Randy O'Kane posted a looking for 5-minute mysteries ont the Short Mystery Fiction Society forum on yahoo. I have had contact with both Randy and his partner, Tom - who works for an educational publisher. This looks to be an excellent opportunity if you can write very short stories - no more than about 4 or so pages (1500 words is probably too much as far as reading time goes)
Anyway if you are interested - here is the information that was posted and remember even though they are looking to use these in the schools, doesn't mean that they have to lack the usual information you need in a mystery.
--- In Shortmystery@yahoogroups.com, "Randy" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I hope this is an acceptable post on this site. My company is
currently in the process of
launching a new web site which will be utilizing short mysteries in
an educational setting.
We are currently looking to find writers to submit stories for
publication as we need about
200 stories. We are hoping to work with organizations such as yours
to find qualified
authors to submit stories. If there is anything that you can do to
advise and/or assist us,
we would be greatly appreciative. Thank you in advance for your
Our submission guidelines:
1. We ALWAYS include the author's name with each and every use of
2. Only previously unpublished stories can be used.
3. Given that we will be using the short stories both for
electronic and audio purposes, we
will need full copyright.
4. We pay upon the story being scheduled for publication.
5. We pay $50 for each short mystery used.
6. Once we have accepted one of your stories, you are eligible to
upload other work to be
sold on our affiliate site.
1. Stories must be about 1500 words.
2. Stories should be written for the sixth to eighth grade reading level. While stories
outside of this range might be purchased, preference will be given to those that fall within
it. In Microsoft Word, there is the ability to check for grade level prior to submission
3. The story needs to have the main portion of the story which includes at least 5 clues
and at least 3 suspects as well as the solution section.
4. We want to give the authors as much freedom and latitude to be creative as possible in
terms of theme, etc. Note that we will be using these stories in schools so keep that in
mind when dealing with sex, drugs and violence. It is okay to say someone died (that is
the who done it), but no need to get highly graphic unless it is crucial to the story.
5. No red herrings
Randy will be accepting submissions at the above address. The way this system is going to work is by ranking the readers - how soon you solve the mystery based on the clues and info provided in each line so make each word count. I am currently working a different aspect of the mysteries in that I've been wanting to do something sort of like "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?" with each state as the mystery place. So when I get my stories worked up, they won't be murder mysteries but they will be able to supplement the school curricula in social studies and state history information - so I'm gearing my stories to 4th and 5th grade levels.
Hope to see lots of stories from here and the SMFS forum. I think they are going to try to do a new story a day so definitely need lots of stories. Good luck everyone. - see you in the postings - E :)