Richard Bach, who wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull, once said that a professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.
Writing is hard. Publicizing writing is really hard. If you’re trying to get published, you’ll have to engage in some serious self-promotion and deal with a lot of rejection. But publishing isn’t impossible—it just requires persistence and grit. And perhaps a little bit of luck (but it helps to make your own).
In this post, we’ll talk about where you can publish your short stories so you can jump-start your writing career or simply share your work with the world.
Why you should publish your short stories
Writing and publishing your short stories is a great way to get your work out there and get feedback. It’s also a great way to practice, if you’re just starting out as a writer. Publishing your short stories can be good for building up your confidence, too.
However, one of the best reasons for publishing your short stories is the publishing credits. If you ever intend to write novels and seek traditional publishing, you’ll have to write query letters. These letters are written to literary agents who see so many similar story pitches. How can you stand out among the thousands of authors seeking representation? By having publishing credits like short story publications.
Where you can publish your short stories?
- In print
- At a literary festival
- In a magazine or newspaper (I would suggest looking for one that publishes short stories or has published short stories from authors you admire)
- In an anthology or collection (if you have several stories, this may be a great way to get them all out there)
- Through your local library (not something most people will think to do, but it is often one of the easiest ways and also allows people who don’t want to buy books online access)
- In a school/college writing workshop setting (this is also not something most people will think about doing and only applies if there are any opportunities at your institution such as a literary journal) 9._
- In a community center/garden club setting (again, this isn’t something that most people consider).
Short stories can be published in several different venues.
There are several places you can publish your short stories.
- Literary magazines: These are the most common places to publish literary short stories, and they offer a wide variety of payment schemes. “Literary” doesn’t mean that it has to be printed on fancy paper; in fact, many literary magazines are e-zines (a type of online magazine) that don’t pay at all. Some do pay a small amount per story and then give you additional money if your story is reprinted in an anthology or other collection. If you want to get published in one of these journals, make sure that you read their guidelines carefully before submitting anything—the editors will let you know exactly what kind of work they accept and how much they pay for each type of submission!
- Anthologies: Anthologies are collections of fiction or poetry by an author or group of authors; these usually come out as books rather than magazines but can also be e-books or even audio recordings depending on the format used (e-zines don’t generally include audio). If your work gets picked up for publication here, it will likely be available to readers around the world—and not just those who live near where it was produced!
- To see a tiktok where I help you navigate a website that lists several outlets looking to publish short stories: Click here
The bottom line is, there are plenty of places to publish your short stories online. It all depends on what you want from the experience and where you think your work fits best. Some people find a home for their work in literary journals like The New Yorker, Harper’s, or the Paris Review. Others prefer the anonymity of a website like Wattpad. Still others might feel drawn to one of the many options that fall somewhere between those two extremes—a site like Medium, for example, or a webzine like McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Wherever you decide to go with it, one thing is certain: you’ll never know until you try!