Saturday 22 June 2013

7 Ways to Find Short Stories Markets

Once you've written a short story, you may want to get it published. You'll need to find venues: print and online magazines, anthologies and competitions. 

Tip: Don't post your story on your blog. Most venues will consider the story to be published,  and you will only be able to sell the story as a reprint. A story posted on a password protected site (like a critique site) is not usually considered published. 

How to find Story Markets

Online Databases and Lists of Story Markets

The Submission Grinder has an interface that allows you to search for venues. You specify genre, payment level and other criteria. You can also track your submissions on the site and see what responses other writers have received. Ralan is a also a good list for science fiction, fantasy, horror and humour venues.(Duotrope is also a submissions site, but since 2013, this site charges fees.)  

Publisher's and Editor's websites

The magazine listed on submission sites may receive a lot of submissions. Read publishers' websites, like  Prime Books, to find upcoming anthologies that might not appear on these online submission sites. Find the anthology editor's blog and see if they're issuing an open call (open to everyone). Follow editors through social media to find out about semi-public call. 

Writer's Websites

Some writers list open venues and horror anthologies. Patsy Collins regularly posts open competition calls on her blog.

Writer's Bibliographies

Find interesting venues by reading a writer's bibliography. Often time I'll come across a market I haven't seen before. If the market isn't familiar to you, google it to find out more. 

Let the Editor Come to You

Make sure that its easy for an editor to contact you. Editors read writers' blogs and may want to invite you to an anthology or request a reprint from you.

It's Not What you Know; It's Who you Know

Many of my writing friends believe that networking is very important. Being sociable, attending conferences and events can lead to you hearing about closed invitation-only anthologies and other opportunities. 

I hope that helps. Is there anything I've missed? How do you find short story markets?


  1. Thanks for the useful information, Deborah.

  2. Oooh! Pretty... shiny... precioussss! I like the new look :) Love the post.

    So what prompted the change of scenery?

    1. Mark, this week I'm all about the marketing. I read that people like this list based posts, so I thought I'd give it a try. The new format, where essentially, you can see years' worth of post of one screen is working fabulously. It's doubled my blog hits. Wow. How long will it last?

  3. Whoah Nelly -- quite a change of scenery. I'm getting the hang of it, though. Great post. Before I found the free incarnation of Duotrope, all I did was stalk fellow writers and see what publications had accepted their work. The Published Work$ page @ W1S1 would be helpful that way too.

  4. Helpful post, Deborah. I've been through the same steps with poetry submissions. I've always used a straight forward google search and could be there for weeks looking through the results - there's an endless supply of literary magazines looking for new writers!
    I've also found Twitter is really helpful because if you follow a literary mag, you get the "more of the same" list so you can follow a large amount very quickly and pick up when they're open to submissions.
    Like the new look, by the way.

    1. That's a good idea, about Twitter. I tend to follow people rather than mag. Thanks, Fiona

  5. Great post; I would have struggled to come up with seven.

    1. I like this list thing. Maybe it's a bit 2011?

  6. Replies
    1. You're welcome, Patsy. I hope it sends a few your way.