You’ve written a short story. It’s amazing. It’s the best roughly 500 to 30,000 words ever put to page. You are the next Ernest Hemingway! But, first, you need to get published and have someone read your work.
Here are some places to consider submitting your short stories.
Sometimes different publishers, newspapers, journals, or magazines will hold contests for short story submissions.
The awards for these contests vary but usually include some kind of cash prize. Some of these contests will publish the work of their winners in a collection or anthology.
The submission process can vary vastly from one contest to another unfortunately, so take care to check and see which contests are applicable for your story and make sure to follow their guidelines when submitting. Some contests are free to enter, while others require an entry fee.
Magazines, online zines, and journals are frequently open to submissions. Like traditional publishing, it is up to the magazine to decide what gets published, but it can worthwhile to go for submissions because it can sometimes be a bit easier to get an individual story published this way rather than a full collection with a traditional press, and then you can say that you’ve been published! You also will usually receive some kind of monetary compensation if you get printed.
Make sure you comply with submission guidelines, and make note that some places will not accept previously published works.
Here are some magazines, zines, and journals that accept submissions: American Short Fiction, The New Yorker, Cincinnati Review, Carve Magazine, Blackbird, One Story, Three Penny Review, and many, many, many, many more.
There is, of course, always the option to self-publish your work, but if you wish to go the traditional publishing route then it is likely you will have more success trying to publish a collection of short stories. This is more marketable and more worth the publisher’s time and manufacturing costs to print. It would also go for a higher price on market because of the page count.
I was able to find a couple lists of publishing companies which are actively looking for short story collections here and here.
These are just the publishing companies who are focused on short stories, but you may also find luck elsewhere so don’t write any publisher off. Maybe consider seeking the help of an agent.
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Kim Batchelor is a recent graduate of University of Michigan and avid consumer of media. She is the Buzz Manager at BookHive and is working on creating her own blog.