Well, you are not alone – many writers need help finding ways to sell short stories and make money from their writing.
Although it can be challenging, it’s possible to turn your hobby into a source of income. With the right strategies, you can publish and sell short stories.
In this post, we’ll cover the best places to sell short stories for money and some tips and tricks to help you write short stories and also sell your short stories for money.
Your writing could have a whole new gateway to earning money and having a side hustle or career you love!
Before we get into all your options, here are your best option to sell your short stories, as well as a bonus for expanding your writing career:
- Most Accessible For All Writers – Amazon KDP
- Most Variety For Writing Pieces – The Threepenny Review
- Job Site For Freelancing Career – FlexJobs
11 Best Places To Sell Short Stories For Money
From literary magazines to online marketplaces, we’ll give you the inside scoop on the best places to submit your work and offer tips to help you publish short stories.
So grab some coffee or tea, and let’s get started!
1. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
- Expected Pay – 35% – 70%
- Content Size – 650 MB file size
- Main Genres – Fiction, non-fiction, and comics
Amazon KDP is a self-publishing platform that allows writers to sell their short stories online. With KDP, you can set your prices and earn up to 70% royalties on sales.
To get started, create an account and upload your story. Amazon KDP accepts short stories in various genres, including mystery, romance, and science fiction.
Then start sharing your story links online to generate some sales!
However, please read the submission guidelines carefully before uploading your short story to ensure it meets the platform’s requirements.
2. Reader’s Digest
- Expected Pay – $100
- Content Size – 100 words
- Main Genres – Non-fiction
Reader’s Digest is a well-known magazine that has been around since 1922.
While the publication is perhaps best known for its “Laughter Is the Best Medicine” section, it also accepts short story submissions.
The publication is looking for feel-good stories with a positive message.
Being published in Reader’s Digest can help build your writing portfolio, increase your writing visibility, and lead to other opportunities in the publishing industry.
3. The Threepenny Review
- Expected Pay – $400 per story or article, $200 per poem or Table Talk piece
- Content Size – Critical articles: 1200 to 2500 words; Table Talk pieces: 1000 words or less; stories and memoirs: 4000 words or less; poetry: 100 lines or less
- Main Genres – Essay, poetry, memoirs
The Threepenny Review is a widely recognized literary magazine that will pay writers for a wide variety of content.
If you have a story that’s different from your average read, Threepenny Review is your go-to publication.
It publishes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and memoir, so as long as you stick to its guidelines when you submit short stories, you’ll increase your chances of getting published.
4. Flash Fiction Online
- Expected Pay – $80 per piece
- Content Size – 500 – 1000 words (very strict!)
- Main Genres – Science fiction, fantasy short stories, slipstream, horror, and literary fiction
Flash Fiction Online is an online publication dedicated to publishing short works of fiction, including flash fiction, typically defined as a story that is 1,000 words or less.
The publication accepts a variety of genres, including science fiction, horror, literary fiction, and fantasy genres.
Keep in mind that flash fiction pieces are a specialized form of short story writing, so make sure your story is concise and impactful.
They also only accept submissions between the 1st and 21st of each month and cut it short if they accept 425, so pay attention to your calendar to get things submitted as early as possible.
- Expected Pay – $50 per published article
- Content Size – Up to 8,000 words
- Main Genres – All genres
Barrelhouse is a literary magazine that publishes fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.
The publication is known for its eclectic mix of styles and subject matter, making it a great option for writers experimenting with different forms and genres.
Before submitting your work, it’s crucial to read their submission guidelines carefully.
The magazine accepts submissions all year-round through Submittable, but it may take six months to hear back from them.
- Expected Pay – Varies by short stories
- Content Size – Varies
- Main Genres – All genres
A well-known online publishing platform, Medium, allows writers to share their work with a large readership through their Partnership Program.
You can apply to publish without the program and even start a blog to gain followers and buyers, but you can earn more passively with their partnership.
You can earn passive income by receiving a share of Medium’s revenue based on the engagement your stories receive.
If you want to be part of the Partner Program, make sure that you meet these criteria:
- Follow the Medium publishing rules.
- Being published on Medium at least once.
- You’ll need to have at least 100 followers on Medium.
- Expected Pay – Varies
- Content Size – Varies
- Main Genres – Most genres
Duotrope is a popular website that connects writers with publishers through its comprehensive database.
It’s a little different from the rest on our list because they are a paid service that can help you connect to hundreds of potential buyers and publishers!
