How to get a short story published

Jenny Lamont By Jenny Lamont, 6th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Tips

I wrote this article to help other aspiring writers to publish thier short stories in magazines and local publications. Getting published is difficult but it is something I have achieved and so can you.

Be Creative

When you hand a story in to a magazine they are looking for something unique, the creme dela creme as they say. You need to create a truly original idea or if your concept fits a steryotype such as boy meets girl romance add an interesting twist. Make sure that your stories contain enough suspense and mystery to keep readers hooked.

Think about your target audiance

Before you start writing your short story think about the audiance you want to aim it at. Are you aiming at teenagers, children, adults or students. This step in the process is crucial because it enables you to mould your writing to the audiance and include things wich are popular with them such as bands or clothes trends.

Creating Characters

Writing a short story is not like writing a novel where you have many pages to establish a character. In a short story if your main character is boring or 2 dimensional readers will simply give up.

Make sure your target audiance is able to identify and sympathise with your character and understand who they are.

Sometimes it is beneficial to look at people you know for your characters personality and talents.

Hook them on the first paragraph

The first paragraph is always most important in a short story and is used by readers to establish the tale ahead. Make it as gripping as possible with lots of description and drama to draw the reader into the world you are trying to create.

Be Descriptive

Use lots of symalies and description in your work paticularly in the first paragraph to enable readers to see in thier mind what your charecter is seeing and feeling. This is also good for describing a characters apperance. It will build and image of your characters and scenes enabaling your story to flow like a film in thier minds.

Give it a proper ending

Never leave a short story with an open ending unless you are planning to make the story into a series. Always give proper closure to a single short story with no loose ends to confuse readers.

Find a magazine

Finally look for local magazines and newspapers wich are seeking short stories like yours and send them a copy. I approached my university magazine and was published.

I hope this helps.


Fiction, Publishing, Sucess, Writing

Meet the author

author avatar Jenny Lamont
I am a recent Digital Media Design graduate and freelance writer.

I am a creative person with exellent research skills. My work will focus mainly on Media, Design, History, Video Games and Art.

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author avatar Melissa Dawn
7th Feb 2012 (#)

Excellent tips, especially ending your story with no loose ends! Thanks for sharing.

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author avatar GV Rama Rao
7th Feb 2012 (#)

It sure helps.

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author avatar Tranquilpen
7th Feb 2012 (#)

Very informative, Thank you for sharing.

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