Where to Read Short Stories Online: 17 Quality Links

Has anyone noticed how many places you can read short stories online these days? I'm talking about accomplished short stories, the sort you used to find only in obscure literary magazines in the library stacks.

I'm impressed by the quality of some of these online journals and have created this page to direct others to the best short story sites.

Until recently, the novel has always been my preferred form for literature—I'm a novelist after all—and I infrequently read short stories. When I did, they were usually in a collection published by a novelist I favoured.

Of late, however, I read short stories often because I can get through them before work drags me away. And I have developed a whole new appreciation for the genre.

Sometimes short stories are as tightly written as poetry, with exquisite and original diction. Other times it is a clever idea that captures me, as in Charlie Fish's clever story "Death by Scrabble".

Each story I read is entirely different from every other story I've read, and I can't always say that of novels. I am still enamored with the novel form—but I am I'm taking much new pleasure in short stories.

I don't know how many others are also finding themselves leaning toward bite sized literature they can consume in an hour or less, but I do know that many of my friends are selling their short stories on sites such as found press, which is a subscription site, not a free one. Individual stories on found press cost only 99 cents, and the quality of the stories is top notch.

However, if you're after a good free place to read short stories online, none of the sites below cost anything.

I'm not trying to please everyone. I'm only posting sites that suit my particular taste in literary fiction, beginning with the stories on Page 47 where I purchase and publish the short stories of both professional and emerging writers.

If you come across a great literary site, or are the webmaster of one, please contact me with the link and I'll take a look at it. If I like it, I'll post a link to it here.

Check out Page 47 . Then work your way through the ten listings here. I'll keep building the links, in alphabetical order, as I learn of them.

Quality Links to Short Fiction Online

  1. 3:AM Magazine

  2. Carte Blanche
    Online stories, essays, and audio

  3. Carve Magazine
    A tribute to Raymond Carver, Carve seeks to publish outstanding literary fiction and to promote the writers they publish.

  4. Fictionaut
    Literary fiction site that allows members to vote stories to the front page.

  5. Fifty-two Stories
    Offered by Harper Perennial.

  6. Jewish Fiction.net
    The first English-language journal devoted exclusively to the publishing of Jewish fiction.

  7. Narrative Magazine
    Requires registration to log in but one of the largest and best free sites for literary fiction.

  8. New Ohio Review
    Several issues archived online, each with at least one short story and nonfiction article available for reading online.

  9. Page 47
    Some of the finest stories that have been submitted to www.be-a-better-writer.com

  10. Pen America
    This site showcases excerpts and complete fiction from winners of numerous Pen prizes.

  11. Story
    Sponsored by the Book Trust

  12. storySouth

  13. Adirondack Review
    An arts and literature quarterly

  14. The Literarian

  15. The Manchester Review
    Published by the University of Manchester's Writing Centre

  16. Wag's Revue
    The online-only literary quarterly of poetry, essays, fiction and interviews.

  17. Zouch Magazine Fiction, essays, and poetry.

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