Short Story Submissions For New Writers

Are you an aspiring writer looking for opportunities? It’s challenging to take the first step. And also to look for the appropriate platform to publish your work. Nonetheless, we have some exciting news for newbie writers.

You can finally put a stop to the stress because we’ve compiled a list of platforms and journals for short story submissions for new writers. While some may pay you, some might not. But that should be fine, considering the fact that they are allowing you exposure.

Free Short Story Submissions

1. The Temz Review

The literary magazine, The Temz Review welcomes newbie writers. They publish new editions several times a year. To send a submission, visit this page.

2. After Dinner Conversation

They mainly focus on ethics, morality, and philosophical truth. They’ll also provide you with a few samples of what they like to publish. To send them a submission, check out the submission tab on their homepage.

3. Aftermath Online Magazine

This environmental publication focuses on the current climate and ecological disasters that are threatening life on Earth. Their submission guidelines are available on their homepage. They are very open about what they publish.


This magazine is famous for publishing content for novice writers who are just starting off in their writing careers. This is an excellent platform for new writers. So if your writing is liked by their editors, it’s worth the hassle. You can easily find all their submission guidelines and details on their website, under the Submit tab.

5. Alt Hist

This publication features character-led stories rather than plot or concept-driven. Focusing on genres like historical fiction and fantasy and alternate history. You can get their submission link from their banner menu.

6. Ancient Paths Magazine

This magazine publishes short fiction stories on its Facebook page. However, they have a strong Christian bias. The magazine’s submission requirements can be found available on its website.

7. Aquila Children’s Magazine

This publication has the objective to be the most intelligent read for curious children. They publish at least one of the short story submissions in every issue. To send in your short story submission, you can visit the magazine’s website. You can get their submission guidelines and details there, under the Submit tab.

While these opportunities will help you gain exposure and improve your writing, there are a few publications for newbie writer story submissions that pay you for writing.

8. Write City Magazine

This magazine seeks poetry, nonfiction, and fiction submissions. Make sure you follow their submission guidelines, which fonts, genres, and styles they prefer.

9. Beloit Fiction Journal

This magazine is a production of the Beloit College that features contemporary short fiction. Generally, submissions are accepted between 1st August to 16th November. Sending short story submissions via email is free.

10. The Atlantic

Known for its reviews on pop culture, The Atlantic also swanks a fiction section. To increase your possibility of publishing, get familiar with previous issues of The Atlantic. The publication often seeks a daring, provocative, and daunting style of fiction.

Paid Short Story Submissions

1. A&U Magazine

This publication is a non-profit journal. They publish short submissions like fiction and non-fiction narratives alongside poetry. To send a submission, head over to the website of the magazine. The link is placed within the banner. Pay rates are provided upon inquiry.

2. The Antioch Review

The Antioch Review publishes three stories per issue. All writers, including newbie short story submissions, are welcomed. A compelling and distinctive story is all they want. Generally, they accept short story submissions from September to May. Compensations start a $20 per page, while the word count is limited to 5,000 words.

3. The Atlantic

This magazine welcomes all fiction, non-fiction narratives as well as poetry. To better understand what they’re looking for, you can refer to previous publications. They’re open to short story submissions round the clock. However, if you send an unsolicited submission, the payment may not be specified. For additional information, visit the magazine’s website.

4. Black Warrior Review

The BWR invited fiction, non-fiction, comics, poetry, and arts two times a year, from December to March and June to September. Unsolicited submissions payments are not specified. While word count is limited to 5,000 words for short story submissions and 1,000 for flash fiction. You can read their submission requirements on the website of the magazine.

5. Boulevard Magazine

Similar to the previous publications, this magazine also entertains fiction, non-fiction, and poetry submissions. They are open to newbie writer story submissions with exceptional talent. They accept short story submissions of up to 8,000 words from October to May. The compensation varies from $100 and goes up to $300.

