Short Stories: Places to Publish

query letter.jpgI’ve been reading more and more posts about the all-important query letter, fishing for representation from agents, and publishing.  Currently, I’ve drafted a book (Wastelander: The Drake Legacy).  I’m also working on a corresponding novella.  With all this considered, I really don’t have much else in the way of a fiction writing resume.

I wouldn’t go to a job interview without first preparing my resume, so why should I attempt to gain representation from an agent without beefing up a similar writing resume?  Right now my resume would consist of, well, nothing.  I can’t count the single novel and novella because they aren’t published.  They are the unproven products I want to get representation for and publish.

Masterpiece Written - No Agent

When you look at it this way, my resume is pretty weak.  After all, I think it’s fair to assume an agent wants to know if we have a future in writing, or if we are a one-and-done kind of writer.   My assumption is they are looking for repeat work.  I interpret this as, are you readable and prolific enough to make everyone involved money by pumping out work?


The problem is that it takes time to draft a book, more to polish it, and potentially longer to start the process of publishing.  If we rely solely on full-blown novels as the basis of our writing portfolios, then we are working on resumes that are years in the making.  In the meantime, we may be writing books very few people will stumble upon (depending on your Jedi marketing mind powers).

Got-an-idea.pngPotential solutions include (1) self-publish first book and novella, (2) write two or three books in the series prior to seeking representation, (3) say, “screw it,” and try to gain representation with current work, (4) roll myself into a ball and cry while rocking, and (5) publish a few short stories to bolster writing resume.

This post focuses on the short story option.  Specifically, finding legitimate publications to publish in.  If successful, the agent would have more than just a single example of what we can do.  Even better, the stories would be published examples by places that presumably value quality within our genres.

In researching the how and where, I came across a few sources of information I thought might be useful to share.

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The first is a website is called, Let’s Write a Short Story.  They wrote an article called, 46 Literary Magazines to Submit To.  This reference article lists outlets to submit to, provides hyperlinks to those websites, and breaks the list down into genre’s.

Another comes from the website, The Write Life.  The article I found most useful was, Where to Submit Short Stories: 25 Magazines and Websites That Want Your Work (that’s a long title).  While this list is a little shorter than the previous one, what I like about it is they provide a snippet about each, potential pay for works submitted, as well as rough estimates for word counts.

The Los Angeles Writers Group offers a more current listing: Nine Places to Submit Your Short Stories Right Now.  This one includes places to post poetry, as well as fiction.  I also like that they provide extra information regarding posting requirements.

According to these websites, there are more than 4000 places to publish short stories.  Happy hunting.  It should be noted this post is reblog.  Since this post was generated, some excellent folks have listed more great resources for you to check out!


Kernerangelina (Where Dragons Reside) offered the following:

Philcharlesr (Phil Charles R) provided these gems:

question mark.pngHave any of you published short stories?  If so, where?  I’d love to hear about it and add to our collective information.  Give this amateur yarn spinner some tips!  Until tomorrow, keep reading, keep writing, and as always – stay sharp!

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Quest for the Holy Sale: Finding Agents

holy grail.jpgBased on the stories passed down to me, it would appear finding an agent is much like being one of Arthur’s knights and embarking on a quest for the Holy Grail.  While the call of Arthur’s war horn hasn’t reached my ears just yet, (there’s still plenty of time for this squire) I have already started strengthening my sword arm.  So today I will share the tools and resources I have been using to prepare for battle.

Slay the Hydra.  Yes, to lure an agent onto the battleground one must have a book.  Even better, more than one.   Working on multiple books is akin to battling a hydra.  You cut off one head, and another one sprouts up to spit in your face.

shine your armor.jpgShine your bloody armor!  If you wan’t to incite fear in the agents heart, you show up on the battlefield looking like the hand of God placed you before him/her.  For the purposes of agent slaying, this armor is my query letter.   When they read it, I need them to suffer from the kind of blindness you experience when glancing at an angel.

The local lore master offered me a scroll that spoke of a Writer’s Digest article.  I bartered my last jug of ale to get a mystic to add a glyph here.   This portal, if you choose to enter, lists a number of dusty, leather bound tomes focusing on crafting a query letter.  I have a stack of these tomes being delivered by the strongest steed in the land (I couldn’t afford the shipping costs of a griffin – maybe after I get the Grail).

I also met a warrioress in a cow pasture outside of the village (I got lost coming back from the tavern).  Her armor was brilliant and gleaming and she cleaved a tree in two with her bare hands.  I have since began spying on her – hiding in the tall grass to watch her train.  Judging by the quality of her armor, she is obviously skilled.

divining rod.jpgCompass?  Nay – use thine divining rod.  You can’t smite an agent with your query letter if you can’t find one.  After speaking to the wart-covered hag who lives in the Midnight Marsh, and going on a couple errands to collect bizarre herbs, she gave me a magical stick and said it was an Agent Divining Rod.  I jumped with joy.  When I came home and explained what it was to Heather (wife/shield maiden) she clobbered me and threw it into the hearth fire.  So I have decided to look at the Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents and Writer’s Market 2016 tomes for insight.  At least the house will stay warm.

To know thy enemy, one must study the lore.  The texts mentioned above are a start.  They contain enough pages to heat my hovel for many days.  I must spend more time going through them and recording potential targets.

The other night, while running important work related errands (if Heather asks), I met a bard at the Round Table Roadhouse who whispered of two locations of hidden lore.  The bard claimed agents could be found via scrying portals!  It took me three crystal ingots and one quart of mother’s milk (again, no need to mention this to Heather) to get a mage to inscribe those locations within the magical plane here and here.

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Gather an angry mob of villagers!  Why do battle alone?  Get the villagers riled up and they will rally to you in droves.  The agent may think twice before questioning your honor when you have a mob of torch wielding village-folk at your back.

I‘ve been working on this.  I traded four cattle, two chickens, my lucky horseshoe, and a strand of baby Thor’s hair to Merlin’s apprentice (who was drunk at the time).  In return, she provided me some sort of magical mirror into the world (I believe it’s powered by a lightning elemental).  With this tool of mechromancy,  I work daily to gather a global mob to join me in battle.  It also allows me to view humorous videos of cats.  I have used this magic to hone my wit.

old warrior.jpgScrew Arthur, get the Grail on your own.  I met a warrior bard once who wore no banner.  His face was covered in scars, but there was a strange twinkle in his eyes.  I traded him two loaves of bread, a vial of djinn tears, and three of Thor’s dirty diapers (I didn’t ask why) for a leather bound chronicle of his journeys.

I told him of my desire to join Arthur, battle an agent, gain the Grail, and earn glory.  He just laughed and told me to not waste my time.  To my surprise, he claimed to have carved his own path to glory.  Judging by the scars, I believed him.  I will have to research this path more.  Perhaps I could convince my friend M.L.S. Weech, who is also a warrior bard, to share a tale of his journeys?

Do you hear that?  It’s not Arthur’s war horn, it’s something far more terrible – the growing cries of baby Thor (his anger can shake the foundations of our humble abode).  Come to think of it, I also need to explain to Heather why so many things are missing from the house…I will have to end this entry here.

Have your duties led you to hidden lore?  I would like to know!  Until the sun rises again, keep studying the lore, keep inscribing your tales, and as always – keep your quill sharp!

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