Literary journals

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 Delicious 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 gray, 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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