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Short Stories Prompts

short stories prompts

How To Use Short Stories Prompts For Better Short Stories

Short stories prompts are a great way to get your creative juices flowing. They also serve as an excellent form of entertainment when you need it!

What are short stories prompts?

short story prompts

Short story writing prompts are just what they sound like: a set of random words or phrases that encourage you to write a short story. Prompts can be anything:

– One liner ideas (e.g., I woke up with blood on my hands)

– Descriptions (e.g., old manor house, abandoned asylum)

What is the purpose of a short story writing prompt?

Short story writing prompts are a great way to deal with writer’s block or even just to relax and have some fun! It can be tough sometimes to come up with fresh and interesting ideas for stories. These short story writing prompts can help you find inspiration and get your creative juices flowing.

Short stories are also a good way to practice your craft. They allow you to experiment with characters, settings, and storylines without investing too much time. And once you’ve written a few stories, it becomes easier to come up with new ideas for your next one.

What should I do if someone steals my short stories prompt?

If someone has already used the prompt that you want to use, do not despair! You can always take the prompt in a different direction. For example, if you see someone has already written a story about an abandoned asylum, do not decide to write about an old manor house just because that was your original idea.

You don’t have to credit or mention anyone else’s work when using prompts. Everyone is here to write their own stories and share them with the world.

If you still think that somebody has stolen your prompt, please let us know about it by sending an e-mail to . We can remove any prompt if we suspect plagiarism.

Remember, creativity is the hallmark of a good writer!

The best way to create short stories prompts

to just take a pen and paper and jot down whatever comes to your mind. These can be anything: random words, phrases, sentences, lyrics from songs you like or memorable quotes from your favorite books. You could even use prompts that other people have come up with!

Creativity is the key, so don’t worry about coming up with the most original prompts. Just relax, have fun, and enjoy yourself.

How to get started with short stories prompts

Here is a list of 10 short story prompts that will give you some ideas for what to write about:

1) What if the world was overrun by zombies?

2) Write about the last conversation with your best friend before they died.

3) Write about two people who find themselves in love but their relationship is doomed from the start.

4) Describe one day in the life of someone living in poverty.

5) What would happen if all books were banned and no one could read them anymore?

6) Write about how your town changed after 9-11.

7) A man goes on vacation without his family on his birthday for the first time in 15 years.

8) Describe what happens when an alien visits Earth on a reconnaissance mission.

9) Write about one day of your life where everything goes wrong.

10) Imagine you are living in Ancient Greece and write about how you feel about being a slave or a master.

How do I write a short story with these prompts?

After you’ve decided on one or more short stories prompts that you want to use, the next step is writing your story. The best way to go about this is to just take it one word at a time and let the words and characters come to you naturally.

To create a story around one of these prompts, there are no hard and fast rules. You might want to begin by asking yourself some questions about your narrator or protagonist:

– Who is he/she?

– Where does he/she live?

– What is the conflict in this story?

– How does he/she feel about it?

– What is at stake?

Once you’ve established some basic facts about your character and his/her circumstances, just let the story take its course. It may help to write a rough outline of events before you begin writing, but don’t get too bogged down in details. Just write and see where the story takes you.

When writing a short story, what makes it good? There are many components that make up a good short story, but here are some of the most important ones:

– Unique characters with interesting quirks.

– A unique setting.

– Intriguing dialogue that reveals the attitudes and personalities of your characters.

– Succinct writing that illuminates the story but does not bore or distract your readers with too many details.

What are the best ways to write a short story?


The best way to write a short story is to let the words flow naturally. Don’t overthink your story or try to control every word that you write. Let the ideas come to you instead of trying to force them out.

Here are some other best practices for writing short stories:

– Start with a compelling image, line of dialogue, or premise. This will give readers something interesting to latch onto.

– Be prepared to make some changes if the story does not seem to be working out. This may involve completely revising your story, or simply cutting certain parts of it, depending on what is needed to make your narrative stronger.

– You can also experiment with different types of short stories , such as sci fi short stories, literary short stories, mystery short stories, etc.

– At the end of your story, you can also choose to leave it open ended if that feels right for what you’re writing. This means that there is no single perfect conclusion or solution to the problem in your story. It’s up to readers to decide what happens next and make their own inferences.

– Edit your short stories until you’re satisfied with them. Read through them out loud so that you can catch any grammatical errors or awkward sentences.

Do I need to write dialogue in a short story?

You can choose to include or exclude dialogue depending on what works for your narrative. If the story would flow better without it, you can avoid dialogue altogether.

If you do choose to include dialogue, there are a few best practices that you should keep in mind:

– Dialogue should never be used as an information dump — where the characters just talk and talk about things that we really don’t care about. Every line of dialogue should either reveal something new and interesting about your characters or move the story forward.

– Each character should have a unique voice and personality, which will be revealed through their dialogue.

– Keep your dialogue as concise as possible. This will make it easier for readers to process and also help them feel the rapid pace of conversation.

Does every short story need a protagonist?

Some short stories, such as flash fiction pieces, may not have a protagonist (or any real characters at all). However, the majority of short stories do indeed feature protagonists.

