Websites That Pay You To Write Short Stories

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If you love writing stories and wonder if you can make money out of them, you are right. You can make a good amount of money with short stories.

It might not make you rich overnight but it will, sure enough, gives you a good cash flow in your bank account if you do it right. Why not use your passion to generate income?

But before we actually talk about where to sell those short stories, let’s be clear first –

What is a short story?

A short story is a story that has a fully developed theme, but is shorter and less elaborate than a novel and is generally fiction based. A short story can have around 500 to 20,000 words.

What are the popular short story genres?

The popular short story genres are:

  1. Science fiction
  2. Fantasy
  3. Romance and love
  4. Erotica
  5. Crime and mystery
  6. Horror and ghost

How much can you earn with short stories?

If you are a great writer and have a strong following, you can actually make multiple 6 figures a year. You see, the earning potential is huge!

Where do you sell your short stories and make money out of them?

There are many places where you can submit short stories for money. It won’t be that easy to crack into it at first, but if you got accepted, it’s going to pave a solid way for you to grow your empire as a writer.

Here are some of the most common and popular sites where you can actually submit your short stories and get paid.


1. Reader’s Digest

I have read Reader’s Digest since my 1st standard (with the help of a dictionary of course) and love the content till today. It’s been around 35 years now! Wow!)

Readers Digest needs no introduction as it is one of the most commonly read books in the world after the Bible.

Reader’s Digest is accepting short story submission which has 100 words or less!

You can try selling your super-short stories at Reader’s Digest for a start!

Content length: 100 words or fewer.

Payment: $100

Genre: Non-fiction

Visit Reader’s Digest for more details.


2. The Southern Review

The Southern Review is a literary journal that is published quarterly and features works of fiction and non-fiction.

It also allows you to submit short stories which are originally written in other languages.

Content length: Up to 8,000 words.

Payment: Maximum $200

Genre: Fiction and non-fiction.

Visit The Southern Review Official Site for more details.


3. The BBC

The BBC has a program called Short Story and they accept short story submissions for their yearly contest with a top prize of over $20,000.

Your content can be related to anything – life, sports, travel, culture, you name it!

Content length: Up to 8,000 words.

Payment: $20,000

Genre: Fiction

Visit BBC Official Site for more details.


4. Strange Horizons

Strange Horizons is an online fiction magazine that is published weekly.

Strange Horizons publishes a range of genres and also offers other opportunities for creative writers.

Content length: Up to 10,000 words.

Payment: $0.10 per word.

Genre: Science fiction, fantasy, horror.

Visit Strange Horizons Official Site for more details.


5. One Story

One Story is a non-profit literary magazine that publishes short fiction stories. They also have a companion magazine called One Teen Story that accepts submissions by teens.

Content length: 3,000 – 8,000 words

Payment: $500 

Genre: Fiction 

Visit the Official One Story Site for more details.


6. Barrelhouse

Barrelhouse’s publication started in 2004 as a literary magazine are now printed and published online magazines, small book presses, and organizes events also.

This is the right place for your to submit your short stories and earn money if you like to write about pop culture, nerdy topics, or off-the-wall musings.

Content length: Up to 8,000 words.

Payment: $50 per published piece.

Genre: All genres.

Visit the Official Barrelhouse Site for more details.


7. The Threepenny review

The Threepenny review is a literary magazine with a focus on literature, arts and society, and memoirs. It accepts short story submissions through online and mail systems.

Content length: 1,200 to 2,500 for articles, up to 4,000 for stories and memoirs, and up to 100 lines for poetry.

Payment: $400 per story or article, $200 per poem or Table Talk piece

Genre: Memoir, arts, society, essay, and poetry.

Visit The Three Penny Review Official Site for more details.


8. Vestal Review

Vestal Review is a well-established online magazine flash fiction publishing site that is supported by donations and each issue is free. Many well-known short story authors have contributed to Vestal Review.

You can actually submit R-rated content but X-rated is not.

Content length: Up to 500 words.

Payment: $50 per publication (-$3 submission fee).

Genre: All flash fiction.

Visit Vestal Review for more details.


9. Flash Fiction Online

Flash Fiction Online is another large online publisher of short stories which is issued monthly for $4.

If you have a fantasy, sci-fi, or horror short story to share, this is the right place for you.

Content length: 500-1,000 words.

Payment: $60 per accepted submission.

Genre: Fiction.

Visit the Official Flash Fiction Online for more details.


10. Analogue Science Fiction

Analogue is a smaller site where you can sell short stories for money and get paid well.

Although the magazine is digital as well as in print. The site accepted short stories and fast fiction.

Content length: Up to 20,000 words.

Payment: $0.8 to $0.10 per word.

Genre: Science fiction.

Visit Analog Science Fiction for more details.


11. Ploughshares

Ploughshares is an active blog site and a literary journal that is published 4 times a year.