Duotrope offers advanced search options, personalized tracking, and statistics on submission response rates.
The website charges a monthly or yearly subscription fee, starting at only $5. There’s also a free trial for new users to get a feel for the service- and see if you can land some sales!
8. Strange Horizons
- Expected Pay – Varies by genre
- Content Size – Varies by genre
- Main Genres – Art, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, podcasts, reviews, volunteering
Strange Horizons is probably on your radar if you’re a sci-fi fan, but they can do much for you as a fantasy writer.
This award-winning online magazine publishes speculative fiction and poetry that explores the boundaries of sci-fi.
In addition to fiction and poetry, Strange Horizons includes essays, interviews, and reviews exploring the intersections of speculative fiction and social justice.
The magazine publishes new content every week, and each issue features a mix of established and emerging writers, so you have potential even as a new writer.
9. The New Yorker
- Expected Pay – Not listed on Contact Page- my research shows possible $0.17 – $0.20 per word for articles under 1,500 words
- Content Size – Not listed
- Main Genres – Humorous fiction, fiction, and poetry
Probably the most prestigious magazine, The New Yorker is notoriously difficult to get in. Being published on its pages is considered a significant accomplishment for writers!
The New Yorker is rumored to pay well and is looking for unique and thought-provoking short stories, often featuring work from established writers.
If you make the cut and get a published story, you’ll be in good company alongside some of the most famous writers in the world.
I did see some crazy articles that listed $1,000 – $7,500 as pay for long articles, but I couldn’t find anything to corroborate.
10. Sun Magazine
- Expected Pay – $150 for poetry; $300 for fiction and personal essays
- Content Size – Less than 7,000 in word count
- Main Genres – Fiction, personal essays, and poetry
The Sun Magazine is a literary magazine known for its commitment to publishing high-quality writing that explores the human experience in all its complexity.
The publication accepts short stories, poetry, and personal essays and is particularly interested in insightful, engaging, and well-written work.
The Sun Magazine also includes interviews with writers, artists, activists, book reviews, and other features that delve into literature and the arts.
- Expected Pay – Short fiction: $0.08 – $0.10 per word (up to ~20,000 words); Serials: $0.06 per word (40,000 – 80,000 words); Fact articles: $0.09 per word; Poetry: $1 per line
- Content Size – 20,000 – 80,000 words depending on the genre
- Main Genres – Science fiction
Analog is a science fiction magazine that has been around since 1930, making it one of the genre’s oldest and most respected publications.
The magazine publishes short stories, serialized novels, and fact articles and is known for its focus on hard science fiction that explores scientific concepts in depth.
Analog is particularly interested in well-researched, scientifically accurate, and thought-provoking work.
How To Write Short Stories & Sell
Short stories are a beautiful form of writing that can transport readers to imaginative worlds and deliver impactful messages.
Writing stories allows you to express yourself creatively and explore different perspectives.
But how do you make the most money with your stories?
Here are some tips on writing short stories and selling short stories for money.
Pick Popular Short Story Topics
One of the easiest ways for short story writers to connect with readers and sell their stories is to choose popular and engaging topics.
Some popular topics to make money writing short stories include romance, suspense, and horror.
However, don’t be afraid to think outside the box when you write stories and explore unique or unconventional themes that are true to your voice as a writer.
You still want to stay true to your interests and come across as genuine to your readers, so that’s an important balance.
To choose a topic for your short story- start by considering your interests and passions and what stories you yourself like to read!
Once you have some ideas, research to see what topics are currently popular in the market. Look for popular culture, news, or social media trends that inspire your writing.
Learn Writing Techniques
Improving your writing techniques is important for making money selling short stories.
One way to enhance your writing skills is to read many short stories. Learn how other writers use language, structure their short stories, and develop their characters.
Analyzing the work of other writers can help you understand what makes a great story and inspire you to try new techniques in your writing.
Another way to improve your writing techniques is to take writing courses or workshops.
Online courses are widely available and can help you learn new skills from the comfort of your own home.
Use An AI Writing Program
An AI writing program like Jasper can be useful for writers looking to improve their writing skills and streamline their short story writing process.
Using machine learning algorithms, Jasper can analyze your writing and provide feedback on areas where you can improve your short stories.
It can include suggestions for better word choices, more effective sentence structures, and improved pacing and plot development for your short stories.
Jasper can also help you identify common grammar and spelling errors, helping you to produce cleaner, more polished writing.
