Fiction magazine editors aren't normal readers—so what are they looking for? One of the gatekeepers—Steve Weddle of NEEDLE—is here to tell you in this two-week course.
Your Instructor: Steve Weddle, editor of NEEDLE: A Magazine of Noir
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
Enrollment: 16 students
If you’re writing short stories and you’re not sending them out, you’re doing it wrong.
Writers cut their teeth on short stories. It's where you learn the importance of good submission practices. It's where you build your name and your reputation. It's where most writers get that first taste of holding their own words in a bound, printed format.
But getting your stories published in a quality literary magazine takes more than just emailing 2,500 words to a dozen email addresses. A successful submission must hook the reader, but people who read for writing magazines aren’t normal readers.
While you can find blogs and books devoted to creating characters and showing instead of telling, it's harder to find advice on the elements of story that get them past the gatekeepers.
So we've recruited one of those gatekeepers: Steve Weddle, editor of NEEDLE: A Magazine of Noir.
NEEDLE has published new and established talent over the course of seven acclaimed issues, and has been called a "virtual black hole of morality" by the Barnes & Noble blog. It even sent a story to The Best American Mystery Stories 2011 (Chris F. Holm's "The Hitter").
Not only does Steve publish short stories, he's an accomplished short story writer himself. His work has appeared in Beat To A Pulp, Crime Factory, and A Twist of Noir, and in The First Shift, Off the Record, Round Two, and D*cked anthologies. Country Hardball, his novel-in-stories, will be released in November from Tyrus Books. So he knows how it feels to be on both sides of the coin—rejecter and rejectee.
And he's here to give you an insider's view of the short story submission process.
What This Class Covers
Week 1: Submitting stories
Steve will discuss the qualities that make a successful submission: What the story needs to do, how to hook the submission reader—and the kinds of sins that will get you cast aside.
Students will also submit a story for feedback and critique, both from Steve, and from fellow students. You'll discuss what works and what doesn’t, as well as what your particular story might need to make it attractive to an editor.
Week 2: Behind the scenes
Steve will provide an insider’s look at running a literary magazine, including a discussion of the typical pitfalls in a submission letter, how to choose the right magazine at the right time of year, and other “business side” considerations.
Steve will also post his critiques of the submission stories, so that students can view, discuss, and comment on them. He'll also pick five strong entries to use as teachable examples.
Throughout the course of the two-week class, Steve will also be available to answer you questions about writing and the submission process.
Goals Of This Class
- Learn the best practices for submitting short stories
- Learn what fiction magazine editors are looking for—and what turns them off
- Learn the most common pitfalls of a submission letter
- Learn how to choose where you should submit your work
- Get an insider view of the submission process
- Get your questions about the process answered by the editor of a fiction magazine
- Leave the class with a polished short story, ready for submission
As an added bonus: Three students will be selected, at random, to receive a year's subscription to NEEDLE: A Magazine of Noir.
That's a lot of noir!
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
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