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
Articles on Writing - Bewildering Stories Magazine has a very thorough selection of articles written by their numerous editors about the art of writing and editing - everything from point of view to narrative voice, from dialogue to choosing a story's title. There's even a very informative article entitled: "What do Editors Want?" that will help take the guesswork out of why a story or book might be rejected.
“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.
The Short List - Compiled by author D.L. Shirey, this is a great list of places to sub your short stories and poems, from magazines that publish 50 words to 5,000.
"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.
Writer Resources: Competitions & Journals - Almond Press is both a small press publisher and a greater writer resource that lists writing competitions and journals accepting submissions.
“Where to Submit Short Stories: 23 Magazines and Websites That Want Your Work”
"Free Online Writing Events" - A month-by-month calendar of writing competitions, awards, scholarships, and other writer event deadlines by fantasy author Mica Scotti Kole.
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?”