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Publish A Short Story: How To Get Published In Literary Journals

Wondering how or where to get a short story published? Although short stories may not be as widely read as novels and memoirs, there is a strong market for short story writers in the form of literary magazines. If you want to publish a short story, use this step-by-step guide to help!

1. Write well.

2. Know the market. Be sure you know the proper word count for short stories. Also, you’ll want to choose a great opening line for your story. And use our fantastic short story checklist to be sure that your prose is up to par.

3. Proofread and format. Does your manuscript meet industry standards? Is it error-free? If you doubt the perfection of your grammar and usage, Writer’s Relief proofreaders can help.

4. Research, research, research. There are thousands of literary magazines publishing creative writing today, and they actively read and acquire short stories. But you’ve got to know which literary journals are right for you (as well as which journals are wrong for you). Researching can take countless hours, but it’s a vital and necessary part of making submissions that get results. If you don’t want to do the research on your own, Writer’s Relief, an author’s submission service, can help.

Bonus tip: If you don’t have any publishing credentials and are trying to break into the market, submitting your work to online literary journals can be a great place to start. Online journals are publishing some of the best writing around, and they’re quickly taking the place of print journals.

Like our insider info and writing advice?

Then you’ll love the many other ways Writer’s Relief can help!

From effectively targeting markets, writing dynamic query letters, building authors’ online platforms, and much more—find out how Writer’s Relief can boost your exposure and maximize your acceptance rate.

5. Write your cover letter. To write a good cover letter for a short story, stick to the basics. Skip the clever intros and silly bios. When you’re submitting to a literary agent, the query letter matters lots. But when you’re submitting to a literary journal, emphasis isn’t on the query as much as the manuscript itself. At Writer’s Relief, we write our client’s cover letters for short stories.

6. Mail or email your submissions.

7. Track your responses. Keep track of who you sent your story to (so that you don’t inadvertently send more than one story at once). Also, keep track of who has rejected or accepted your story—as well as any personal notes that may be helpful in the future when you submit again.

8. Wait. Sometimes it can take a long time to hear back from literary journals.

9. Rinse and repeat!

Additional reading:

How To Write A Query Letter For A Short Story Collection

How Much Money Can I Make Writing Poems, Short Stories, And Books?

Short Story Or Novella? What’s The Difference And Where To Publish Shorter Fiction

Once you’ve got a significant number of short stories published, you may want to consider publishing a collection: How To Publish A Short Story Collection: Tips For Getting Agents’ And Editors’ Attention For Your Short Stories

Lean how Writer’s Relief can help you submit your short stories for publication today!

Writer QuestionsQUESTION: What was the setting of your last short story. Leave your comment! 

7 Responses to Publish A Short Story: How To Get Published In Literary Journals

  1. My short story is about a woman who writes a letter to a man. It leaves an impression of abuse but the same time the reader can’t tell. It was during a stage of when she was a juvenile. It’s pretty interesting and I would love to get it published.

  2. My short story is based on 2 families the khowane’s family was rich and the Dlamini’s family was poor.so there was alot of competition between this 2 families

  3. My most recent short story involved a soldier who had seen combat in Iraq and was having flashbacks. The scene shifted between Iraq and his home.

  4. The setting of my last short story was various homes of hoarders. My character was an animal protection cop going from home to home to rescue neglected pets.

  5. My last story was set in an airport terminal. I love scenes where there can be a lot of surrounding action happening around my characters.

  6. My last story was set in the jungle (a woman imagining a jungle) but she lives in Colorado. I wanted to contrast the settings.

  7. My last short story was set in my backyard. I have a huge scary sycamore in it–ghost stories about it have always filled my mind!

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