Are Short Stories Expensive? A Guide

No, short stories are not expensive to write, or read. Writing them usually takes less time than a novel so they are inexpensive to compose. They are also inexpensive to read, as you can find plenty of them online for free. Unfortunately, writers are not generally paid very well to write short stories either.

We all know that holding a collection of short stories by your favourite author is deeply satisfying.

Sometimes you need to read stories fast, and for free.

Have a look at the resources below for speedy and inexpensive access to your favourite short stories.

Literary Journals and Newspapers 

Short story writers often aspire to being published in literary journals and newspapers, because these are the places that will actually pay creative writers.

Sometimes the creative work is hidden behind a paywall (we all gotta eat) but sometimes it’s gloriously free. 

Journals and Newspapers are more likely to feature work by contemporary writers, rather than the classics. 

  • The New Yorker is probably the world’s leading literary journal:
  • Granta is probably the United Kingdom’s leading literary journal:
  • The Paris Review is another hugely popular English language journal that was founded in Paris, but is now headquartered in New York City. They feature interviews with authors such as Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, T. S. Eliot, Jorge Luis Borges, Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, Thornton Wilder, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda, William Carlos Williams, and Vladimir Nabokov, and many many others. Literary critic Joe David Bellamy called the series “one of the single most persistent acts of cultural conservation in the history of the world.”

Project Gutenberg

They have over 60,000 free ebooks here! And to the best of my knowledge they are all copyright free, so this is legit.

They say “We want to provide as many eBooks in as many formats as possible for the entire world to read in as many languages as possible.” 

You can even contribute your own eBooks.

Open Library

You can contribute books to open library, as well as read them! As long as you own the copyright

Open Library is a universal catalog for book metadata. Our goal is to create a web page for every book ever published. We call it “Open Library” because it is a collaborative open source initiative, which means that anyone can use and contribute to the Open Library catalog. In this way, Open Library opens the doors to the places where you can find the book you’re looking for.


When all else fails, have a click around on Google. Many classic stories are out of copyright, and freely available!

Try looking on Google Scholar too.

Happy reading!