You guys, we started a movement.
There were only eight fiction writers on Substack when I got here a year ago—and now there are hundreds!!!!!
In fact, Substack even added a new feature just for us—so we can unlock our paid chapters automatically after a certain number of weeks.
(I’m trying it out starting next week, meaning free subscribers will now receive my novel chapters four weeks after paid subscribers do. If you don’t want to receive my novel chapters at all just unsubscribe to the “Obscurity” section.)
So help us all find something to read here. Share the link to your fiction Substack or share a link to a Substack fiction you are loving right now (or both). Let’s try to get all the Substack fiction that’s fit to… click right here in this thread.
Bonus points: how are you finding the experience of READING fiction on Substack?
Hey Elle and everyone, I just launched!
[ https://novainteritus.substack.com/p/nova-interitus-chapter-one ]
Thanks for the inspiration and information you avail. I'm finding the reading experience pretty good here on Substack. I've added a note in my email headers to encourage subscribers to click the post title so they link over and read on my substack site. The reading experience via email is just so-so, as we all know. I've also found that the navigation is not intuitive for most people new to reading on Substack. So, I think the layout of one's homepage can do a lot to encourage or confuse first-time readers...
Anyway, those are my updated thoughts since launching. Cheers everyone!
Hi Elle and all - Just found your page. Excellent work! I just joined Substack a couple weeks ago. I've written a few books - a crime noir thriller about a copywriter who gets in trouble and tries to get out of it, plus a book of short stories that take place mostly in Montana and Oregon. I've also written two art books in collaboration with an amazing artist - one is about the pandemic and one is about Uber driving (all are on Amazon). I'm now working on a collection of poems (story poems) which I will be posting on Substack over time. My idea is to tell a story in poetic, verse format - more simple than deep/profound. With an image for each.
Please see my story, "Into The Mystic", which is part of my collection titled NEW YORK (available everywhere. https://terenceclarke.substack.com/p/a-story-by-terence-clarke-for-saint?s=r
Any fans of speculative dystopian fiction? I just started digging in here. My new book is in process and I will be serializing it on Substack: https://novainteritus.substack.com/
I know I'm late to the party. I'm seeing a lot of interesting newsletters!
I would like to contribute with mine: https://travelfoodstories.substack.com/
A little bit travelogue, a little bit foodie and with some fiction exaggerations, about my travelings through the world. For now, it's all happening in Italy.
I've actually just started reading some fiction on SubStack. I haven't had the greatest opportunity to work on it much yet after creating it last week, but I have enjoyed the format that some others use on their pages. https://jmcchesneywrite.substack.com
Elle, Kudos on your leadership in dragging Substack management through the glass here. Just because Big Pub's business model has painted them into a corner doesn't mean there isn't a market for the 90% of writers they won't touch. Thinking of how Southwest Airlines grew-- by flying to places big carriers wouldn't. My own schtick has been "suspension of belief" reality pieces that we pretend are not true in order to get the story told. Agents and editors hate it, but readers don't seem to mind. Here's my Substack debut "Five Stages of Unf*ck" https://fivestages.substack.com/. Thanks again and keep up the great work!
I have a question, I’m not sure if this is the place for it though. I’ll ask it anyway. How often should I post a story to Substack? What I’m really asking is, what’s the least frequency I can post to get followers?
I'm enjoying the Substack experience, getting my work out there - https://timosner.substack.com/. We're so varied and different in our approach to fiction. Can't say that it's changed my writing life much (as of yet). Since my work is long, I publish two to three chapters at a time. I think, from as best as I can figure out, most of my traffic are readers rather than fellow writers on Substack - I have a lot of re-enacting friends. My work is somewhat literary, highly stylized historical fiction with an experimental bent; I have a novel up now about the American Revolution through the eyes of British soldiers and their wives (TEARS OF THE FOOT GUARDS). It's getting down to the end. I'm excited about getting the next novel up around June.
In terms of reading on Substack, I agree it's so much easier to read on the site than to read the email. I find I like Betsy Marro at Spark https://elizabethmarro.substack.com/, Elle, Michael Reed at Holy Writ https://holywrit.substack.com/ - he's a hoot. Again, thanks Elle - a mover and shaker . . .
Oh yeah, many more creative writers than when I started cataloging them in Janesberry last year in June! And it's great Substack finally created a "Fiction" tag. Though after reviewing so many pubs and seeing the diversity, "Poetry" should definitely be represented too.
