Maybe a book is too ambitious for a first project. Or maybe you’ve written a book, but you need to get your name out there, so readers will want to buy it. Short stories are a great way to get your feet wet, gain a few readers, and get some writing practice in.
WHY SHORT STORIES?
“How Writing Short Stories Can Help You Become a Better Novelist”
“Short Story Versus a Novel”
“Advice to Aspiring Writers”
SHORT STORY IDEAS
“Creative Writing Prompts”
“72 Short Story Ideas To Supercharge Your Writing”
“Short Stories: Developing Ideas for Short Fiction”
“Science Fiction Story Ideas: Over 1,000 Story Starters You Can Use”
TO PLOT OR NOT TO PLOT
“Outline a Short Story in Seven Steps”
“Outlining Your Story”
“3 Ways To Get Your Short Story Started”
“6+ Story Outline Templates”
PUTTING PEN TO PAPER: WHAT TO DO
“Parts to a Story – From the inciting incident to the denouement”
“Grounding Your Reader”
“How to Create a Well-Written Short Story that Engages Readers”
“How to Write a Prize-Worthy Short Story: A Step-by-Step Guide”
“How to write a short story: 10 steps to a great read”
“Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on How to Write a Good Short Story”
“Rules and Tools for Writing Short Stories, Or Why Good Fiction is Better Than Bad Fiction”
“How to Write a Short Story”
“5 Secret Tips To Writing A Successful Short Story”
“Learn How to Write a Great Short Story”
“Short Story Tips: 10 Ways to Improve Your Creative Writing”
“How to Write a Short Story: The Complete Guide in 9 Steps”
“Crafting the perfect story – Part 1: The beginning”
“Crafting the perfect story – Part 2: The middle”
“Crafting the perfect story – Part 3: The ending”
PUTTING MAGIC PEN TO SPACESHIP PAPER: SPECULATIVE WRITING
“How To Create A Killer Opening For Your Science Fiction Short Story”
“Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing: How to Build Fantastic Worlds”
“60 Rules for Short SF (and Fantasy)”
"How to Write Science Fiction"
“How to Write A Science Fiction Short Story” (Hobby Lark)
“How to Write a Science Fiction Short Story” (The Mindhut)
“Tips for Writing Speculative Fiction”
“8 Unstoppable Rules for Writing Killer Short Stories”
PUTTING ERASER TO PAPER: WHAT NOT TO DO
“How Not to Open a Short Story”
“How Not To Write A Story”
“Dave Farland’s 10 Points to Avoid in Writing Short Fiction”
“33 Mistakes You Can Make While Attempting To Write A Short Story”
“How to Know When You Are Done Revising”
"Dave Farland's 10 Points to Avoid in Writing Short Fiction" - Several reasons why stories are rejected by editors – a good outline of weaknesses in stories that a writer should avoid.
NAIL-BITING MOMENT: SUBMITTING YOUR STORY
“What to Do With Short Stories”
“Writing Speculative Fiction”
“10 Things You Must Do To Get A Short Story Published”
“Proper Manuscript Format: Short Story Format” - William Shunn is pretty much the be-all and end-all of manuscript formatting. Many publications will list Shunn's formatting technique as their preferred way to accept manuscripts.
The Grinder - A great, free resource that has lists (and a search engine) for finding the right publication(s) for your stories. Highly, highly recommend.
Duotrope - Like the grinder, this is a resource that has lists and search engine for finding publication(s) for stories in every genre. However, there is a monthly/yearly fee.
"Winning Writers" - Not only do they run their own annual contests, but they also highlight a large number of free contests and other great opportunities for literary writers.
Open Call: Science Fiction, Fantasy & Pulp Markets - A group for publishers, editors and writers to post open calls for speculative genre publications.
Firstwriter.com - A great list of writing competitions, magazines, literary agents and publishers.
Christopher Fielden - Not only providing some great writing advice, Christopher Fielden also runs a cash prize short story competition and has a very comprehensive list of other short story competitions from around the world.
“Where to Submit Short Stories: 23 Magazines and Websites That Want Your Work”
The Review Review’s list of magazines
“Cover Letters for Short Stories”
“How to Write a Proper Short Story Cover Letter”
"The 4 Rules of Polite Simultaneous Submissions"
REJECTIONS: WHAT TO DO?
“Should you ever give up on a story?”