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Where can I send a "twilight zone" style short story?

(16 Posts)
schroedingersdodo Thu 23-Jun-11 21:52:14

I've written a short story (about 1,800 words) that feels a bit "twilight zone" to me - with elements of supernatural, horror, suspense. I want to try to sell it to a magazine, but have no idea where to send it. I don't think it's exactly "horror" as it's more of a "weird unexplained thing happening to normal people" if it makes any sense.

Thanks in advance,


Punkatheart Fri 24-Jun-11 12:04:49

Go to the website Duotrope. It is a fantastic resource and has all listings for genre magazines...

schroedingersdodo Fri 24-Jun-11 14:28:37

Hi Punkatheart <waves>

I tried duotrope, but how do I classify the story? Horror? Suspense?

Maybe I should just let the story lie a bit longer until I think of a better ending...

Thanks for the help!

Punkatheart Fri 24-Jun-11 16:24:51

Are there elements of horror - is it bloody? Sounds more on the paranormal side? Why not send it to someone - you might get some feedback and advice...

schroedingersdodo Fri 24-Jun-11 23:01:44

Not bloddy, at least not openly bloody. More like "weird and unexplained." I don't know anyone who knows the market well enough to advise me on that. Think it's time to join a writers forum...

Punkatheart Fri 24-Jun-11 23:13:35

No I mean sending it to a magazine. They might say 'Too horror for us.' - so then you will know....

strawberryjelly Sat 25-Jun-11 10:15:40

I'd say you are coming at this from the wrong angle TBH.

Short story writing is a very niche market- and 1800 words is a VERY short story.

It's hard to get short stories published BUT if thisis a genre you want to follow, look around at where they are published.

A range of women's mags do them and there are also several competitions each year .

I write features for mags and the press- I decide which story will fit which publication, then go for it.

I think you need to buy/borrow a whole pile of mags and see who takes short stories and what kind they use.

Punkatheart Sat 25-Jun-11 11:06:26

...good points, strawberry..but it doesn't sound very woman's mag to me.

Some libraries have magazines..

A competition could be a good option - loads of listings and at this time of year, a lot of competitions... Sentinel have one...closes 30th June and is 2,000 words or less...

strawberryjelly Sat 25-Jun-11 12:14:31

No I agree it's not women's mag material- that was just an example.

it sounds very specialist and my advice still holds- write what is publishable- which means jumping through hoops- why waste time and energy writing something horror/fantasy which is going to be hard to get into print?

Punkatheart Sat 25-Jun-11 16:22:11

But some people do not write with the intent to always be published. There are writers out there for whom the story comes first, then they find a publisher. Absolutely nothing wrong with it and I would disagree that writing for pleasure is ever a waste of time.

That said, themed competitions can give a writer a bit of direction. The Guardian one recently was 'Summer.'

I believe that you have to write what comes naturally - being published is not always the primary goal. A friend of mine wanted to write a book with a subject matter that most professionals said was unpublishable. She wrote it anyway and Bloomsbury picked it up. It will be out in November.

I do understand that there are a lot of people out there who write and may never be published - perhap some direction might help. But it is all about how hungry you are to be in print and just sometimes, how much you are prepared to compromise....

strawberryjelly Sat 25-Jun-11 18:25:26

yes punk agreed- but the OP did ask about where she could selll it.

Punkatheart Sat 25-Jun-11 19:31:57

schroed - do you already have a Writers' and Artists' Yearbook? Or the Writers' Handbook? Excellent listings in there...might be both investing in one of those...

schroedingersdodo Sat 25-Jun-11 23:30:59

Spent the day away and just found out the thread has turned into an interesting discussion!

Strawberry, I understand your point, and most of the times I write thinking of a specific market, but this time the idea came from nowhere and I just wrote it down. There are some things I want to write, even if they end up not being published. In the case of this story, since I have it, I thought it would be nice to send it somewhere.

And you mentioned "wasting time and energy" in umpublishable stuff, but at the position I'm in now, I have a feeling that I need to practice as much as I can. So a story impossible to sell would be practice, at least. In fact, I feel I'm technically still quite weak.

Punk, I bought the yearbook a few months ago, but found the list of outlets a bit too general. Will take another, more careful look, though.

strawberryjelly Sun 26-Jun-11 12:17:38

If you can't find a magazine etc maybe you could submit it for a competition where the theme is open?

schroedingersdodo Sun 26-Jun-11 23:24:36

Strawberry, I think that's the only way to go. I'll think about a better ending for it and wait for a competition. Thanks, and thanks punk as well for the help!

Punkatheart Mon 27-Jun-11 07:12:16

Loads of good competition listings - Sally Quilford's Competition Calendar etc.

Good luck!

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