Useful Links for Publishing Speculative Fiction Short Stories

As you can tell from the title, I am already going back on my promise about not putting links about publishing up on the web. However, the fact is that I use these links very frequently from multiple locations and part of the reason for this blog was a convenient place for me to keep links that I didn’t want to lose.  I will update this from time to time with new links, but I don’t guarantee anything. So, without further ado, in no particular order:

General Info

  • The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Association – Many, many good links about the business of publishing, specifically those links on this page.
  • Manuscript preparation
  • How to arrive at a publishing word count (which is different than what your computer says it is)
  • The Black Hole – response times for different markets.
  • Several articles that form Old Uncle Orson (Scott Card)’s writing class.
  • Clichéd plot devices, and also for horror.
  • Dean Wesley Smith‘s blog, which contains so, so many great tips on writing. He is also the originator of the Race score:
    • You get one point for every short story in the mail.
    • You get three points for every novel proposal or chapters and outline you have out. (Only three points per book, not per submission )
    • You get eight points for every full novel manuscript you have out to market.
    • Those destined to become known authors achieve a Race score of more than 10 (somewhere more in the neighborhood of 50 – 70)
  • You must immediately sign up for David Farland (a.k.a. Dave Wolverton)’s Daily Kick in the Pants email. Much the same type of stuff as what’s on Dean Wesley Smith’s blog, I would be hard pressed to pick between them.
  • The forums at AbsoluteWrite – absolutely staggering in size. I challenge you to find any publishing question that has not been asked at least 3 times on there somewhere.
  • Miss Snark – this was really for novels and it is now defunct, but there is still a lot of good information about publishing there and also a lot of hooks and such, so you can get an idea about how fresh your concept is. Sort of replaced by Query Shark.
  • The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing a Book – Comprehensive (751 pages!), free, and humorous this has numerous tips and tricks both about writing, publishing and promoting yourself (of which I haven’t found a lot of other resources). I personally take some of it with a grain of salt, and it tends to get repetitive, but it’s still a worthwhile read.
  • Story length
    • <= 500 words – Flash Fiction
    • 500 – 1000 words – Short Short
    • 1000 – 15,000 words – Short Story
    • 17,500 – 25,000 words – Novella
    • 25,000 – 40,000 words – Novelette
    • >= 40,000 words – Novel
  • Heinlein’s Rules For Writing
    • 1. You must write.
    • 2. You must finish what you write.
    • 3. You must refrain from rewriting, except to editorial order.
    • 4. You must put the work on the market.
    • 5. You must keep the work on the market until it is sold.


  • God Checker – Information on any god you could care to name

Finding Markets

Magazine / Anthology / Contest links

The Big Three


Magazines / Anthologies

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