Writing flash fiction is a fantastic way of stimulating creativity and challenging your storytelling abilities.
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A few days ago, T.S. Johnson posted a fantastic list of short story publishers who pay writers more than $50 per story. You can find this list here:
Where to Submit Short Stories: 10 Magazines and Websites That Pay at Least $50
Once your short story is complete, this is where you can submit them.
While I love short stories, the bulk of my prose writing is comprised of flash fiction. Yes, many short story publishers do consider flash fiction, but I?ve found through personal experience ? and also from fellow writers ? that these publications seem to reject very short prose a high rate.
With this in mind and inspired by T.S. Johnson?s list, I have decided to focus specifically on flash fiction publications.
What is flash fiction?
Flash fiction is a very short work of prose which typically range between 300 and 1000 words in length. Most follow the traditional frame of storytelling ? beginning, rising action, climax, and conclusion ? but do so within this highly condensed structure. Unlike short stories or novels, flash fiction generally forgoes prolonged exposition or set up, and jumps into the action right from the first sentence.
Some great examples of flash fiction by Medium writers are:
The Wind Blew by Leona Brits
Taller Than Trees by Jay Gershwin
Blood on the Hands by Edie Tuck
Why write flash fiction?
Flash fiction seems to be one style of prose that writers ? and readers for that matter ? either love or hate. There appears to be very little middle ground. Some writers love the challenge of crafting a fully formed and interesting story within such limited space, while others prefer the more in-depth nature of a short story or novel.
Writing flash fiction is a fantastic way of stimulating creativity and challenging your storytelling abilities. It is also great for new writers who wish to hone their skills but may not be ready for the outlining, drafting, and editing needed for longer pieces of writing.
Flash fiction offers the opportunity for a new writer to enter the market without having to commit to the time needed for a longer piece of work. It allows readers to get a feel for your writing style and build an appetite for more ? and longer ? work.
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It doesn?t matter if you?re submitting your first piece of writing or if you?ve been published many times before, getting your work accepted by a publisher can prove to be very challenging. This is true of any form of prose, but flash fiction can be a bit tricky. Many larger literary magazines and websites generally prefer longer pieces of fiction.
While some of the more traditional publishers have been slow to come around to the growing interest in flash fiction, there is an expanding number of publishers who only publish short works. While posting your stories on writing boards, blogs, or on Medium are fantastic ways to get feedback and refine your skills, if you want to move towards being a published writer, you should strongly consider submitting your work to paying publications.
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Listed below are six publications that pay for pieces of flash fiction.
Flash Fiction Online
With an average of 35,000 hits per month, Flash Fiction Online has become one of the largest online repositories of flash fiction. While they specialize in science-fiction and fantasy, they are open to well-written works of any genre.
Stories should be between 500 and 1000 words in length. They currently offer $60 for newly published stories and 2 cents per word for reprinted stories. While the majority of work is published online, they do print an annual anthology. The site is also affiliated with Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) a guild for sci-fi writers.
This site has become a popular site for flash fiction writers, and they publish new work daily. They are open to all genres and are looking for previously unpublished stories comprising 1000 words or less. The site only pays a token amount of $5 per story, however, they allow writers to promote their website and any other published works in an extended biography section.
Flash Fiction Magazine
Part eMagazine and part blog, this site publishes new works daily and also distributes a monthly eMagazine to its subscribers. The site accepts submission across all genres excluding children?s fiction and erotica (though adult themes are acceptable). Stories should range between 300 and 1000 words. Be advised that their submission page states that they receive too many ?sad? submissions. Preference will be given to stories that elicit emotions such as fear, anger, joy, disgust, surprise, and trust.
The magazine will not accept any previously published work, including stories published on your personal website, blog, or Medium. The site pays $30 per story. If your piece of flash fiction is published, you cannot submit another story for two months following publication.
The Funny Times
This flash fiction site is specifically targeted towards comedy writers. They are looking for hilarious pieces of fiction or nonfiction between 500 and 700 words. No topic is off-limits! All works must be previously unpublished, and the current payment rate is $60 per story. You will also receive a complimentary subscription to the site.
American Short Fiction
This publication prints both flash fiction and short stories to a maximum of 2000 words. They also hold annual flash fiction contests where the maximum word count is 1000. The site only accepts non-contest related submissions between August an November. For the rest of the year, your work must be in keeping with the contest theme. American Short Fiction doesn?t list their rate of pay however, it is believed to be around 5 cents per word. All submissions must be previously unpublished, but they will consider pieces that have been previously posted on nonpaying blogs and websites.
Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine
This journal is published through the University of Chester and is an honorable mention as it does not pay. It has been included in this list because it is a fairly prestigious publication. Being published in this journal is a big deal and with international exposure, it could be career-making for a new writer. Some works published by Flash have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. They are looking for very short flash pieces of only 360 words or less, and have a rolling submission process. Check their website for submission windows.
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If you have flash fiction that you?d like to publish but feel that the publishers on this list might not be a fit, you may wish to subscribe to Duotrope. Duotrope is a vast database of publishers covering all styles and genres.
Remember don?t be discouraged if you aren?t published as quickly as you would like. Rejection is part of a writer?s life. Take heart that most rejections likely have nothing to do with the quality of your writing. Publishers turn down submission for a variety of reasons. Often it?s because they feel your work doesn?t fit the theme of their publication, or they?ve recently published a similar piece. You will get published! It will happen!
Daryl Bruce is a freelance writer, blogger, and writer of flash fiction. Writing across an expansive range of topics, he specializes in personal development, the craft of writing, LGBTQ+ issues, and politics. He is the owner of the Top 3 Publication on Medium. When he?s not writing, Daryl can be found in the kitchen or at the local movie theater. Daryl holds a BA with Specialized Honours in English from York University and is currently working on his first novel. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.