write short stories for money

Have you ever considered turning your storytelling passion into a profitable venture? Writing short stories for money can be a lucrative and fulfilling way to earn a living as a writer. With the rise of digital and self-publishing platforms, there are now more opportunities than ever for writers to get paid for their fiction.

 In this article, we’ll explore how you can write short stories for money, including where to find paid opportunities and how to make your stories stand out. If you want to make money from your writing, keep reading to learn more!

Write Short Stories for Money

Short stories are a great way to showcase your writing talent and creativity in a concise and impactful format. They offer a chance to experiment with different styles and genres and can be a stepping stone to longer works such as novels. But why should you write short stories specifically for money?

Short stories are more marketable than longer works because they can be published in literary magazines, anthologies, and online platforms specializing in short fiction. These publications often pay writers for their work, meaning you can earn money from your writing without necessarily having to sell a full-length book.

Short stories can help you build a portfolio of published work that impresses agents, publishers, and readers. Many successful authors started writing short stories and later went on to write novels or other types of fiction.

Writing short stories for money can be a fun and rewarding creative pursuit in its own right. You’ll be able to explore different themes, characters, and settings in a condensed form and experiment with different writing styles and techniques.

Where to Find Paid Opportunities

Now that you know why writing short stories for money can be a great way to make money as a writer, let’s explore some places where you can find paid opportunities.

Literary magazines and journals 

 Many literary magazines and journals publish short fiction and pay writers for their work. Some well-known literary magazines that pay for short stories include The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The Paris Review. However, many smaller publications pay less but can still provide a valuable platform for your work. You can find these publications by searching online or by checking out resources such as the Poets & Writers Literary Magazines Database.


Anthologies are collections of short stories on a particular theme or genre and are often published by independent publishers or small presses. Many anthologies pay writers for their contributions which can be a great way to get your work in front of a wider audience. You can find calls for submissions for anthologies on websites such as Duotrope and Submittable.

Online platforms  

Many online platforms specialize in publishing short fiction; some pay writers for their work. These include websites like Medium, Wattpad, and Reedsy, allowing writers to self-publish their work and earn money through reader engagement or participating in writing contests or challenges.

Tips for Writing Successful Short Stories

Once you’ve found a paid opportunity to submit your short story, how do you ensure it stands out from the competition? Here are some tips for writing successful short stories:

Start with a strong concept. 

Because short stories are so concise, starting with a strong concept that can be fully explored in a limited space is important. Consider what makes your story unique and why it would interest readers.

Focus on character 

 In a short story, there’s little space for extensive world-building or intricate plots. Instead, focus on developing compelling characters readers can connect with and care about. Show their motivations, desires, and flaws in a way that feels authentic and relatable.

Make every word count.  

In a short story, every word matters. Make sure that every sentence serves a purpose and moves the story forward. Avoid unnecessary exposition or backstory, and focus on the most important details to create a vivid and immersive world for your readers.

Experiment with structure and form  

One of the advantages of writing short stories is that you have more flexibility to experiment with different structures and forms. Try playing with the traditional three-act structure, or experiment with flash fiction or other unconventional forms.

Edit ruthlessly  

Once you’ve finished your first draft, be prepared to edit and revise your story extensively. Cut out anything that doesn’t contribute to the overall narrative, and refine your language and pacing until it’s as tight and impactful as possible.


In conclusion, Writing short stories for money can be a challenging but rewarding way to make a living as a writer. By focusing on strong concepts, compelling characters, and concise language, you can create stories that stand out from the competition and attract paying markets. Remember to research potential markets carefully and submit your work professionally, and you’ll be on your way to earning money from your fiction in no time.

If you’re ready to start writing short stories for money, the first step is to start writing! Take some time to brainstorm ideas and start drafting your first story. Once you’re happy with your work, start researching potential markets and submitting your stories to paying publications. And don’t forget to keep honing your craft and experimenting with different styles and forms. With persistence and hard work, you can make a successful career by writing short stories.

Thank you for reading, and happy writing!

FAQs – Write Short Stories for Money

How much can you get paid for writing short stories?

Payment for short stories can vary widely depending on the publication and the length of the story. Some publications pay a flat fee per story; others pay per word or offer a percentage of the profits. Rates can range from a few cents per word to several hundred dollars or more.

Do you need publishing experience to write short stories for money?

No, previous publishing experience is not necessarily required to write short stories for money. However, having previous writing experience and a strong portfolio of work can increase your chances of getting published and earning money for your writing.

Can you self-publish short stories and still make money?

Yes, self-publishing can be a viable option for earning money from your short stories. Platforms such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords allow writers to self-publish their work and earn royalties on sales. However, self-publishing requires significant marketing and promotion to attract readers, so it’s important to have a solid strategy in place.


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