Thursday, 6 November 2008

How To Write and Sell Short Stories

Sorry about the photo! Whenever I take photos of books I seem to get this awful glare on the cover. Anyway, you get the idea!

I was hoping to write about my week away in Snowdonia with husband and two children, but the lovely photos Nige took are too big to upload and he has to make them smaller. Instead I thought I'd tell you about this brilliant little book I've just finished reading.

I came across Della Galton some years ago now (at least ten!), as she was (and still is) one of the most prolific short story writers for the commercial women's magazines I'd come across. I'm not sure how I first got in touch with her, but we exchanged a few emails and she was incredibly generous with advice and ideas. She's the sort of person you just know is lovely and want to meet.

As far as I know 'How To Write and Sell Short Stories' is the first non-fiction book Della has written and she has a real gift. I think this is one of the best books on short story writing I've read (and I've read a lot!). It's short, punchy and succinct; very much like the stories she writes! Della has had tremendous success in the commercial women's magazine arena. Pick up any of the current 'womags' and you'll probably find at least one story by Della Galton. How does she do it? It's all in this book. As you usually find with prolific and successful writers it comes down to persistence and hard work. Write, write, write. Submit, submit, submit. It's the only way. The more you write, the better you get at it, regardless of the genre. This is probably why I'm not that good a writer! I don't do enough of it! But that's another (long) story and another blog entry.

If you write any kind of short story (there's a chapter on writing the literary short story and stories for competitions), then do buy this book. There are tips from the experts (women's magazine writers and editors mostly), even advice on tax and record keeping. It's the kind of book you refer to again and again. It can't fail to inspire you. It has given me a much-needed kick up the backside, I can tell you!

Anyway, I'm off to write.


lifemodel said...

Looks good Jo, I'll watch out for it. And may you write lots more stories yourself! I'm currently too busy to do anything except (just about) keep up with my blog each week, but things WILL calm down soon. They must.

Kath McGurl said...

It's great - I just picked up my copy of it. Della's an inspiring tutor and has managed to put her teaching style into her book - definitely a winner.

And I'm quoted in it which is cool!

Sally Zigmond said...

And my copy is on its way!

Jan Jones said...

Photos - I've found (by trial and an awful lot of error) that it helps if you take the photos in daylight and force the camera not to flash.

Jo said...

Thanks for the tip, Jan. I sort of gathered that the flash was the problem, but don't know how to turn it off. Must look at the instruction manual!