Markets for Short Stories: Thoughts, Ideas, and Market Listings
By all means, submit your work to the major publications first. If your work is accepted, celebrate! However, we have all experienced rejection at one time or other in our careers. So how do we handle it? First, did the rejection include editorial comments about the work? If so, pay attention. It means the editor took the time to offer constructive criticism because he or she thought your work was special. If there are suggestions for improvement, strongly consider them. Perhaps you should do some rewriting. But don’t give up, not if writing is important to you. You can always set aside a piece that isn’t working for you now and come back to it at a later date to examine it with fresh eyes.
You may eventually decide to try some of the smaller publications, whether online or print. I suggest that you avoid writing only for “exposure” if possible. There are paying markets that encourage beginners who lack publishing credits. However, two of my close friends who are still university professors have observed that for them non-paying literary publications are perfectly acceptable since they must “publish or perish”. The universities expect their professors to publish regularly. Jobs are sometimes lost otherwise.
Suppose your work has been rejected by all the traditional publications, should you simply give up? Not if you believe you’ve written a first-rate story. Be aware that there are numerous fiction markets out there. A few changes in your story might make the difference.
There is a large market for science fiction, fantasy and horror. These speculative markets can and will publish varied stories that meet their guidelines. So if you’ve written a mystery story with speculative overtones a horror publication might suit. The trick is to pay close attention to what they acquire. Read a few issues to get a sense of it.
You should realize that each genre has its own type of content. Mashups are acceptable, but first you should know the rules of each genre before you attempt to mix them. Do the research before you start to write or change your story to suit a particular set of guidelines. Successful writers are first analytical readers.
You might consider checking out the markets for fiction I’ve listed here:
http://ralan.com/ (excellent current market listings for genre short story fiction of all kinds)
(Check this out regularly since new market calls are listed every month)
(new listing each month as well)
https://duotrope.com/ (this one has a fee to join)
https://horrortree.com/ (blog keeping up with current calls)
Newsletters of value worth signing up for:
(Erika does a monthly and weekly marketing newsletter which is free)
Newsletters | FundsforWriters (You can sign up for Hope Clark’s free edition which comes out every Friday and always lists a variety of markets for writers)
FLASH FICTION FLASH NEWSLETTER: The Newsletter for Flash Literature Writers
(lists paying and non-paying markets monthly)
Angela Hoy's weekly newsletter:
(full of useful info as well as markets for writers and freelance opportunities)
If you have anything to add or can share, please do so in the comments. Let's share info!