"Literature" as a high-level category works, though doesn't capture the significant differences between book reviews, personal essays, and narrative nonfiction. Ah well, shine on all you crazy diamonds (Pink Floyd reference) :)
I'm new to Substack and have started posting fiction. Mostly short stories in the vein of Poe, Borges, and Nabokov. Cafe talk as well.
Here is my link: https://stephenleary.substack.com/
I've just started writing on Substack and I hope they continue to promote and build on, communities for writers.
I write short stories (often VERY short) with a focus on horror, sci-if, neo-noir and surrealism...important to niche down right? 😂
My link is here if it sounds like something for you - https://tearsinrain.substack.com/
I think most of the fiction I read has been mentioned. I will second (or third) Fiction by Bill Alder. He posts short imaginative fiction once per week. Worth checking out.
Mark Baker and I were talking about his serial. I said I didn’t like waiting a week between chapters, but I probably couldn’t keep up if they were more frequent. 🤣 That is the big problem with serials. That long wait between chapters. But I also know I would have never read it if it was only on Amazon because I wouldn’t know it existed. I only knew about it because of Substack and Discord.
Also, I will mention that I wrote the second book in a series live on my Substack this past year. Posting each chapter as I wrote it. It was a good experience. I got a lot of helpful suggestions and typos caught by a few loyal readers. I rewarded them with signed paperback copies and thanked them in the book.
I like reading on the app way better than in my email app. And I think the experience will improve with time.
Thanks for inviting us to join in the adventure you've started, Elle!
I've only been here a month, but I've already got 31 subscribers! Super thankful :).
I am serializing my novels, starting with my most recent sci-fi, "Ephemeral." It was not an easy book to write as it speculates what could happen in a world where dependent seniors vastly outnumber younger caregivers due to declining birthrates. (Sound like anything you've heard in the news?) Here's the blurb and address (https://katherineladnymitchell.substack.com/) should you wish to receive my free chapters:
When grad student, Clara Milton, visits a planet with accelerated development and realizes she will far exceed Earth’s legal age limit by the end of her internship, she must redefine her priorities and discover the value of life – even in its brevity.
It was only supposed to last for the summer: forty days of interviewing Elpis 7 colonists for her master's thesis. But Elpis 7 is no ordinary planet. When Clara discovers wrinkled, white-haired colonists living far past Earth’s global age limit, she’s astounded and perplexed. But nothing prepares her for a far more shocking realization; for every day she spends on Elpis 7, Clara will age one year and soon become elderly herself. With no way to get home any sooner, Clara Milton – twenty-four going on sixty-four – must engage her new reality, choose her loyalties carefully amid clashing clans, and realize the importance of life regardless of its duration.
There is no expiration date on personhood.
(Duh, duh, duh ..!)
Thank you so much for asking this question, Ms Griffin. I have been publishing my fiction and travel stories on Substack since December. As I am not on any social media, it is a bit harder to get the word out. Thank you for allowing me to extend an invitation to you and to your readers to visit Leaves. https://sharronbassano.substack.com/ . I look forward to reading through your archive and also to following up on all the fiction writers who respond here. I am your latest subscriber.
Thank you for starting this thread. Right now, I have a couple of newsletters. But the one with fiction on it is this one: https://debbimack.substack.com/
I also have a separate one that's become part writing advice, part memoir, part curated lists of resources: https://honestindie.substack.com/
Nice feature. Do let us know how it goes. I don't have paid subscriptions but currently offering two ongoing serials. You can find both here: https://aliciavillasenor.substack.com/
Dystopian: The Nationalist.
Urban Fantasy: The Shoes that Charlotte Wore
Thanks as always, Elle.
Currently serialising a long-form short story The Pelican Crossing here - https://adrianconway.substack.com. It's about two teenagers struggling to maintain their relationship amid gang strife on the streets of modern day London. But it's also about something else.
Also write flash / short fiction here - https://fulgurites.substack.com and am starting an exploration of the Bible's storytelling power here - https://scriptourer.substack.com.
I like my fiction modern, gritty and literary so keen to hear of others. Apart from my interest in your evolution, Elle [https://ellegriffin.substack.com], I've also joined https://100readers.substack.com and https://fictionistas.substack.com for the camaraderie and props.
