Short Story Markets

Rena George Short Story Markets 8 Comments

I’ve found a new market for my short stories – well, new to me, but I suspect many of you are already familiar with the US magazine Woman’s World.

Remuneration is good if you can write to their very specific
requirements. I definitely intend to have a go at it.

You might want to have a look at Kate Willoughby’s blog here She reviews a story each week, breaking down the content and examining exactly why the story was chosen.

She says, “I’ve sold nine romance stories to Woman’s World magazine at a success rate of about 30%. This blog is intended to help others sell to them too.

“Every week I analyse the romance stories and post my observations and opinions. I think you’ll get the most out of it if you have a copy of the story to refer to, but people outside of the U.S. have told me that they still find the blog helpful even though they can’t get the magazine where they live.”

Here are the guidelines for anyone interested:


We buy contemporary romances of 800 words. Stories must revolve around a compelling, true-to-life relationship dilemma; may feature either a female or male protagonist; and may be written in either the first or third person. Characters may be married, single, divorced or widowed; should be down-to-earth (no yuppies or jet-setters); and their dilemma should be poignantly or humorously conveyed. Please think carefully about a story’s setting, mood and plot, and tell the story with interesting action and dialogue. (Every sentence, paragraph, and scene of the story should deliver more information about your characters and their situation and/or briskly advance the storyline).

We are not interested in stories involving life-or-death matters, nor are we interested in fluffy, flyaway-style romance. When we say romance, what we really mean is relationship–whether it’s just beginning or is  about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The emphasis in our stories is on real life-which is why we do not buy science fiction, fantasy or historical romance.

We pay $800 per romance and retain First North American Serial Rights for six months after publication.

Mini mystery guidelines:

We purchase short “solve-it-yourself” mysteries of 700 words–a count that includes the narrative and the solution. Stories should be cleverly plotted, entertaining cliffhangers that end with a challenge to the reader to figure out whodunnit or howdunnit. The solution to the mystery is provided in a separate box.

Robbery, burglary, fraud and murder are acceptable subjects, but spare the readers any gory details or excessive violence, please!  We are also not interested in ghost stories, science fiction or fantasy.

We pay $500 per mystery and retain First North American Serial Rights for six months after publication.


Manuscripts should be double-spaced in legible size type.

Where to send manuscripts: Fiction Editor, Woman’s World, 270 Sylvan Ave., Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632. Indicate Mini Mystery or Romance on the envelope.

How to send manuscripts: (1) You must include a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope to receive a reply. Manuscripts not accompanied by a SASE will be discarded. Note: A #10 SASE is necessary not just for a response, but for your contract if we purchase your story.
(2) Please DO NOT fax or e-mail manuscripts–because such submissions do not include SASEs, we have no means of responding to your submission.

Get to know us: Please familiarize yourself thoroughly with our romances and mini mysteries before submitting your work.

Be patient: Because we receive a tremendous volume of manuscripts, our turnaround time may range from one to six months. If you still have not heard from us after that time, feel free to re-submit your manuscript. Please do not call or write us to inquire about a manuscript’s status.

Comments 8

  1. Hi Rena! I saw your comments on Kate Willoughby’s blog and went to your blog. Very nice! I’ve had several stories in Woman’s World and wanted to touch base with a fellow writer and also share my blog. I would like to follow your blog but I’m pretty technically inept and don’t know how to sign up! I’m very impressed with yours–it’s really beautiful. Anyway, thought I’d share and happy writing.

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      Nell, Welcome to my blog. It’s great to see you here. Thanks for the kind words. I am sooo impressed with your success in Woman’s World. Any chance of telling us a bit more about that?

  2. Hmmm. I don’t really know what to share other than it took a loooooong time to sell a story to WW for me. I don’t know if that’s true for everyone but I’m thinking it took several years before I got a lovely “yes” in the mail. I think what works for me is any time I’m talking to someone or out doing something a little different I wonder if I can work it into a romance. I wish there were more markets for “women’s” stories. I grew up reading them in magazines like Good Housekeeping, Ladies’ Home Journal, McCall’s–now they have gone the way of antennae’s and black and white movies! Maybe we need to start a book series like the Chicken Soup for the Soul ones only this one would focus on romantic short stories.

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      Thanks for coming back, Nell. Woman’s World does seem like a tough market to crack, although your success proves it’s worth sticking with it. Well done.

      The continuing squeeze on short story markets has to be a constant worry for all of us. I can’t really understand why some editors drop their fiction sections, especially when the ones continuing to publish and promote short fiction seem to be the ones that are thriving (well, as much as any magazine can in the current financial climate)

      Savvy magazines like Woman’s Weekly, People’s Friend, and Take a Break, would not be publishing Fiction Specials if readers weren’t buying them. I just wish the rest of the women’s magazine market would get wise to the fact that readers actually like fiction.

      Have you checked out Womagwriter’s brilliant blog for current short story markets? (There’s a link on this blog)

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  3. You are so right, Rena! I do believe women like to read fiction along with the endless articles on how to thin our thighs and straighten out our closets (along with straightening out our husbands : )) I used to buy all of the women’s magazines every single month and now I only buy Woman’s World. I do buy old magazines off eBay and I love reading the short stories from the 60s and 70s. They were great! I am going to check out the blog you mentioned. I’m sure I share the same dream with you–to be a full-time writer with a decent salary! Sometimes I think my other dream–winning the lottery–is more likely to happen!

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    Dreams are good, Nell, – and sometimes they come true (although maybe not the lottery)
    Womagwriter’s blog is a real inspiration. Enjoy your browse through it.
    Good luck with your future writing. Rx

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