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The long and short of the short story form

The short story is a classic for a reason – and editors say it isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Here’s a look back at the form from its origins to the present, plus tips and fresh insight on where to find homes for your stories in the future.

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Where to find short story markets

  1. Duotrope ($5/month): duotrope.com
  2. New Pages: newpages.com
  3. Submittable: submittable.com
  4. The Nonconformist: nonconformist-mag.com/the-big-big-list-of-literary-magazines-and-journals

 

Other unique markets

Technology has expanded to add some new and interesting short story markets.

Podcasts

With the rise in popularity of audiobooks in the last few years, it is no surprise there is a rise in short story podcasts. One of those is The Other Stories, a weekly podcast featuring the best in horror, sci-fi, and thriller fiction. The podcast launched in 2016, and has since celebrated eight million downloads and a This is Horror Award for Best Fiction Podcast. 

Luke Kondor, one of the founders of The Other Stories, believes the timing of the podcast launch helped with its initial success. “We launched our podcast just as the horror fiction podcast scene exploded, and so we very quickly rocketed up the podcast charts, and within a few months, we were seeing several thousand downloads every day.” It consistently releases a new episode every Monday, which creates loyal listeners who can count on new stories each week. Plus, Kondor says, “We’ve also incrementally improved our production skills and have built up our team – which is more of a community – of audio wizards, illustrator extraordinaire, Photoshop tinkerers, super-powered voice artists, and writers of all shapes and sizes, both new and established.”

Podcasts like this one and others accept submissions from writers. This is a solid way to expand your reach to new audiences. 

Short story podcasts:

  1. The Other Stories: theotherstories.net
  2. Selected Shorts: npr.org/
    podcasts/381443486/pri-selected-shorts
  3. The Truth: thetruthpodcast.com
  4. LeVar Burton Reads: levarburtonpodcast.com
  5. LitReading: litreading.com/stories
  6. Ellery Queen Mystery
    Magazine Podcast:
    elleryqueenmysterymagazine.​com/the-crime-scene/podcasts
  7. Brick Moon Fiction: brickmoonentertainment.com

Short Story dispenser

Short Edition is a French-based publisher, with an office in the U.S. as well, that has been around since 2011 (short-edition.com). In 2016, it launched the Short Story Dispenser. Its goal was to make literature accessible to all by providing free short stories for all ages. These machines connect readers across countries and cultures by publishing contemporary short stories, free of charge, at the push of a button. Readers can choose a story by reading time (one minute, three minutes, five minutes), audience, and language. Each story is printed on recyclable paper through thermal printing, so there is no ink cartridge. 

There are more than 350 Short Story Dispensers on five continents. The 110 in the U.S. can be found in public libraries, universities, schools, airports, train stations, and hospitals. The stories are curated through the literary review Short Circuit. Each week, the editorial team reads through hundreds of submissions to choose the very best for publication, which are then sent to the Dispensers. Over the past decade, more than 5 million stories have been distributed, and thousands of writers have been paid for their work.

 

Where to read short stories online

—Kerrie Flanagan is an author, writing consultant, and freelance writer from Colorado with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. She is the author of
WD Guide to Magazine Article Writing. She moonlights in the sci-fi/fantasy realm with a co-author under the pen name C.G. Harris (cgharris.net).
Sign up for her newsletter at bit.ly/KerrieFlanaganNews. Web:KerrieFlanagan.com 

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