Publishing Short Stories: How to Get Your Fiction Published

Where Can I Sell Fiction?

 

Writers often struggle to find the right place to publish their short stories and other work. Where can I publish my fiction? Where can I publish my short stories? A lot of people lament the "death" of the fiction magazines, and while print markets for fiction and poetry are definitely shrinking in comparison to several decades ago, the Internet has allowed for more markets and online journals to open up opportunities for authors. While some people don't think of online markets as being as prestigious as print journals, there are some exceptional online journals, and these markets offer great publishing opportunities for first time and experienced authors alike. In addition to this, many of the traditional print journals (especially those produced by colleges and universities) accept submissions online, giving you more access to print publications than writers ever had prior to the modern Internet. If you write short stories, somewhere there are markets for your work.

The hardest part can be finding the right market for your work. Fortunately, I've included my personal favorite links near the bottom in the link list. These should connect you to hundreds or even thousands of different online and print markets that publish fiction, poetry, and non-fiction of all kind. Even better, you can search some of these sites by genre and pay scale, helping to guarantee you that you find exactly the style of journal that you're looking for.

Some people think the online proliferation of journals and the Internet has made it harder for writers to find markets for their writing and succeed, but I've found from experience that the opposite was true. Ten years ago unless you were starting your own experimental journal or had a novel length work of genius, there was nowhere for a young writer to find a market for say magical realism. The last time I looked at my favorite site, I had nearly 15 choices. It doesn't get much more sub-genre niche than that, and authors who write more "normal" stuff than mine can do even better.

Researching and finding paying markets is just one part of learning how to become a writer.

Best Resource for Writers on the Web

 

If you're searching high and low for the perfect places to send your short stories, then I strongly recommend looking up the good folks at Duotrope.com, who have put together the best writers' resource on the web. This is my favorite website to search when I'm looking for markets, and is in fact my favorite resource for writers as a whole!

This website allows you to search for markets based on:

  • Pay scale
  • Genre of submission
  • Length of stories allowed
  • Media (print or electronic or both)
  • Themes
  • Awards won
  • Keywords

This wide range of choices makes it possible to do some amazing things, and is a great resource. For example, if I write a 35,000 word novella that is some cross between experimental surrealism and magical realism, I can use that information to instantly search through the thousands of journals listed and get every possible place to send my story that might actually accept it. It used to be this could take hours of research, and since the genre is so unusual and split aside, there was a very good chance that it could have even taken an entire day to get some information.

Instead I type the information in, and BOOM, there it is. You can check the page out for yourself here: http://www.duotrope.com/

If you find it useful, seriously think about giving a small donation. Based alone on the time you save, it's worth it, and they're often seriously under-funded. Don't let the best writer's resource on the web fold...or go to paid membership!

Writing Photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Blank Page: The Arch Nemisis of the WriterTyping short stories on the typewriter - this brings me back!Style counts for writers, as well!All Set to Write!Great writing deskWriting away at the next masterpiece
The Blank Page: The Arch Nemisis of the Writer
The Blank Page: The Arch Nemisis of the Writer
Typing short stories on the typewriter - this brings me back!
Typing short stories on the typewriter - this brings me back!
Style counts for writers, as well!
Style counts for writers, as well!
All Set to Write!
All Set to Write!
Great writing desk
Great writing desk
Writing away at the next masterpiece
Writing away at the next masterpiece

On Writing Characters by Joyce Carol Oates

Ray Bradbury Interview on Writing

Parting Advice for Writers

 

By now if you've checked out many of the resources I've recommended then this is probably redundant, but I hope that this hub has answered the questions of:

  • Where are the markets where I can sell my short stories?
  • Are there markets for beginning creative writers and where can I find them?
  • What are the best resources for finding markets for creative writing?

Aside from the good links I've added on this page to help out beginning and established writers alike. As for print books, it's really hard to argue with The Writer's Market. They're not nicknamed "The Writer's Bible" for nothing. Between that and these online pages, you would be amazed at the sheer number of markets that actually exist for creative writing, and while many of them are free or only pay in contributor's copies, there are many markets that do pay for creative work, even if you have to start at a pittance and work your way up.

