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Getting paid for writing short stories

Updated on October 25, 2015

It looks like a silly question. Anyone can write a story, send it to a magazine and get paid. However, the truth behind getting your stories published even in non paying magazines is hard to imagine. Magazines aren’t really short of writers. In fact, a lot of people write fiction, but not all of them get paid, let alone get published online or in print.

You’re wrong I got my stories published online.

Of course there are numerous ways to have an audience and publish your stories and eventually make fans as potential buyers of your craft in the long run: Booksie and Storywrite are examples among others.

But, if you want to get paid you can either do it the amateur way or the professional way. The former consists of sending your fiction to a paying website like Triond and Hubpages after signing up and publishing your pieces of fiction and driving enough traffic to get paid through advertisements.

I have myself a couple of short stories in Hubpages that I serialized in several parts. You can have a look here:

Keep in mind that your short stories shouldn't be less than 500 words so as to be indexed in the search engine. They should not be published elsewhere to avoid issues with duplicate content.

I already know that. Isn’t there any other way?

There is also PatronQuowhere you submit your work and get paid by the Patrons ( your supporting community ) whose members will get themselves displayed on your writers’ pages in return as a form of advertisement.

And the professional way?

For the professional way you better determine what kind of stories you write and what fiction market is willing to pay for them.

Wait! How could I possibly know?

Fortunately, you are not going to search internet at random. Duotrope offers a large database for magazines sorted by genre. In other words, if you are a fantasy writer you can run a search within Duotrope to pick up the magazines which publish fantasy and submit to them after following their guidelines.

There are several search options and you can narrow down your search to only submit to a professional paying market ( 5 cents per word ) if you are confident about your talent. But be realistic. Burgeoning writers make their professional pay after long months of honing their craft. Nevertheless, they can make it if they are good enough with token payment ( 5 $ or less ) for an accepted piece of fiction or/and receive a contributor copy of the magazine where their story appears on. Anyway before tackling those professional market, make sure you read some free online guides about selling short fiction like The Quester's Guide to Writing Short Fiction That Sells. This way you will have a detailed idea about the reality of pro fiction markets.

What if I fail to get paid?

You won’t if you persist. Writing short stories and getting them published in magazines demand patience. The quality of your work will be judged on its own merit despite the fact that you might be tempted to think about it otherwise.

Final Words

If you are ready for the adventure why not Signing up with Hubpages now and start making money from your short stories traffic. Hubpages is a wonderful community where you can get honest feedback on how to improve your writing and earning.

Living by words

Which is better to make a living?

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    • profile image

      Akshita 2 years ago

      How much will i be paid?

    • Craan profile image

      Sheila Craan 3 years ago from Florida

      Thank you for this valuable information @Hideki-ryuga! I was actually doing a search online and came across your written story. I also write for Triond and Bubblews, besides HubPages and was wondering if you knew which children's magazines Triond endorsed. I have written many children's stories for Blogspot as well and would like to see if Triond would post a fresh children's story on a children's story site. I am afraid to experiment with Triond, since they publish stories on sites that are at times not appropriate for a particular niche.

    • profile image

      opelaccent 5 years ago

      Hi I found your page very interesting. I have been writing short and serialised stories for 60+ and now silverhairs. I have been bold and sent two chapters to Woman & Home.

      But would love to get paid for my scribbles

    • rogreeno profile image

      rogreeno 5 years ago from Philippines

      Nice ideas clearly presented. Thank you very much for the inspiring concepts. Good day!

    • profile image

      sihle ndlovu 5 years ago

      ways of sending my stories will be my payment help me to pay my school fees

    • Jack Hennigan profile image

      Jack Hennigan 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      Thanks for posting this. I'd never heard of Duotrope but I'm going to check them out.

    • profile image

      Name Not Supplied 6 years ago


      I don't entirely agree with the article. I found a web site at where you can get paid to be published online. It is online only though. I created an account, applied to be an author and the rest is up to me. If I am good enough, people will read me.

    • profile image

      ade defuture 7 years ago

      Hello guy's

      I'm very pleased with your article, It's new information for me. Many thank brother

    • Hideki-ryuga profile image

      Hideki-ryuga 7 years ago

      Thanks for the comment. I know how it feels because I still experience both the sour taste of rejections and the sweet taste of acceptance, though the former is more recurrent. When I started writing my expectations were ridiculously high. Now, after nearly two years of submitting my stories to paying markets, I have realized that doing things the professional way is a journey rife with hardship. Yet, I keep trying.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good hub. You seem to be right about everything you've said here, from my experience. Initially people's expectations about getting paid to write and how easy that must be are a little too high.