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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Market for Vignettes

   
Author Topic: Market for Vignettes
Christian T. Golden
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Anyone know of any market for vignettes?
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LDWriter2
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That's a term I should know but can't think of at the moment so could you clarify what you mean?
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History
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Do you mean "flash" length --i.e. <1000 words.

If so, there are many markets.
E.g. Daily Science Fiction, Every Day Fiction, Flashquake-where I made two sales), and many others.

Check out http://www.duotrope.com/.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

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Merlion-Emrys
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Doctor Bob beat me too it, mostly. I would mention too that many markets that aren't focused on flash still take pieces of 1k words or less...some also have a slightly but not much higher minimum like 1.5.
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Meredith
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But a flash story is not the same as a vignette. A vignette is more like a snapshot than a story--long on atmosphere or character, short on plot. And I don't personally know of any markets for vignettes. Which doesn't mean there aren't any.
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Merlion-Emrys
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Not every flash is a vignette, but I'd say that in the current market, a vignette would at least for many places come under the heading of "flash." Most flash fiction I've encountered fits more or less my personal idea, at least, of a vignette.

Also as you say...it's not really a term or concept markets really use. Personally I'd say look at the nature and "genre" of the piece, find markets that take fiction of the length that it is and go on those things...but a Duotrope search set to "flash" will at least cover the length issue...

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LDWriter2
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I thought it might be something along those lines.

And I've also heard that flash doesn't have to have a full plot. So you might try that.

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Christian T. Golden
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I'm thinking of vignettes in the same way as Meredith. I have several poems/scenes that I've written that are vignettes. They simply contain one scene/moment. They are very short (6-10 lines of poetry or 1-3 paragraphs of text). Thanks for all of the answers. Perhaps I should try submitting them to various flash fiction markets. The only problem I'm finding with many flash fiction markets is the word-minimum.
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KayTi
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I'm a slush reader for Flash Fiction Online and I can tell you that this flash market, in particular, isn't a vignette one. Minimum word count is 500 words, and we're quite picky about there being an actual story somewhere in there. [Wink] (beginning, middle, end. So picky!)

In case others who watch the flash market weren't aware, we're doing a FFO "reboot" - submissions are back open, we're processing slush pretty quickly (sub-30 days for the most part) and are hitting 2012 with a full publishing calendar after some hiccups in the last year or two.

Every market is a little different, though. What about compiling a collection of your vignettes and indie publishing them yourselves? Perhaps with illustrations or photographs as a multi-faceted book? Good luck

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Christian T. Golden
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Oooh. I like the idea of compiling a collection. My wife bought me a sketch pad and some intro drawing books for Christmas. Perhaps compiling a collection and illustrating is in my future. I will consider this. Thank you!
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extrinsic
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Vignette has an early traditional use for a vine-like ornament running across printed pages, circa 1600s.

The term came to be used for a photographic technique that dodges an oval-like shape around portraits. Chromatic aberration tended to blur photographs near the edges. Photographers blocked out the fringes so they wouldn't be exposed on the prints.

Vignette in narrow literary terms is a short scene sketch, in the photographic sense of a selected focus portrait, of a specific moment in time; a second, a minute, perhaps a day. Vignettes oftentimes portray a slice of life.

Though generally brief length, they can be book length. James Joyce's Ulysses is in a sense an assembly of vignettes and overall a vignette of a day in the life of Leopold Bloom. Whatever conventional writing principle exists, expect a writer or writers to do otherwise.

Vignettes don't of necsssity require plot featrures like a dramatic complication or a transformation, though they should be emotionally stimulating and have an emotional payoff ending. That means artful vignettes can be more challenging to write than dramas. They often portray a visionary or mystical revelation or inspiration about the human condition. In my considered opinion, a significant fraction of short stories published by digests are vignettes or anecdotes, not dramas.

However, length is a deciding factor. Long enough pushes into 500 words, 1000, words, 2,000 words, 4,000 words, which aren't too long for a slice-of-life vignette, per se, so long as there's an accessible emotional arc component.

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Merlion-Emrys
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quote:
Vignettes don't of necsssity require plot featrures like a dramatic complication or a transformation, though they should be emotionally stimulating and have an emotional payoff ending. That means artful vignettes can be more challenging to write than dramas. They often portray a visionary or mystical revelation or inspiration about the human condition. In my considered opinion, a significant fraction of short stories published by digests are vignettes or anecdotes, not dramas.
That's pretty much how I see it, and I agree that quite a few pieces I've read in my periodic market-research binges are, basically, what I'd call vignettes...indeed, quite a few of the magazines we all aspire to get into seem to me to darn near specialize in that sort of thing.
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extrinsic
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The term vignette, as well as anecdote, sometimes seems like a negative valuation, an indictment of artless quality, a condemnation. Yet they along with story and drama are time-honored and noble genre forms regularly published by sensible digests.

One area where vignette might trump anecdote is in narrative distance. Because a vignette is by defintion in scene imitation, mimesis, Show, narrative distance can be intimately close and thus provide an emotional arc quality that appeals to current-day audiences, especially through personal idiosyncracy and idiom. Where anecdote can too easily be reported as a recital tell and perhaps not close narrative distance as artfully well.

However, dramas tend to include both anecdotes and vignettes, where the opposite isn't as valid a claim.

As to what distinguishes story from vignette, anecdote, or drama, I feel that the nature of make believe allows for some measure of challenge to willing suspension of disbelief without upsetting an audience's sensibilities, like when I catch my two-year-old grandniece with a hand in the cookie jar and she tells me a story to justify her indiscretion. Precious.

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Merlion-Emrys
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Well, I consider all the things you mentioned to be types of "stories" (indeed, I believe that in the end, most art boils down to telling stories) and I don't honestly give a Shoggoth's rear pseudopod about narrative distance etc...but vignette is definitely not a negative thing from my perspective. One of the reasons I love short fiction is because much of it is like a window into a single moment, or sequence of moments, or a glimpse of another world or the like. Same reason I loved all the short films the sci fi channel used to show before they went most of the way (in my view) in the toilet.

Totally off the subject here but does anybody remember the one with the fisherman and the apple?

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