Tuesday, October 31, 2006

DKA Tour, Day 2

Dragons, Knights, and Angels Ezine is a paying market. True, they aren't able to pay professional rates, but they are committed to the long haul in the Christian spec fic market, having been around since 1999. If you have a look around the site and appreciate what they're doing, consider a donation through their secure donation link. They accept paypal and credit cards.

Today DKA announced the winners of their 2006 Poetry Contest. Winning poems will be doled out over the next several monthly issues, but today you can read the winners' list and some of the great short stories posted in the current issue.

I'm really curious about something (question open to every reader, whether a DKA fan or not)--how much benefit do you think writing short stories may have on a potential novelist's career? The story forms are very different. The ideas and plot bunnies they spring from are different as well, at least in complexity. Is an agent or a publisher going to say, "I read Valerie Comer's great short story in DKA magazine (or another) and therefore I believe this novel query on my desk must also be above average?"

Also, Mirtika who is one of the editors at DKA (and who comments here from time to time) has created her own contest to run Monday-Wednesday this week during the DKA blog tour. I've stolen Mir's own words from her blog:
I'm offering a five-page story/one-page poem critique to one contest winner for this blog tour. If you have a novel or a short story or a short poem that you'd like critted by The Mir--make sure you can TAKE criticism before entering--then just leave a comment here or at one of the contest-participating blogs (such as Speculative Faith, see above) with a simple, "I want to enter the crit contest."

I will pick a name at random from the entries from this and the other contest-participating tour blogs.

This is a participating blog, so if you're up for trying out, either say so in my comments or pop over to Mir's blog and sign up there.

I've posted over at her place. I'm curious what she thinks of the first five pages of Marks of Repentance, at least once I've had a chance to get rolling on the next round of revisions. She says she doesn't pull any punches with her crits, so don't ask for a crit if you can't take the heat.

Can I take the heat? Enquiring minds want to know.

See yesterday's post for a list of other participating blogs.


Becky said...

Good posts, as always, Valerie.

As to your question, I think short stories have a couple benefits. First they give you a publishing credit, something you can put in your proposal. That someone is willing to pay you for your writing is a good thing. That you aren't a one-story wonder will also be apparent.

Also, as some of the guys pointed out to me, writing short stories can actually earn you a following. It can help you hone the craft, too. Granted, the forms are different, but you have to write tight in both, vary sentence structure, and so much more.

I find an added benefit: I like having something finished. With my trilogy, even when I finished two novesl, it still is FINISHED. So having short stories that I can say, DONE, about feels pretty good.

One person's opinion.


Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear other thoughts on the value of writing/publishing shorts as well. Bring it on! (And you're brave, entering for that crit! Yowza!)

Valerie Comer said...

Thanks, you two, for weighing in. And Rebecca, while I have not yet met a crit from Mir-the-Merciless, I have another crit partner or two that hold nothing back either, so (hopefully) I'm mentally prepared!