14. Short Story Markets

Author: Nola Published: almost 3 years ago.
Tags: fiction, shorts, markets, short stories Category: Writing tips

Magazines, journals, and anthologies can provide outlets for your short fiction pieces. Here are a few markets you might like to consider.

Short and Twisted is an annual Australian anthology that showcases short fiction and poetry with a twist at the end. Stories can be 1500, 500, or 100 words and poetry can be a maximum of 20 lines. Avoid obvious twists (e.g. the protagonist’s twin is to blame). Entries for the next edition close on 31st December 2014. You can find their submission guidelines here.

Studio is a quarterly Australian journal of short fiction and poetry. The subtitle ‘a journal of Christians writing’ refers to the fact that the writers are Christian, though not all pieces have an overt Christian theme. Short stories should be a maximum of 3000 words and poetry up to 100 lines. They don't have an online presence, but submissions can be sent to the editor Paul Grover via email on studio00@bigpond.net.au (N.B. Those are zeros after ‘studio’). Each issue only includes about 12 to 15 poems and 2 to 3 short stories, so they have a long publication lag. A story I submitted in April 2012 has just appeared in October 2014.

[untitled] is a bi-annual Australian anthology of short fiction produced by Busybird Publishing. They accept stories up to 8000 words, though prefer a length of 3000-5000. They consider all genres, but look for material that ‘takes you away and … has a distinct voice’. You can access their guidelines here.

Thema is an American journal published three times a year. All short fiction and poetry must relate to the theme for that particular issue. Stories should be fewer than 20 double-spaced pages. Upcoming themes and deadlines are as follows: We Thought He’d Never Leave (1 Nov 2014), Golden Isn’t Silent (1 March 2015) and Lost in the Zoo (1 July 2015). You can find their guidelines here.

The People’s Friend is a British magazine available at most newsagents. They accept stories from 1200 to 4000 words, though most are less than 3000. They are fairly traditional and like stories that are uplifting and heart-warming, whether funny or serious. You can find their guidelines here.

A Final Word

Short story markets can be quite competitive, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to find a home for your manuscript. You’ll have a better chance of success if you:

  • Follow the guidelines exactly (including word length, format and adherence to the theme where applicable).
  • Look at past issues of the publication to get a sense of their style and the types of stories they accept.
  • Write a compelling, well-crafted story that shows originality.

I’ve had stories published in Short and Twisted and Studio and have submitted material to [untitled] and Thema. Have you tried any other short story outlets? I’d be interested in hearing about your experiences.

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