All the best
I am very much excited about serialising my novel on Substack. But as it is written in German I am not sure, if this works out. Most people over here do not know Substack (yet) and are also very wary about it when I tell them. So, I am still in kind of a limbo, if I should just give it a try.
This is quickly turning into a Literary Love Salon 😄 I was also inspired by you, Elle, to publish my fictionalized memoir in serial form. You can find it here: https://monicanastase.substack.com/s/closing-the-gap-memoir
Interesting to note, people read the chapters differently than I expected. Some take them as individual "pills" without any connection (although there is one), others binge on several chapters at a time... really eye opening and motivating experience, in my case. I publish it as I write each chapter, so it's an interesting experiment to observe my motivation as I go along publicly.
Hey, y’all, I'm T 👋 As you can see from next to my name there, I write Adventures in Secrecy—a not-helpful title I thought of in 15 seconds so I wouldn't put off starting for literally ever. It does actually refer to something, which is my first series of novels called The Secret of Secrets. You can get the first book, Everything Fails on Amazon. Or just ask me and I'll get you a copy.
The newsletter is broken into a sft of subnewsletters, which I tend to call 'zines' cos it's shorter, cooler, and kind of closer to my aesthetic than 'newsletter.' I've got 4 so far:
1. Azza-Jono, which features stories set in the Living City of the same name. Weird, anything goes sf.
2. Other Worlds, which is where my first run of serial stories go, so there's a subset within that subset 🙄😄 consisting of Gaucho (about an amnesiac and his talking cat), Hogwash! (alt western about a murderous psychopath), An Axe +2 Grind (fantasy rpg parody), Incorporeal (about a ghost who gets entangled in something bad while looking for their sibling), and Monterey (mysterious island story about a rich socialite and her best friend). Gaucho is being broken out into its own section cos I just figured out how to do that 😄
3. Then we've got T-Rex, which is a monthly list of recommendations. Surprisingly this one has turned out to be the most labor intensive and I may end up making it paid only; I dunno.
4. Sound Off! is a biweekly zine where I ask a question I need help answering and readers get to school me on it.
My paid stuff rn is just behind the scenes info. I'm anticapitalist and kind of conflicted about how and when to charge folks for things.
As for other fiction subs, be sure to check out The FLARE and A Tale of Two Worlds!
Hi, everyone! My free newsletter is FOR fiction writers (with tons of writing resources, links, and ideas), but now paid subscribers will get:
1) a new short story every month
2) access to my do-it-on-your-own-time writing courses
The first story is my Playboy-winning short story, and my first course, Cultivating a Regular Writing Practice, will go live tomorrow. Lots more courses and stories to come!
And thanks to Elle for giving me the idea/courage/inspiration to give going paid a try!
And PS - thank you Elle for the idea. It was you that got me going on Substack.
I have a full literary fiction novel on Substack. rainbowman.substack.com. Chapters once a week. We are about halfway through the story now. I've asked paid subscribers if they wanted chapters more frequently and I received a resounding NO. So, we continue with weekly chapters. How's it been going? Okay. Some big followers. But it's still a platform-in-progress for a lot of readers.
If you search for 'fantasy fiction' on substack, my thing comes up on the first page of results :)
It's free, it's called 'Saga of the Jewels' and it's an epic YA fantasy. It releases on Saturday mornings because it's basically a Saturday morning epic fantasy cartoon in prose form. Think Avatar: The Last Airbender meets the Final Fantasy games. You can also listen to me reading it as a podcast for free.
I write Story Cauldron, storycauldron.substack.com , a Substack on storytelling￼.
In addition to nonfiction on that topic, I occasionally share short fiction for my free subscribers.￼
For my paid subscribers, I’m also serializing my￼ Favor Faeries fantasy novels about faeries who grant wishes in exchange for snacks and trinkets￼. In the current novel, The Boy Who Can Taste Color,￼ teenaged Holden is desperately trying to find out more information about the Faeries after wishing his brother would disappear – and getting his wish.￼
I also help run Fictionistas, fictionistas.substack.com , with Geoffrey Golden, where we are building a community of fiction writers on Substack￼. We invite everyone to join us for monthly zoom calls and to contribute to our Substack.￼
I'm still providing my subscribers with daily fiction, soon to reach the 600 story milestone. My readers, who include some luminaries like E.Jean Carroll, send me positive feedback and discussion every day. Sold one of the stories, Eggshells, to be adapted for film. I'm writing the screenplay while maintaining my daily short fiction pace and appearing on screen in movies like the recently released Good Thief, and Ash and Bone. https://jimmydoom.substack.com
The Revolution is here :D And I think many of us wouldn't be here if it weren't for you, Elle! You showed us all the way, haha. So thanks for that.
