How to Submit Short Stories

The most important thing when submitting short fiction stories is to follow the guidelines carefully. Generally speaking, when you submit to a literary journal or anthology, include:

1. A simple, brief cover letter including the story title, any prior publications (in fiction) and a brief, relevant author bio. If you’re simultaneously submitting the same work to multiple publications, the proper etiquette is to mention that fact. Thank the editor for his consideration. (Keep in mind that a cover letter is not the same as a query letter that you might send for, say, a novel; don’t summarize the story, state its universal themes or attempt to be memorable in your cover letter. Let the work speak for itself.)

2. Your manuscript, double-spaced, with a header containing your name, story title and page number. The first page should include your contact information (address, phone, e-mail). Some writers include a word count, though for short fiction stories this isn’t absolutely necessary. If the guidelines direct you to submit a hard copy, paper clip (rather than staple) the manuscript. If submitting via e-mail or through an online submission manager, follow all formatting instructions. Some want you to attach a document in a specific format; some request your manuscript be pasted in the body of an e-mail.

3. A self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) if submitting a hard copy, so that the editor can notify you when the work has been accepted or rejected.

Learn more about crafting short fiction stories by considering:
Crafting Novels & Short Stories

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17 thoughts on “How to Submit Short Stories

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  5. Majestic0254

    I enjoyed reading your article on how to submit short-stories. It was very helpful
    and I could use all the information that was given. I am getting ready to publish
    my short-story soon and want to say Thanks.

  6. JM75

    Ms. Sims:
    Thank you so much for telling me that a cover letter and a query letter are not the same thing. I didn’t know that until after I read your article. One short-short story that I have written can be found here: I was just wondering, how many short stories have you written on your blog? May I please see a link to the ones you are most proud of. I would love to read them.
    Thanks again.

    1. Kavya Sharma

      respected editor, i have written some short stories. i have also sent my manuscript to the publishers but i din’t get any call from them till now. please suggest me in which way can i approach them?