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Fantasy short stories Directory

Our Selection of free fantasy short stories

Fantasy is one of the genres we serve here at Lore Publication. We love to hear stories of brilliant, contemporary magicians, to ancient tales of malevolent demons. If you love to write or read fantasy, then this is the directory for you.

Every story we feature here on Lore’s fantasy section will fall into the short story category (1000-3000 words). We do our level best to feature writers and authors from all across the world to bring our readers thrilling, thought provoking fiction. That being said, don’t forget to check out the links of the authors. Supporting them and their work is a great way to give back!

Got a short story that you want featured here on our directory? Visit our Submissions page for more information on the kind of stories we are looking for, our guidelines for submissions, and our current submission status.

the setting of the fantasy short story in the dark by sean hill

‘In The dark’ By Sean Hill

A wonderful tale from the fantastic mind of Sean Hill, a writer from Ireland. Find his substack here, Twitter here, and his blog here.

Story blurb: An aging wizard separated from his caravan comes face to face with an agent of darkness; a gnostic. Can the wizard prevail? Or will this ancient evil claim another victim?

Check back soon for more!

More About Short Fantasy Stories

So, what do we mean exactly when we talk about fantasy short stories? What characterises a short story with fantasy from other genres? The debate around story genre is a long one, and many people will have varying opinions, perspectives, and ideas about what constitutes a fantasy story.

These ideas are often grounded in a person’s first experience with a story that is considered to be within the fantasy genre. This could be a story in any format, not just literature. Perhaps Lord Of The Rings was your first exposure to fantasy, or Harry Potter. Both are considered fantasy but fans of both will know that they fulfil vastly different tropes within the genre of ‘fantasy’.

Perhaps it is better, then, to ask:

What defines fantasy?

To help identify what we mean by fantasy here on Lore, we’ll cite two definitions:

fantasy noun, plural fan-ta-sies

1. imagination, especially when extravagent or unrestrained

2. the forming of mental images, especially wondrous or strange fancies; imaginative conceptualizing

3. a mental image, especially when unreal or fantastic

Dictionary.com, 2022

fantasy uncountable or singular noun /ˈfæn·tə·si/

a type of story or literature that is set iun an imaginary world, often involving traditional myths and magical creatures and sometimes ideas or events from the real world, especially from the medieval period of history

Cambridge Dictionary, 2022

To define what we mean by fantasy, we tend to focus on some key points from those two definitions:

  • the involvement of imagination and the imaginary
  • the extravegence or outlandish nature of the imaginary
  • the link between fantasy and real world mythology
  • the link between fantasy and outlandish events or abilities (including but not limited to magic)

These key points are fundamental to identifying what makes a fantasy story, well, a fantasy. There needs to be an element of the unreal, unexplanable, or the imaginary.

What Is fantasy in a short story?

Finally, we move onto the execution of fantasy elements in a short story. A short story is a unique form of literature as it gives enough space to develop a basic plot and or basic characters, but not enough to construct fully fledged story arcs. In this sense, fantasy can serve a multitude of functions in a short story.

Fantasy can serve to flesh out the setting and present a driving force for the limited plot scope a short story can have. It can also be used as a plot device, to forge unique character traits, and drive the story forward.

What is a fantasy Story example?

Some examples of using fantasy in a short story could be giving your character a unique trait, such as mind reading, that allows the story itself to progress. Or, alternatively, fantasy can be used to put normal people and normal characters in extraorindary situations. A great example of this is Narnia.

Fantasy can breathe life into your story in various ways. The fun part is figuring out how to work fantasy into your own story, how pivotal it will be in the story, and how you use fantasy tropes to meet or subvert audience expectations.

Get creative and get story telling!

Got a submission?

If you have a submission of short fantasy fiction and want to get it featured on Lore, then check out our submissions page for more information. We are delighted to read wonderful works of fiction from writers all across the world! We encourage everyone to submit and begin finding readers through our website and network.