sell short stories online

Sell Short Stories For Money (35 HIGH PAYING Sites In 2024)

What if I told you that you could sell short stories for money?

Are you asking: Where can I sell my stories or where to sell stories, or even, how to sell my story online?

Confession: I often write short stories about my little cat 🙂

 sell short stories for money
Sandy is the cat whom my short stories are inspired by.

If you have a flair for writing short stories, I’m going to tell you how you can get paid to write short stories.

Suppose you are worried about how to earn money by writing stories and where can I sell my stories online. Let me ease your mind.

Keep on reading this post and find out how you can earn money by writing short stories online to pay your bills!

You don’t have to worry about being the best writer. As long as you have a great storyline, there is bound to be a publication below that will accept and pay you for it.

Selling stories is an easy way to make money and gain some exposure if you’re looking to create a name for yourself. 

In time, you can even generate enough income from selling stories online to make it into a side hustle.

You just need to take the first step, and I’m here to show you how can you sell short stories for money.

35 Story Writing Sites That Pays Well!

1. Asimov’s

2. The New Yorker

3. The Sun Magazine

4. The Atlantic

5. Clarkesworld Magazine

6. Apex Magazine

7. One Story

8. Boulevard Magazine

9. Cricket Magazine

10. Gray’s Sporting Journal

11. Bourbon Penn

12. Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine

13. Reader’s Digest

14. Reader’s Digest Asia

15. Bella Magazine

16. Take A Break

17. Real People Magazine

18. Introvert Dear

19. Healthy Mummy

20. The American Scholar

21. Virginia Quarterly Review

22. Apparition Lit

23. SmokeLong 

24. Fantasy and Science Fiction 

25. Write City Magazine 

26. Dark Magazine

27. SAND Journal

28. The Threepenny Review

29. Harper’s Magazine

30. Clarkesworld

31. Strange Horizons 

32. Longleaf Review

33. Lightspeed Magazine

34. Uncanny 

35. Pulp Literature

DISCLOSURE

Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.

sell short stories for money

Where To Sell Short Stories For Money (35 Best Sites)

If you’re wondering ‘where can I sell my short stories online’, start making money from short stories from these 35 sites:

1. Asimov’s

A science fiction magazine that pays 8–10 cents per word.

2. The New Yorker

No introduction is needed, this is possibly the most profitable magazine in the world. They have a huge and loyal readership.

They accept unsolicited works and getting published in their magazine is the winning prize.

3. The Sun Magazine

The Sun Magazine is another publication that needs no introduction. They will pay writers to write both fiction and non-fiction and also poetry.

Non-fiction and fiction pieces start from $300 to $2,000 whereas poetry ranges from $100 to $250.

4. The Atlantic

The Atlantic is another prestigious magazine that will accept your short stories and poetries. Expect to be paid professional rates if accepted.

5. Clarkesworld Magazine

A science fiction and fantasy magazine that will pay you 12 cents per word for short stories.

6. Apex Magazine

If you have a knack for writing darker fiction, Apex pays up to 8 cents per word up to 7,500.

7. One Story

A literary magazine that publishes stories between 3,000 and 8,000 words. They pay $500 for each story.

8. Boulevard Magazine

This literary magazine encourages new writers to submit their work for a payment of $100-$300.

 sell short stories for money

9. Cricket Magazine

Sell short stories for money wit Cricket Magazine. This publication has many literary magazines under its wing and caters to young readers up to 14 years old. The payment is a lucrative 25 cents per word.

10. Gray’s Sporting Journal

This outdoor sporting activities magazine publishes short stories that are of high quality and will pay you an average of $600 for a 750 to 1,500-word piece.

11. Bourbon Penn

This magazine will accept odd and highly imaginative short stories. Payment is 3 cents per word.

12. Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine

This magazine is the leader in short-form crime and mystery fiction and encourages new writers to submit their work. Expect to be paid between 5 – 8 cents per word.

Not a fan of fiction? I got you. You can still sell story online to these magazines that will publish nonfiction stories and pay you for it.

