by Paula Gail Benson
When I first became serious about writing short stories, I
discovered a blog called My Little
Corner, where author Sandra Seamans provided updates on short story
markets. Sadly, we lost Sandra
in 2019. A month after her passing, I compiled this
message listing remembrances and her stories.
Sandra was a past president of the Short Mystery Fiction Society
(SMFS), a group that continues to flourish today under President Robert Lopresti. If you are at all
interested in writing or reading mystery short stories, I recommend that you join
the group. Membership is free and provides the benefits of connecting with a
large number of mystery writers, receiving information about story calls and
craft seminars, and being eligible to submit and nominate stories for the
prestigious Derringer Awards. Our Vice President, Kevin Tipple, does a
phenomenal job of publicizing markets and members’ work on the SMFC blog and markets page as
well as his own blog,
Kevin’s Corner. [Please note, as Kevin reminds me in a comment below, that during Derringer season, membership in the SMFS is closed. You can join after May 1.]
Recently, the SMFS membership had a vigorous online discussion
a subscription service that provides information about short story markets, and
The Submission Grinder, a
submission tracker and market database for writers of prose and poetry. Duotrope
often has a free trial period for those who wish to check it out. The
Submission Grinder compiles reports from submitters to indicate the amount of
time it takes to receive an acceptance or rejection.
In the SMFS online discussion, Michael Bracken, an
excellent author and editor of short stories, provided a list of Facebook
groups that he has joined and consulted to learn about story markets. He
pointed out that these links offer information about various genres and both paying
and non-paying markets. He cautioned authors to investigate markets before
submitting. Here is his list:
Michael Bracken has two calls for submissions, one open until
the end of February and the other open during the month of March.
Mickey Finn: 21st Century Noir, Volume 3, seeks
approximately 5,000 words stories set in a “world where the mean streets seem
gentrified by comparison and happy endings are the exception rather than the
rule.” Deadline: February 28, 2021.
More information may be found at this
Black Cat Mystery Magazine Presents Cozies is open from March 1
through March 31, 2021, for stories about 1,000 to 8,000 words “in which sex and violence occur off stage, the detective is an amateur
sleuth, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate
For more information, check this link.
Are you a short story writer or thinking about becoming
one? Why not check out these links to learn more about the possibilities?