1. Rumwriter

    Rumwriter Active Member

    May 11, 2011
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    Questions about submitting short stories

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Rumwriter, Oct 31, 2011.

    So, I've never submitted a short story to a magazine before, but I think I should start getting my feet wet. But I don't really know where to begin, so I'll just throw my questions out there:

    1)How do rights to the story work? If a magazine features my story do I lose rights to it?

    2)Should you look to get paid if you are just starting out, or do you need to have a little bit of credibility first?

    3)How do you send a story? Do different magazines have different requirements?

    4)Is there a good list of magazines to try and send to?

    5)When should you consider trying to get a literary agent?

    That's all for now I think. Number 1 was my biggest concern.

  2. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Contributor Contributor

    Nov 30, 2006
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    Ohio, USA
    1. It all depends on the contract you sign. Some will request exclusive rights for 6 months or a year. Some will request non-exclusive rights, but that it cannot be published elsewhere prior to being published in their magazine/ezine. Read the contract carefully as not all are the same, and some are much more 'rights grabbing' than they should be.

    2. You should look to get paid. Why not? If your story is good enough, they won't care if you've been published before--okay, if you're like Stephen King or someone--then your reputation will help, but even so, the story would have to be good. It can be tricky, but try for the highest paying market that seems to fit your story (a good match) and then work your way down if it's rejected. Don't give up if the first market sent to rejects it.

    3. Yes, different magazines have different requirements (how to send, formatting, word count limits, etc.)

    4. Duotrope.com is a good place to start to seek potential markets.

    5. Agents generally don't represent short stories. If you're not known, you're wasting your time (and the agent's) trying to get them to represent a short story.

    Hope that helps and good luck!

    1 person likes this.
  3. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    what terry said!

    plus, agents definitely don't rep short stories, unless the writer's already a client who's making them big money on their books... any supposed 'agent' who says they will should be checked out carefully, to make sure they're legit, as i doubt they would be...

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