13. Reader’s Digest

You could have your piece in the world-famous Reader’s Digest. Send them a true story about you, in 100 words or less, and get paid $100 for it.

14. Reader’s Digest Asia

Reader’s Digest Asia is an extension of Reader’s Digest and they have a couple of categories that they need writers regularly for:

-Inspiring stories or life-changing experiences

800 to 1,000 words for the price of $250 per published stories

-Acts of kindness

100 to 500 words for up to $100

-Anecdotes and jokes 

Around $50 to $100

-Tales of your amazing animals 

Up to 300 words for pay up to $100

15. Bella Magazine

Get paid up to $1000 when you share your personal story with Bella Magazine.

Send them a brief outline and someone from the magazine will contact you for further details.

16. Take A Break

If you sell your story to Take A Break, you could earn up to $2,000.

It’s really easy too, head on to their website where you fill in an online form. You have to send them a brief outline and voila!

17. Real People Magazine

Real People Magazine will buy your story for a fee. How much that is, I can’t say.

The magazine does a full interview with you (usually over the phone), asks you to provide relevant details, and pays you a fee that is agreed upon by both parties.

18. Introvert Dear

Here’s a really cool one.

Introvert Dear publish articles about introversion. They also look for articles about Highly Sensitive People on their new website, Highly Sensitive Refuge.

If they publish your piece, you could make $75

 sell short stories for money

19. Healthy Mummy

You can earn $100 by submitting your transformation story to Healthy Mummy!

Tell the readers about your journey and include good quality photos to show your transformation.

 All you super mama’s out there, this is your time to shine even more than you already do.

20. The American Scholar

This is a quarterly magazine that publishes articles on public affairs, literature, science, history, and culture. They pay up to $500 for non-fiction submissions.

21. Virginia Quarterly Review

This reputable literary magazine accepts non-fiction pieces such as personal essays, memoirs, and literary journalism. They will pay around 25 cents per word.

Here Are More Websites That Pay You To Write Short Stories

 sell short stories for money

22. Apparition Lit

Where can I post my stories and get paid for my short stories under the fantasy, sci-fi, and horror genres? Look no further than Apparition Lit.

This site accepts submissions for poems and short stories (1000-5000 words) every quarter of the year. They only accept one submission at a time.

Apparition Lit pays $0.05 per word, with a minimum of $50 for short stories and $50 per poem.

Submit your stories to Apparition Lit here.

23. SmokeLong 

If you are looking for where to publish short stories online for money, you can send your submission to SmokeLong. They pay $100/story upon publication in their quarterly issue.

They accept short stories of flash narratives, fiction, non-fiction, or a hybrid of up to 1000 words.

24. Fantasy and Science Fiction 

Fantasy and Science Fiction are among the many short story publishers that pay for fiction stories. 

They prefer character-oriented stories in any genre, anything from science fiction, humor, fantasy, horror, or even humor. 

Your stories can be up to 25,000 words. Fantasy and Science Fiction pay 8 to 12 cents per word on acceptance.

25. Write City Magazine 

Write City Magazine is a Chicago Writer’s Association (CWA) publication where you can submit stories for money.

They pay $50 for CWA members and $25 for non-members for stories no longer than 1800 words.

Your short stories can be fiction or creative non-fiction, but they need to follow specific story elements listed in their submission guideline.

 sell short stories for money

26. Dark Magazine

The Dark is an online magazine that publishes monthly horror and Dark Fantasy stories.

You can submit your short story online to the magazine, as they welcome submissions from all writers. 

Original fiction stories are paid 5 cents per word on publication. Stories can be up to 6000 words.

So, if you have a talent for writing horror stories that are not graphic or violent horror, sell your story online to The Dark magazine.

27. SAND Journal

If you are looking for story writing platforms that pay for authors who bring a fresh and underrepresented perspective, then you can write stories for money with SAND.

This publisher out of Berlin aims to give authors with underrepresented circumstances a chance to have a voice in the literary and art scene.

