Are you a fan of fantasy stories? Do you often find yourself lost in the magical worlds of elves, dragons, and wizards? If so, then you’ll love diving into the world of fantasy short stories.
This short form of escapism is a great way to explore the fantasy genre without having to commit to a full-length novel or series. With the right story, you can transport yourself to another world, experience the joys and dangers of the unknown, and come away feeling inspired and uplifted.
In this blog, we’ll explore the best fantasy short stories of all time, collections of stories, and tips on writing your own.
Choose A Chapter
- About Fantasy Short Stories
- The Best Fantasy Short Stories of All Time
- Examples of Fantasy Short Stories
- The Best Fantasy Short Story Collections
- Writing Your Own Fantasy Short Story
- Read Free Fantasy Short Stories
Fantasy short stories are similar to longer forms of fiction, like novels, in that they generally take place in a world that is different from the one we live in (also known in worldbuilding circles as a secondary world). These fantastical settings often feature races like elves, dragons, wizards, and witches.
These stories may also feature themes of adventure, romance, and intrigue. They can be lighthearted and humorous, or dark and serious. The great thing about fantasy short stories is that they can be as long or as short as the author desires, and can easily be adapted into novels or series later on. However, most short stories are under 10,000 words in length.
Fantasy short stories can be found in anthologies, online, and in print. They are a great way to get a taste of what the genre has to offer without having to commit to long pieces of prose.
Let’s take a look at some examples of short fantasy stories.
If you’re wondering what’s regarded as the best fantasy short stories of all time, look no further. Here are some of the most critically acclaimed:
- “The Golden Pot” by E. T. A. Hoffmann –
- “Snow White” by The Brothers Grimm
- “The Snow Child” by Angela Carter
- “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula le Guin
- “Red Nails” by Robert E Howard
- “Leaf by Niggle” by JRR Tolkien
Fantasy short stories come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some examples of popular fantasy short stories:
- “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – This classic story (which is actually in poem form) follows a young apprentice as he discovers the power of magic.
- “The Little Mermaid” by Hans Christian Andersen – This timeless classic follows a young mermaid as she embarks on a quest to find true love.
- “The Smallest Dragonboy” by Anne McCaffrey
- “City City Born Great” by NK Jemisin
- “The Snow Train” by Ken Liu
If you’re looking for the best fantasy short story collections, here are some of the top contenders:
- “The Best Fantasy Short Stories of the 20th Century” edited by Orson Scott Card – This collection features some of the best fantasy short stories of the twentieth century.
- “The Fantasy Hall of Fame” edited by Robert Silverberg – This collection features some of the greatest fantasy stories of all time.
- “The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror” edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling – This collection features some of the best fantasy and horror stories of the year.
- “The Mammoth Book of Best New Fantasy” edited by Gardner Dozois and Stephen Jones – This collection features some of the best fantasy stories of the year.
- “The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction” edited by Rich Horton and Jonathan Strahan – This collection features some of the best fantasy and science fiction stories of the year.
Writing your own fantasy short story can be a great way to explore your imagination and express yourself creatively. Here are some tips on writing your own fantasy short story:
- Start with an idea – Start by coming up with an idea for your story. Think about the characters, the setting, and the plot.
- Create a world – Create a world for your story. Think about the rules and laws that govern this world and create a unique culture and history.
- Develop your characters – Create believable characters with their own personalities, motivations, and goals.
- Write a plot – Create a plot that is compelling and unpredictable. Make sure to include plenty of twists and turns.
- Revise and edit – Make sure to revise and edit your story to make sure it flows naturally and is free of errors.
- Writing your own fantasy short story can be a great way to explore your imagination and express yourself creatively. With a little practice and dedication, you can create a story that will transport readers to another world and leave them with a lasting impression. So, why not give it a try?
Reading some of the best fantasy short stories is a great way to transport yourself to another world, experience the joys and dangers of the unknown, and come away feeling inspired and uplifted. All without a massive time commitment. So, why not start exploring today?
If you’d like to learn how to write fantasy short stories, head here
Where To Submit Fantasy Short Stories
If you’ve written a short story and are keen to push it out to the fantasy market, you’ll be pleased to hear there are scores of places to submit it to.
The main types of publishers in the market are online magazines and journals or a hybrid of both print and online. There are also ad-hoc anthologies which spring up from time to time.
Publishers of fantasy short stories operate at different levels. This is usually dictated by the amount of money they can pay a writer and the quality of the writing on offer. Pro-level magazines, for example, pay upwards of 8 cents per word. On the opposite end, Token publishers may not give you anything, or perhaps a free paperback of the book.
To find these magazines and journals, you can check out my list of publishers here.
I also recommend checking out a site called Duotrope. It’s a paid-for service with a 30-day free trial. You can use it to filter down publishers and they only provide links to ones that are open for submissions.
As well as someone who likes to write about books and the craft of writing, I also write my own fantasy short stories.
You can find a good few to read for free, such as Forgotten which tells the tale of an elderly fisherwoman who fears she is a burden upon her family, who no longer seem to have time for her anymore. Things turn sour one evening when they cross paths with a battalion of the Army of Pietalos and it falls upon the shoulders of the forgotten one to save the day.
I have a dozen more stories you can read for free, so head on over to check them out.
- How to Develop A Strong Thesis Statement For Essays - November 28, 2023
- Top Tips On How To Write A Literary Essay - November 10, 2023
- How To Write A Cover Letter For A Short Story [Proven Method] - November 10, 2023