Submitting Wattpad Stories to Anthologies/Magazines?

The title pretty much explains my question. I have short stories on my wattpad that I want to submit to magazines and anthologies but Im not 100% sure how to go about doing it. Does posting an original story on wattpad then having it published through a magazine count as a “reprint”? Do magazines and anthologies typically respond well to people submitting wattpad stories? Should I just not even bother trying to submit a story from my wattpad?

What have all of your experiences been?

Usually posting the story on a public platform counts as publishing it. I would suggest contacting magazines or anthology editors to double check, or focus on stories not shared on wattpad.

As for my experiences, I’ve had one story published, but that was 5+ years ago, and nothing since.

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In general posting short stories and poems on Wattpad (or anywhere online) blows its changes with a magazine. Not necessarily with an anthology. Everything is case-by-case. Read the submission guidelines carefully.

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Magazines typically demand First Rights. As soon as you publish it, like on wattpad, the First Rights are gone. I don’t know about anthologies. I found this on anthology rights:

Anthology Rights

This gives the publisher of an anthology – a collection of shorter pieces – the right to publish your piece in that collection. Anthologies often purchase reprint material. Many magazines that put out annual “Best of” collections negotiate anthology rights with authors whose work has appeared in their magazines.

If you remove the story, they probably won’t have a problem with it, especially if it didn’t have many reads. To be respectful, I’d let them know it was posted for a little while. Some markets consider “reprints” anyway. Just check out the publisher’s guidelines and query if anything is unclear.

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From what I’ve seen, different magazines have different policies on this, so make sure to check their guidelines.

Fireside magazine, for instance, specifies:

‘published’ includes work posted on Patreon or on a blog

While Lightspeed says they’ll accept reprints, but doesn’t really specify what counts as “published”, using language similar with what I’ve mostly seen:

Stories that have never before been published in the English language would be considered “original.”

In Clarkesworld’s guidelines, they specify:

If you are unfamiliar with the term “First Rights,” an explanation can be found here.

Which links to an article, which states:

Here are a few examples of situations where a story has been published:

  • it appears on a publicly available website (like Wattpad or a forum, even one with membership restrictions)

But then again, not every magazine states that they’re looking for First Rights, so take that with a grain of salt.

I’ve also seen a magazine whose guidelines stated something along the lines of “if you’re not sure if your story counts as previously published, submit anyway,” but at the moment I can’t find that source.

So I get the impression that having a short story on Wattpad will definitely disqualify it from some magazines, and it may or may not count as a reprint for others, depending on their perspective. I’d say if your story fits the publication and you’re otherwise being respectful and following their guidelines, it can’t hurt to try.

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