You can submit your short stories for submission, but due to their team being made entirely out of volunteers, the response can take up to 6 months

SAND pays a rate of 1 to 4.9 cents per word. Thus, you can expect a 3000-short story to be paid between $30 to $150

28. The Threepenny Review

The Threepenny Review publishes quarterly journals with short stories, poems, and essays. 

They are open to accepting submissions for their journals up until April each year.

You can get paid for short stories through online submissions and mail manuscripts. Accepted stories are paid $400

The recommended length for a short story is 4000 words.

29. Harper’s Magazine

If you are looking for magazines that pay for short stories, Harper’s Magazine accepts submissions for non-fiction and fiction manuscripts to be published in their magazine.

You can get paid, on average, $0.70 a word, and all submissions and queries must be sent by mail to:

Harper’s Magazine

666 Broadway, 11th Floor

New York, NY 10012

30. Clarkesworld

Ever wanted to make money with short stories about science fiction and fantasy? Do you love to geek out about the science behind science fiction?

Selling a short story filled with sci-fi and fantasy is possible with Clarkesworld Magazine. The magazine publishes monthly fiction and non-fiction stories and articles under the science fiction and fantasy genre.

You must be wondering how non-fiction can exist in a science fiction genre. 

The magazine accepts articles about the reading experience and the writing process of science fiction.

What won’t make the cut are things like your experiences of alien abduction O_O (this was literally from their guideline) or any sci-fi convention reports.

The pay rate is 12 cents per word for fiction pieces between 1000-22,000 words. For non-fiction, the rate is 10 cents with a 2500 word limit.

31. Strange Horizons 

If you are looking for more story writing websites that pay for science fiction pieces, try submitting your short stories to Strange Horizons.

This weekly online magazine publishes stories, reviews, poetry, and more on speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, slipstream, and fantastika)

For fiction pieces, the rate is 10 cents per word with a word limit of 10,000, while for non-fiction, payments are between $20 to $150, depending on the type of written contribution.

32. Longleaf Review

For those writers who love weird and creative fiction, you can publish stories online for money with Longleaf Review. 

They publish quarterly themed journals online and accept submissions for flash or short fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction.

Accepted work will receive $20; read the Longleaf Review submission guidelines here.

33. Lightspeed Magazine

Wondering where can I sell short stories about mythical creatures, folktales, sword-and-sorcery, and urban tales?

Digital science fiction and fantasy magazines like Lightspeed are one of many websites that pay you to write stories for them.

Lightspeed pays 8 cents a word for your short fiction stories with a word count of 1500-10,000.

34. Uncanny 

If you can write new or classic speculative science fiction and fantasy fiction stories, you can sell your stories online to Uncanny.

This bi-monthly sci-fi/fantasy online magazine is always seeking stories that evoke strong emotions and challenge their readers’ beliefs.

Their rate is 10 cents per word for original, unpublished speculative fiction stories between 750-10,000 words. 

Submissions are not always open, but you can follow Uncanny’s social media for submission updates. 

35. Pulp Literature 

Pulp Literature magazine publishes digest-sized inexpensive paperback magazines of all genres (they also sell digital copies of the magazine).

How to publish a story online and get paid with Pulp Literature? You can submit your short fiction stories through their submission form. 

It is recommended that the stories are under 5000 words for a higher chance of acceptance. 

Here are Pulp Literature’s rates for short stories:

$0.05 – $0.08 per word for stories up to 5000 words.

$0.03 – $0.06 per word for stories between 5000 and 10,000 words.

$0.02 – $0.04 per word for stories over 10,000 words.

If you are having trouble knowing how to apply to freelance writing websites and how to come across as more experienced, so you can get paid higher.

I can recommend a super-duper freelance writing course I took, which helped me land 3 new clients in 3 weeks.

freelance-writing-courses-Elna-write-to-1k

I spent ages googling FREE information and googling articles (like you are doing now) and I needed to keep my costs down as I wasn’t being paid for my writing just yet.

But I got sick of reading conflicting or confusing information and took the freelance writing course.

