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Good idea to mention a short story pub in a query?


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#1 Dave1

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 01:05 PM

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.



#2 Litgal

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 04:20 PM

It completely depends where and how it was published. At least that is my gut reaction.


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#3 Dave1

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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'



#4 mwsinclair

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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.



#5 Litgal

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    In between I became a "hybrid" as part of a group of six authors involved in a high concept novel-in-six-parts called "A Day of Fire" which released in November of 2014. The book, "A Day of Fire," tells the story of the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii in a way you've never read it before.

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.


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#6 Dave1

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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!



#7 VerKur

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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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