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Two Submissions

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

I sent Hedge Witch off to another agent today. As is well known, the chances of it being accepted are slim - it is almost as impossible to get an agent these days as it is to get a publisher. Stories of successful authors who were rejected umpteen times are legion. Of course, there are many more unsuccessful authors who have also been rejected umpteen times - the quality of the writing is obviously important. But it seems that a significant part of being an author is having the sheer bloody-mindedness to continue. And I'm convinced that luck plays a part too - happening to catch the right reader on the right day, for example. The odd thing is that, although so few books appear to get picked up, you only have to go into a bookshop to see just how many books are being published. Thousands and thousands of them. And someone has had to write each one of them ...

I also sent off a short story called Sunken Bells to The Pedestal Magazine. I'm not completely convinced it's a good fit, but we'll see. Sunken Bells is pretty much straightforward realist, "literary" fiction - and the sad fact is that there are vanishingly few markets for short, realist fiction, especially here in the UK. Which is bizarre, really, given the number of realist novels that are bought each year. And the fact that the short story seems ideally suited in many ways to modern life. You can read one during a daily commute, for example. There seems to be some disconnect between the potential number of short stories that could be read and the number that actually are. Perhaps it's just the convenience of the novel form. Perhaps once we all have eBook readers, downloading short stories will become more common. I don't know. But I can't help thinking someone somewhere could do great things with short stories that isn't currently being done.


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