1. Specifically for short fiction readers and writers
Run by prolific short story writer Tania Hershman, ShortStops is a website that brings together all the elements you need to either read or write and publish short stories. The newsletter offers competition deadlines, submission opportunities, and information on live events or workshops.
2. For literary luminaries, short shorts and big-money branding
Most of the multinational, conglomerate, bigwig publishing houses have some kind of newsletter. But, if you were to draw a Venn diagram with one side showing how many great short story writers they published and the other showing what value you get out of the digi-letters, then Fabre Members would land smack bang in the middle. Not only does Fabre and Fabre publish one of my favourite short fiction authors (Lorrie Moore, you’re welcome) but they published one of the most exciting short story collections of 2018, Mothers, by Chris Powers (and no, he didn’t write a novel first) and they have been popularising the form with their Fabre Stories series. Not only that but perks include news on events, new releases, discounting, personalised gifts and competitions.
3. For wonderfully warped science fiction and garage-band authenticity
Daily Science Fiction gets stories into your inbox at a rate of knots. Five per week to be precise. It’s not overkill, because the stories are a) good or great, b) short and c) well laid out and so, easy to read on a mobile. A fun little rating game happens towards the end, which as a writer, I find sickening, but as a reader, I love love love.
4. More Women’s Hour than Jenny Murray
Not strictly about short stories but more about offering a leg up to any women writing poetry, novels and short stories. The Mslexia direct mail is pretty sales-y, and primarily used for promoting their magazine, or encouraging entry to their fiction competitions, or attendance at events etc. (no bad thing), but the Little Ms newsletter is choc-full of brilliant article excerpts, job posts, looming deadlines and learning opportunities.
5. For news-worthy highlights, reviews, columns and interviews
Chosen not because it’s better than it’s rivals but for its accessibility. Whatever their political proclivities, all the major Sundays have great books sections, but the Guardian has no paywall on its website, which to most cash-strapped short story writers, makes a humongous difference. My advice? Avoid the constant-bad-news-content and specifically subscribe to their Bookmarks newsletter.
6. For lit mag glory
The Stinging Fly newsletter began under the erstwhile editor Thomas Morris, continued under the editorship of Sally Rooney, and is now presided over by current editor Danny Denton. Not only is the magazine itself great value — and thus the links from the newsletter to the mag — but the Weekend Reads section dregs up some glorious links to internet “treasure”. i.e. articles within their sphere of interest but published elsewhere.
7. For scholarly insights
Class Notes is a newsletter written by the Alan Partridge fan and booker shortlisted writer Jon McGregor. Each letter is a round-up of his seminar notes from courses he is teaching on the MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham University. Not only are they insightful and interesting, but there’s a little wry humour in the mix too. Kiss my face.
There are many other commendable newsletters out there. Have any caught your eye? Let us know in the comments. 👇🏽