Friday, October 13, 2006

I'm Stumped: Short Stories

A few people here have suggested that you try to publish short stories before selling your novel. Do you have any good recommendations on where to submit?

Confession: I'm not a short story reader. I have no idea why, other than for as long as I can remember, they just haven't appealed to me. Even when I was in my voracious Stephen King phase (back in high school, he was, weirdly enough, my favorite author, and I tore through every book I could get my hands on!), I just couldn't bring myself to read his shorts. (TWSS!! To quote my fave show, The Office. Hee.)

Which isn't to say there isn't a ton of merit in writing short stories - there is, and as some posters have suggested, they're a great way to nab great writing credits and boost your confidence. It's only to say that I really haven't the slightest clue where to get yours published.

So...I'm turning this one over to readers. Want to help out a fellow reader and offer up your favorite short story journals or websites?


Anonymous said...

Here's a link to Writer's Digest's top 30 short story markets:

We interviewed Nebula finalist Anne Harris a while back at Writer Unboxed, and she recommended the Writer's Market. Her NF short story is available to read online, btw, and it's hilarious - called Still Life with Boobs.

Nancy Beck said...

Try for a comprehensive listing of spec fic short story markets (i.e., SF, fantasy, horror). He includes pro pubs, semi-pro pubs, and for the love pubs (those that don't pay).

And, yes, such pub credits can certainly help you find an agent, but it's by no means required to do so.

BTW, in a query letter, you can just skip the section with credits if you don't have any. If you've written a good novel, that's all the agent is going to care about.


Carolyn Burns Bass said...

A fantastic resource for short story submissions is Duotrope ( It's not exhaustive, but it's free (donations accepted), and it is interactive so that you can search out markets specific to your interests and genres. It's my number one tool for my short stories.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED Stephen King all through high school too- including his shorts. Every year I buy The Best American Short Stories collection. That would be my recommendation to read. Writers Digest or Writer magazine will have listings.

Allison Winn Scotch said...

Thanks for all of the great leads, everyone! I'm sure that other readers really appreciate them!

Anonymous said...

It's totally your fault that I am addicted to The Office now...haha.

Allison Winn Scotch said...

Welcome to the insanity! :) One down, millions more to go. Why aren't more people watching this show???