1. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

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    Best short story magazines

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Naomasa298, Oct 28, 2019.

    I'm sure this question has been asked before many times. What are the best magazines or anthology publishers to submit a short story to for a new writer?

    I like Literally Stories so far, but am struggling to make head or tail of the multitude of other publications. I write mainly fantasy, sci-fi, and apparently horror these days.
     
  2. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I think you mean literary, not literally. That might be hurting your google searches.
     
  3. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

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    No, the magazine is called Literally Stories.

    https://literallystories2014.com/
     
  4. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    This is certainly not one of the top or mid-level publications. They're using a gmail address for submissions. It's really not too much of an expense for a journal to use more professional emails and/or a submission manager. I'm not saying they're the only place that does things the way they do, but it does say something about how invested the people running the show here are in their publication.

    Also, when I look at the bios from writers they published I'm not really seeing publication names I recognize. That's always a red flag for me. Given I only looked at a few, I could be missing some, but I really didn't see the point on spending too much time on the website. Usually, author bios can give you a sense of similar places to submit work.

    They don't pay their writers. That's not always the most important thing, but if you're not getting paid and no one has heard of this publication, I'm not sure how much of a step this would be in your writing career. I've hear people say that too many writing credits that are basically unknown can actually hurt a writer. I think you have to ask how much you value your work and what you think it's worth. What is publishing here going to do for you?

    They do accept more than 20 percent of submissions, according to duotrope. That's a much hire acceptance rate than any publication I've ever looked up or submitted work to. Personally, I would pass on this one. But if you're just looking to have something published for the sake of having something published, I guess it's an option.

    Maybe these points mentioned will help you in your search since you said you're having a hard time making heads or tails of the different publications out there. However, I tend to think that if a writer doesn't really know where to submit short stories, they probably aren't ready to start submitting. That's not always the case, but reading good publications can help us write better and write for better publications.

    I would get duotrope if you really want to start submitting. And I would read more of the better known publications. It's sort of weird to me that this place stood out to you when there are quite a few well-known and established genre publications.
     
  5. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

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    Well, maybe I'm not ready but everyone has to start somewhere. And I'm not exactly going to get into the Atlantic or Reader's Digest, so I have to pick publications where I stand a chance,

    This particular publication stood out because of a recommendation from a British writer's site, it fit the genres and word count of my stories and it had a quick response time. It looked like a good place to start.

    What I'm really looking for is recommendations. Preferably, but not exclusively related to the UK scene.
     
  6. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    You can start at the top. I promise this can happen to someone with no credits and just a good story. In the short story world you don't really start at the top and move up. You don't want to get pigeonholed at a low level that's never going to pay you or help you with other writing pursuits. Why would you not try bigger places? My first short story sale was at that level where you wouldn't think you stood a chance. Honestly, I was in complete shock that they wanted my story, but they did and paid me well. It's from there that other doors opened, and now I have a few great writing credits from places I'm thrilled to be published in. Really, don't sell yourself short. The Atlantic is open to submissions year round. If that's one of your dream publications, you should have something on submission there. Send it right now! And if you have to try again, well, most of us have to try again and many times. But a writing credit from Literally Stories is going to mean nothing to The Atlantic. So, skip Literally Stories and try The Atlantic and try places editors at The Atlantic will have heard of.

    I always encourage short story writers to aim high. Yes, it's hard and the odds are not in our favor, but it doesn't take a miracle to sell a good story to a good publication. Also, I don't want my bad stories out there, especially online. I might love a story and worked hard on it, but if I can't publish it at a certain level, it's probably better not being out there at all. There's no limit to the number of short stories we can write. It's the good ones we want published, and good stories sell.

    Okay, I'll do a duotrope search for you. What genre are you specifically looking for and how long is the piece? I can tell you who I consider good and is open to submissions now. You can message me if you don't want to get into on the forum. But I'll do what I can to help as long as you send something to The Atlantic right now. NOW! The worst that can happen is nothing happens. Now, imagine the best thing that could happen from that submission.
     
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  7. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

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    Well, I don't have any pieces quite ready for submission right now, but I have four that I'm revising before submission. I'll pick the best one and submit it to the Atlantic.

    I write fantasy, sci-fi and horror, mainly. Occasionally branch out into other genres, but only rarely.
     
  8. X Equestris

    X Equestris Contributor Contributor

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    For these genres, the top tier markets in terms of pay and prestige are:
    • Clarkesworld
    • Fantasy & Science Fiction
    • Asimov's Science Fiction
    • Apex Magazine
    • Strange Horizons
    • Lightspeed
    • Beneath Ceaseless Skies (only takes stories set in a secondary world; always gives a personalized rejection letter, and you can read their published stories on their website for free, so they're one of my favorites)
    • Nightmare Magazine
    • The Dark
    • Daily Science Fiction (flash fiction only)
    • Sword and Sorceress anthology series (female protagonists only)
    They're all great places to get published, but they also have pretty low acceptance rates. Generally less than one percent.

    Since you're a new writer, you should also check out the Writers of the Future Contest. It's a quarterly contest exclusively for writers who don't have more than a handful of pro-rate publication credits. The prize money is solid, placing will make editors and agents sit up and take notice, and even if you just earn an honorable mention (like myself) it's a great accomplishment to mention when you're submitting to other markets in the future.
     
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  9. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

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    I looked at Asimov's Science Fiction, and I'd love to get published there, but I reckoned it was way above my pay grade.
     
  10. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 Active Member

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    So, I submitted stories to Strange Horizons and The Dark. Now to forget all about them for the next few months. Working on one for Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
     
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  11. Krispee

    Krispee Contributor Contributor

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    I submitted to Strange once, they have some quite specific guidelines on there. Good luck with your submissions. Hoping to get back to submitting to these guys sometime later in the year, maybe.
    With regard to acceptance percentages, I'm not sure there are any easy magazines out there that really matter; I don't suppose the literary acceptances are any better.
     
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