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Introducing....Romantic Shorts

Introducing....Romantic Shorts

Introducing....Romantic Shorts

Posted: 20 Jan 2011 02:28 PM PST

What a privilege to be invited to guest post at The New Author! I can't thank Brian enough for the opportunity to share my idea and to reach out to his audience - a group of people who happen to be just the people I'm looking for...

Like you, I am first, and foremost, a writer. I discovered my addiction in my last year of high school, courtesy of a strict and stolid English teacher with a surprise up her sleeve. With her encouragement to write about 'what I know' instead of the topic of the day, I found I had a bit of a knack for expressing myself on paper. This knack has turned into my saving life-force. Now, many years later, I write to escape on a level that reading doesn't begin to match! As the stay-at-home mom of five kids aged 10-17, four of whom have special needs, three of whom are adopted, and as the wife of a near-perfect man, I must admit that I do feel the occasional need to get the heck outta here.

So hooked am I that I have done my best to encourage every other person I know to try the craft; I truly believe that everyone could and should enjoy the realm of their own imagination. And given the chance to talk to a fellow writer about the joy of creating an experience through words, I can't seem to shut myself up.

It was this enthusiasm, and a new baby, that sparked the reason for me wanting to contact you now. It was a drab day about a year into motherhood that I found myself answering the question, "What was the last book you read?" with, "The Cat In The Hat - for the 100th time." The questioner smiled with understanding - and not a little pity - handed me a romance novel and hugged me, assuring me that this, too, would pass.

I read the book sporadically as time permitted, and found that this was a way to enjoy reading, without committing to a full length epic story that would see my dishes piled three feet high in the kitchen sink. I soon realized the true value of the romance novel. I could put it down and come back two weeks later; I could finish it or not; I could start in the middle if necessary; and I could take a much needed break into a happy place where everything would turn out just fine. I began to see why half of the books sold in North America are romance novels.

Of course, it only follows that an idea would come from this. I did write two novels myself. But being a hypomanic perfectionist with A.D.D., it never occurred to me to waste a ton of time trying to get published. When new, viable, creative ideas come at an average of two a day, focussing on one is impossible.
But one idea did stick. I decided that it would be fun to start a monthly magazine that featured twenty or so new short romance stories, just long enough for the busy mom or working woman to read in about a half hour. At lunch. Over coffee. To fall asleep after a 2am feeding. I wrote some stories. I designed some covers. Made a lot of notes. Did some research.

And there the progress was halted. The funds required to start up such a project were never going to pass my way. I put the idea on the back burner. Some day, I thought. Maybe with a lottery win. It was a good idea; I didn't throw it out.

Jump ahead fifteen years, and enter the Internet.

And here we are with an idea whose time has come.

I pulled out my "Nooners Magazine" box from the dark corner in the basement and rifled through it. From a 2010 standpoint, every obstacle I faced back then had melted away, and I am now looking for writers for my new ezine.

Romantic Shorts - I changed the name when I started Googling 'Nooners,' and it wasn't something I wanted my mother to see - is coming to life. I've passed the point of no return and am excited beyond belief. At every turn, I've been able to learn, ask, find what I needed to know - mostly online, connecting with people like Brian. So far, it's been a whirlwind of new knowledge, new ideas, and new friends. I am seeing a dream come true and watching it like it's happening all by itself.

It's a little scary.

That said, I am looking for writers. There are a lot of established, experienced writers out there. I don't want them. And, frankly, they don't want me. I do need writers who not only have talent, but want to join me from the beginning on a quest that hasn't been written yet. The pay stinks. Okay, well, it's pretty much nothing. But we are running a Writers' Competition that offers some nominal prizes if money's a big issue. The real point of the Competitions are to reach as many authors as possible; a story a day is a goal, not a current realistic expectation.

Once we have the stories, the readers will come. Field of Dreams and all that.

There are questions I have now that I never thought of before. How will I know when I can call myself a publisher? How will I know when I've accomplished 'success?' How big will this go? How big is big?

I've been working on writing down some measurable goals. I'm finding that by focussing on 'why' I'm doing this, I'm liking the answers that are presenting themselves.

I want to help other writers realize their dream of being published. At first, by using Romantic Shorts as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. But eventually, what I really want, is for you to be able to simply say, "I've been published on Romantic Shorts."

And that will be enough.

Details on how to enter, and how to submit a query or manuscript are all available on the website at Current competition deadline is March 31st, 2011. And we are accepting unsolicited manuscripts, 4500-6000 words; hero/heroine realtionships; contemporary, historical, mystery and comedy genres. Preference to new and newer authors. No agents, please.

If you write, or have ever wanted to try your hand at writing, romantic stories, we'd love to consider your work. If romance is not your first love, please keep us in mind if you know someone who might be interested. I thank you sincerely for taking the time to hear me out. And once again, thank you to Brian for giving me the chance to reach you.

Alexandra Brown,
Chief Operations Manager

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