Friday, April 4, 2014

Entry # 207 - "Finding A Small Press Publisher: Not A Small Task"

Finding a suitable publisher for a collection of short stories proves to be among the more challenging tasks for a relative unknown writer who specializes in writing short fiction.  Most of us who write prefer to spend our time writing, rather than marketing. But I have decided to try a new approach, using current technological trends available, in my quest to finding a publisher for my collection of ten stories. 
As part of a large community of writers, perhaps we might have more success if we  explore new approaches to help each other connect to readers and publishers who might appreciate our particular efforts. I would like to try an experiment. Here is a synopses of my story collection:  Mermaids & Other Stories. 
If you know someone who might be interested in publishing this collection, please send them the link to this or have them contact me directly at the links below. Also - if you have any suggestions that might be helpful to me or others, please share them with me. In a couple of months, I will plan to report on the progress of this project.

Synopses of --- Mermaids & Other Stories
 A Collection of Ten Short Stories Offered For Publication Consideration

In her poem “Kindness,” Naomi Shihab Nye writes that, when you know sorrow as “the other deepest thing . . . then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore.”

The dynamic mix of characters that comprise the stories of Mermaids & Other Stories know about sorrow. They know it in the burden of looking after a war-injured husband and the obnoxious boy he never helps to raise, when all you really want to do is fly away. They know it in the struggle to hide away from the violence of the world, when the violence will always find you. They know it in the anger of a seventy-six-year-old woman whose son-in-law can’t even wait until she’s dead to try to take her farm away.

But they know kindness too. They know it in the unspoken understanding between a young man and his elderly aunt. They know it in a small gesture between friends, and through unexpected connections found on the other end of the phone or at the end of a deluge. Moreover, they need it, as we all seek kindness to comfort us if we are to press on against the sorrows of ordinary lives.

The ten stories of Mermaids & Other Stories, Jan Bowman’s first collection, include award finalists and honorable mentions, and “Mermaids,” the winner of the 2011 Roanoke Review Prize for Fiction. Seven of its stories have been previously published. Two of the three unpublished stories have been finalists in recent contests. Most importantly, Bowman’s stories reveal the power of small gestures in those necessary moments of human contact. Explored from childhood through old age, and without sentimentality, Mermaids & Other Stories is a window into the kindness all people seek and need in the face of loss.
  • This collection of short stories by Jan Bowman is seeking a suitable small press publisher.
  • If you are interested or know someone who might be, please contact Jan Bowman.
  • Email:      Blog:
About Jan Bowman
Winner of the 2011 Roanoke Review Fiction Award, Jan's stories have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, Best American Short Stories, and a Pen/O’Henry award.  Glimmer Train named a recent story as Honorable Mention in the November 2012 Short Story Awards for New Writers.
A recent story was a finalist for the 2013 Broad River Review RASH Award for Fiction, another story was a 2013 finalist in the Phoebe Fiction Contest; another was a 2012 finalist in the “So To Speak” Fiction Contest.  Jan’s fiction has appeared in numerous publications including, Roanoke Review, Big Muddy, The Broadkill Review, Third Wednesday, Minimus, Buffalo Spree (97), Folio, The Potomac Review, Musings, Potato Eyes and others.   She is working on two new collections of short stories while shopping for a publisher for her completed story collection, Mermaids & Other Stories. 

 She has nonfiction publications in Trajectory and Pen-in-Hand. She writes a weekly blog of “Reflections” on the writing life and posts regular interviews with writers and publishers.   Learn more at: or  visit blog:


  1. Hi Jan, I'm on the same journey as you are. One press is holding my collection for further consideration. We'll see.

    Best, best wishes!

    1. I wish you good luck and publication of your work. Thanks for your note.