Selling short stories sounds like a great idea to gain exposure as a writer and get paid in the meantime. And it is a great idea. Only, it’s generally not that easy, especially when you’re a new writer.
To get a short story published, you first need to write that story. You’ve poured your heart and soul into it, and then you’re ready to send it to the magazine you picked. And then… you wait. And wait. And wait some more. Only to hear after a month (or sometimes longer) that you didn’t make the cut.
It sucks. And it can make you feel like you’ll never publish your short story.
Luckily, it is possible to get a faster turnaround, get feedback on your writing (thus improving your chances of getting published in the future), and get a higher chance of being published as a new writer.
Sounds good? Then keep reading.
Can you publish short stories?
You can absolutely publish short stories. One platform you can do this on, for free, is Elegant Literature. This platform is designed specifically for new writers, so you have a higher chance of being published, giving your career a kickstart.
So, how much can you get paid for publishing a short story on Elegant Literature? They pay the writer 10c/w (in USD).
How can you publish a short story for free on the platform? All you have to do is sign up for a free membership, and then you can submit your short story for publication. One thing that is important to mention here:
they have a specific theme each month. So, the short story you’re submitting needs to adhere to that theme. It actually functions as a neat writing prompt. In addition, you can put your short story on their member platform to get feedback from other members. This can help you become a better writer, which also ups your chance of publishing a short story, even if you’re a new writer.
The other advantage is that this means they have to read all those submissions within the month before their next publication. Which means you’ll get your answer a lot sooner than usual. Not too bad, right?
Use short story contests to get paid more
That’s not all though. The monthly themes are also part of Elegant Literature’s writing contest. If you win, you not only get published and paid per word, but you also win a pretty decent cash price.
Entering the contest isn’t free, though. You have to sign up for their monthly membership.
While in a lot of writing contests, you’re competing against seasoned writers, their short story contests are for new writers. This means you have a higher chance of actually winning. And winning a contest looks good on your resume; meaning it might also increase your chances to get your short stories published in other magazines.