What makes a good protagonist? Your protagonist should be relatable and interesting enough to keep readers’ attention throughout your story. Although they don’t need to be likeable or perfect, readers should understand and sympathize with your protagonist in some way.

Some other qualities that you might want to include in your protagonist:

– A conflict of some type

– An internal or external goal

– A flaw or problem that they need to overcome

How do I choose the point of view for my short story? The point of view is the perspective in which you’re telling your story, such as first person or third person. It’s up to you to decide what works best for you and your narrative, but here are a few things that may help:

– First person point of view involves “I” and can make a short story feel more intimate and personal. It can also be more difficult to pull off well since you need to get into the head of one character.

– Third person point of view lets you show multiple characters’ actions and thoughts, but it’s often less personal than first person. This may work better for longer short stories with more characters involved.

– Omniscient third person is a great choice if you have a larger cast of characters who all need to be fleshed out. It can also help in stories that require a lot of world-building.

– If you’re not sure what point of view to use, try writing your short story in multiple perspectives and then choosing the one that feels most organic and natural for your narrative.

How long should a short story be?

This is completely subjective and will vary from writer to writer. How many words you use is up to you, although you can always try checking your word count by pasting your text into  quick word counter.


Your story is unique. It deserves to be told. We’ll help you write it with our short story prompts and writing exercises for kids, teens, or adults that will get your creative juices flowing! Come on in and explore the world of imaginative storytelling today.

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Short Books


Short Books

Short books are great for when you’re traveling, waiting in line,need a read during your lunch break or just want to read something quickly.

What is a short book?

A short book is a book that can be read in less than six hours.  Most of the time, the books themselves are 200 pages or less and they don’t take long to complete at all.

Keep in mind though, they aren’t necessarily easy reads and most of the time you’ll find yourself thinking about them after finishing them.

What length is a short book?

A short book is anything less than 200 pages.  It can be shocking to see such a small number when you think about how many pages there are in most paperback novels.

However, with so many books being published these days, it’s likely that if you go into a bookstore and just browse around, you’ll only find the bestsellers or books that are at least 300 pages, which will take you a lot more than one hour and thirty minutes to read.

Make sure you keep an eye out for short books when looking for something to read because they’re getting harder and harder to find.

How do I find a short book?

You can ask your local bookstore if they have a list of the shorter books that are available, or you can check online.  There’s going to be a variety of lists there for people who love short stories, and why not try one out?

Short stories give you a little taste before deciding whether or not you want to invest in the longer version later on.

Well known short books: Short book classics

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (99 pages): A classic that’s sure to be a quick read.

sherlock holmes

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (100 pages) : Another book that you probably heard about at some point in school.  It takes less than an hour to complete if you read quickly.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (100 pages) : A wonderful book about millionaires, love and deception.  A must read.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (190 pages): Holden Caulfield is one of those characters that you’re going to remember long after reading this book.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (309 pages) : A touching book about two boys growing up in Afghanistan.  It’s a lovely read that will make you think twice about the world we live in today.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (162 pages): Another classic that you can’t go wrong with.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (156 pages) : This dystopian society might just give you nightmares.

1984 by George Orwell (176 pages) : Another dystopian book that is hauntingly disturbingly.  It’s a classic and you can’t go wrong with it.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (95 pages) : A wonderful story about a horse and the people who love him.  Read it, you won’t regret it!

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (95 pages) : A lovely little story that you can finish in a couple of hours.

Short books are fun and a great way to get entranced by the beautiful words of literature.  Why not try one out today?

How much do short books cost to buy?

Some short books are free online, but others cost about the same as a regular paperback.

For example, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is 9.99 on Amazon  and The Old Man and the Sea costs between $10 – $15.

If you want to buy something that costs less than ten dollars, be sure to check out the bargain bin at the bookstore.  You just might find something that you love and that’s a steal!

What do I need to know about buying short books?

There’s not really anything special that you need to know before reading a short book, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

It can be easy to get lost in reading them, so try your best to stop after an hour and thirty minutes if you have other things that you need to be doing.

You might struggle with finishing a short book because it’s just too easy to get into reading them.  It can almost feel like cheating!

You should keep the length of the book in mind when reading it.  For example, if you’re looking for something quick to read during your lunch break, don’t choose a book that’s over 300 pages.

You might find yourself wishing that the short stories had more detail or were longer because you enjoy them so much!

It can be easy to struggle with finishing a short book because you don’t want it to end.

Short books are a great way to get into the short story world and discover new authors that you love!

Where can I find short books?

The Short Reads

You can usually find some shorter stories on your favorite author’s website, or on Amazon.  If they’re not there, then check around at the bookstore and see if they have anything that you might like.

If you know of any other great places to find short books, feel free to let us know in the comments below!

Are there any series of short books?

Short stories: There are lots of different types of short stories out there, but one type is called a short story series.  Short story series are a series of short stories that all take place in the same universe and have overlapping characters, plots, etc.

