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Flat-Rate Publishers (1 Viewer)

EternalGreen

Senior Member
I write a lot of flash fiction. For this reason, I favor publishers that pay per word not per contribution. If I see a publisher that pays, say, 50 USD for stories ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 words, I don't even consider submitting flash fiction. This makes selling my work a little difficult.

I'd like to hear from other flash fiction writers and hear how they approach this.
 

Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
I write a lot of flash fiction. For this reason, I favor publishers that pay per word not per contribution. If I see a publisher that pays, say, 50 USD for stories ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 words, I don't even consider submitting flash fiction. This makes selling my work a little difficult.
I'd like to hear from other flash fiction writers and hear how they approach this.

Good discussion topic. I, personally, wouldn't exclude the markets that pay for work with word lengths 1,000 to 10,000 words. The flash literature some of them accept is often outstanding-- they know good writing when they see it, regardless of length. I'm curious why you would avoid those markets. They will be harder to get into, because they pay, but if your work is what they're looking for, and you like the stiff competition, it's worth giving it a try, I'd say. The pay ($50 U.S.) is larger than usual for short-shorts too. Is it the pay-per-word preference that stops you from submitting?

I'm pleased when I'm paid a contributor's copy for my flash efforts. Some markets that pay in contributor copies publish some outstanding work. I love seeing on my bookshelf those hard copies of the anthologies, magazines, journals that include my work.

Same with markets that pay nothing at all-- some of them publish excellent stories and because of the quality of what they publish, they also attract some well-known writers of flash.

I also enjoy entering writing contests I know are legitimate. Those sometimes pay nicely (or pay well enough to suit me). The last contest I entered I was paid $50 for my flash piece and then later on the editor surprised me with another $25, two flash collections from outstanding writers, and two premium chocolate bars. Those chocolate bars were an especially nice touch!:-D Not only that, this same editor moved to another site with another publication name (a similar name) and I was so honored that the editor chose my piece for a list of 100 favorites.

Some 10 or so years ago I ran a successful online Flash Fiction Workshop and from that formed a smaller group, The Whiners, we called ourselves, and it was devoted to a quarterly writing contest. Each quarter we would all get the prompt and spend the weekend writing and critiquing each others' stories and whining, whining, whining about the impossibility of the prompt. Such fun we had (and still have). Two of the members won the top prize of $450 twice. Some won second place prizes $250, and some won door prizes. The whining was/is definitely top quality.:-D

No one's likely going to earn their living solely through selling flash fiction. (Similar pay problems as with writing poetry.) But a lot of pleasure and value can be drawn from writing and publishing flash anyway, and by knocking on and finding whatever publishing door that might let us in. I hope telling you of some of my experiences helps you with the choices you are or will be making. Best of luck to you!
 
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Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
I just remembered a flash fiction publishing experience that was in my eyes better than a bit of money. I submitted a piece and it was accepted. Pay was a nicely-done contributor's copy. Then to my surprise, the editor later nominated it for a Pushcart Prize. The publication was associated with a college and my piece was also used for a special campus-wide literature discussion session. That was a great experience from beginning to end.

Then a couple of years later yet this same piece was accepted by another publication so my work got online exposure too. (If I recall correctly the second publication honored it with an Editor's Choice award so I got $20 in pay for that.) Markets that don't pay a lot can sometimes end up giving the writer a lot more than she even dreamed might happen.
 

BornForBurning

Senior Member
I see your point, in the sense that economically, an editor might theoretically prefer a longer piece because they are getting more bang for their buck. However, I'm not sure that's how it works in reality. Fifty bucks is fifty bucks regardless, and a 1000-word short is a lot easier to fit into your mag than an 8000-word one. Generally speaking, I lean towards the instinct that a shorter work is an easier sell than a long one. Less competition, and objectively easier to write, anyways. On the topic of fifty bucks, that's pretty good pay for a non to semi-professional writer (if you're selling flash-fiction). Which is why I like submitting to The Arcanist.
 
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