So I write Science-Fiction and Fantasy short stories and publish 1 to 4 of them per month for my free subscribers. Paid subs also have access to an exclusive weekly space opera serial.
Aaaannd... in a few weeks (April 30) I will start serializing my novel. I'm excited about that one, as I really love this book heheh.
It's all here: https://xenin.substack.com/?utm_source=Novelleist
Come and see!
For fiction on Substack, I can't recommend George Saunders' "Story Club" highly enough (https://georgesaunders.substack.com). His advice on how to write is beautiful and generous, and has helped me lean into the intuitive side of writing and revision. Plus he walks you through his favorite short stories, which has got me reading and thinking in absolutely new directions. It's sort of amazing he puts it all up there for free.
I'm currently writing AU rewrites of Bible stories, which has been both hilarious (Moses losing half of the Ten Commandments, and making up his own to replace them) and occasionally heartwarming (a little angel who doesn't believe in hell). I really love it, but it's a bit of a tough sell, since it's too irreverent for most religious folks, but too Bible-y for everyone else. Check it out here: https://holywrit.substack.com
Thanks Elle for cultivating this discussion. It's fun to see what everyone is up to!
Yup, you are the reason I started serialising on...well...pretty much every platform I serialise on, but specifically Substack 😂
I write a Young Adult fantasy novel called Underland and the Forehidden Kingdom (underland.Substack.com)
“As a multiethnic kid, Keon Wesley has always had to straddle two worlds. He just never expected that metaphor to become a literal reality.
Ever since his dad left five weeks ago, he's struggled to adjust to life in a single parent household. When a schoolyard fight drives the rift between him and his father further apart, he discovers the entrance to a mysterious parallel world beneath his bed.
Drawn into an ancient war to rule over both worlds; Keon must learn to navigate a realm where words are weapons, ideas can hurt you and one's thoughts, feelings and beliefs take physical form.
When his inner turmoil manifests outwardly, he must literally face his demons in order to find his way home.”
I'm trying to write literary jamais vu; taking something familiar (in this case, faith, spirituality and the supernatural) and placing it in the frame of the unfamiliar in the vein of Narnia, His Dark Materials and A Wrinkle in Time. I like to frame it as “Narnia meets Naruto” ;)
I quite frequently blame you for all this, Elle. ;)
I'm publishing my latest book on Substack: https://simonkjones.substack.com/
It's a science fiction crime thriller, which I'm continuing to struggle to usefully describe. So far my non-fiction writing tips have had more traction than the fiction, but it's early days yet.
I've been using the early access/unlock feature since it appeared in beta and it's GREAT. Really useful way to add a bit of automation to this form of publishing.
In terms of reading fiction, I'm primarily reading comics on Substack. Brian K Vaughn, Molly Ostertag and ND Stevenson to be specific. All wonderful, and using Substack in interesting ways (eg full width splash images, animated gifs).
I’ve been enjoying Bill Adler and particularly enjoyed “O. Henry’s Pen.” https://billadler.substack.com/p/o-henrys-pen
I am standing on the precipice of posting the last few parts of a serial novel that I started posting last July as an incentive to finally finish writing the thing. So if anyone enjoys historical fiction I’d be honored if you would have a look at Fit for Freedom.
I'm serializing my epic urban fantasy series, the NYC Questing Guild, in my newsletter. The premise is "What if there were a section of Craigslist called Quests?" Our main character discovers this Quest Board and soon finds herself down a rabbit hole of strange magic, alternate history, and secrets as old as the city itself.
Book 1, Guild of Tokens, is released twice a week for free and I'm releasing book 2, Guild of Magic, for paid subscribers once a week, with a chapter unlocking each month for free-tier subscribers.
New readers can start here (complete with an epic map): https://jonauerbach.substack.com/p/welcome-to-arc-worlds?s=w
I'm so happy you opened this channel. I've been thinking of a way to find new reader for my fiction here on substack and I think this will help. First I have a disclaimer, which is that I write in portuguese, for now, so if you're looking for some brazilian literature here, I volunteer!
