Selling short stories

Discussion in 'General Writing Discussion' started by AZimmer23, Mar 7, 2012.


    AZimmer23 Things Fall Apart

    Mar 6, 2012
    Howdy all! I'm new to the forum and first of all, I'm really excited by everything I've seen here so far.

    I've been a freelance journalist for roughly 20 years, but I'm just now getting serious about writing fiction. I'm working on two novels, one a YA and one more mature as well as kicking around 2 or 3 short/flash stories at a time. I won't be able to get critiqued here until I have the requisite 30 posts, but I belong to a couple of other sites where I've been a member longer.

    But that's beside the point. I have a few shorts that I think are ready to be submitted to print and/or online magazines, and I've found a great site that lists a lot of outlets (

    My question is about multiple submissions, i.e. submitting a story to more than one publisher at a time. Is this a bad idea? It may seem optimistic to think that two publishers would both want a story, but it could turn ugly if that were the case. On the other hand, do I want to throw my story into a single basket and wait months for a 'yea or nay,' especially when many pubs have brief reading windows.

    Any opinions or wisdom of experience would be most welcome.

    Thanks in advance and great to be here!

    Mouse roar

    Jun 2, 2006
    Check their guidelines. Places say whether they're ok with you submitting the same story elsewhere at the same time or not.

    And keep a spreadsheet, so you know what you've sent to where and when.

    Oh yeah, and welcome to the forum!

    Abernovo Accident-prone, allegedly

    Sep 13, 2011
    Welome to the Chrons, AZimmer. It depends upon the publication's own guidelines as Mouse says.

    Personally, I'd wait for a response, but that's me. Most publications will try to respond as quickly as possible. Even if they say two months, they may get back to you in three weeks, as they give themselves leeway for busy periods.

    Anyway, good luck. :)
    David Evil Overlord

    David Evil Overlord My avatar is now [CENSORED]

    Jan 25, 2012

    As already noted, check the guidelines. Some mags say no simultaneous submissions, others just want you to have the courtesy to notify them if and when the story you submitted to them is no longer available because it just sold to someone else.

    Try submitting your stories to the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. They rarely take more than two weeks to respond. You can wait two weeks, right?.

    Also try some of the e-zines that take electronic submissions. They usually only take a couple of days to respond. This internet thingy is fast...

    AZimmer23 Things Fall Apart

    Mar 6, 2012
    Thanks everyone! I've just started researching this, so I may have found the answers on my own, and so far Ralan's is the only real comprehensive site I've found, but I'm still looking around.

    I appreciate all the feedback!

    Hex Nice and splicey Staff Member

    Mar 3, 2011
    Hi AZimmer23 -- you could have a look at Duotrope as well as Ralan. I use it and I like it a lot. They have summarised information about stuff like simultaneous submissions (though as they say it's always worth checking directly with the magazine). From what I've seen, some places are okay with it but most are not.

    Good luck!
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