Recycle your rejected short stories

misty irish weather

The path isn’t always clear, but there’s more than one route.

It’s that time of year where stories are starting to get accepted/rejected from the journals/competitions you entered end of last year/the beginning of this year.

If you’re finding yourself receiving rejections, don’t be disheartened – there are plenty more outlets to try. See it as the perfect time to recycle.

Sometimes a story is rejected because it’s not good enough and needs more work, sometimes it’s because the story resembles something in a recent issue, and sometimes it’s simply not to the editor’s taste.

How do you know the difference?

Read the feedback you received and reread your piece with this feedback in mind. If you feel your piece is still the best you can make it, send it out somewhere else. If you think it needs tweaking or improving (it’s amazing how time away from a story suddenly highlights its flaws) then rework and resubmit. Simple.

Here are a few journals currently seeking submissions…

If you’re in search of some paying markets, then check out (for starters):

Glimmer Train

The South Circular


The Stinging Fly

If you write long stories, e.g. 4000+ words – try Long, Story Short


Looking for inspiration and/or collaboration? Then Spontaneity could be just the place…

Other outlets definitely worth trying include:

Make sure you read the submission guidelines carefully and familiarise yourself with the journal before submitting… I admit that I missed the 2000 minimum word count for The Fiction Desk and had my story returned. My only faux pas, and never to be repeated!

Happy writing and good luck! I’d love to hear of any successes so I can share your links – and if you have other favourite outlets to share, please add in the comments below!


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