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Thread: Short Story America

  1. #1
    Benefactor Member Manuel Royal's Avatar
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    Short Story America

    A friend recommended a site called Short Story America (as a market for short stories). Seems like a nice enough place. (For some reason my browser window gets resized when I go to that url, but otherwise it's fine.)

    I couldn't find payment information, but the editor, Tim Johnston, replied promptly to my query and told me they pay a flat $100 for short stories, $50 for flash fiction. (Though it occurs to me now I don't know at just what wordage they make the distinction.)

    I submitted a 1,000 word story. Will report back on any results.
    Last edited by Manuel Royal; 10-01-2010 at 12:55 AM. Reason: Embarrassing spelling error
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  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW linfred4's Avatar
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    Have you thought of entering contests? There is a few that is great and if you win you get paid more then a 100dollars a story.

  3. #3
    Benefactor Member Manuel Royal's Avatar
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    Well, a contest can be a two-edged sword. For instance: In July I entered a story in the monthly First Line Fiction contest. I won, receiving $125. ("Arbor Day") It was only a 2,200 word story, so that was comparable to professional rates. Great!

    But -- in August I submitted a story to the next month's contest. Didn't win a thing. Not only made no money, but now that story (crappy story here) is available online, meaning that I can't submit it anywhere else unless it's a market that accepts reprints. (Which, incidentally, Short Story America does.)
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  4. #4
    i'm a girl. (i have tendonitis) defyalllogic's Avatar
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    i hate (with a fiery passion) sites that re-size my browser window!

    their response rates are all over the place... http://www.duotrope.com/market_4283.aspx

  5. #5
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by defyalllogic View Post
    i hate (with a fiery passion) sites that re-size my browser window!
    There should be a setting in your browser's Javascript to take care of that. (E.g., in FireFox, it's Tools --> Options --> Enable Javascript --> Advanced ... --> uncheck Allow scripts to ... "Move or resize existing windows".)
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  6. #6
    Benefactor Member Manuel Royal's Avatar
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    Thanks, CaoPaux! Done and done.
    Fiction blog as Manuel Royal: Donnetown Today or Recently (or a Long Time Ago)

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  7. #7
    Learning to read more, post less
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    Skip the contests. Contests are the worst possible way of earning money from short stories.

  8. #8
    Benefactor Member Manuel Royal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamesaritchie View Post
    Skip the contests. Contests are the worst possible way of earning money from short stories.
    In the long run, I agree. I've earned more from contest than from sales so far, but I think that's a fluke.
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  9. #9
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    ... and so many of them charge stupid entrance fees.
    Pat on the back though for the contest win :-)

  10. #10
    i'm a girl. (i have tendonitis) defyalllogic's Avatar
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    so are they a regular market?

    do they buy and resell? I'm not clear on their business model.

  11. #11
    Benefactor Member Manuel Royal's Avatar
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    Well, they present each short story in an online reader format, like an e-book (you "turn pages" with your cursor). It's free to read them. You need to register in order to submit work, but that's also free.

    The e-mail I got from Tim Johnston said that they need visits to the site to keep it viable, but I'm not sure what that means. Maybe they're relying on future sales of anthologies.
    Last edited by Manuel Royal; 10-01-2010 at 12:56 AM.
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  12. #12
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    Accepted for publication by Short Story America.

    Hi,

    I just had a story accepted by Short Story America. It goes live on their site at midnight, and you can read all their stories, for free, once you register (which costs nothing).

    I am happy to answer any questions anyone has. I know they are actively seeking submissions, and they publish a story a week online. Payment, at the moment, is $100 per story. They plan to publish a compendium of these weekly stories (52 in all) in Spring 2011, and also have plans for e-book and audiobook versions. In addition to the $100 authors receive a share of royalties generated from the compendium. The founder of the site, Tim Johnston, is a writer himself (I believe he won the O. Henry Prize a few years ago), and very pleasant to deal with.

    Dave

    P.S. Despite the name, they accept submissions from across the world.

  13. #13
    storm central stormie's Avatar
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    I had forgotten about Short Story America. Thanks to the OP for mentioning them.

  14. #14
    storm central stormie's Avatar
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    Now I remember why I took this place off my "to submit to" list. I just logged on, and found that submission screen isn't fully realized. Part is cut off in the submission window. And I tried looking into Tools>java.etc. and can't figure out how to get the rest of that window to show so I can browse for my work and upload it.

  15. #15
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    Message from Short Story America

    Hi all,

    The guy who runs Short Story America, Tim Johnston, has joined the forum, but hasn't got posting rights yet, so he asked me to post the message below on his behalf.

    Dave

    *****

    Publishing terms: Short Story America pays $100 (U.S.) for a story chosen as Story of the Week, and $50 for a flash-fiction story (short-short, under 1,000 words) which appears as Story of the Week. The story is then permanently published in the Short Story America Contemporary Library, for all future SSA readers to be able to discover the story. The author retains copyright, and gives Short Story America permanent permission to publish the story in any format. Payment occurs approximately 90 days after initial publication. Short Story America will also be publishing an anthology series by volume (in print, e-reader and audio formats). The stories which appear as Story of the Week will be anthologized, and the authors of those stories will share in a fifteen-percent (15%) royalty based on Short Story America's net sales revenue of the anthology. When an audio version of a single story is sold as an mp3 download, the author of that story will receive fifteen percent (15%) of Short Story America's net sales of that audio version, which is professionally read in a sound studio. Audio versions of stories will be available at the Short Story America website beginning in late 2010.