Here is a list of some short story series:

  • Sprawl Trilogy by William Gibson (5 books) – The first book is called “Neuromancer”
  • Game Trilogy by Chuck Hogan (3 books) – The first book is called “Prince of Thieves”
  • Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (3 books)  Divergent Trilogy  by Veronica Roth (3 books) – The first book is called “Divergent”

Other shorter series: There are a lot of different series out there that aren’t as long as a normal series, but they are still series.

Here is a list of some other shorter series that are worth checking out:

  • Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz (10 books)
  • Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter (6 books)
  • House of Night by PC Cast and Kristin Cast (8 books)
  • Maximum Ride by James Patterson (7 books)
  • Percy Jackson  by Rick Riordan (5 books)
  • Detective Jack Creed Series by C T Mitchell (10 books)

Dead Set Ct Mitchell

Short books to read

Short books if you like Harry Potter: If you’ve read the Harry Potter series and loved it, then there are some short book series that might interest you.

Here they are:

  • Warriors Series by Erin Hunter (6 books) – The first book is called “Into the Wild”
  • Inkworld Trilogy by Cornelia Funke (3 books) – The first book is called “Inkheart”
  • Shade Trilogy by Jeri Smith-Ready (3 books) – The first book is called “Shade’s Children”
  • Twilight Saga  by Stephenie Meyer (4 books)

Short books like The Hunger Games:

If you’ve read the Hunger Games and enjoyed it, then there are some short book series that might interest you.

Here they are:

  • The Maze Runner by James Dashner (3 books) – The first book is called “The Maze Runner”
  • Divergent Trilogy by Veronica Roth (3 books)
  • The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry (4 books) – The first book is called “The Giver”

Other short books to read:

Of course, there are so many other great authors and books out there, so you might find some of those interesting as well.

Here is a list of some short book series that we think that you’ll enjoy:

  • Kate Mackenzie Series by C T Mitchell – first book is Deady Vows
  • Battle Royale by Koushun Takami (3 books) – The first book is called “Battle Royale”
  • Crank by Ellen Hopkins (5 books) – The first book is called “Crank”
  • Inheritance Cycle  by Christopher Paolini (4 books) – The first book is called “Eragon”
  • Maximum Ride by James Patterson (6 books) – The first book is called “The Angel Experiment”

Kate Mackenzie - Deadly Mix -

Short poem books:

There are a lot of different short books that have poems inside them.

Here is a list of some that we recommend:

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (192 pages) – This book has around 60 poems, most of which are very short, but there are some longer ones as well.

Poems for the Dead by Alan P. Scott (52 pages) Out of the Dust  by Karen Hesse (160 pages) – This book has one very long poem that takes up most of the pages, but there are some shorter poems within the text too.

Short books for book club books

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (217 pages) – This book has multiple short chapters that are written in letter form.  It’s not really a book club book, but it does have some themes that might be interesting to discuss.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker (137 pages) – This book is mainly composed of letters and conversations between the characters, so it’s a little easier to get through than most books.

It has some dark themes that might be good for discussion.

Short children’s books

I Survived Series  by Lauren Tarshis (9 books) – The first book is called “I Survived the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, 1941”  Spirit Animals Series by various authors (5 books) – The first book is called “Wild Born”

Geronimo Stilton Series  by Geronimo Stilton (27 books) – The first book is called “Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt” A to Z Mysteries Series  by Ron Roy (26 books) – The first book is called “The Wrong Side of the Law”

Short books in the Bible (the most famous book of all)

There are some great short books in the Bible as well.

Here is a list of some that we recommend:

Job – The entire book is one very long poem about a man who loses absolutely everything and his journey to find out why. There are some themes for discussion, but mostly it’s just a really interesting story.

There is no real main character in this book, so it’s less about the actual story and more about the themes themselves.

The entire book is only 42 chapters long (or verses), so you can read it in one or two days!

Psalms – The entire book is one very long poem with 150 different poems inside of it.  It’s basically just a list of praises and complaints, so it doesn’t really have any human characters or story line.

There are no chapters either, so you can read one poem at a time whenever you want!

Short chapter books

There are many awesome short chapter books that you can read if you want to find ones that are shorter than the Harry Potter series.

Here is a list of some awesome ones:

  • The Black Stallion Series by Walter Farley (17 books) – There are around 5 chapters per book, so they’re perfect for reading in class!
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (76 pages) – This book has 10 chapters per book, so they’re great for reading in class too!
  • Junie B. Jones Series by Barbara Park (23 books) – There are around 20 short chapters per book and they’re full of funny things that Junie says, so they’ll definitely be fun to read!

Short mystery books under 200 pages

Breaking Point CT Mitchell

There are a lot of mysteries that you can read under 200 pages, so we’ll list some of our favorites below:

The Cat Who… Series by Lilian Jackson Braun (22 books) – There are around 30 short chapters per book and they all focus on getting to know the different characters.  Each mystery is solved in one or two chapters, so the stories are all pretty quick.

The Hardy Boys Series by various authors (129 books) – There are  around 25 short chapters per book and each mystery is solved in one or two chapters.

