In my attempt at being a published short story writer, I try to spend more time being creative and less time finding a home for my stories. Finding a magazine to send my short stories to can take a lot of time.
Over the years, I used sources such as Duotrope (costs to subscribe, but worth it), Poets and Writers Literary Magazines database (free, but please subscribe to their great magazine), and the annual Writers Digest Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Using these sources saves time from randomly searching the internet.
I also use a spreadsheet I created with over 250 magazines who publish stories similar to what I write (see the blog post “Keeping Track of Things). The spreadsheet doubles as a way to keep track of the stories I send out.
After I narrow down my search to a few magazines, I go to the magazine’s website for more information.
I read what the magazine has published, the editors’ biographies, their mission statements, and submission requirements. One of the most important items is meeting the word count. I stay at least 500 words below their maximum number of words because shorter is generally better.
When I finally pick a magazine, I follow the submission process exactly. I don’t want my story rejected because of a technicality. And, the most important part of the process is spelling the editor’s name correctly.
What this is all about is the expense of time. Writing and getting published are about many things, including writing a good story. Having enough time to do this creativity and finding someone to like what is written is important.