Book Review: Novel & Short Story Writer's Market

Every writer needs concrete sources of information. But with the vast array of books to choose from, it's hard to make a decision. Here's one book you can add to your shelf with confidence.

These kinds of writer's reference books are too often overlooked beyond their lists of agents and publishers. But each one is packed with as much information as you'd find at a pricey writer's conference.

The bulk of the Novel & Short Story Writer's Market is made up of its lists of 1200 literary agents, publishers, magazine publishers, contests and conferences. Each of these is described in detail, telling writers who wants what. If you are considering submitting to an individual or company found in the book, always double-check the information online before you send.

What else will you find in this hefty volume? An excellent collection of articles written by industry professionals on the craft of writing and the business of writing. Interviews with four debut authors. Specific sections on writing mystery, romance, and speculative fiction.

The bonus for purchasers of the book is access to a searchable database of the information online.

To really benefit, you'll need to purchase one of these books every year--or check the copy at your local library. However, the older ones still have value. Keep an eye out for similar books at used book stores. While the market lists will be out-of-date, the articles and craft sections will give you a gold mine of information.

Here's an encouraging quote from author Elizabeth Moon in the 2009 edition, where she explains one of her biggest mistakes when she started writing:

"A . . . bad mistake was waiting for lightening. Before I committed the time and effort to getting serious about writing, I wanted some sign, some proof, that the time and effort would be worthwhile. It doesn't work that way. The proof comes later: Lightening does not strike the altar of talent until a lot of sacrificial hours have been  piled up there and sweat-equity poured over them. Do the work. Do more of the work. Then . . . maybe lightening will strike. But the work itself creates the fire."

Is your work creating a fire?

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