Short story aficionados could do a lot worse than log on to www.pulp.net. The site features three short stories a month from new and established writers. Publications generally are themed, and often chosen by an esteemed guest editor. All short stories published are archived, and can be read online or downloaded in PDF format. Finding the archived storied isn’t immediately obvious however – you’ll have to scroll to the bottom of the home page, where you’ll find the link in very small font! Previous contributors have included authors Maggie Gee, Danuta Reah and Peter Ackroyd. Submissions are open to all and details of themes/guest editors for upcoming issues, and how to submit are featured on the site. Each short story published receives payment of GBP100, but aspiring writers, take heed: the competition is fierce and selected stories are generally, but not exclusively by established writers.
The monthly reviews section is limited to three reviews, sometimes of new publications, live literature events or music. Sadly, reviews are not archived. Much better is the Top Ten list, in which a literary figure – previous lists have included writers, agents and publishers – picks from topics such as ‘best short story’, ‘book that should be featured on the national curriculum’, ‘most outdated author jacket photo’ and, my personal favourite, ‘best bookshop’. The answers never fail to be engaging and informative.
The ‘Live Lit’ section is divided into two sections: ‘Consume’ – London-based literature events – and ‘Create’ – national (UK) and sometimes international short story competitions, calls for submissions and writer’s groups.