Short books to read for beginners

If you’re just learning how to read for the first time, then it’s best to find books with fewer than 100 pages.

Some of our favorite short children’s stories are:

The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper (32 pages) – This is actually one long poem about a train that makes it over a mountain.  It’s abo ut believing in yourself and trying your best, so it’s a great lesson for everyone to learn.

The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff (32 pages) – This is the first book in the Babar series and it’s all about how Babar goes from being King of the Elephants to finally conquering his fears.  It’s all about conquering your fears, so it’s really great for everyone to learn.

Every Living Thing by James Herriot (94 pages) – This is the first book in the Herriot series and it’s all about how James learns to become a vet.  It’s also just about animals in general, so there’s not really a story line.

Short book series around 200 pages

There are some awesome short children’s book series that we think you’ll enjoy:

  • The Critter Club Series by Callie Barkley (22 books) – This is such a great short chapter book series because it follows all of the girls at school and what they like to do together.

    There are around 10 or 12 chapters per book and there’s a new mystery in each one too, so they’ll definitely keep you on your toes!

  • The I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis (54 books) – These books are all about the main character surviving different disasters throughout history such as the Great Chicago Fire and Hurricane Katrina.
  • Father Douglas Cozy Mystery Series ( books) by C T Mitchell


If you’re looking for some new reading material, here are a few short books worth checking out. These quick reads provide rich insights in an easy-to-digest format. From leadership to relationships and everything in between, these stories have something for everyone! Check them out today on Amazon or your favorite bookstore.

Did you grab your two free short books?


Short Stories Ideas

short stories ideas

Short Stories Ideas

If you are looking for short story ideas, this blog post will give you some inspiration. We have compiled a list of short stories with different themes that may appeal to your tastes. Find the perfect one for your next reading adventure!

Let’s dive deeper into what short stories ideas are out there.

Ideas for short stories 

Short Stories About Your Life

short stories ideas life

Have you ever thought about writing your life story but felt daunted by the task?  Think about those pivotal moments in your life that have changed you as a person and how they shaped you into the person you are today. You can wrote these into a series of short stories or one full blown book, it’s up to you!

I’m sure there are a few things you’ve gone through in your life that would make for an interesting read.

Think back to when you were a child and the funny, quirky things only children do. When I think about it, I have so many memories that I wish I could relive just one more time.

I remember my first day of school, the first time I rode a bike all by myself and how terrified I was at the prospect of going to high school.

Thinking about these moments is bringing back so many memories that honestly, I’d love to have them written down for me to look back on again in years to come.

Short Stories On Your Favorite Topics

There are some topics out there that have been written about so often, you may struggle to come up with enough new ideas to write a short story.

Instead of trying something completely different, why not think about writing a short story based on an idea that has already been done?

Let’s say that your favorite topic is cats, get out some pencils or open up your word processing program and start writing.

Don’t be afraid to abandon the story if something better comes along while you’re writing it. If you can come up with new ideas on what might happen next, great! Write them down and save them for later drafts. I

f not, don’t worry about it and just go with what comes naturally.

 Short Stories Under 500 Words

Writing a short story doesn’t have to be long and winded like the great classics of literature such as War and Peace, Moby Dick or The Hunchback of Notre Dame (all super long books that I have no intention of reading).

There are actually competitions out there that only accept stories under 500 words. Why not take a chance on creating something unique in just a few words? You can do it!

 Short Stories With A Twist Ending

One popular type of short story is the twist ending. You should try to come up with a twist ending so mind bending that your readers won’t see it coming from a mile away.

It should leave them feeling as though you have cheated them out of an opportunity to solve the mystery themselves.

A good twist ending should leave the reader thinking about why they didn’t work it out beforehand and hopefully questioning what they think is true.

 Short Stories On Your Favorite Place Or Destination

If you live in the middle of nowhere, your favorite place might be at home because everywhere you go is like your favorite place.

I’m moving to Cabarita Beach this month and my favorite destination thus far has been Bangalow, NSW.

What’s yours?

Writing a story based on your favorite place should be easy because you know it so well. Make sure you include every little detail that makes this place unique to you or else your readers may think it’s not your favorite place at all.

Still need more ideas? Here’s more short stories ideas generator

Short Stories About Food

short stories ideas food

Food is a popular topic in literature and, as such, it’s no wonder that many writers have tried their hand at writing stories about food.

Just think about some of your favorite foods and let your imagination run wild! If you’re feeling stuck, why not try writing a story from the point of view of a food item?

You can make it humorous or heartfelt – either way should be interesting to read.

 Short Stories Based On A Song Lyrics

I used to work at an Italian restaurant where my coworker would always use song lyrics as topics of conversation while we were serving our customers. I noticed that people would stop and listen to her whenever she wanted to share a lyric but as soon as she finished saying what she had to say, they would walk away again.

This seemed like something that could be turned into a short story so I started jotting down song lyrics about love lost and found. Just be careful about copyright laws though.

 Short Stories Based On Childhood Memories

If you’re struggling to come up with an idea, why not try writing a story based on your memories of childhood?

Think about some of the things that happened during your youth and let them inspire you to write something new.

