I’ve assembled some additional links and tips that might be useful for researching places where you can submit your work. First, some general tips:
- Start close to home. What journals or publications that publish short fiction do you read now?
- Are there any recent short story collections that you’ve enjoyed? Take a look in there: most will have a list of what publications first published the stories in that collection. That can be a good starting point for your research.
- What writers do you like? What writers do you feel an affinity for? If they maintain a website, chances are good that they’ll have links somewhere to the short stories that they’ve published, which can also be a good place to start.
Here’s one example of how about researching, based on the work of a particular author. At Vol.1 Brooklyn, we published a story by William VanDenBerg called ‘Valkyrie” in 2014. Let’s say you read this story and you liked it. And let’s say that you had a story that you thought was stylistically similar to it.
If you look up the author, you can find his website fairly easily, which features a list of his publications. Most of those will have links to where they can be read. When you come to a list like this, take a look at a couple of the journals. Read a story or two there. See what they’re all about. Maybe one of them is a journal where you’d like to submit one of your stories.
Resources and Databases:
- Poets & Writers maintains a database of literary magazines.
- The online journal Entropy maintains a “Where to Submit” category, which can be very useful, especially for journals with specific reading periods.
- Duotrope can be a useful resource as well, though they now operate using a paid subscription model.
- Collections of work that’s been published online can be a big help, including StorySouth’s Million Writers Awards, Wigleaf’s annual lists of very short fiction, and the Best of the Net Anthology.
- Clifford Garstang compiles an annual list of rankings for literary magazines, based on the annual Pushcart Prizes. He maintains an archive of it here.
- It’s no longer being maintained, but Ploughshares had a recurring feature for several years called “The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week.” This can give you a good sampling of what different journals are publishing.
A note: this version of this course was last taught in 2017; some links may no longer work properly.