6. Daily Science Fiction

This magazine accepts fiction short story submissions from 100 words to 1,500 words. Newbie writers can send in science fiction, fantasy short story submissions, and even flash series. Writers can earn 8 cents per word. For more submission guidelines, check out their website.

7. The First Line

The First Line provides you with the chance of a lifetime to make up for all the lost opportunities. They accept short story submissions around the year. They have different deadlines for all four issues, like:

  • For the Spring issue; 1st of February
  • For the Summer issue; 1st of May
  • For the Fall issue; 1st of August and
  • For the Winter issue; 1st of November

The word limit for each short story submission varies from 300 to 5,000 words, with a compensation of $25 to $50. More submission guidelines are available on their website.

8. One Story

One Story accepts literary fiction short story submissions of 3,000 to 8,000 words per short story submission. And may be as much as $500. You can submit your short story submissions between January 15th and May 31st. And in case you’ve missed the deadline, worry not. Because they accept short story submissions twice a year. The second time they accept short story submissions is between 3rd September and 14th November.

Just knowing where to send your newbie writer story submission isn’t enough. Perfect formatting may come across as an excellent first impression.

Follow Formatting Guidelines

Formatting a short story may not be similar to writing a novel or a book. Start by checking out the publication’s guidelines for anything specific. And afterward, apply the industry standards of formatting a short story.

Following are some generic formatting rules for short story submissions:

  • Set margins on all four sides of 1 inch or 2.5 cm.
  • Keep your manuscript aligned towards the left.
  • For the entire script, use the typeface, Time New Roman, at size 12. While fonts like Arial and Courier are accepted, too, it’s better to stick to what the publication suggests.
  • Don’t go colourful or fancy; keep it simple with black lettering on a white background
  • Indent every paragraph by 1.25 cm or half an inch
  • There must not be space between paragraphs. However, you can double-space the lines.
  • After placing a period at the ending of each sentence, leave a space
  • At the end of your short story, place a hashtag or write the end. This will indicate to the editor that they shouldn’t expect additional pages.
  • Don’t underline words or phrases. If you want to emphasise a word or phrase, italicise

The first page of your short story submission should include a few elements like:

  • In the header, at the top right corner, add your name, email address, address, the approximate number of pages, and a keyword from the title of your short story.
  • The title of your short story
  • Below the title of your short story, add your author name, which can also be your pen name, and different from your actual name.
  • Below this, start your short story.

While formatting the short story submission is very crucial, so is the title of your short story.

Give The Title Of Your Short Story

Good news, because titling a short story isn’t as challenging as titling a novel or a book. While a book is a separate entity and has to perform multiple functions, a short story is part of a publication. Isn’t that a relief?

So, sit tight and let us walk you through four easy strategies for titling your short story.

1. Scan and rip

This approach suggests that you reread your entire short story and scan for exciting images or phrases. Select the best of them and form a list. Next, review the list and select the most enticing title.

2. Brainstorm

Brainstorming is among the most commonly used methods. While it works for prospect solutions, it can also help with titles too. Start with getting a pen or keyboard and paper or monitor. And write down all possible titles you can think of.

Don’t set a time constraint and write till you’re satisfied. You can even ask your friends and family for suggestions.

3. Reference and a twist

According to this strategy, you can title your book with reference to a famous book, phrase, or quote. Moreover, to make it unique, you can also add your own personal touch to it.

4. Settle

If your list of titles remains inconclusive, then don’t worry. Because the title of your short story isn’t compulsory to be perfect. And it’s definitely okay to settle with a good enough title. The gist is to give your story a good enough title, if not ideal.

Coming up with a title may take some time, and it’s okay. If not any hour, a day, a week, you'll love it whenever it comes to your head.

Short Story Submission In Less Than A Minute?

While most publications accept short story submission via email, some may use other means, like forms. But, before you submit your short story submission, make sure you’ve followed the guidelines communicated via the publication.

Nonetheless, the best way to submit your short story without consuming a lot of time is to do so via email.

