Publishing Fiction on Medium
I finished my first short story last year, at the ripe old age of 43. In the beginning, my stories were in the range of 500 to 1,000 words, and I would struggle to finish them. But I kept at it, and eventually I was completing about two or three new stories each month, with an average length between 1,500 and 3,500 words.
I began submitting my stories to various online and print publications, often through Submittable, or sometimes directly to editors. Before I knew it, I was spending almost all of my free time drafting cover letters, submitting stories, and sending follow up emails, with no time left to actually write anything new.
My fundamental rule with writing is this: If it’s not fun, I’m not going to do it. I already have a hectic life, and I do not need any more headaches. Believe me, there is nothing fun about drafting cover letters and submitting stories. It is one thing if you have completed a novel or a novella and you are shopping your beloved new book around to literary agents and publishing houses, but when you are submitting dozens of stories to dozens of different publications simultaneously, it quickly becomes a miserable experience.
Medium is Free
Anyone can create a Medium account and self-publish stories and/or articles, free of charge. If you wish, you can pay $5 per month for a premium account, which allows you full access to all of the stories behind Medium’s pay wall. In contrast, if you have a free account, you will just have access to the stories that are not behind Medium’s pay wall, in addition to a handful of the pay wall stories each month. Personally, I have a free account and Medium does not cost me anything.
Also, there are no ads on Medium, which is terrific. Published stories appear in a professional format with a large photo at the top of the story, with no ads or links anywhere to be seen on the page.
Fiction Publications on Medium
You will find that the majority of articles on Medium are self-help articles, are news related, or are political in nature. But there are plenty of fiction writers (like me) on Medium, too. It is important to find fiction publications that will accept your stories on Medium. You may post your stories on your personal Medium page, but it is unlikely that many people will find your stories there.
The best way to have your stories reach a large audience on Medium is to post your stories through a fiction publication. On each fiction publication homepage, there will be instructions for submitting your stories. Typically, you will need to email your story directly to the publication’s editor, and the editor will determine whether to add you as a writer for that publication. If you are added as a writer, you will then be permitted to publish future stories at that particular publication, after the editor reviews and approves your stories.
Here is one of the first stories I wrote, which was released on Medium in a publication called The Junction:
Below is a longer story I recently posted in a Medium publication called P.S. I Love You:
Steely, Crystal, and Me
Unless you are an aficionado of antiques and mechanical oddities, you may be unfamiliar with automatons. They look like…
Most of my stories are a cross between mainstream and horror, but I occasionally write a story about relationships. In my experience, stories about relationships, romance, marriage, etc. are the most widely read stories and elicit the most responses from readers.
Be Active on Medium
Perhaps the best way to grow your own audience and increase your following on Medium is to read the stories of others that interest you, “clap” when you read something you like, and leave an encouraging comment. It means a lot to writers to know that others are reading and (hopefully) enjoying their fiction pieces. Doing this, in addition to “following” other Medium writers will help you to become a part of Medium’s writing community. In addition, you will learn quite a bit by reading stories written by some of the more accomplished writers within the Medium network.
If you want my advice, just write what you love and keep it fun. Cheers!
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