Literary Short Story Markets

On Saturday I went to the annual Writers’ Toolkit run by Writing West Midlands.

One of the sessions was ‘The World of Short Stories’. On the panel were Louise Palfreyman and Lisa Blower.

Louise and Lisa both write what I would describe as ‘literary’ short stories and they gave a long list of journals worth targeting. Among them was Popshot Magazine, which I mentioned in my last post plus a range of others including:

The Best British Short Stories (annual anthology)
The Paris Review
Under the Radar
Short Story Sunday
Comma Press

Lisa and Louise also mentioned the benefits of entering competitions and, when asked about the mechanics of short story writing, gave this wonderful quote from Raymond Carver, “Get in. Get out. Don’t Linger”.

My writing veers more towards the commercial than literary but a virtual friend of mine, Tracy Fells, blogs with a more literary leaning – worth a look!

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  1. #1 by Tracy Fells on November 10, 2015 - 5:05 pm

    Thanks for giving literary short stories a mention, Sally, and for the shout-out for my blog – much appreciated. Literary can be commercial too, though many of the ‘literary’ mags don’t actually pay … There are some valuable prizes in the literary competitions, but this means they can attract literally 1,000s of entries. I just about make enough to buy Wendy a teacake every other month.

    • #2 by Sally Jenkins on November 10, 2015 - 6:07 pm

      And I bet those teacakes taste delicious because they were hard-earned, Tracy!

  2. #3 by susanjanejones on November 10, 2015 - 5:45 pm

    Thanks for the information, Sally. I entered a competition today. Prizes are money and a writing course. I’ll take a look at the others. My writing tutor kept telling us to submit to Granta, but the stories were far removed from my writing. Sometimes it’s good to have a go at something completely different though.

    • #4 by Sally Jenkins on November 10, 2015 - 6:09 pm

      Yes, Susan, it can be good to get out of your comfort zone. I think my next competition entry will be the Writers & Artists Yearbook – I fancy the Arvon course prize.

      • #5 by susanjanejones on November 10, 2015 - 6:11 pm

        Yes, I saw that as well. Worth a go. Good luck. It’s thinking of a different idea that will stand out as well that helps I think.

  3. #6 by hilarycustancegreen on November 10, 2015 - 10:37 pm

    This looks useful. I still kid myself that I write and submit short stories, but it’s been a few years…

    • #7 by Sally Jenkins on November 11, 2015 - 4:20 pm

      Nothing to stop you having another go now, Hilary. It can make a nice change from longer stuff and there’s that satisfaction buzz of completing and submitting something.

  4. #8 by Keith Havers on November 11, 2015 - 2:55 pm

    Thanks for the links, Sally. There are quite a few to get through there! Might take me a while.

    • #9 by Sally Jenkins on November 11, 2015 - 4:21 pm

      I have to admit that I haven’t had chance to examine them all in detail either, Keith.

  5. #10 by Susan A Eames on November 12, 2015 - 6:25 pm

    Thanks for those links, Sally. I love reading literary stories and I aspire to write them, but it’s not at all easy!

    • #11 by Sally Jenkins on November 12, 2015 - 6:33 pm

      I don’t think any writing is easy, Susan. Best of luck with theses markets!

  6. #12 by Maria Smith (@mariaAsmith) on November 16, 2015 - 8:20 am

    Hi Sally,

    That’s an impressive list of short story outlets, personally, I haven’t got a literary bone in my body. I’ve tried reading literary fiction, and usually stop after the first few paragraphs. So attempting to write one would be torture!

    There are however, more outlets for shorts than there were a few years ago, although I’m not sure they are getting many submissions, or entries in the case of competitions. I’ve recently heard of a decent competition cancelling their annual competition this year, due to a poor response.

    So folks, if that is a general picture, get subbing, and you’ll stand a better chance of a win, or an acceptance.

    Thanks for sharing Sally.

    • #13 by Sally Jenkins on November 17, 2015 - 8:22 am

      That’s interesting, Maria, about comps. not getting enough entries. I often think ‘loads of people will enter that so I won’t bother’ – I’ll have a rethink now!

  7. #14 by charliebritten on November 16, 2015 - 4:43 pm

    Thanks for this one, Sally. Very interesting.

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