It taught me how to pitch to new clients and come across as experienced. Just look at this review:

WriteTo1k-Write-Your-Way-to-Your-First-1k-Elna Cain review

I also learned how to set up a freelance writing website, where to find jobs, and what to charge.

The Write to $1K course has a 30-day template you just need to follow to get to your first $1k from writing.

If you are ever going to invest in one writing course please let it be this one. It’s the most useful thing you can do if you want to know how to be a freelance writer with no experience.

There is no way you will finish the 30 days and not win a new client. Her training is THAT good. And I am not making this up, because I took the course myself.

 sell short stories for money

Make Money From Short Story Writing Contests

You can also make a handsome sum by applying to short story contests.

A few notable publications have these contests, and they’re quite common.

*Disclaimer:
The cash prize and or other supplementary prizes listed below are those known to me at the time of writing this article. They are subject to change.

Here are a few short story competitions:

Harpers Bazaar invites entries of up to 2,200 words.

They have a theme each year and the winner of this year’s competition won a  two-night stay at the historic Grantley Hall in Yorkshire, England, and had their work published in the magazine. 

  • Scottish Arts Club Short Story Award

The winner of this contest received $1,260! The second prize won $640 and the third prize is $320.

The top 20 were published in the Scottish Arts Club Anthology. Not bad, eh?

Howard Frank Mosher Short Fiction Prize

  • Ran by Hunger Mountain, this competition offers its winner a $1,000 cash prize and publication.
  • Stories had to be around 8,000 words in length. There was a $20 entry fee. 

I don’t know about you but I might enter one of these competitions myself to make a quick buck or maybe even win a nice trip somewhere.

sell-short-stories-online-with-amazon-kindle

How To Sell Short Stories On Amazon?

Still not sure how to sell short stories online? I’m going to let you in on a little secret. 

If you’re not too keen on having your pieces published in magazines or stories being bought, you can publish short stories online for money.

That’s right, you can be your own publisher with the help of Amazon. 

Amazon gives you the option to sell digital and print copies of your work. This way, you can publish short stories for money.

The company makes it easy to upload and format your story on its website. 

They print and ship the copies on demand for you, so all you have to do is follow their guidelines and upload your piece.

Easy, and just like that, you’re published. 

Depending on the purchase price you set and the plan you opt for when you decide to self-publish, you can earn anywhere from 35%-70% of the purchase price. 

What’s great about publishing on Amazon is that you don’t have to figure out the logistics of printing and shipping.

There’s a huge demand for ebooks these days.

Specifically, Amazon’s “short reads” section. These are books that have less than 100 pages to them.

Publishing on Amazon also means you make money in perpetuity. 

How?

 When you sell a short story to a publisher, you’ll get a one-time payment.

But with Amazon, you receive the payout from the royalty every time a copy of your story is bought. 

Factor in the fact that your piece will be available on the biggest online marketplace?

That’s a great deal to sell short stories for money if I can say so myself.

Sell Short Stories For Money

What Are Short Stories? 

To understand how to make money selling short stories, we should take a look at what are short stories.

According to various online sources and the encyclopedia, a short story is a short work of fiction or nonfiction that is shorter than a novel or longer than a fable.

So, essentially a piece of literature that typically takes a short amount of time to read from start to finish or one that is self-contained.

Some categories of short stories include but are not limited to:

  • Poems
  • Mini-sagas
  • Novelettes– A novelette can easily be described as a short novella or long short story. A novelette falls in the range of 7,500 to 19,999 words. 
  • Haiku
  • Flash Fiction– Is an umbrella term used to refer to very short works of fiction that provide a compelling story and range between 1,000 words or less.

But what makes a good story?

What sets apart Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, and the average writer?

The foundation of a good story can be comprised of 5 key elements:

  1. A plot: 

Short stories -being so short, only have room for one plot in the storyline. One and a half if you’re going to squeeze in a twist. 

  1. A theme: 

Short story themes should be clear and impactful.

  1. Characters:

Great stories have great characters but this can take a long time to develop. Keep your characters exciting and limited.

  1. A time frame: 

Most short stories can be read in a single sitting or a brief span of time. They focus on a limited amount of time within the plot.

