June 5, 2011

5 Places to Submit Short Stories About Thailand

Unless you are some kind of literary genius or annoying celebrity, your probably not going to submit your first novel to the Big 6 publishing houses and turn it into a best seller. Luckily for the rest of us, there is a smorgasbord of options to submit flash fiction and short stories to build your brand name and help improve your writing. Writer's Relief provides some guidance on getting noticed as a new writer. Occasionally, the editors of these anthologies, e-zines, and journals will be kind enough to provide some constructive criticism if they turn you down. The best website to find comprehensive listings of calls for submissions is Duotrope's Digest.

Unfortunately, Thailand is a much smaller market with English only being spoken by the expat community and the educated elite and some of the middle class. Therefore, finding an outlet for your work can leave you with some limited options. However, I have a bit of faith that the demographics of Thailand are shifting in a way that will be beneficial toward writers in the English language. More and more younger Thais are eagerly trying to learn English, and it has been noted by many Thais I have talked to that the expat (or "farang" population) is shifting from the stereotypically repulsive sex tourist to a more professional group. Although, I'm not sure how my Thai colleagues arrived at this conclusion after meeting me.

The Thailand Top 100 blogs indicates that there is a lot of international interest in the happenings of Thailand. So how do you get the word out if you have a story with a Thai flavor?

Here are some good resources I found for submitting:

1) New Asian Writing - This is an excellent literary anthology that posts short stories online as well. The stories come from readers all over Asia, but is Bangkok-based. New Asian Writing is taking submissions until November 31st, 2011 for the 2011 Anthology. When I submitted work to them, I had a reply in 15 days - not bad! The popular Thai-themed blog New Mandala has a guest post about this publication.

2) Thailand Stories - A virtual clearing house for all works fiction and non-fiction. All you have to do is register an account and start posting. It kind of gets crowded out by excerpts from published books and poorly written "My stupid Thai girlfriend from the bar" stories, but there's some gems on there if you look around. I'm also amazed at how much traffic the site gets. Many stories get >1,000 views within the day that they are published.

3) Asia Writes - An excellent aggregator for calls for submissions and job opportunities for the writer. While not Thailand-specific, you can find a lot of small press publications that are looking for work with an Asian theme (both fiction and non-fiction).

4) Freedom Fiction Journal - Based in India, they have Asian-themed speculative fiction with an edge. This is great, because there is a serious lack of genre fiction outlets for Asian writers. The stories are very interesting, and my only complaint is that they should publish more. They take submissions between 1,000 - 3,000 words.

5) Asian Literary Review - If you have an MFA, studied abroad in London, and are smarter than me (which ain't saying much), the Asian Literary Review may be right for you to submit. The availability for reading the published fiction online is a bit disappointing, but I've seen their periodical on stands at places like Asiabooks. They take submissions between 3,600 - 8,000 words.

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