They accept and publish short stories, essays, and other writing on their blog daily, and pay well if your article is accepted.

Content length: 7500 – 20000 words.

Payment: $450 per accepted piece.

Genre: Non-fiction or fiction prose.

Visit Ploughshares for more details.


12. East of the Web

East of the web is a magazine site that has over 500,000 visitors to the site per month.

The site is always seeking imaginative short stories with strong plots and compelling characters in the sci-fi and fantasy genres

Content length: 7,000 words.

Payment: $0.05 per word.

Genre: Science fiction and fantasy.

Visit East Of The Web for more details.


13. Clarkesworld

Clarkesworld is a sci-fi and fantasy online magazine published on a monthly basis.

They have their own app where all the publications can be read on iPhone, android, kindle, or other devices by their subscribers.

Content length: 1000 – 22000 words.

Payment: $0.10 per word.

Genre: Science fiction and fantasy.

Visit Clarkesworld for more details.


14. Asimov’s Science Fiction

Asimov is an online magazine site that accepts pieces from fiction writers all over the world in the science fiction genre.

Content length: 1000 – 20,000 words

Payment: $0.8 – $0.10 per word.

Genre: Science fiction.

Visit Asimov’s Science Fiction for more details.


15. Duotrope

Duotrope is not an online magazine site but a site marketplace where writers can apply for writing opportunities. It is not free to use and charges $5 per month but worth trying it.

Visit Duotrope for more details.


16. Amazon Kindle Publishing

Amazon’s KDP as popularly known is a site where you can self-publish your stories in the form of ebooks and hardcover books.

The minimum number of pages accepted by Amazon KDP to publish a book is 24 pages.

The platform is completely free to use and you can upload as many books as you want. Amazon took a 15% cut from the final sale amount for using the platform. You have many benefits like –

  • Owning the rights to your books.
  • You can edit the manuscript anytime.
  • Almost take no time to be made available in the Amazon marketplace.
  • You set your own pricing.

Content length: Any length but need to have a minimum of 24 pages.

Payment: According to your sales and your set price.

Genre: All genres.

Visit Amazon Kindle Publishing for more details.


17. Carve

Carve magazine accepts short stories, non-fiction, and poetry throughout the year and publishes them on their online platform or in print.

The magazine looks for writing and poetry that is original and has an emotional depth to it.

Your story should not exceed more than 10,000 words and poetry should not exceed 2,000 words with no minimum.

One thing you need to know is that Carve accepts literary writing only, therefore it does not publish genres such as horror, mystery, or fantasy, The pay is $100 for fiction stories and $25 for non-fiction and poetry.

Visit Carve Magazine for more details.


18. Penpee

Penpee is basically an online reading platform that allows writers to post stories and then earn through their story views.

Penpee has a free and paid membership. Writers with free membership can write up to 3000 words per story, with each page of 400 to 600 words while a paid member can write up to 12,000 words.

Once your story is posted, you will get credits for the number of reads for a story. Credits are one per page.

Penpee will take 30% credits for paid membership and 45% in a free membership as a fee once you start earning.

Visit Penpee for more details.


19. Wattpad

Wattpad is another platform with millions of readers and it’s one of the best places for you to publish your stories.

The stories are selected based on their originality, creativity, and market value.

The pay is based per copy sold, and the amount paid for each is based on the book’s cover price. Generally, a $25 hardcover will earn the author $2.50 per copy. If the book sells a hundred copies, they get $250. 

Visit Wattpad Official Site for more details.


20. Daily Science Fiction

Daily science fiction is a publication platform that publishes science fiction stories on a daily basis.

The site accepts brilliant and original science fiction short stories, but not horror, with 100 to 1,500 words.

The pay is $0.8 cent per word for one article.

Visit Daily Science Fiction for more details.

Conclusion on the Best place to sell short stories and make money

The best places to sell your short stories and make money out of them are:

  1. Reader’s Digest
  2. The Southern Review
  3. The BBC
  4. Strange Horizons
  5. One Story
  6. Barrelhouse
  7. The Threepenny review
  8. Vestal Review
  9. Flash Fiction Online
  10. Analogue Magazine
  11. Ploughshares
  12. East of the Web
  13. Clarkesworld
  14. Asimov’s Science Fiction
  15. Duotrope
  16. Amazon Kindle Publishing
  17. Carve Magazine
  18. Penpee
  19. Wattpad
  20. Daily Science Fiction

And our top pick is Amazon Kindle Publishing as you control and have all the rights and are able to edit the book on the go even after it was published.

I would highly recommend you take the help of an AI content generator called Jasper. It is the best choice for fiction writers to create interesting stories with twists and plots.

DISCLAIMER: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I will get a small commission without any extra cost to you – if you decided to make a purchase through the links given.  For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclaimer.

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