Writing Short Stories For Money

When I was younger I shared a passion with a close friend of mine – we both loved fantasy and science fiction novels.

As we approached our early teenage years we decided to take things one step further and began writing our own stories covering both genres.

For me, this lasted about three years – girls and a good time took over (those teenage years sigh!!!). But this was not the case for my friend…

We are still in regular contact now, although he lives in Chicago and makes a living writing short stories for money…whilst I live back in Wales writing blog posts for a living!

We met up again recently and I was amazed about the amount of success he was seeing these days without having a ‘regular’ publisher.

A few years back he decided to leave the ‘publisher route’ alone and concentrate on the online opportunities available…I immediately knew there was an article in there somewhere so I took the conversation further.

In this article we will be covering the best online literary journals available, well in his opinion anyway!

Are you interested in writing short stories for money?

Let’s take a closer look at your options….

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Make Money Writing Short Stories Online

The following list is compiled of online literary journals that accept prose, essays and poetry – they are free to sign up and use and submissions can be made exclusively online!

#1 Abyss & Apex – This site is looking for the finest in speculative and imaginative fiction and poetry, with special attention to character-driven stories that examine the depths and heights of emotion and motivation from a broad variety of cultural and social perspectives (their words not mine!).

With this platform you are able to earn 6 cents per word for up to 1,250 words, longer literary submissions (up to 10,000 words) will receive a flat rate of $75.

Check them out HERE

#2 Apex – This online magazine is after short stories that are in the sci-fi, fantasy and horror genre – they are not allowed to go over the 7,500 words mark.

If your work is accepted by this bunch you are looking at a flat rate of 6 cents per word.

Check them out HERE

#3 Asimov’s Science Fiction – If you’re a writer you’ve surely heard of Asimov…

Isaac Asimov was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He was known for his works of science fiction and popular science.

This online literary journal takes on stories up to 20,000 words in length that are strongly character-driven.

If accepted, you get 8 to 10 cents per word for the first 7,500 words, and 8 cents for each word over 7,500.

Check them out HERE

#4 Camera Obscura – This rather unique website is a journal of literature and photography. If you manage to get published by this lot you are looking at a cool $1000 reward (not bad eh?).

They are mostly looking for pieces around the 250 to 8,000 words mark but even entire novellas are accepted (these can go up to a word count of 30,000).

Check them out HERE

#5 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition – This website/literary competition was actually put together by Hemingway’s granddaughter way back in 1981 (it obviously wasn’t internet-based back then!).

Writing projects submitted can not go over the 3,500 word mark and if you win you are looking at a $1000 reward and your work being published in the Saturday Evening Post.

Check them out HERE

#6 The Sun Magazine – This platform is looking for essays, interviews, fiction, and poetry. They claim that “We tend to favor personal writing, but we’re also looking for provocative pieces on political and cultural issues. And we’re open to just about anything. Surprise us; we often don’t know what we’ll like until we read it”.

All writing submitted needs to be under the 7000 word mark and you are looking at $300 to $2,000 for essays and interviews, $300 to $1,500 for works of fiction and $100 to $200 for works of poetry.

Check them out HERE

Getting Paid For Writing Short Stories

I’m fully aware that there are a lot more options for literary journals online but my friend insists that the six I have included above are the best to get started with.

Maybe if you have an alternative option you could include it in the comment section below this article?

The cool thing about doing this sort of thing online is that you can submit to as many journals as you see fit – this will obviously greatly increase your overall chance of getting your work published.

One very important tip that my friend left me with is to always read the guidelines for each and every online literary journal.

He claims that many excellent pieces of work end up being overlooked due to the author not bothering to read these guidelines – it would be a shame to miss out through laziness right?

Remember – the key to seeing any sort of success online is dedication and patience!

When I first started out blogging I sucked – it took me a while to perfect my skills and find a work situation I was comfortable with.

Writing for publication online is no different – don’t get discouraged if your first attempts don’t hit the grade!

Practice makes perfect – in everything we do 🙂

Chances are if you’re on this blog, you’re looking for income you can sustain for the long haul. If this is the case, check out our number one recommendation HERE

4 comments on “Writing Short Stories For Money

  1. Hi Chris. It does seem like a great way to earn extra money writing about something you are interested in. But as you mention, not all articles get accepted.

    Is this a realistic opportunity for the novice blogger or author or is this suited to a more experienced writer. 7000 words or more is a lot of writing, so you want to make sure your articles stand out.

    I usually write a couple of blog posts a week but these posts end up at around 1000 to 2000 words. I’m wondering what the word count level is for most of these?

    Great post and thanks for your help in advance!

    1. Hi Daniel,

      If you are already a blogger then you should have a level of confidence in your writing – do you? If so, this sort of thing could be right up your street.

      They are not looking for Shakespeare but at the same time you will need a level of flow and decent grammar.

      The word count minimum changes with every option we have included here – it’s best to check them out individually to see what’s what in that department!

      Good luck 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed this post. I like to write about sales technique and motivation. Would The Sun Magazine be a place where I could submit some of my writings? I really appreciate your inspiration at the end of the post. I am very new to the online business world. My goal is to use my WA experience to create an actual business that generates revenue. Thanks for the help here!

    1. Hi Scott,

      Out of the options we’ve listed above I would say that The Sun magazine is probably your best choice for sales technique and motivation.

      Remember that this article is only covering a handful of options we believe are the best – there are a lot more out there that might fit your niche better!

      Good luck! 🙂

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