You could even use fictional characters in these real life events if you wanted to or create some entirely new event. Anything goes!

Short Stories About The World We Live In

The world is filled with many mysteries, but the biggest mystery of all (at least to me) is how people can see the earth as a tiny ball spinning through space when you are standing on it!

This would be an interesting topic for anyone who loves science fiction or just wants to have some fun with their imagination.

Stories About The Objects We Use Everyday

I’ve always thought that my wallet was like a miniature city in itself because of all the compartments and pockets within it.

There’s one pocket for my credit cards, another for my business cards, one for my notes, one for my coins  and so on. Each of these items had their own story to tell if we could just open them up and listen!

You can do the same with any object that you use every day – your keys, glasses or even refrigerator magnets.

Short Stories About Love And Romance

If you’re feeling a little sappy, why not try writing a story about love and romance? It doesn’t have to be traditional in any way. You can write from your point of view or that of your favorite fictional character; you can write something new or create something based on an existing idea (such as Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”).

 Short Stories On The Things That Scare You

Everyone has something that scares them – haunted houses, the dark…even social situations sometimes. Think of what terrifies you the most and try to work it into a short story or perhaps even a novel! You can take inspiration from other stories if you want – perhaps your idea will be the next great horror story.

 Short Stories About The Innocence Of Childhood

A child’s mind is something that needs to be protected because it is so young and pure, but it can also inspire some great stories. For example, you could write about the innocence of childhood with your own characters or by writing a story from the point of view of one of your favorite fictional children.

Short Stories About The Power Of Imagination

Have you ever been so wrapped up in a book that the character’s adventures seemed to come alive? I’m sure we’ve all experienced this at some point and it would be fun to write about something similar!

You could even include other elements from your life or just have a little fun with your imagination. Just imagine what you could write about!

Short Stories About The Things We Lost As Adults

short stories ideas adults lost

The world is a harsh place and as we grow older, we lose things as well as gain new ones – old friends who move away or die, relationships that end and sometimes we even lose hope or faith in something we once believed in.

You can write about these losses and introduce new characters to find hope again (or perhaps show how they’ve changed due to this). Short stories ideas

Short Stories About Childhood Fears

When we were children, there were always things that scared us – monsters under the bed or in the closet, ghosts hiding in dark corners…the list goes on.

Think of your favorite things to be afraid of and write a short story about them! You can even include other elements from your childhood such as toys, friends etc.

Short Stories About The Love Between Family And Friends

When we’re young, we often take our family for granted because they are just always there – but that changes as we grow older. We often move away for work or school and sometimes, family members become ill or pass on.

Write about the love between family and friends with your own characters or by writing a story from the point of view of one of your favorite fictional children.

Short Stories About Dreams And Goals

Every day, people go to school, work or even just lounge around at home – but what are their goals and dreams? You could write a short story about someone who has just been accepted into the college of their choice, achieved the career they’ve always wanted…or perhaps meet up with an old friend to find out how they’ve changed since high school.

Short Stories For Children

Children’s books can be inspiring for people of all ages. If you’re looking to write something new, perhaps try your hand at creating a short story with simpler language and more illustrations than usual! You could even adapt an idea or character you’ve seen elsewhere.

Short Stories About The Power Of Nature

Everyone knows that Mother Earth is something we should be protecting instead of destroying.

Write about how nature is our friend and it’ll always help us if we let it or perhaps you could write a story where the main character has to find the balance between nature and modern technology.

Short Stories About The Unfortunate And Those Who Take Advantage Of Them

The world is full of unfortunate people who are abused or taken advantage of by others – but this is not right.

Perhaps you could write a story about an unfortunate person whose life improves after meeting someone special…or perhaps the main character finally stands up to their abuser.

What about short stories ideas based on fiction genres:

Fantacy short stories ideas

Sci-fi short stories ideas

Romance short stories ideas

short stories ideas romance

Crime short stories ideas


Short stories are a great way to keep yourself entertained and learning new things. We hope that you enjoyed these short story excerpts, as well as the analysis of them. It was our pleasure to share this information with you! Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time on The Short Reads.

Make sure you grab your free books here.


Where To Publish Short Stories

publish short stories

Where To Publish Short Stories

If you want to publish short stories, there are many different ways to do so. You can submit them for publication in literary magazines or with publishing houses that specialize in shorter works. Short story collections are also a way to get your work out into the world and increase your chances of being discovered by an agent or publisher who might like what they see. So where should you publish? Read on!

In this post we outline:

1. The best places to publish short stories

2. Pros and cons of each place

3. What you should consider before publishing your story

4. Do your research before deciding where to publish your story

5. How much does it cost to publish a short story online, in print, or both

6. Tips for writing a great short story that will get published!

The best places to publish short stories

There are many places to publish short stories. Some pay, others do not, but every one of them is an opportunity for you to get your work read, reviewed, and discussed by critics and readers alike.

1. The New Yorker

The New Yorker has published some of the most celebrated works in America since its inception in 1925.

If you get a story published there, it will be read and talked about for years to come. In addition to publishing work from some of the most celebrated writers alive today, they also accept submissions from emerging authors.

