When asked what makes a short story so special, most authors would mention the simplicity and directness of plot. Joseph O’Connor sums it up well – “A good short story is almost always about a moment of profound realization. Or a hint of that. A quiet bomb.”
Over time I realized that a short story has to be a ‘packaged reading delight’. Small nuances make the difference; such as creating a comfortable ambiance on your page would make readers rate you higher. Pay attention to the backdrop, the font and the color combinations to ensure they’re easy on the eyes. Also maintain a frequency of writing; it increases and retains readers. Try putting up an image of yourself (the author) on your blog/page which suits the general voice of your stories. It makes your readers think of you as someone they would bond with over coffee.
You can try using tools to market and make sure that your page/blog stays in line with what readers want. CreateSpace provides an excellent platform where you can upload your work and get feedback on it, customize publishing and eBook distribution and market it as per your convenience. You can use Duotroupe as well, to keep updated about the markets, preferences, deadlines and events revolving around short stories.
Short stories form a very competitive field of literature. Most short story competitions are easy to participate in, the contests are handled online entirely and the prize is quite bountiful. Listings for all contests can be found on BookTrust, which also provides you with its own upload library as well as feedback from recognized authors.
If you want to be the next Miroslav Penkov (2012 BBCISSA winner), get started writing and posting. It’s ‘East meets West’ today, but soon it could be your short story that walks away with the grand prize.
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