Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Statement from SMFS Presidential Candidate Tim Wohlforth

I believe the Short Mystery Fiction Society has the potential of being more than a email discussion group. We should be able to represent short mystery writers as effectively as MWA represents mystery writers as a whole and the Private Eye Writers of America represents a subgenre. Of course, with the Derringers, we have made progress in this direction. However, I feel we have a considerable distance still to travel.

I have been a member of SMFS since the days when Michael Bracken was president, many of us had books published by Quiet Storm, and Babs Lakey published us in her marvelous Futures magazine. I have had over 75 short stories published. These include stories in MWA's Death Do Us Part, Hardcore Hardboiled published by Kensington, and an anthology of Plots With Guns. I have participated in, and in some cases moderated, short story panels at Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime.

As President I would first and foremost promote SMFS and short mystery stories. I would pursue the suggestion of getting an anthology of Derringer winners published. Another project could be to sponsor an anthology of unpublished stories blind submitted by members along the lines of MWA collections. It might also be possible to arrange with Bouchercon, LCC, and perhaps other regional mystery conferences, to have SMFS sponsor its own short story panel and/or a short story workshop as part of a writers track.

As we speak enormous changes are taking place in publishing with the spectacular growth of e-publishing. There are now over three million Kindles and iPad sales could reach ten million by the end of the year. This could lead to a revival of the short story market. I believe SMFS can play a role in opening up this market for our members. For example we could explore how short stories can be marketed and sold through the Apple Store as well as expand access on Kindles and the new Nook.

I would also like to encourage a discussion in the SMFS group on the art and craft of short story writing.

Tim Wohlforth

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