They have a rigorous selection process that takes place throughout the month so you need to expect a long wait before hearing back from them—if you are accepted, you will be asked to join their contributor’s stable.

The pay is good too at $200 for original fiction.

2. Tin House

Tin House is a small literary magazine that accepts stories, flash fictions, and novel excerpts from emerging writers who have not yet been published in any other major magazines or book publishers.

They pay $100 for short stories and up to 3,000 words, as well as publishing a number of flash fictions per year.

They also feature emerging novelists on their website from time to time. You can find many Tin House contributors’ work in other magazines as a result of being published here first.

3. The Paris Review

The Paris Review is one of the most famous literary magazines in America. It features stories and poems from emerging and established writers alike, as well as book reviews and interviews with prominent figures in literature such as Salman Rushdie and Junot Diaz.

Their pay scale for fiction is $0.25 per word up to a maximum of $250 (sold to one of their many international publishing partners). You can expect to hear back from them within 6-8 weeks.

4. Ploughshares

Ploughshares is another of the most respected literary magazines in America, thanks to its New England pedigree and circulation at prestigious universities around the country.

They pay $50 per printed page up to a maximum of $300 for first time authors and offer a generous discount to return contributors.

They publish a number of poems as well as short stories, but their selection process is notoriously slow—you can expect to wait around 9 months to hear back from them if you’re accepted.

5. The New York Times Sunday Magazine

The New York Times magazine recently announced a short fiction contest open to all writers, with the winner receiving $15,000 and publication in the magazine.

There is no hard word count for this contest but they want stories between 2-5 pages in length (about 1200-1800 words). This is an excellent opportunity for emerging authors who lack a literary agent or book publisher to get their work published.

6. Playboy Magazine

Playboy, like The New Yorker, is an iconic fixture in American culture and literature (after all, they featured short stories by Jack Kerouac and Haruki Murakami).

They pay $3000 per story for original fiction—which is more than most book publications will offer you!

They also feature several short stories per year—both original works and reprints of popular stories from other magazines.

If you are one of the few authors who make their final round, your story will be forwarded to Playboy’s editors for consideration.

7. The New York Times

The New York Times is another publication that offers a short fiction contest for emerging writers, but the contest is open to all writers over 18 years of age (no matter where you live).

The winner receives $15,000 and publication in the New York Times Magazine. They also offer a number of opportunities for published authors to write short pieces for them as well–which will pay $300-$1000 depending on how long they are.

Pros and cons of each place:

Tin House has one of the quickest response times from submission to acceptance or rejection, but their pay scale is relatively low compared to other magazines on this list.

The Paris Review gets a little more complicated because they have a strict 3 month wait time before you can submit again and they only accept submissions through an agent or by post—which means you have to physically mail your story to them if you aren’t a US citizen.

Ploughshares tends to have a much longer wait time but they pay the highest rate of all the magazines on this list ($50 per printed page) as well as offering a generous discount for reprints and first-timers.

The New York Times magazine offers a wonderful opportunity for emerging writers to get their work published but they only accept submissions through an agent or by post (so it’s not open to everyone).

Playboy is one of the best paying markets on this list, but you must be over 18 (no matter where you live) and be willing to write under your real name.

The New York Times is also a wonderful opportunity for emerging writers to get their stories published but they only accept submissions through an agent or by post (so it’s not open to everyone). The pay scale isn’t as high as Playboy but you have better odds of being accepted.

A place only accepting submissions from agents or by post makes me nervous because that means they don’t want your work to be judged by anyone other than their editors. This makes me think that maybe the pay isn’t worth it–and you’re only wasting your time if you take the risk.

What you should consider before publishing your story

The acceptance rate for The Paris Review is well below 1% and Tin House is only slightly better. If you’re trying to get your story in print for the first time, you probably shouldn’t start with either of these magazines.

I would recommend sending your story to less competitive markets if it’s been rejected or ignored by 5 other places before sending it to Tin House or The Paris Review.

1). That you are not on the list of finalists for another publication (no matter how little money they pay) until after the contest is over.

2). That your story will be printed anonymously if it makes the final round and published in the New Yorker, Playboy, or The Paris Review.

3). That the editors reserve the right to publish your story online or use it for any other purpose that may arise in the future (including publishing it again in another magazine without notifying you).

5). The specific rights they are purchasing (worldwide English, digital, post-print…etc)

6). If you can submit again if you are unsuccessful the first time.

7). How soon after they are notified of their finalist status they must submit their story.

8). If your story will be forwarded for consideration for any other publications or part of a contest that is still accepting submissions.

9). What happens to your submission if you withdraw it from consideration.

Do your research before deciding where to publish your story

I know what you’re thinking. “I don’t want to miss out on getting my story published!”

But honestly, even though each of these magazines all have one or more things going for them than the others–they all cost you time and effort if they reject your work.

There is also no guarantee that the other finalist stories won’t be picked over yours and you won’t win the contest.

