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So as I come out the other side of the Speculative Fiction SouthEast con (and month end at work), it occurs to me that one of my panels (Speculating About Short Fiction. Should You Write It?) barely go through a third of the questions I had for it. Also, one of the panel authors mentioned that people came to our Short Fiction panel to learn about finding markets, which we defintely didn't get to cover in any depth.

As panel moderator, I've decided to post the panel questions in their entirety. Please, feel free to ask questions here. I'm going to ask the panel participants to stop by and give their own thoughts on these questions.

Introduction & What prompted your journey into being a short fiction author?


Starting the story: Why and how do we write the short story? Are there certain things (like submission calls) that prompt particular stories?

How do you determine if your short fiction should be a series or bunch of stand alone pieces?

Perfecting the story: At what point is it ready to sell to a publisher or self-publish?

The fear of beta readers: What can they do for you and is it worth the risk that one of them might "steal" your story?

Finding a Home:

Looking for the publisher: How do you determine what markets to approach and how to upsell your fiction?

Why choose a magazine over an anthology or vice versa? Consider the pros and cons of what rights are taken and for how long, royalty division, flat fee payments.

At what point does self-publishing vs. getting someone else to publish enter the picture?

Let's briefly discuss first publishing rights: See Neil Clarke's discussion at https://www.goodread...80-first-rightsfor where I'm heading.

Marketing / Sales:

Once published: How do you market & sell to the readers?

How does short fiction fit into the digital publishing world?

What is the one thing most writers don't take into consideration when marketing / selling their work?


What's the best piece of advice you can give a new writer looking to break into short fiction?

For those who attended, I am terribly sorry we didn't get as much time as we really needed for this panel. I should have started off asking what people wanted to hear most about before launching into these questions. Next time, I will. Promise.

Anyway, please... ask away. What do you want to know about the whole thing? Which question interests you the most?


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