Short Story Submissions – Why You Should and Where to Submit

If you’re looking for short story submissions, chances are you’re hoping to get your story, published, right? We have a perspective that might set you on a slightly different trajectory: Submitting your story to your own site and for your own audience. Novel idea, right?!

Audio Article – Short Story Submissions:


“Today [in business], there is nothing more valuable than an audience.”
~Joel Robinson, entrepreneur & venture capital


Why Publish Free Short Stories?

We’re in an age where people are hungry for “On Demand” entertainment, content, and pretty much everything.  As content creators, authors, and storytellers, we generally have more ideas than we can fully develop. For the ideator who has tons of story whirling around in your head, publishing short stories to your blog, podcast (as audio), or as a vlog (video), could be a great way to publish more ideas regularly.  

Gary Vaynerchuk–one of the worlds leading experts on business building and social media–lives and breathes the free content publishing model. He also recommends it to almost everyone, and more than that, he dishes out masses amount of valuable free content himself. Daily.

The Benefit of Having a Website

Having your own website serves as both a resume and place to build your own readership. You can write your own stories on your own terms, build your social media following, email list, and eventually monetize through ads.

Even though we recommend you publish stories to your own website, you can still leverage the audience of larger publications to help grow your readership. You can also get paid to write if you’re interested in freelancing to help pay bills while your growing your brand.

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories you tell.”
~Seth Godin, author, blogger & entrepreneur

Where to Submit Short Stories

Narrative Magazine – writers can submit fiction, nonfiction, and poetry to Narrative Magazine. They are a nonprofit magazine that also offers prizes for writing.  They have a social following of around 37,000. You can read their full guidelines and submission rules on their website.

American Short Fiction (ASF) a non-profit online and print publication, that accepts stories from both prominent and up and coming authors. ASF accepts submissions all year round as long as it’s not stories that have been previously published.  They also have separate guidelines for their story competitions.  All the information is listed on their website.

CRAFT Literary – accepts submissions for flash fiction, short stories, essays, and a few other articles.  Craft pays writers a flat rate per publishing, and if it’s longer articles (2k words or more) they have other prices.  While CRAFT will pay between $100-$200 for your original stories, they allow you to submit previously published stories but will not pay you for those.

Wattpad – unlike the above publications, Wattpad allows anyone to create a profile and publish their stories.  You can write your whole story before posting it to Wattpad, or you can post and write a chapter at a time.  The story size, genre, and story artwork is under your control.  There is no gatekeeper editor who needs to approve your work first.  There are also monetization opportunities via Wattpads ads, but you need to establish a large following for a substantial income.

One Story – publishes short stories in their print publications, and pays the writers.  You can read their submission guidelines, deadlines on their website. One Story is looking for original and unpublished stories from writers and pay $500 in addition to 25 copies of the publication if your story is accepted.

The First Line – is a quarterly print publication that pays both fiction and non-fiction writers for stories, articles, and poetry. Generally, each of their issues will have a theme. The First Line pays between $5-$50 depending on what you’re submitting (fiction, non-fic, or poetry).

Patreon – Okay so this is a bonus inclusion and not at all like any of the above!

These are just a few of the top sites that allow you to submit your work. We’ll add to the list as we come across good ones!

“Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.”
~Ray Bradbury, author & screenwriter

Benefits of Submitting Short Stories

The biggest benefit of submitting your short stories to other sites is how it expands your reach and gain credibility.

There is still a prestige factor of having a publication approve of your work and publish it to their following.  While we’re all for the concept of choosing yourself, submitting your work to prominent sites helps you build your own readership.

Also, there are platforms that pay for your content.  As a writer or author, it takes years of work to turn your words into a sustainable career.  However,

The Downside of Submitting Short Stories

Building your own reader fan base takes time, and this is just one avenue to help you. But it takes time and the process isn’t completely in your hands. Publications are looking for work that adds value to their readers so it’s incumbent on you to research where you submit your short stories.

Consider these questions when researching a publication:

  • Read the requirements of each publication
  • What are the publications main content themes?
  • Do their fans on social media seem to engage most in any specific topics?
  • If you can buy one of their print publications as well to get an idea of their print style

Of course, you might follow every guideline and write the best story, and still get turned down. Rejection happens, and many editors don’t have time to even give you a reason for rejection.  There are magazines that even tell you up front that if they reject you, don’t bother resubmitting the same piece.

It can take a while to get traction on any site, including these larger sites.  Getting approved and published doesn’t mean immediate success. They have built a trust factor and following over time, and you will have to do the same, no matter what platform you use.

Commit for the long haul, because that’s what it takes to succeed.

You’ll definitely want to showcase articles and short stories on your own site as well. It’s far easier to build a portfolio and following via your own website and social following. It takes time, but it’s worth it because it’s yours.

“Quantity and persistence will get you the outcomes you need.”
~James Altucher, American entrepreneur


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