I belong to an online writing site, and every so often someone asks how to publish short stories. Today I received my tenth acceptance for short stories, so in honor of being an “expert” I’d like to share what I posted to the writing site.
If it’s short stories, poems, or flash you’re interested in publishing:
- Go to Duotrope.com and make an account.
- Search for publications – flash, electronic submission, whatever the genre is.
- Look at the listings for those. Major things to check:
- Do they take more than 2-3 months to get back to you?
- Do they get back to at least 95% of the submissions (don’t hold withdrawals against them, just nonresponses)?
- Do they pay (doesn’t matter to me but matters to some)?
- What’s the acceptance rate (might not be worth it to submit to one that only takes 5%, at least not at first)?
- Do they accept simultaneous submissions (send to multiple publications at the same time)?
- If you like what you see, go to the publication’s website. Does it look professional (and does that even matter to you)?
- Read some of their published stuff, if available. How does your story compare? Is it a good fit subject- and prose-wise?
- Now, finally, click on a link somewhere on the site that says “Submissions” and FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS EXACTLY.
- Go back to Duotrope and report your submission.
- When you get a response, report that too. The more reports Duoptrope gets, the more accurate and helpful it becomes.
Assuming your stories aren’t crap, and you pick publications that are a good match, you could soon be a published author. Good luck!