There are markets for everything, and there are many online magazines that have larger reader bases than many of the print journals released by universities. If you tend to write experimental work, the new online age could especially be a boon to get your work and your name out there.

So start sending out those manuscripts, and drop in time to time to let me know about your success stories!

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Comments on Selling & Publishing Your Fiction 19 comments

FreezepopMorality profile image

FreezepopMorality 7 years ago

You know, I thought I knew every online publication for my genre, then along I stumble to this place and learn about duotrope.com, which frankly, sir, is a lifesaver. I can't believe I nobody told me about it before.


nutuba profile image

nutuba 7 years ago from North Carolina

This is excellent advice! I'll be referring back to this article. Thanks especially for telling us about duotrope!


M.R. Jie profile image

M.R. Jie 7 years ago from USA

Great article Jerry! duotrope is an excellent resource, thanks.


Zombie Chick profile image

Zombie Chick 7 years ago from Dead Land, California

Thanks for the advice, and the link im going to definitely check it out.


masmasika 6 years ago

Thank you for the tips. I will check the links.


Elsie Reimenschneider 6 years ago

My son and I love to write. We just want to write very short stories about a page and a half each on the Internet; we want to do it there every so often or wherever we can send them. We will gladly do it as volunteers if necessary as long as we can see them in print and know others are likely to read the pieces. Any suggestions?


Jerry G2 profile image

Jerry G2 6 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA Author

Thanks to everyone for the great comments. Dutrope is an amazing resource. I didn't realize how many options writers had for even really strange or niche genres until I found that space. Always good to know some online magazines are keeping up the good fight to print great new stories.

@ Elsie - You can look at starting your own blog, Blogger makes it really easy and it's free, or there are other sites that allow fiction and stories to be published. Take a look around and there are a lot of options for what you're looking for. Avoid Helium.com like the plague.


Asp52 profile image

Asp52 6 years ago from England

thank you jerry a valuable piece i found very interesting.


James McV Sailor profile image

James McV Sailor 6 years ago from Northern California

Thanks Jerry. I just finished a year of "writing"... just writing and not worrying about the results, but now I will start thinking about the next step, refining my work and getting it published.... thanks for the tips, JM


Jerry G2 profile image

Jerry G2 6 years ago from Cedar Rapids, IA Author

Thanks for the kind words. Hey James, definitely let us know about your success when you start getting those publications. One former professor of mine gave me great advice: "Writing the first draft is like running through a nice field on a sunny day while revision is like going down into the mines - but only one lets you end up with gold at the end." I always thought that was a really nice little metaphor for how the writing and editing process works and why it's always worth sticking through the editing. Thanks for the kind words. Definitely look at Duotrope when you start sending them out.


Lora Palmer profile image

Lora Palmer 6 years ago from Warrington, Pennsylvania

This is a wonderful list of resources! Thank you so much for this article.


Ladybythelake55 profile image

Ladybythelake55 6 years ago from I was Born in Bethesda, Maryland and I live in Chicago,IL

Thanks for information. I also touched on Copyright and Public Domain laws.


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

Just found you, and want to say "thanks" for sharing the resources. Very good and useful hub. JAYE


YahYa Moolla 5 years ago

Thank you. Most enlightening! I am a writer of 4 years and have a lot of stories just piling up. This article is most informative. May I share this through my own site? Perhaps a trackback or link...

Thank you again


rockingrector profile image

rockingrector 5 years ago from Norwich, UK.

Good advice! Thank you, Jerry.


htodd profile image

htodd 4 years ago from United States

This is really great for those who wants to publish their Fiction


everlearn profile image

everlearn 4 years ago from Greater New York Region

Thanks for the tips! It can be difficult to write if you don't believe you can find an audience and your tips can at least point in the right direction.


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Up, Useful, Interesting, shared with followers, and bookmarked.


Mark Tulin profile image

Mark Tulin 18 months ago from Santa Barbara, California

Duotrope is a great resource, thanks.

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