It may seem like a no-brainer that if your story is selected as a finalist then it must be the best of the bunch but that isn’t necessarily true. Editors often like to shake things up and pick stories outside of the genres they usually publish (like choosing a nonfiction story in a fiction contest).

There is no harm in submitting your work to more than one publication at once or waiting until you get an acceptance before publishing–as long as you don’t tell the other publishers that’s what you’re doing.

So…if you can wait and if it doesn’t cost anything to submit, there’s no reason not to send your story out as many times as you want.

Just remember, the more places you try and publish your work, the longer it’s going to take to see if it gets published anywhere.

How much does it cost to publish a short story online, in print, or both?

If you’re lucky, free.

It’s possible to get published for nothing but it may take a lot of time and effort. Self-publishing is great because then you don’t have to pay the fees that publishing magazines charge or worry about being paid by anyone.

You can always try to sell your self-published work later if you don’t want to do the work yourself.

If you’re not sure how much it will cost, just ask–the worst they can say is “no.”

Tips for writing a great short story that will get published!

Tip #1: Don’t write about sex, drugs, or rock and roll. Think literary fiction or a literary memoir.

Tip #2: Write something that doesn’t have an obvious moral lesson. Anti-heroes are cool but not as cool as ambiguous endings. If you can avoid it, don’t have your character learning a life lesson at the end.

Tip #3: No narrators, no dialogue tags, and minimal action. A really good way to avoid a plot is to have a first-person account of someone going on a walk. Memories are great too–because they can’t really do anything except remember something that happened to them in the past.

Tip #4: A great way to make your story longer is to have it be about nothing. A lot of people do this by making the setting more important than the actual characters or action in a story. Since characterization is really hard, you can trick readers into thinking they’re getting a well-developed character by having them interact with lots of objects and places.

Tip #5: No poetry! Poetry is something you read at a reading (see above) and it’s not really considered “literature.” If you write in verse, most publishers will print it but they’ll stick your name in the fine print somewhere and none of the cool kids will know that it’s yours.

Tip #6: Make sure your story is under 2,500 words long. There are some magazines that might publish up to 3,000 words but honestly–anything over that and you’re just wasting trees.

Tip #7: If you write about death or class issues, make it really easy on everyone involved–including yourself–by not going into any detail. All you need is a quote from a dead guy and a token person of color or some kind of “outsider.”

Tip #8: No humorous stories! Humor isn’t really taken seriously so if you’re trying to get serious literary cred, skip the jokes.

Tip #9: Most short story contests aren’t worth entering. You can win a contest and it won’t get your work published at all or you can get a publication to buy your story for money–and that’s the only place they’ll publish it. S

ome small magazines might include a contest as part of their submission process but none of them are big enough to get you anything more than bragging rights.

Tip #10: If someone says that they don’t want to publish your story because it isn’t right for their magazine, that doesn’t mean they hate you and/or your writing–just take it as a compliment and send it off somewhere else.


conclusion the short reads

There are many places to publish short stories, and it’s up to you which one is best.

But for the sake of time and effort, we recommend publishing your story on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Wattpad or Scrivener.

These sites enable you to write a story in chunks while still keeping an audience engaged with new episodes; they also offer detailed analytics that will help you see what parts of the story resonate most with readers. If you’re not ready to self-publish yet, there are plenty of other options out there – just do some research first!

We’ve outlined the best print options for you above. Check them out

Have you claimed your two free books yet?


Are Short Stories Popular In 2024?

Are Short Stories Popular? You bet they are. They are loved by both veracious and non readers and allow the writer to hone his/her craft. Out attention is small – short stories fill the need.

Are short stories popular?

Short stories remain popular because they can using be read in a single sitting.

Who reads short stories?

Veracious reads love short stories as do non-readers wanting to get into reading.

What short stories are read most?

Fiction short stories are the most popular particularly in the large genres of romance and crime fiction.

There was a time when good writers could make an extraordinary income from short stories, and often even full-length novels were published piece-by-piece in major publications.

Times have changed, but are short stories popular still? This type of writing has had a slight lapse in popularity, but with today’s modern lifestyle short stories are becoming more important than ever.

Short Story Authors

While great novelists can write short stories and vice versa, confining a story to a limited number of words (normally under 7,500) and keeping the writing compelling takes a very special set of skills.

As a direct result of the limited word count, authors must make every sentence count. That makes for a more defined purpose for the story, and therefore a more precise delivery.

They must be attention-grabbing and have a satisfying conclusion, while still drawing readers to come back for more.

For the author with many ideas, it’s a great opportunity to turn out a number of stories and to see which ones perform well.

Writing many stories at a time is fantastic practice, and it hones important skills like developing characters and improving dialogue.

Short stories might bring in less money per piece, but the author is able to finish them much more quickly.

Many of the most famous authors started out writing short stories, or began writing after their major novels took off – George R.R. Martin, Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Roald Dahl and Jane Austen are just a very few names from an extremely long list.

Many writing courses also prefer writers to create short stories instead of excerpts from longer works.

Why Short Stories?

Short stories are a quick window into a world, and readers generally come in cold with little understanding of what to expect.

