because their guidelines said they were taking short stories.
I’m a huge fan of short stories. As a writer, they’re where I experiment with different genres. I’ve had stories published in everything from cosy magazines like “The People’s Friend” to horror ezines.
But mostly I was interested to see Escape Publishing guidelines because I’ve been thinking for a few years now that in the digital world, short stories are going to be BIG!
Articles on the popularity of “cellphone fiction” in Japan really got me thinking. This was fiction that grabbed your attention in moments stolen from a crowded life. But articles like this one from the New York Times were four years ago and nothing has happened.
Or has it?
The spread of smart phones and tablets as well as ereaders is now great enough to support a vibrant short story market. First you need the medium, then you can distribute via it. I’m not the only one seeing this opportunity. Dean Wesley Smith recently said, “The short fiction market is booming and short fiction should just be a part of any business plan for a fiction writer.”
Forget the technology, though. The real issue is time. Short stories respect the frantic pace of our lives.
I was chatting to the receptionist at my optometrists the other day and she said how she kept putting aside her library books. Until she went on holiday, she felt she didn’t have time to commit to a full length book. Short stories are your friend, I said with all the fervour of a true believer. And you know what? She agreed.
So how do you feel? Will short fiction be part of your reading and writing life in 2013?
All commenters go in the draw to win a copy of my short story, Drawing Closer, just released from Escape Publishing.
Thanks for the chance to guest post here at Magical Musings.
About Drawing Closer
Zoe Loyola has a secret. Just between her and her sketchbook, she loves sculptor Nick Gordon. Her drawings of him are hot and naked.
Nick has a secret, too. He’s being blackmailed. Protecting his family means ignoring his desire for Zoe.
But in the world of art, passion breaks every rule and secrets are made for sharing.
Jenny Schwartz is a West Australian author. Her high school yearbook predicted she’d be a writer – something about always having her nose in a book. When not living up to others’ expectations, she enjoys lazy days in the suburbs and is working on a collection of life-saving recipes, “Simple Meals for Forgetful Cooks”.