  1. A setting: 

Where does your story take place?

Is it someplace new to the readers?

Think about how JK Rowling’s Harry Potter took off. It was a completely different world, one unlike any other we’d seen in the literary world.

You should familiarize yourself with this before learning how to sell story online.

How To Sell Short Stories On Amazon?

So far, we’ve covered what a short story is and what makes a good short story, but who would buy these stories and why?

Before we can sell short stories for money, let’s look into why people would buy short stories.

People buy short stories for numerous reasons. The main one is content.

Publishers, Magazines, Websites, Bloggers, heck anyone who needs content would buy a short story. This is where you should sell your short stories.

Magazines for instance, are made up of hundreds of pieces written by different writers.

They’re always in need of content and by submitting short stories to a magazine, you could make money for your short stories and reach a huge audience.

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    How To Sell Short Stories On Amazon?

    Now that you know where to submit short stories for money, let’s get started and make money writing short stories.

    Hold your horses, amigos. Before you start anything, it’s always good to look at what sells. 

    You can look at what’s selling and hitch a ride on the bandwagon or you could find what’s missing in the market and pave your own way. 

    Some of the best selling short read categories are:

     Romance, erotika, thriller, suspense, and scifi-fantasy.

    Sell Short Stories For Money

    How Much Can I Sell A Short Story For?

    This isn’t a get rich overnight scheme, (well not this section at least. I’ll let you be the judge of that a little later on in the article), but you can have a lucrative side hustle or make a decent income by writing short stories for money.

    How much you make when you write short stories for money is dependent on the magazine or publisher you pitch to or the short contest you enter (this is the get rich overnight thing I was telling you about).

    Each magazine offers different rates for submissions.

    Publications will buy a story as a whole or pay you word for word.

    Magazines are a great place to submit short stories for money and earn money writing fiction online.

    Tips To Succeed Selling Short Stories Online

    We’ve learned how to make money writing short stories online, places to sell short stories and even the elements that go into writing a great story.

    But that’s not all I have for you, my dear readers.

    I want you to succeed, side hustle, or main revenue.

    If you want to make money selling short stories, here are some extra tips to increase your chances of making that happen:

    I took this awesome course that taught me how to improve my writing, pitch to new clients, where to find jobs, and most importantly, it has a 30-day template you just need to follow to get to your first $1k.

    I used this to sell my writing online. You can use this to help you sell short stories for money.

    sell short stories online by taking a writing course

    • Play to your strengths:

    Choose the right magazines or story selling websites to submit to.

    • Stick to the guidelines

    Most magazines won’t consider your story if you don’t follow this rule.

    Be sure to follow the instructions provided by the site to the letter.

    Nothing will blow your chances of getting published faster than submitting a story that doesn’t meet the guidelines. 

    Pay attention here: some guidelines will specify what can or can’t be in the story (e.g. explicit sex scenes, racial and political issues, religious themes, etc.).

    • Research

    Decide which magazine you’re going to submit to and study it.

    Get a feel for their tone and what kind of stories they publish. 

    You can also get a good sense of their readership by seeing what kind of ads they place in their magazine. This way you can gear your content towards their readers.

    • Join a group:

    If you’re interested in fiction opportunities out there, join a like minded support group on Facebook or subscribe to platforms like Poets & Writers to get more ideas of where to submit.

    FAQs On Sell Short Stories For Money

    Sell Short Stories For Money

    Can You Make Money From Short Stories?

    Yes, you can make money from short stories.

    Many literary magazines and online platforms pay for short story submissions.

    A story can make more money than a novel because it pays per word and has proven to hold its value over time.

    It also takes less time to write than a full-length novel.

    Where Can I Write Stories And Get Paid?

