Anyone have an opinion on this: is it a good idea to mention a short story publication in a novel query letter? I've been assuming it can't hurt but then started having some second thoughts on that.
Good idea to mention a short story pub in a query?
Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:20 PM
It completely depends where and how it was published. At least that is my gut reaction.
Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:22 AM
Hmmm, that is a good point. The publications are through e-magazines. I suppose it would be like trying to get a seat at trendy Manhattan restaurant by flashing my Discover card at the maitre d'
Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:47 AM
That Discover line is funny. :-)
I'd say that if the short story is in the same genre of the novel, then it's an obvious yes. If it's unrelated, I still might include it.
I've never known an agent to be totally dismissive of a manuscript he or she liked if the author had never been published or published only once in a free e-zine. The agent is looking to find writers who are talented, committed, and professional whose work has already impressed them.
Posted 21 April 2017 - 04:54 PM
I will respectfully disagree with mwsinclair--you are dead right with your discover card analogy. Or if would be like listing something (earnestly) from your school newspaper. Unless the e-magazine (or real magazine, or literary journal) is first-tier and its name is instantly recognizable I wouldn't list it. It won't sway an agent (but a good query and a kick ass manuscript will) and it is like stamping "newbie" in the middle of your forehead, imo.
Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:57 PM
Thank you both for the feedback on this, I think your points are valid. I think the key takeaway that you both seem to agree on is that if the current query and manuscript are golden I should be good. On to the query madness!
Posted 23 April 2017 - 03:32 PM
actually I think the fact that it is online is irrelevant, and the fact that it is a free magazine, or that it didn't pay is extremely irrelevant At least in literary fiction there are free online journals which have won pushcart prizes. if you have a sense that it was competitive to get into the magazine, I would include it.
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