Plot, character development, theme, dialogue, descriptions all under how many words?
In the October 12th blog post by Alan Rinzler he writes a very informative article on the writing of short stories. Not only is there a "robust market for books of stories" but publishers of short stories take chances on new authors which can add some valuable information to your author's bio, or mine which is currently nonexistent. Authors have used short stories to explore different writing techniques and also to write a snippet of a possible longer piece. It seems to be the way to go.
I had written short stories, only because Stephen King had broken into print that way and as he was my idol, well, why not? Writing short stories, however, is a craft in and of itself. Engaging the reader, while creating all that is necessary in a full length manuscript, only with an itty bitty word count, is a task not to be taken lightly. And so my advice is to write, experiment, and have fun. To read the full post visit http://www.alanrinzler.com/blog/