A Guide to Writing and Publishing Short Stories

Short stories are always a quick digest. In today’s fast paced environment, people often prefer quick reads over lengthy stories. Be it an office going employee or a student with almost no habit of reading, short stories can always offer a good start to their reading journey. In fact, short stories can tempt them to read more.

To understand the art of writing short stories, firstly we need to understand the various types of Short Stories you can write.


An anecdote is a brief description of an amusing or interesting incident. It often relates to real people or happenings. It is a short story that can be shared over a coffee break. An anecdote can be a deep or humorous incident that is generally crisp and emphasizes on few characters only.


A fable is a short story with a moral attached to it. This kind of short story mainly focus on enhancing the readers learning. A fable often includes fantasy elements and characters. Some of them include the use of animal characters to describe human behaviour, for example, ‘The Hare and the Tortoise’.

Flash Fiction:

A short narrative ranging from 5 – 1500 words is flash fiction. The focus of flash fiction is mainly on movement i.e. each sentence or word peels back a layer and describes the story. Literary journals and magazines often keep a dedicated section for flash fiction stories.


A vignette is a short piece of writeup that focuses on a single idea, scene, subject, character or setting. It entertains the reader by using dramatic characters and dialogue. Vignettes are generally stand-alone pieces with a unique voice that captivates the readers. The writer writing a vignette must use minimal characters to form a beautiful write-up.

We are sure that you must have made up your mind about what kind of short stories will be your forte. Here are the things that would help you polish your writing –

To the Point Dialogues:

Every dialogue works as an important part of the short story. Add crisp, to the point dialogues to your story but do not forget to add emotional descriptions too.

Limit the Number of Characters:

The lesser the number of characters you use, the crisper your short story will be. A few significant characters will play around the entire plot to make it an interesting and quick read.

Keeping Up the Pace:

A short story is mostly fast paced and it gets close to the end with every paragraph a reader goes through. It is imperative to pre plan your plot in order to keep the pace same throughout the story. This will not drag the story to more than the required number of words.

Edit and Trim the Story:

Read and re-read the story to trim the unnecessary and repetitive words and scenes. Keep the story precise, thrilling and crisp to avoid the reader giving up on the story. Remember, a story with no end can also be a hit. So do not force end the story just for the sake of it.

Understanding your forte of writing and narrating beautiful short stories is one thing and publishing it through the right medium is another. Let us help you with the list of platforms you can choose to publish your short stories.


An anthology is a collection of short stories and poems from various authors and poets hailing from different parts of the world. There are various self publishers in India that organise anthology contests from time to time and post an open invitation to the writers to contribute their piece of work to the book. Such invitations are generally announced on the social media handles of the publishers. Do follow and keep your eye on such contests, contribute your piece of writing and get it published in the form of a book.

Note: These contests mostly charge a nominal fee towards organising the contests, editing your work, publishing the book and making it available on e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart.

Learn more about the benefits of participating in an anthology

Literary Magazines:

Print magazines or e-magazines are always open to publishing short stories and poems from authors who are willing to be a part of their monthly editions. Most of them are open to taking the writeups and such invitations are displayed on their websites and social media handles.

Note: Some magazines are open for free publishing whereas, a few of them charge a nominal fee to publish your content.

Self Publishing:

Having a book on your name sounds interesting, isn’t it?

Compile all your short stories/ poems into a Ms office word file and look out for a well-established Self Publishing company that would help you publish your manuscript in the form of a book.

Do follow the submission guidelines mentioned on their website, subscribe to any of their publishing packages and be a published author or a poet.

Damick Publications would sincerely be happy to publish your book. Work with our team to create an amazing book cover and book design. We will make your book available for sale on e-commerce websites like Amazon and pay you the royalty on each book sold. Willing to know more? Get in touch with us today.

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