If you have reached that moment in your writing journey when you feel ready to share your short stories with the world but are unsure about how the publishing process works for them, this article is for you.
If you are looking to get paid for your short stories this article may not be for you.
Master class describes 4 ways in which you can get your story published: online submissions, Audio Fiction Podcasts, the traditional publishing route, and the self publishing route. (How to get your short story published).
I have decided to take these four and add other ways I have discovered through my own research.
Literary magazines: This route was taken by Stephen King and Charles Bukowski. Sending individual stories to different magazines can help you reach a wider audience and put your name out there. Because of them being very competitive an advice I often see is submitting to magazines that are looking for an specific demographic of writers (young, woman & non-binary, poc, disabled, etc.).
Some magazines that specifically look for young contributors are: JUVEN, Ice Lolly Review, Inertia Teens, SeaGlass Literary, antinarrative zine, Ember: A Journal of Luminous things, Fulminare Review, among others.
Literary agency: You can use the same approach as you would for a novel. Queering literary agencies or looking for a literary agent that is willing to give your work a shot. Though it will be significantly more difficult than a full-length story.
Anthologies: Be on the lookout for anthologies asking for submissions, I have been told they are more active on twitter. However, for anthologies it is more likely that the editor would invite people to participate, so make connections in the writing community!
Fiction Podcasts: A growing industry that has been characterized by new voices, audio fiction podcasts are looking for submissions. Escape Artists is an online publishing and audio market for fiction. They have 4 branches: Escape Pod (for science-fiction), PseudoPod (for horror), PodCastle (fantasy), and Cast of Wonders (YA).
You can find other podcasters here.
Websites: Though the least likely way to bring in money, publishing in websites can make your word known. That being said, not a lot of lit mags accept previously published works so you would have to decide if you want the credit the magazine will bring or if you just want to share a story.
You can publish your story in your own blog or website. Commaful: in which you can publish picture book stories, Inkitt: who has regular writing contests, Wattpad: which is the most popular website in the list, Medium: though mostly use for non-fiction authors like Andrew Joseph White (who published Hell Followed With Us) have publish successful stories in there, and Archive Of Our Own: though mainly for fan content it allows for original work, if you are a popular content creator in your fandom, you might like to try it.
KDP & Draft2Digital: Two different platforms whose mission is to help authors self-publish their work and distribute it. Though they mainly focus on publishing e-books, they have a print-on-demand function.
Reader magnets: are something that you give away to your readers so that they sign-up for your mailing list and buy your book. Although there are different types of magnets (articles, courses, audio files, merch etc.) one of the most useful is short stories, commonly in a digital form. You can write that juicy backstory that didn’t make it in the novel, or tell a day from the antagonist point of view, so that people get invested.
It is true that the market for short stories has been diminishing since the 1950s however, that should not detract you from putting your work out there. If you are a new author, people may be more willing to give your work a shot because of the lesser time commitment that a short story entails.
Whichever routes (because you can choose more than one, more than two even) you take to start putting your work out there, I am incredibly proud that you have decided to share your work with the world.
Lastly, watch out for red flags! If their website doesn’t show their masthead, they are asking you to pay them to read your work (small fees and expeditions are fine), if there is negative information about them or aren’t clear with what rights you have as an author it is better to stay away from the agency, literary magazine, etc.
Ari Ochoa Petzo
is a Mexican-Venezuelan bi genderfluid writer. They like dancing to old music and history. In their free time you can find xem trying to coerce their friends to participate in another of their crazy projects.
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