How To Submit Your Short Story To Publishers Via Email

While it is easy to submit a story via email, you must ensure that you follow these steps:

1. How to write a cover letter and author bio with your story submission

Preparing the cover letter for your short story submission is an essential part of the submission. Yet, they may not be as daunting. A cover letter is just a few lines giving the publication or editor a brief about you and your book.

  • How to send a Cover letter in email?

Editors hate long cover letters. They prefer spending their time reading your short story rather than your cover letter. So, keep it short and straightforward. Make sure to include the following elements in your cover letter:

  • Salutations – nothing fancy, just ‘dear editor is fine.
  • The title, along with the word count
  • An elevator pitch, only if the publication asked for it.
  • Any previous publications
  • A closure with thanks and your sign

That’s all you need to incorporate into the cover letter in your email. After writing your cover letter, don’t press send. Instead, wait to attach your short story.

2. File Format For Story submission Via Email

While some publications may require you to attach a separate file of your short story. Others may require you to send your short story submission by simply copy-pasting it in the body of your email. But, it’s critical to follow the required file format for your story submission.

 Some publications may require you to attach your short story in a DOCX format, while others may require you to submit it in the form of a PDF. Converting a DOCX to PDF is pretty simple; just save your DOCX file as PDF in the save as window.

Furthermore, if the publication needs you to compose a blind read, ensure your file contains no identifiable details.

Though you may think it’s time to hit send, ensure that you’ve attached your short story submission. It May seem like a ridiculous tip, but trust us, it’s pretty common.

Recheck the email address before sending your email. Because if you don’t, your email may never even reach the editor.

Add an appropriate and relevant subject line. At times the publication mentions a specific subject line. But in case they don’t, make sure the subject line is unique yet relevant. For instance, you can write, ‘Short Story Submission – the title – your name.’

Lastly, proofread your email, ensure all necessary files and data have been attached, take a deep breath, and hit send!

3. What to Expect After story Submission

After sending off your short story submission, it’s time to wait. But, as you wait, make sure to maintain a record of your short story submissions. You may utilise a spreadsheet or go old-school with a notebook.

While the process may not be so quick, many publications may share an estimated response time in their guidelines. This provides you with an indication of when you might expect a response so that you can be vigilant. However, they’re usually late. So, keep calm, maintain patience, and wait.

Publications don’t delay the process intentionally. They receive loads of submissions. So, going through each of them and evaluating each story submission is not easy. As a result, the process is time-consuming.

During the waiting process, don’t frequently send follow-ups. Be professional and wait.

At the same time, if the publication allows, you can submit the same short story to another publication to mitigate your rejection risks. Waiting for so long only to receive a rejection can be very disappointing.

Submitting a story simultaneously can save you a lot of time as well. Because if one publication rejects your story submission, and then you submit it to another publication can waste a lot of your precious time. This strategy will lead you nowhere.

A few terminologies to look for in the publication’s guidelines:

  • Simultaneously submissions – means you’re allowed to submit the same short story to other publications simultaneously
  • Multiple submissions – means you can submit more than one submission at a time.

And if waiting is keeping you agonised, start writing your next piece.

While a positive response is an achievement, a rejection doesn’t define your skills. Seek feedback and work on your shortcomings.

You’re an excellent writer. Believe in yourself, and work on your writings. And keep sending shorter story submissions until you score a place in a publication.

Keep repeating the write, submit, and repeat cycle because that’s how you can successfully publish a short story!


This comprehensive guide on short story submission for new writers explored various free and paid options on where to submit short stories. Keeping in mind the publication’s guidelines, format your short story submission.

Next, come up with a compelling title, which may not be excellent but good enough to work. Lastly, it’s time for short story submission. While some publications may require you to submit via a form. At the same time, others may require you to submit via email.

After your short story submission, it’s time to wait. The most agonising aspect of the work is the waiting, especially when outcomes are uncertain.