Preparing Your Short Story for Publication - Uncharted

Preparing Your Short Story for Publication

By Riv Begun

So you’ve written a short story. You’re proud of what you’ve done, and you’ve clicked save (you’ve saved it, right?) and you’re ready to take it to the next step. You want to submit it to magazines (like us) and hopefully get to see it out in the world.

What do you do to start that process?

There are a few steps you can take to help your chances of getting your story into one of the publications you submit it to.

Back it up

I like to make sure all my writing is in at least two places, sometimes three.

Losing your work is a terrible feeling, and it only takes a few moments to prevent it. Whether your cat presses delete on your keyboard, or you spill coffee all over the paper you wrote your story on, you’re going to want to make sure there’s another version lying around somewhere.

Services like Google Drive and Dropbox are great ways to start backing up your work so you never have to deal with the horror of losing your draft.

Check, check, and check again

Reread it a few times to make sure you get all your edits in. Print it out and get your red pen out. Make sure it’s as clean as possible. Then, walk away for a bit, and return to it a little bit later with fresh eyes. You’ll likely find something else to change. Make sure it’s as perfect as you can get it before moving on to the next step.

Get some readers

Have a writing group? Ask some of them if they’d be interested in reading your story. Have some friends who have been pestering you to let them read your work? Send it to them, too. If you’re in awriting program, send it to some of your peers. Ask for feedback from them.

Be direct about what you’re looking for, and encourage them to get their marking pens out. You want honesty (and the occasional positive comment).

Organize yourself

Make an excel spreadsheet to keep up with responses from different literary magazines. Celebrate when you get to 100. Keep going.

Do your research

There are plenty of great publications out there, but not all of them are great for your work. Make sure you submit to the right magazine for what you’re writing. That way, the people reading your work are already receptive to it.

Be brave

Putting your work out there is tough, but you’ve already gotten over the hardest hurdle–writing the thing! Don’t shy away from submitting your work.

Congratulate yourself

Once you’ve submitted your story, make sure to congratulate yourself. You did the thing! You wrote a great story, had it read over, put yourself out there, and submitted it to magazines. That’s something to be proud of.

Keep writing

Write another story. And another. And another. The world is waiting for your words.

We can’t wait to see what you do next.

deportation looming over her father—despite his hard-woncitizenship—Lily and Kath risk everything to let their love see the light of day.The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan DouglassFrom Goodreads: Jake Livingston is one of the only Black kids at St. Clair Prep, one of the others being his infinitely more popular older brother. It’s hard enough fitting in but to make matters worse and definitely more complicated, Jake can see the dead. In fact he sees the dead around him all the time. Most are harmless. Stuck in their death loops as they relive their deaths over and over again, they don’t interact often with people. But then Jake meets Sawyer. A troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school last year before taking his own life. Now a powerful, vengeful ghost, he has plans for his afterlife–plans that include Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about ghosts and the rules to life itself go out the window as Sawyer begins haunting him and bodies turn up in his neighborhood. High school soon becomes a survival game–one Jake is not sure he’s going to win. American Betiya by Anuradha D. RajurkarFrom Goodreads: Rani Kelkar has never lied to her parents, until she meets Oliver. Thesame qualities that draw her in–his tattoos, his charisma, his passion for art–make him her mother’s worst nightmare.They begin dating in secret, but when Oliver’s troubled home life unravels, he starts to ask more of Rani than she knows how to give, desperately trying to fit into her world, no matter how high the cost. When a twist of fate leads Rani from Evanston, Illinois to Pune, India for a summer, she has a reckoning with herself–and what’s really brewing beneath the surface of her first love.The Gilded Ones by Namina FornaFrom Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yetyearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.

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