Write It Sideways

How to Write Better Short Stories and Get Published in Lit Mags

A couple of days ago, I published a post at Writer Unboxed called How to Get Your Short Stories Published in Lit Mags.

Some commenters said they bookmarked the article as a reference for when they have a polished short story to send out to the world of lit mags. Others were grateful for that little push they needed to get started either writing or submitting.

If you aren’t interested in short stories because you consider yourself a novelist (or an aspiring novelist), you’ll want to also read my article What Novelists Should Know About Short Fiction.

And here’s a couple of writing programs you’ll find helpful:

The Story Intensive—Guided Online Short Story Writing Course

Whether you’re just getting started with writing short stories, or you’re already published but want to learn how to write better, more meaningful stories, you need to check out author Sarah Selecky’s course The Story Intensive (offered every year in the fall):

The Story Intensive is an online writing program in short fiction, with a focus on generating new short stories.

The four-month program provides the scaffolding, feedback, deadlines and accountability that a self-paced writing program can’t offer. This program is for you if you find it hard to write alone. It helps you recognize that your writing is important, and it makes your writing a priority. It will be a transformative experience.

The Story Intensive is set-up like a semester of a traditional MFA creative writing program (really, it’s that rigorous!), with a devoted teacher and six to eight classmates.

Live support calls with Sarah Selecky. And tutorials with guest authors that will make you swoon (including Margaret Atwood, George Saunders, Karen Joy Fowler, Neil Smith).

Selecky even has a video trailer of a masterclass with Margaret Atwood, and you’ll receive a recording of that masterclass if you take The Story Intensive this year. As another bonus, if you sign up for the course through a link in this post, I’ll also give you

  1. Your choice of either (a) a FREE critique of a piece of writing, or (b) a FREE copyedit of a piece of writing (up to 2500 words).
  2. A FREE copy of my short story “Perfect,” which was published in Grist: The Journal for Writers and isn’t available anywhere online. If I had to choose a favourite of my stories, this is it. Grist has published some very accomplished writers such as Sherman Alexie, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Bret Anthony Johnston.

Just email me to let me know when you’ve signed up, and I’ll send you the particulars on your bonuses.

Story Is a State of Mind—Self-Paced Online Short Story Writing Course

If The Story Intensive isn’t for you, an alternative is Sarah Selecky’s self-paced online course Story Is a State of Mind, which I’ve taken myself and absolutely love. You’ll also receive the above bonuses if you purchase the course through one of the links in my review of Story Is a State of Mind.

Again, you have to email me so I have your contact details to send you the bonuses.

On a personal note, short stories have not only allowed me to build a portfolio of published fiction writing, they’ve also recently led to a paid clip in a nationally distributed magazine—I’ve just sold a personal essay about short fiction, which should be published in November. (I’ll be able to share the details closer to the time of publication.)

Somewhere inside you there’s a short story itching to be written. What are you going to do about it?