Finding a place to publish a short story can be intimidating. Submitting a story I’ve poured my soul into out to a literary magazine is scary enough without worrying about what happens to it once it lands in someone’s slush.
And there are so many places that publish fiction. I have to think about things like what kind of stories the market publishes, how much it pays, what their response time is and whether or not they take simultaneous submissions.
There are many markets I send short stories to over and over again only to be repeatedly rejected, but I’ve had great experiences publishing with the following five markets. I’ve had at least one story accepted by each, and sent a second after publication. They are listed alphabetically.
- B Cubed Press not only published the most profitable anthology I’ve ever had a short story in, but it is run by an enthusiastic editor who cares about his authors as much as he cares about the quality of their stories.
- Responsive: All submissions get a receipt confirmation so the writer knows the story isn’t languishing in email limbo. All submissions get a response once a decision is made. Editors periodically post updates on the BCubed Press Facebook Group. Most questions are answered promptly.
- Strong Community: There is a Facebook group populated with an engaged community of writers who support each other and share ideas.
- Short Story Pay: $.02 a word advance + royalties and an e-book
- Broadswords and Blasters
- Responsiveness: Confirms receipt of stories, responds to all when a decision is made, and is known to give personal responses when time allows.
- Active on Twitter: Broadswords and Blasters engages with authors and readers on twitter. When open for submissions, they use twitter to be transparent about their selection process. However the two things that impress me most are how supportive they are of their authors, and how quickly they are growing
- Short Story Pay: $15 per story + an electronic copy of the issue
- Fantasia Divinity
- Responsiveness: Generally, emails get an auto response that confirms the submission was received and provides information about response times. Once a decision is made, all stories get a response.
- Active on Facebook: Fantasia Divinity has a very active Facebook page where they share status updates about where they are in the process of getting a book or issue ready, cover art, and releases. If they get behind on their responses, they generally will post about it so waiting authors know what is going on.
- Short Story Pay varies per project. Original stories accepted to the magazine receive ½ of a cent per word. Stand-alone pieces are royalties only. Anthology pay varies between the magazine rate and printed contributor copies.
- Nine Star Press
- Responsiveness: An auto response confirms receipt of stories, and once they receive a response email once a decisions is made. Most of the rejections they sent me have been personalized.
- Strong Community: The NineStar Press authors Facebook group is a fantastic place to meet other writers, find critique partners, get advice about marketing stories and discuss your craft. They are one of the most supportive and generally awesome writing community’s I’ve had the chance to be part of.
- Pay: Royalties + e-books.Note: While NineStar does publish short story anthologies, novelettes, and novellas, they are primarily a boutique novel publisher.
- Owl Hollow Press
- Responsiveness: All submissions get a response once a decision is made. Every rejection I received from them was personalized.
- Very Social: Owl Hollow Press is active on a number of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They are the only publisher I’ve worked with who has ever mailed authors free swag to use as promotional material. The bookmarks were very popular at work.
- Short Story Pay: $50 per story + 1 print copy. OHP does publish novels, but I think the pay (royalty rate and/or advance) may very from contract to contract.
If you choose to submit anything to any of these markets, please do your own research too. I did my best to provide accurate information, but these markets can update their rates and policies at any time. Plus, I’m human, which means I make mistakes. The publishing world is scary; these are just a few of many places I’ve had positive experiences publishing short stories with.
Read their guidelines carefully, and make sure they publish the type of story you are sending them. If you are unsure if a market is right, reading some of their published material is a good way to learn more about their tastes. Whether you read their previously published works or not, just please please make sure you follow their submission guidelines. I can’t count the number of I’ve times I seen editors stress how important this is.
B Cubed Press, Broadswords and Blasters, Fantasia Divinity, Owl Hollow Press, and NineStar Press are not the only markets I repeatedly submit to, but something about my experience with each was memorable enough for me to send them more work after they published the first accepted piece. Some of those submissions were accepted, but others weren’t. Of course, I won’t let the rejections stop me from sending these editors more stories in the future. They can’t get rid of me that easily. 😉