I have a short story (non-fiction) that I would like to have published, not self published. This is my first venture into the literature field; do I need an agent? Or can I directly submit my work?

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    Agents do not represent short stories. They only represent book-length works, which is the only place they can make any money. The market for short stories is very limited today. Mostly is consists of literary magazines and short story contests, most of which you have to pay to enter.
    – user16226
    Nov 17, 2016 at 16:36
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    Welcome to Writers, Jim Friend. It's a bit unclear what you are asking. Is the question how to find an agent? The word 'also' is implying there is another question that comes before it, but I'm not seeing one. If you could clarify, that would be great. Nov 17, 2016 at 17:41
  • @mbakeranalecta - the market for non-fiction literary short stories might be limited, but the market for fiction, especially genre fiction is exploding. Here's a link to David Steffen's submissions grinder: thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com.
    – DoWhileNot
    Nov 19, 2016 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


I've had a couple short stories published in literary journals. I'd suggest you submit your story to a few of them.

To choose which ones to submit to, look at story collections that you like. They usually print lists of journals where the stories have been previously published. So make your own list of journals where your favorite authors have been published. Then get a recent copy of those journals and read through, to make sure that your story will be a good fit for them.

Then follow their submission procedures closely. These days most journals are okay with you submitting to multiple places at once, as long as you withdraw your piece after it's been accepted someplace else.

Prepare to collect quite a few rejection letters. (Here's an entertaining essay about rejection written by one of my old teachers.)

My stories are fiction, but there are plenty of journals that publish non-fiction. The same process applies.

Good luck.

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