    Important: By submitting your story to Short Story America, you warrant that you are the sole author of the material which you submit.

    Acceptances and rejections: Short Story America accepts stories by telephone and email. All stories remain under consideration until withdrawn by the author. Short Story America has developed a policy of strong encouragement of simultaneous submissions, as we do not believe that publishers (including us) have the right to demand that you give us exclusive time to review your story. By the same token, beginning in October 2010, because we encourage simultaneous submissions, we will NOT reject stories. Please consider your story to be under consideration by Short Story America. If you wish to inquire about your story specifically, you are welcome to do so by writing to:
    editors@shortstoryamerica.com. We will be happy to give you feedback about your story, as long as we have had sufficient time to read it (there are two readers at Short Story America, and we read all stories thoroughly, so please do not inquire in the first thirty days after submitting).

    To see the mission statement of Short Story America, and to join and submit, go to http://www.shortstoryamerica.com.

  16. #16
    storm central stormie's Avatar
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    Great--maybe he can help us in resizing or fixing that online submission form. The right side is cut off on the screen.

    I've submitted to other magazines using their log-in online submission forms, and never had this problem. It seems like a good magazine, so....

  17. #17
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    Hi Stormie,

    I had no problem during the submission process, and I have no connection at home at the moment, so I am using a variety of computers & browsers to access the site, no problems here. Can you tell me what browser and OS are you using and give a little more detail on the problem you had.

    Thanks

    Dave

  18. #18
    Persisting AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    stormie, I'm a computer idiot, but one thing I've learned is that glitches like this are often unique to a browser. Most websites display best on Internet Explorer, and some web designers never view them on anything else, including older versions of IE. (Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy--don't they care than in other browsers text overlaps, images never load or are cropped, and they look entirely unprofessional?)

    So if you're using Firefox, Opera, a many-years-old incarnation of Internet Explorer, or some other browser, try IE's current version to see if the display of that submission window doesn't self-correct.

    Maryn, on Firefox
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  19. #19
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    I think the days of web-designers only designing for IE are long-gone, the majority use firefox now.

    I was using firefox and chrome to submit, and had no problems.

    Dave

  20. #20
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi Stormie, Maryn, Dave and fellow writers of short fiction!

    I just joined Absolute Write, and am happy to chime in here (now that I have been authorized to post). I'm Tim Johnston, founder and publisher of Short Story America. Stormie, please feel free to email me your contact information, and I'll have our webmaster contact you to see whether he can help (he's great and always eager to help; we rarely hear of a submission problem, but when we do, we don't want to leave you hanging without a solution). Dave and Maryn are probably right...it likely has to do with your browser, but I am no expert, which is why we have a very capable webmaster. And Dave and Maryn are also right that our site is set up to work well with IE, Firefox, Safari, and on down the long list. Of course, the site looks spacially different on my large desktop monitor from how it looks on my laptop, but in both cases I do not have anything cut off. We receive about 80 story submissions per week, so I don't think the issue here is actually at the site, but as I said, I don't want to make that assumption out of hand. Send me your contact information by writing to me at: tim@shortstoryamerica.com. I'll forward your info to our webmaster, whose name is Steve. He'll contact you as quickly as possible. If you have any other problems, feel free to contact me at the above email address or at editors@shortstoryamerica.com, which is the address in the Members Lounge at the publication.

    All the best,

    Tim Johnston
    Short Story America

  21. #21
    i'm a girl. (i have tendonitis) defyalllogic's Avatar
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    I've gone to that site like 5 times and just now saw the "start here" on the left and the light blue login/register under it! may submit one day...

    the cursor blinks in the gray bar and i though it was something but it's nothing.

  22. #22
    storm central stormie's Avatar
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    Update:

    Tim, the publisher, and Steve, the webmaster, have both contacted me. As someone who has been submitting to magazines for over ten years, this is very professional that they answer in a timely manner (I emailed them also).

    I use IE 8 on Vista. The right portion of the submissions window (about an inch) is cut off, and goes to Short Story America's blue background. I cannot see the browse to upload story button, nor the submit button. I log in okay, but when trying to submit, that is what I get. I've used other magazine's online submission forms with no problem.

    (Tim--I tried emailing Steve this info, but his email address isn't accepting my address, even after I fill out the form.)

    Tim, thank you for your email. I'll be in touch.

  23. #23
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Nice. I'll give them a look.

    EDIT: Would this thread get more attention in Paying Markets or Bewares, Recommendations and Background Checks?
    Last edited by Chris P; 10-02-2010 at 12:38 AM.
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  24. #24
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    I already moved Tim's other post to Paying Markets, so I'll slip this one over to BR&BC.
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  25. #25
    Ubi dubium ibi libertas OneWriter's Avatar
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    Hi, I'm confused by the "we will NOT reject stories"... Does it mean they all get published? That seems unlikely. So then there's a period of time after which if one doesn't hear back, one's supposed to assume the rejection?

    ETA: I submitted and it said I should hear back within 90 days. So I guess there is some kind of feedback. Thanks!
    Last edited by OneWriter; 10-02-2010 at 02:41 AM.

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