So you’ve written some short stories. You got critiques, revised, found beta readers or more critiques, revised again, and repeated the cycle until you were satisfied. What next? Are you ready to submit your short stories?
You have a lot of options. Do you want to post them online? What about getting them published in a print magazine or printed anthology? Are you looking for a paycheck, or are you okay with exposure? What about entering a writing contest? There are soooo many options!
I’m going to do my best to help you narrow it down a bit today, but obviously there’s only so much I can put into a blog post. I might revisit this topic in the future if I find something new. I’m limiting this to traditional choices, but I do have an upcoming post about safe places to self-publish your work. That should go up on November 17.
Some of these are also available online, so do your research and figure out what works best for you.
The Writer’s Market
The Writer’s Market is kind of like a big directory of publishers, and you can thumb through it until you find someone who’s looking for stories like yours. There are different versions of the Writer’s Market depending on what you’re trying to publish, so be sure you get the right one. They’re very large, and a little pricey, and a new version comes out every year. Libraries usually have a copy in the reference section, so I’d advise against buying one unless you think you’re going to get a lot of use out of it.
Writer’s Market used to belong to the same organization that owns Writer’s Digest, F+W Media, but that is no longer the case. F+W Media went under; Penguin Random House bought Writer’s Market and they’re still transitioning everything over. Their website is down until they get all the sale stuff hashed out.
Magazines and Journals
You can use the Writer’s Market, which I mentioned above, to find quite a lot of these. However, if you have a specific magazine in mind, they usually print their submission guidelines somewhere in each issue. You can also check their website.
Sometimes lit magazines publish anthologies of some of their best work, so you’re probably set as far as submissions go if you’ve already been published in the magazine. Writers of the Future, which we talked about yesterday, holds a quarterly sci-fi/fantasy/spec contest and prints an annual anthology of the winners and a few select finalists. You can also check out the Writer’s Market or join a writer’s guild. Another option is to look at anthologies that have already been published, and contact the publisher or editor to see if it’s an ongoing series or just a one-off. If you’re a prolific writer, you can also try publishing an anthology of your own short stories, which is something I plan to do one day.
I don’t know about you, but for me it’s easier to find places to submit short stories online than it is to find them in print. Times are changing, I guess.
The Grinder is a donation-based tool that you can use to find new places to submit short stories, and also see statistical data about those places–like how long you might have to wait before you get a response, how many submissions they reject, pay rates, that sort of thing.
Submittable Discover has loads of publishing opportunities that you can sort through. It’s not all lit mags, either. They have contests, essays, scholarship opportunities, grant applications, and other things. Some of the publishers here ask for fees, but you can filter those out and only look at fee-free requests.
Erica Verrillo keeps a blog of contests, agents seeking manuscripts, publishers seeking unagented manuscripts, calls for submissions, and more. She also shares some international resources, so her website is not just limited to the United States like some of them are. You’ll find plenty of places to submit short stories here. There’s something for almost everyone.
That should be enough to get you started
You also always have the option of putting your work on your own website or platform, or self-publishing via Amazon, Draft 2 Digital, etc. If you have any other resources, please feel free to share them in a comment! Also, if you’re doing NaNoWriMo, please give me an update on your progress. I’m cheering for you!
Tomorrow we’re moving on from short stories to a revamped post about writing styles. I hope you’ll be back for that. As always, if this post was helpful to you, please use the social media buttons below to share it with your writer friends. Thanks!