I’m currently writing a thousand things at once (it works for me; don’t judge) and, among them, I’m polishing up a novella-in-stories and getting ready to…what? It’s a tough sentence to finish for many reasons. First, I’m not even sure a novella-in-stories is a thing. (Anyone ever write one of these? What did you do with it?) Second, assuming it is, what do I do with it?
I’ve done a bit of research on the market for novellas, and I’ll share the results of that here. But I’m hoping others will chime in with other ideas. Please share them if you have them!
1. Apparently, you can send them to regular old literary magazines.
- John Fox has assembled a pretty good list of literary journals that accept novellas over at BookFox, as does John Woodington. I won’t re-type them here. But, seriously, don’t you already have to be famous to get a novella into AQR or The Paris Review?
2. Or you can try a small boutique-y press. This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few ideas.
- Tiny Hardcore Press can get down with a novella-length manuscript. And they’ll make it look pretty.
- Flatmancrooked’s New Novella imprint publishes (you guessed it) new novellas.
- Mud Luscious Press can handle a novella up to 35,000 words. If you’ve got something really tiny (8,000 to 15,000 words), you can send it to their new imprint, Nephew.
3. You can send them to novella contests. I don’t love this idea because it costs money. $10 doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you send your novella to 10 contests, that’s $100 (for those of you who failed math class). Considering how many times a typical story gets rejected before I place it, those reading fees could really add up. But here’s a few in case you’re interested.
- The William Faulkner- William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition has a division for novellas.
- Here’s one at Miami University Press, specifically designed to fill the market gap for novellas.
- This one’s Canadian, care of The Malahat Review.
4. Finally (finally?), you can put your novella up against other genres in regular old chapbook contests, like these.
- The Collagist Chapbook Contest.
- Caketrain’s chapbook contest.
- Here’s one at Black Lawrence Press.
- Main Street Rag does one as well.
If you have some shorter pieces, you can package your novella together with short stories and try to place the collection with a small press, or send it to some contests. What did I miss? What is everyone else doing with their novellas?
P.S. Interesting little piece at The New York Times about why novellas are the real art form.
10 thoughts on “What to Do With This Novella…”
I’ll also add in another Canadian venue: Short Sharp Shock. They just accepted novella of mine for publication, so I can verify that publishing a novella is not, in fact, mathematically impossible for a non-famous writer.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart! I’m finishing a novella, rounding the last curve on this endurance test, and confronting the sinking feeling it’ll never see the light of day. I have two volumes of interconnected stories out, but I don’t want to beg my e-book publisher to take me back.
Thanks, John! And thanks for your list of venues. It’s very helpful.
Thanks for this, Aubrey. I think I’m working on a novella-in-stories, but I’m hoping it’ll just turn in to a novel-in-stories, or something more like that. Odds are, though, it’s not going to. For now, I’m just ignoring what I’ll do with it when I’m through, but I’m glad to know your post exists in the event I change my mind.
And: I hope all’s well over your way. I’ve read some stories by you lately that I’ve very much loved.
Haha. Good luck with the WIP. And thanks for the kind words!
Thank you very much for posting these links! I belong to RWA and other writing groups. Finding a good amount of contest that offer for Novellas is rather difficult. I have been looking for a contest for some time.
I will definitely pass this information on to other writers.
Have you considered turning it into an ebook and selling it as a Kindle book on Amazon? That’s what I getting ready to do.
It’s a great idea if you have enough of a platform to get decent sales.