    Here are the 21 best sites to write stories and get paid:

    1. Amazon
    2. Asimov
    3. The New Yorker
    4. The Sun Magazine
    5. The Atlantic
    6. Clarkesworld Magazine
    7. One Story
    8. Boulevard Magazine
    9. Cricket Magazine
    10. Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine
    11. Bourbon Penn
    12. Reader’s Digest
    13. Vestal Review
    14. The BBC
    15. Flash Fiction Online
    16. Clarkesworld
    17. Analog
    18. Reader’s Digest Asia
    19. The American Scholar
    20. Introvert Dear
    21. Virginia Quarterly Review

    How To Sell Stories Online?

    Some tips to sell stories online:

    1. Write a great story with an interesting plot
    2. Find publications that fit your genre and writing style to submit to
    3. Platforms like Duotrope and Poets and Writers are where to sell short stories online
    4. Follow submission guidelines to submit your work
    5. Be patient waiting to hear back from the editors

    How To Sell Your Story?

    This is how to sell a story:

    1. Memoirs: Submit your memoir to literary agents or publishers who specialize in non-fiction.
    2. Personal essays: These are shorter pieces about a specific time or aspect of your life. 
    3. Film/ TV adaptation: Reach out to producers/ companies to see if they’re interested in adapting your story into a film or TV show.

    Who Buys Short Stories?

    Many outlets buy short stories to publish on their website and platforms. 

    1. Magazines & online platforms: Your best chances of being paid are here. Most accept submissions all year round
    2. Kindle & Ebooks: You can sell your stories directly to readers without going through an agent
    3. Podcasts like Clarkesworld Magazine are dedicated to telling stories in audio form. 

    How Much Do Short Stories Sell For?

    How much short stories sell for depends on where you sell the story and who you sell it to.

    Publishers usually pay anywhere from 5 – 25 cents per word.

    Literary magazines can pay $100 – $1000 for a story, while some online platforms and smaller publications may only pay $5 as a token. 

    How To Make Money From Writing Stories?

    Here are 9 ways you can make money from writing stories:

    1. Sell stories to magazines
    2. Self-publish on Amazon
    3. Submit stories to contests and anthologies
    4. Create a short stories blog
    5. Create a Patreon account
    6. Sell a collection of short stories online
    7. Write on Medium
    8. Ghostwrite stories for other people
    9. Write short stories for gaming companies

    How To Sell Your Story To A Magazine?

    Here are 5 steps for selling your story to a magazine:

    1. Find magazines that might be interested in your story
    2. Write a strong pitch summarizing your story and why it’s a good fit
    3. Submit your story according to the guidelines given
    4. Follow up with the editor after a few weeks
    5. If accepted, try to negotiate payment
    Sell Short Stories For Money

    How To Sell My Story For Cash?

    Here are 5 ways you can sell your story for cash:

    1. Pitch your story to reporters or major news outlets
    2. Submit your story to magazines 
    3. Self-publish your story as an e-book on Amazon
    4. Look for websites that pay for short stories like Wattpad
    5. Negotiate a book deal with publishers or agents

    How To Earn Money By Writing Stories?

    If you are looking for ways how to earn money by writing stories, here are some of the best ways to make money writing stories.

    • Publish on your blog.
    • Write for content writing service.
    • Make an e-book
    • Do freelance writing jobs.
    • Submit your pieces to magazines or journals.
    • Submit to online publications.

    Is Story Writing Profitable? 

    Is story writing profitable? Yes, it is possible to get paid by writing short stories or novels. 

    You can go with traditional publishing, where you can get advance payment for your book and collect royalties from your published work.

    You can also sell your short stories to online publications or magazines.

    Start To Sell Short Stories For Money Now!

    Many people ask ‘where can I sell my short stories’? There you have it: 35 sites that pay for writing stories.

    I hope this article has shown you that you can sell short stories for money as well as how to sell a short story.  

    It definitely isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme (I guess it is if you won all the writing competitions you entered). 

    But with magazines looking for new content, self-publishing and our need as humans to consume information in short amounts of time, there’s definitely a growing interest in the industry.

    People want to read more even though they have less time, and you can solve that problem with your short stories. The people get to read, and you get to make more selling your stories. 

    I’d say that’s a win-win situation 🙂 

    Related articles on Freelance Writing: 

    How To Sell Short Stories For Money

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