Posts Tagged ‘short stories’

NewPages opens a literary magazine webstore

Tue, 13 Nov 2012

NewPages is in my RSS feed. It’s a good resource among many for writers who are submitting work to literary magazines. The site just announced the NewPages Magazine Webstore, an online storefront offering single issues of literary magazines. It is beautiful.

Prices for individual magazine issues in the webstore currently range from $4.50 to $18.95, plus tax and shipping. NewPages is shipping only to U.S. and Canadian addresses, but inquiries from customers in other countries are encouraged. I’m not affiliated in any way with NewPages.

If you’re just starting to submit creative writing to literary magazines, you should grab “The Writer’s Guide to Publishing in Literary Magazines and Entering Contests” by Ayelet Tsabari. It’s free. Tsabari’s certainly an example of the writers-are-generous-people meme. Do thank her, and don’t forget to pay it forward.

Another person to thank is John Fox, whose Ranking of Literary Journals links out to additional lists that use different selection criteria.

I’m gradually pruning defunct publications from my Delicious list of more than 4,000 that feature creative writing. By the time I finish updating the links, I’ll need to start over. By the way, I began updating from the far end of the list—the oldest links.


Sat, 20 Oct 2012

I’m no good at distilling lessons, so I appreciate people who can be succinct. Last weekend, at a Litquake event called “The Art of Short Fiction,” Thaisa Frank reminded the audience that the meaning of a work of fiction is not determined entirely by the author, because “the reader is co-creating the story.”

Readers’ sense of involvement is why stories in written form remain so popular as entertainment. Reading a story is more like computer gameplay than we care to acknowledge.

Got questions about litmag submissions?

Thu, 24 May 2012

I’m going to steal the last line from Lynne Barrett and use it over and over:

Not long ago, within a few days, three aspiring writers stopped me (in the office, in the parking lot, and at an airport gate) to ask: “Where should I send my story which is over 20,000 words long?” “Where should I send my work where it will be accepted as fast as possible? The agent I approached about my novel says I have to have a track record.” “What magazine likes grown-up fables that are a little weird?”

They were asking for a shortcut. It’s natural to want one, when you feel small in a big unknown world, and impatient, wanting results immediately. But I said, to each: “You can’t expect to be a professional if you don’t do your own homework.”

Lynne BarrettLynne Barrett is founding editor of Gulf Stream Magazine and current editor of the Florida Book Review. If you’re a writer hoping to be published, your assignment today is to read her explanation of what editors look for in submissions to literary magazines.

The Review Review, as Barrett mentions in the linked post, is a dandy resource for creative writers. And with more than 4,000 literary journals in existence, there must be one that’s right for your work.


Photo: Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College

Annual “Best of” anthologies – stories, poetry

Sat, 19 May 2012

Don’t we love these? Let me know if I missed any.

The Best American Mystery Stories (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The Best American Nonrequired Reading (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The Best American Short Stories (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

The Best American Poetry (Scribner)

The Best Canadian Poetry in English (Tightrope)

Best Horror of the Year (Night Shade)

Best of the Net (Sundress)

Best New Poets (University of Virginia)

Best New Writing (Hopewell)
[added on May 26, 2012]

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year (Night Shade)

Million Writers Award: The Best New Online Voices (Spotlight)

Million Writers Award: The Best Online Science Fiction and Fantasy (Spotlight)

The Journey Prize Stories (McClelland & Stewart)
[added on August 31, 2012]

The PEN / O. Henry Prize Stories (Anchor)

plain china: Best Undergraduate Writing (Bennington College)

Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses (Pushcart)

The Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror (Prime)

The Year’s Best Science Fiction (St. Martin’s)

The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy (Prime)

The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens (Tor)

My clients make me happy

Fri, 1 Jul 2011

Miha Mazzini, photographed by Robert KruhMiha Mazzini ought to be celebrating, but instead he’s hard at work completing a documentary film. Earlier this week, he was awarded a PhD in anthropology. On the heels of the degree ceremony came confirmation that he’s received a Pushcart Prize for his short story “That Winter,” which appeared in the fifth-anniversary issue of Ecotone. The journal’s editor, Ben George, deserves high praise for contributing to the achievement. “That Winter” was the first of Mazzini’s stories to be published in a magazine in the US.

Lest I make such accomplishments sound easy, I should mention that Mazzini’s short stories have been included in a dozen anthologies published in countries around the world. Nor am I accountable for his successes. On the contrary, I’m confounded by my good fortune. Having such talented clients makes an agent’s job infinitely easier.

Bringing translations of an acclaimed author’s work to readers in the English language is a particular pleasure, which Ben George expressed when he introduced Mazzini in Ecotone last year:

Can one “discover” someone who has written the best-selling novel of all time (The Cartier Project) in his native country? Who has written a separate novel (Guarding Hanna) whose translation was long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the largest cash prize in the world for a book of fiction published in English? Perhaps. If you can be a willing penitent and confess your ignorance.