However, be sure to check guidelines because some programs won’t accept AI-generated work- if you have it on your resume or promote it on a blog, it may disqualify you from publishing.
Pick Appropriate Submission Sites
Choosing the right submission site for your short stories is an important part of short story writing and can increase your chances of being accepted and publishing your work.
Most importantly, you need to match niches to the publication- if you only write sci-fi, don’t try to apply to magazines that don’t publish sci-fi!
You can also look at the magazines or anthologies where your favorite writers have been published, and if you have similar styles, you could break into that niche too.
When you’re looking for sites to submit short stories, read the short story submission guidelines carefully.
Each site has unique requirements, and failing to follow these guidelines can result in your work being rejected.
Pay attention to word count limits, file formats, and submission deadlines the short story publishers have set.
Consider Writing Contests
Short story competitions allow writers to showcase their skills in a competitive setting.
Participating in short story writing competitions can be a great way to gain exposure, build your writing skills, and earn recognition for your work.
Many short story contests offer cash prizes, publication opportunities, or other rewards for the winners.
Choose writing contests that align with your short story genre and writing style. Some contests are focused on specific themes or genres, while others are open to a wider range of submissions.
Enter short story competitions that accept short stories that match your interests and experience and have a track record of publishing high-quality short stories.
Entering writing contests can be a rewarding experience, and even if you don’t win, you can gain valuable feedback on your writing and connect with other writers in your community.
How much money can I make selling short stories?
Selling short stories can be a great way to earn money as a writer, but it’s important to have realistic expectations about how much you can earn when you write short stories.
The amount of money you can make selling short stories depends on various factors, including the publication you’re submitting to and the length of your story.
Some publications pay as little as $50 for stories, while others pay over $2,500 for longer pieces in more popular magazines.
What sites are best for selling short stories?
When choosing a platform to sell your short stories, it’s important to consider factors like the publication’s submission guidelines, pay rates, and audience.
Three of the best sites for selling short stories include Amazon KDP, Reader’s Digest, and Duotrope.
In addition to these three sites, many other online publications and platforms accept short story submissions. Some popular options include The New Yorker, Sun Magazine, and Analog.
Can I make money from writing poems?
Many magazines accept poetry submissions and pay for accepted work.
The amount of money you can earn for your poems will vary depending on the publication, but some magazines pay up to several hundred dollars per poem.
In addition to submitting your work to literary magazines, there are other ways to make money from writing poetry.
Some poets sell their work directly to readers through platforms like Etsy or Patreon.
Others offer their services as a freelance poet or writer on FlexJobs, writing custom poems for weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions.
Where can I find freelance writing jobs online?
Fortunately, the internet has made it easier than ever to find freelance writing jobs online.
If you’re ready to get started, several job boards and websites specialize in connecting freelance writers with clients looking for quality content.
One popular option is FlexJobs, a job board specializing in remote and flexible work opportunities.
FlexJobs features a variety of freelance writing jobs, from content creation and copywriting to social media management and email marketing.
Another option is Steady, a platform connecting freelancers with businesses and individuals seeking content creation services.
Steady allows you to create a profile, list your services, and bid on projects that interest you.
Get Paid For Other Writing
There are many opportunities to write short stories and also earn for writing other things too!
Two of the most popular ways to make money writing for other things is as a freelance writer and writing a blog.
As a freelance writer, you can work with different clients and write about topics that interest you, from travel and food to technology and business.
Many businesses and publications hire freelance writers to create content for their websites, blogs, and social media accounts.
Freelance writing, for example, can be a lucrative way to make money as a writer. And with the free workshop, Freelance Write From Home you can get started this week!
Writing a Blog
Writers often start a blog to showcase short stories online and hone their writing skills before they sell short stories for money with online publications.
You can start your own blog, self-publish stories, and earn money through advertising, affiliate marketing, and other monetization strategies.
Also, many businesses and individuals maintain blogs to promote their products or services, and they hire writers to create engaging and informative content for their sites.
Our Start Your Blog Boot Camp will help you with the tools and strategies to turn your blog into a viable income source.
Writing short stories is an excellent place to start if you want to gain valuable experience while making a little extra cash.
By researching your market, writing a compelling story, proofreading, and submitting to multiple markets, you can set yourself up to succeed when you sell short stories for money.
Not only can you get paid by selling short stories, but you can also earn passive income as a blogger or work for blogs as a freelance writer!
So why not take your writing hobby to the next level? Start making money writing short stories today or consider finding freelance writing jobs on FlexJobs.