Location, location, locomotion

Dear Miss Snark

A while back I considered short stories as a way to get publishing credits. But when I started looking at the markets... Gulp. It was information overload. Trying to fathom which publications would carry weight (yet might realistically still publish my writing) and which were a wash out, started consuming ALL my fret time.

I decided to concentrate on finishing the damn book instead. Recently the idea of writing short stories stirred again. Any suggestions on where to find a concise list of reputable short story markets?

And while we're on the topic of short stories, let me use some fret time to ask IF they do get published what are the chances of selling them as part of an anthology down the line or is new work the buzz for new writers?

There are all sorts of places that publish short fiction. Writer's Market publishes lists of them I think. But, pick up a copy of "Best of -insert category here-" the anthologies published at the end of the year. Best American Short stories, Best crime writing, best sports stories, etc.

Look in the back. There's a list of where the winners were first published, and more important a list of where the top 100 were first published. Yes, there is a preponderance of New Yorker, and Playboy and Esquire, but there are lots of others too. Make a list. Check them out.

Next, go to your local indie book store and find the fiction buyer. Ask her/him what journals are good.

Next, go to your local library. Ask the librarian who buys fiction what s/he reads or looks at or considers a good source.

And don't fret. Write.


G. Jules Reynolds said...

Just thought I'd mention that there is one exception to the Writer's Market rule -- genre short story markets (horror, science fiction, fantasy, and slipstream). A lot of the smaller markets -- and even a couple of the biggies in the field -- decline to be listed in Writers Guide and the like because they say being listed brings them deluges of mainstream or literary slush that'll never stand a chance at, say, an SF mag that focuses on near-future moon-related hard science fiction shorts.

So for SF shorts, the online market guides -- eg, Ralan, Gila Queen -- are the way to go. The SF field also has some other great short story resources, like the response time tracker over at Critters, and the Rumormill. Some of them have some crossover into other fields and list romance/historical/mystery markets too, although I don't generally write in those genres, so I don't know how in-depth the listings are.

O said...

Here is a secret of mine: This is the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses's Member Directory.
If you click "all members," you will be provided with every literary magazine's name and website. Every reputable magazine is a member of the CLMP; it's a real treasure trove if you're looking for places to submit.


Mr. Breese said...

I've also considered submitting a short story to beef up my publishing credentials.

For me, the best resource for literary journals is "Novel and Short Stories Writer's Market." There's a section on literary magazines that lists all the major ones. Most importantly it will tell you how many new writers each journal publishes a year. It's a great resource.

This is a great website that reviews the work of literary journals:

And lastly, the best place to go to actually read a literary journal is your local university library. Go to the periodicals section, and all the major ones should be there. I live in Las Vegas, and the only place I can find literary journals is at UNLV.