Pro-Tips on Short Story Submissions

Hello all,

You guys have been supporting me for a long time now, so it’s only fair I give something back. I racked my brains for a long time thinking what I could possibly do to return your support – but couldn’t think of anything. Then I realised lots of you are writers yourselves and also trying to make it in the difficult world of publishing. So, what I’m going to give you are some pro-tips on short story submissions. This is system I call ‘the rota’ and it’s very effective for beating rejection blues as well as efficiently maximizing your output so you can spend more time focusing on the important business of actually putting pen to paper!

1) Write a list of 5 or six publishers.magazines who are suitable for your genre and word count of story. It may sound obvious, but if you’ve written a sci-fi piece around 7,000 words, don’t send it to a literary poetry journal seeking haikus! Order the publishers from your most preferred to least – this could be either by what payment they offer, their prestige, or another factor.

2) Format your short story and triple check it for type-os and spelling mistakes. It may sound obvious, but it’s especially important with short stories, because of the brevity of the form. With a novel, publishers know it’s highly unlikely a writer can self edit to the degree where there are no errors in an entire 50,000-100,000 word document, but with a short story, you really need to make it smooth.

3) Send your story to the first publisher on your list. After that, forget about it. Ready your other short stories and work on getting them perfect to send. If you receive a rejection, then send your story to the second publisher on your list and send another story to the first one. This way, every rejection, rather than sending you back to the drawing board, is giving you the opportunity to send a new story out – like a hydra’s head, for each one severed, you add a story to your list.

4) If a story is rejected by all the publishers on your list, then look for specific criticisms in the rejection letter to improve it. If all the rejection letters are generic – then look at the story yourself or get a friend to and ask what is lacking. You can then either heavily rework the story and send it to a new publisher not on your list, or retire it for the moment and use the learnt lessons on your next piece.

5) There are exceptions! Sometimes, you find an anthology, competition, publication or magazine that feels like the perfect place for your story. In which case, you can break the rules and send it straight there. This was the case for me with Dark Hall Press’s ‘Technological Horror’ anthology – as soon as a I read the brief I knew my story ‘Descent’ would be suited for it. I didn’t know whether I’d be accepted at that point, of course, but when the guidelines call to you, it’s a good idea to answer.

Further news:

The Darkest Touch on Special Offer

The opportunity to get a copy of The Darkest Touch for 99 cents (77p) is dwindling as October draws to its spooky conclusion! Get it while it’s cheap as chips (in fact, probably cheaper).



Seven Dark Stars – Pre-Release Review Copies

The zealous among you may also be interested in this unique opportunity to purchase a copy of my next release ‘Seven Dark Stars’ before it even hits the shelves. However, as always is the case with these things, there is a price for this foreknowledge, and that’s a review. There are no requirements on length or format to this review, only that it is entirely honest. It can be anything from a drunken video rant to an eloquent poetic decompartmentalisation.

On a serious note, I’m always eager to hear what people think of my work good or bad, so by all means taken advantage of this unique opportunity to feed back. I’ll be retweeting, blogging and linking to your blog site if you send the details through to me too, so hopefully that will get you some views.

To get your hands on a pre-release copy, you can go to one of the links below:



That’s all from me folks! Have a good week.If you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments below or alternatively go to the ‘Novels’ page of my website at: and fill in the message form.

Party hard for Halloween,



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