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.
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!
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!