Writing a short story tends to attract a lot of anxiety, especially if you are new to the field. After all, as difficult as writing the story might be, getting it published comes with its own set of challenges. And there is no point putting your effort into writing a short story that might never see the light of day.
HOW TO GET A SHORT STORY PUBLISHED
Getting a short story published isn’t quite as difficult as publishing a novel, but that doesn’t make the process completely challenge free. First you have to make sure all of your bases are covered during and after the process of writing a short story. There is plenty of groundwork that needs to be laid before you should think about publishing so let’s start from the beginning. Here are some of the steps to follow before tackling the process of publishing your short story:
- First things first. Before worrying about your publishing options, finish writing your short story. Proofread your work as many times as possible until you are certain of its perfection. Grammatical and spelling errors will increase your chances of rejection.
- After writing a short story, take the time to get your work critiqued. Find a writing group that might be willing to look at your work and give you some honest opinions. Avoid biased friends and family. You need objective criticisms in order to perfect your content.
- Do some research. Educate yourself on the publishing arena and determine which outlets might be open to your genre of writing. Do not simply apply to every publishing platform you come across.
- After writing a short story you may need to make the necessary changes to ensure that it’s formatted according to the submission guidelines of your chosen outlet. Factors like the length of the story and the word count matter. A failure to follow instructions will get your story rejected.
- Do not forget to include a cover letter and a short biography. Keep the cover letter brief and do not be afraid to include a list of your past publications.
WHERE TO GET YOUR SHORT STORY PUBLISHED
Now that you’re finished writing a short story, you need to start thinking about publishing options. The internet is the perfect tool for crafting a list of prospects. Here are a few places where you can consider getting your short story published:
Smaller literary journals provide writers a diverse array of opportunities to get their stories published. There are new journals popping up all the time and many of them are from university writing programs. Focus your efforts on journals that have published stories within your genre and which you actually enjoyed reading. A number of agents read literary journals looking for fresh talents.
Because online journals are cheaper to produce, they have become one of the most popular mediums for publishing short stories. However, there are so many of them online that finding and convincing a respected journal on the internet to publish your stories might initially be difficult. Don’t give up though. The right online journal could spark your literary career. They allow for easy sharing of links to your published work on your blog and social media accounts. Because of this, your story has the potential to reach many more readers than it would in print.
Authors have been publishing their short stories in consumer magazines for decades. While this trend isn’t as popular anymore, consumer magazines still provide authors lucrative opportunities to expose their work to a massively diverse audience. Getting one’s submission accepted by popular magazines like The New Yorker is difficult to accomplish, though, especially if you are an unknown author.
Blogs provide a publishing avenue for individuals that are new to the writing arena. They allow exposure to an online community prior to seeking out publishing opportunities in journals and magazines. It’s best to focus your efforts on popular blogs with massive followings for massive exposure.
The primary purpose of getting your short stories published is to create awareness about your work and possibly even attracting the attention of an agent in the process. Writing contests provide individuals the perfect stage to expose their work to the world. This is because literary contests tend to attract attention from professionals in the publishing industry.
If you are thinking about writing a short story, do not let the difficult prospect of publishing scare you. First take the necessary steps to getting your short story ready for publishing. Next do the proper research to find the right publishing fit and just go for it. There are so many publishing opportunities available online today. If you make a genuine effort, there is a good chance that you’ll find an outlet willing to bring your short story to the attention of interested readers.