So Você, Ele, Nós is a story about three people that are in love and have no intention to give up on each other, except that two of them are famous actors and the world might not be prepared for a polyamorous relationship.
New chapters are out every thursday. Feel free to check and enjoy!
I write Adventure Snack, short interactive fiction for your lunch break. The newsletter is a bite-sized take on the old 1980s “Choose Your Path” books. Turn your inbox into an adventure at https://adventuresnack.com
I’ll shoutout the folks at Misadventure Adventure, which is a weekly fantasy humor series where the readers collectively build the world and shape the story. Lots of fun and original animations! Check it out at https://misadventure.substack.com
Elle - There were only eight fiction newsletters a year ago? That’s so few! Do you know what the original eight were? And do we know how many there are now?
BTW - There’s a big list of fiction newsletters over on Fictionistas, a community for Substack fiction writers which I co-founded:
My newsletter actually has no fiction of my own on it, though I deal mostly in fiction as a critic. I haven't particularly enjoyed reading fiction in an endless scroll through my inbox, though I'm considering the app for that instead. I can't say why exactly, since I devour long nonfiction both through browsers and in my inbox.
What I have enjoyed via newsletter is poetry. The Poetry Foundation (not Substack obviously, but the model could be worth emulating) sends its "Poem-a-Day" email at about 6 am every morning, and I like the variety and brevity of what I read there. One Substack whose poems I enjoy is The Bigger Picture (thebiggerpicture.substack.com), if partly because I met Rodrigo during the Substack tour events last month and liked him plenty.
My Substack fiction is The Wistful and the Good, and historical novel set in 8th Century Northumbria. I did a survey of my subscribers a couple of weeks ago and found that while the majority of them would prefer to have the whole book to read at once, a significant minority said they preferred the serial format. So I decided both to continue the serial and to publish the book as a whole. The serial starts at https://gmbaker.substack.com/p/wag1. The full book is available on Amazon (and other places) https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09WZCVHBH/. (The ebook is on preorder till Monday and the paperback is available now because I missed a setting somewhere in the paperback setup.)
While I follow a few fiction substacks, including https://simonkjones.substack.com/ and https://timosner.substack.com/ I have to admit that I don't enjoy reading fiction this way. I find I lose track of the plot somewhat, but more than that I lose the mood and rhythm of the piece. Actually, Elle, your's is a good example of this. The mood and particularly the rhythms of your novel are eccentric. That's a good thing, a feature of the genre, but I find it hard to pick it up and drop it again weekly. I think that sort of thing, if it is going to work for you as a reader, you have to enter into it and inhabit it, and that is hard to do with a serial.
I love the fiction newsletters I subscribe to! Here’s a quick list: Jimmy Doom’s Roulette Weal, Fiction by Bill Adler, Fiction in Fifty by Dascha Paylor, and Mark Starlin Writes! by Mark Starlin (though that one goes without saying, ha).
Here’s my Substack, Along the Hudson: https://alongthehudson.substack.com/
I write mostly fiction, but on occasion creative nonfiction. I include a writing prompt at the conclusion of each story. I’m toying with the idea of serializing some of my novels for paid subscribers, but haven’t followed through yet.
Thank you for creating this space for fiction writers! 😊🙏
Love this! I write #Friday fiction about fantasy characters. https://silentwriter.substack.com/
I'm enjoying the reading aspects but more than a 1,000 words can be a struggle if they are not properly formatted.
Not sure if poetry counts as fiction, but since there is no section for poetry separately, I'll take a swing anyway.
I write Hello Universe, where I write an original and fun poem every week. (https://hellouniverse.substack.com do check it out!).
My experience of reading serialized fiction on Substack has been a mixed bag. I initially subbed to a couple, and then found that I was just not able to keep up with the narrative as I would have some weeks when I couldn't just read the edition. So on one hand it's a time management issue. On the other, I was wondering, how cool would it be if serialized fiction writers like you, Elle, could include a pdf link at the end of their chapters where a reader could download the whole story so far. Or maybe a master post that also gets updated whenever you publish a chapter.
Those are my thoughts. Hope poetry will be welcome among all the serialized fiction writers. Cheers! 😀