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Where to Sell Short Stories: 7 Places That Pay

Jackie Pearce

If you are a writer trying to grow your career or start to make money from your craft, you most likely have wondered where to sell short stories.

Venturing into the realm of selling short stories not only broadens your audience but also propels your writing career to new heights.

This guide will walk you through why you should consider selling your short stories in the first place, some tips to submission, and then dive into actual places to submit your short stories.

Why You Should Sell Your Short Stories

If you are trying to make it as a writer, or at least trying to make some side income from it, you should consider selling your short stories.

Most likely, if you already have been writing them for some time, there are people who would pay to read them. It is simply a matter of finding platforms and publications that will pay for your stories.

Some other reasons you might want to consider selling your short stories:

Building a writing resume

For any writer who wants to get paid for their writing or eventually become a full-time author, you will want to have some published pieces in your portfolio. It is a way to show people that you are a serious writer and it can prove that other people should invest in your art, too.

Networking opportunities

You never know who will read your short story and want to work with you. You might even be hired for things like ghostwriting or other writing opportunities.

Exposure to a greater audience

Most writers have a small following online, but when you are published in new marketplaces, you have the chance of reaching even more readers.

Ideally, you will choose places to publish your writing that have the greatest reach to new audiences, but in the beginning you might not be able to be as picky as you will later on.

Testing the market

If you are considering writing a longer book, selling and testing how a short story does can help confirm whether it’s a good path to pursue or not.

Many successful books (and even movies) have started as a short story that became popular.

How Much You Can Make With Your Short Stories

Generally, it’s not incredibly easy to make money with short stories. Do not expect to become rich overnight.

However, with a practical mindset and a determined attitude, you can often start to make some money and get the word out about your work.

You could make anywhere from a few bucks to a thousand dollars. Generally “pro” rates start at $0.08 per word, if that gives you any context into how much you can make.

Yes, it’s more common that you will find opportunities for less money, but also almost every famous author out there started by selling their short stories. It is more about what you do with your growing audience and your stories that can have a huge impact on your career down the line.

How to Submit Your Short Stories

Some writing contests, anthologies, or publications may have specific submission guidelines or themes that writers find interesting or challenging. Selling a short story to meet these requirements can be a way to participate in such opportunities.

One thing you will want to particularly note is that most websites have rules about whether they will accept stories published in other publications before or not. Some publications want the first rights to your story, and some will accept stories you have published before. That is something you will want to take seriously and keep an eye out for.

You will want to double-check (and even triple-check any submission guidelines before entering so you are not automatically disqualified from consideration. Some publications have rigid rules, and some have looser rules, so do your research before submission.

This guide will walk you through why you should consider selling your short stories in the first place, some tips to submission, and then dive into actual places to submit your short stories.

Where to Sell Short Stories

1. Amazon KDP

The Amazon KDP program is a great place for writers to put their short stories and get paid.

As a book seller, you can earn up to 70% of royalties, depending on the publishing option you choose from them. This program also offers publishing option for a wide variety of genres, which is not something you will always find from various publishers.

For example, some magazines will only publish particular kinds of genres and stories.

Amazon also has the biggest book market in the world, but you will still have to work hard to get your short story to stand out.

2. The Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review is a literary magazine that generally publishes essays, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoirs and more.

They have various word count preferences for each of the type of stories they choose to publish, but they do pay for pieces they publish.

On the higher end, they can pay $400 pier piece, and for shorter ones (such as poems) $200.

3. Poets & Writers

Poets & Writers have a few various ways to help writers make money.

One option is to pitch directly to the magazine, which you can do through their submission guidelines page.

After that, they also have a subscription you can join to keep on top of various short shorty contests and other opportunities for other paid writing gigs.

4. One Story

If you are looking to publish a short story, you have probably come across One Story as an option.

They only have a short window of time where they accept submissions, but they do pay $500 for 25 contributors copies.

Check out their submission page to stay on top of when the next opening is happening.

5. Clarkesworld Magazine

Clarkesworld Magazine mainly focuses on publishing short stories in the science fiction and fantasy world, but they also consider art, non-fiction, and other types of short stories, as well.

They currently pay $0.12/word, which is on the higher end of platforms that pay for short stories.

6. East of the Web

Following the science fiction genre, East of the Web is currently accepting short stories that are at least 7.000 words. They currently have over 100,000 mobile devices that have their short story app installed, which can be good for your story to help reach a wider audience.

At the time of writing this, they are currently paying $0.05 per word to publish stories, but they are open to submissions of previously published stories, which not all places do.

7. Flash Fiction Online

If you love writing short stories that are between 500-1000 words, you will want to check out the Flash Fiction Online submission guidelines.

With Flash Fiction Online, you can expect to make $60 per accepted story.

What to do Next

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