The author has a very short window in which to grab their attention, introduce them to the world, create a storyline, and finish in a way that leaves readers keen for the next story from that author.

Because of the format, authors can jump into wildly different worlds, without the concentrated effort of creating context and world-building that usually applies.

The same goes for characters – readers are devoid of expectations, allowing authors to create quirky, memorable characters with pared down dialogue that advances the story.

Short stories allow authors to push boundaries, and to trial ideas that would be difficult in a novel. Cliff-hangers are common, and the reader understands that they are just peering through a window to see a quick flash of a story, with the implied understanding of a whole other world to explore and consider long after the story is finished.

Practically, short stories are a quick escape, easy to finish in comparison to a full-length novel. Short stories are not only popular, they are ideally suited to modern readers.

Why Do Modern Readers Choose Short Stories?

Of course, full-length novels are a “safer” option. There isn’t as much pressure to perform as well in such a short space of time, and readers feel like they are getting their money’s worth.

Printed publications are declining, some of which were traditionally a source of short stories. However, short stories are still popular, and with modern times come modern reasons for readers to choose a shorter option. Here are some reasons why short stories are popular.

  • Readers are time poor. Modern readers are busier than ever, and many do not have the time and mental energy to commit to a full-length novel.

    If a story cannot be finished in a single sitting, it often gets put to the side in favour of more pressing obligations.

    Short stories perfectly meet the need of people who can squeeze in 30 minutes to read during their commute, before bed or at lunch time, and can find compelling stories to fill in that time.
  • Modern entertainment is fast-paced. As entertainment moves increasingly online, readers are becoming used to quickly and fluidly swapping between different types of media, or even using them at the same time – checking Facebook while watching Netflix, anyone?

    Short stories are often compared to a TV show, where novels are more like a movie.

    Each has their place, but for a reader looking for a quicker read that draws them in, short stories fill that need.
  • Modern short stories are portable. In the days of print, purchasing and carrying a single short story around was not efficient.

    Unless the story was a part of a larger publication like an anthology or a magazine, it wasn’t a practical choice over other books.

    With Kindles and other electronic reading devices and apps, short stories make even more sense.

    They are easy to load, offer a wide variety and are perfect to consume quickly.
  • Some genres are better short. Some types of story are better in a shorter form. Erotica, for example, almost always comes in the form of a short story. Short science fiction and fantasy works are also extremely popular, allowing readers a glimpse of new worlds and characters.

    Writers can tell the stories of many characters within a single place and time, or offer wildly different settings. Longer stories will always have their place, but certain genres are just better short.
  • Greater access to publications. These days, the internet has opened up the writing field to millions of potential readers.

    Of course, it’s a double-edged sword – with so much content available, it can be harder to attract readers. That being said, there are many, many more readers to attract.

    The internet has the ability to bring together people with common interests from across the world.

    While previously short story enthusiasts would need to target short story publications and specifically sign up, modern readers can browse new genres and styles to see which are a good fit.

    The many publications that offer short stories attract new and old readers, providing a wider audience than ever before.

American fiction (and short story) writer Lorrie Moore says, “A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage.

A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.” There will always be beauty in all forms of writing, but is it true that modern times can continue to keep short stories popular? In this fast-paced age, it could be that this type of storytelling is more adapted to society than ever before.

Are short stories popular? You bet – YES!


Short Reads And Their Importance

The Short Reads

Can short reads or short stories compete in this social media driven world where interrupting somebody’s day has become the latest catch cry. I think so and here’s why.

Short Reads Have The Numbers

In January 2016 Amazon reported 1,064,000 eBook sales a DAY. While most of the sales are for novels, books on average 300 pages plus, shorter books are growing in popularity. Writers like C T Mitchell, James Patterson and Lee Child are trying to stem the tide of readers lost to television, video games and social media and bring them back to reading.

Short Reads Grab Your Attention Fast

Short reads are attractive to those lost on Facebook and Twitter because they grab a readers attentions quickly. Visually they are smaller, lighter to hold and for a non-reader hold the promise that they will actually finish the book. Most short stories are under 5000 words, but short reads tend to be 5000 – 20,000 words. They can be devoured in a single sitting and that’s satisfying for those taking the usual numbing subway ride to work each day.

Short Reads Are Fast Paced

Short books are usually fast paced. They must grab the readers attention quickly. The books are generally plot driven supported by good characters. You’ll get a taste of a character but don’t expect to find out every single aspect of their lives. There’s simply not enough time.

Short Reads And James Patterson

James Patterson recently added Book Shots to his burgeoning book empire. With already some 326 books read, Mr Patterson is hoping to expand his book reach with these smaller novels. Short reads usually sell for 99 cents to $2.99 on Amazon with their paperback version going for around $4-$5.

Because of their size their is also an opportunity for short stories to be marketed in non traditional areas away from online book stores or traditional book stores. Sitting alongside magazines in service stations, airport shops or food outlets including supermarket checkouts could be where you’ll see short reads in the future.

But most importantly getting people back to reading or boosting somebody’s day with great entertainment is what short reads can offer. Go grab a free book today!Share