Early in 2012, Charles Boyle, the publisher of CB editions in London, will enjoy the same professional satisfaction when he presents Urška Zupanec’s English translation of Mazzini’s entertaining and satirical novella The German Lottery to readers in the UK.

Yet another English translation of Mazzini’s work will appear in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 4 later this year.

The author-screenwriter-director, who writes in the Slovene language, also works as a usability consultant and until recently turned in a weekly column for his employer’s news portal, Apparently the word leisure only amuses him.

I could ask Mazzini if sustaining this level of productivity gets easier with experience, but I already know the answer. It doesn’t get easier, but perhaps the challenges of a career as a creative writer are slightly less frustrating when all the obstacles have become such familiar landmarks.

Have you written a short story?

Wed, 29 Sep 2010

Why don’t you submit it?


My Delicious list of magazines that publish fiction (literary, genre, and flash), creative nonfiction, and poetry has expanded to more than 2,400. Autumn is a good time to call them to your attention again, because quite a few of the publications are running contests now.

Look for the link to “Literary journals” in my “Resources for writers” menu.

If you click through to, you’ll notice the magazines are bookmarked in no particular order. If you’re looking for a variety of opinions about which are the most highly regarded, refer to a previous post, “Which literary publications get the most attention online?” In the comments below that post are links to any pertinent rankings I found online in the spring of 2010.

Masters of the modern short story

Wed, 25 Nov 2009

Writers searching for succinct reminders for improving their short stories will appreciate the efforts of Alan Mahar, director of Tindal Street Press in Birmingham, West Midlands, UK. Mahar asked some of his authors to describe exactly how their favorite short-story writers mastered techniques of the form. Their answers—go get ‘em—are available as free downloads on the publisher’s website.

In a lesson titled “Be Indirect,” Alan Beard explains how the technique of being surreptitious is used by the writer William Trevor in a story about a mother who remains unaware that her daughter has been molested:

‘Good News’ in fact is a perfect example of the oblique approach. The child abuse is central but is never referred to directly. This makes it all the more powerful because it suggests how such things can slip by unnoticed in real life, also the reader is left with the horrible task of thinking about what might have happened.

The 10 downloadable lessons focus on concepts that should be familiar to the point of being instinctive for fiction writers. If not, there’s work to be done—and a nice long weekend ahead in which to do it.

Literary journals

Fri, 4 Jan 2008

A few readers who communicate by email have recently mentioned submitting stories to literary magazines and journals. There’s already plenty of information on the Web about writing queries and how to inure yourself to rejection. It’s work. It’s tough. I can, however, suggest a variety of possible destinations for your submissions, including some you may not have previously considered.

Two websites devoted to helping you find markets for short stories are:

  • Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market Editor’s Blog

Eight years ago, I started haphazardly bookmarking websites for literary journals. Last week, I began updating the list and exported it from my web browser to in order to share it with you. There might be a better method of sharing, and please feel free to point it out. For now, you can find my bookmarks, in no particular order, at:

If you’d like to suggest literary journals or small magazines, print or electronic, that should be included, please leave a comment. I’ll add them to my list.

Among the individual literary journals’ websites I’ve listed on Delicious are the following four online directories that link to many more literary magazines:

Your local public or university library’s reference section and periodicals databases are excellent sources of information. With your library card number and PIN, the databases are probably accessible through your library’s website around the clock.

When choosing where to send a story, of course you should read each publication’s submission guidelines to determine which are most likely to accept your writing.

You’ll also want to gauge the journals’ reputations. One benefit of sharing my Delicious list is the notations, highlighted in pink blue, that indicate how many other Delicious users have saved the same URLs. McSweeney’s is by far the most popular item on my list, which suggests its readers are also likely to be Delicious users. You can learn a little something from statistics that tell you a site was “saved by 3373 other people,” but if you’re hoping to have a short story published to help establish your credentials as a novelist, keep in mind that editors and literary agents have their own criteria. You might find hints on their websites.

The Rejecter recently posted “Short Stories and Credentials,” which provoked a good discussion that provides a rational perspective. A little over a month ago, with his typical openness, Nathan Bransford of Curtis Brown also touched on the subject of writing credits in the comments on his blog.

While I was writing this, a friend asked how to obtain a journal article from a database that requires a subscription or charges a fee per download. The short answer is that your local library probably has a subscription to the database and may extend to library patrons access through the library’s website. I’ll answer the question in more detail in an upcoming post.

I enjoy writing about subjects that interest you—not that I actually know what those subjects are. You can always tell me by leaving a comment.

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