Should you feel the importance of submitting short stories, as an incentive to your normal writing career, you should do in-depth market research for the best sites and magazines to which you can submit them; the most important thing is exposure rather than payment. If you check out my previous article on short story submission guidelines and how-to, you will have a fairly good idea of the importance of short stories. Here, we have a list of short story markets that really matter.
The List of Markets
1. Amazon (Star rating: 9.9)
Did you know that Amazon accepts your short stories? Yes, they do. Amazon is one of the most visited websites in the world and being accepted by them, hence, can be a great privilege and advantage. The program is known as Amazon Shorts, from which users can purchase short fiction for a minimal 49 cents.
Since the site gets millions of visitors daily, getting your story purchased a number of times can fetch you a good amount of money. Already, popular authors like Danielle Steele and Robin Cook have published their short stories with Amazon. You have to approach Amazon through email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Currently, however, Amazon Shorts is not accepting any submission, but you should check the site out periodically to see the latest updates.
2. Jim Baen’s Universe (Star rating: 8.9)
This is an online Science Fiction magazine, published and read online, established by late. Mr. Jim Baen. Regular submissions to Baen’s Universe are currently closed. So, writers who already have publishing experience cannot target this site for story submissions. However, there are two slots open in each issue for introducing new authors, who have never published before. If you are an unpublished writer, please find submission guidelines for Baen’s Universe here.
Another greate advantage of Baen’s Universe is that their submission system is a collaborative forum, in which each writer can rate and comment on other writers’ submissions. The highest-rated stories naturally rise to the top of the slush pile for the magazine to purchase. Baen’s Universe SF magazine is one of the highest paying market for the SF writers out there.
3. Asimov’s Science Fiction (Star rating: 7.5)
One of the best science fiction markets for writers. The payment is 6 cents per word for fiction content up to 7,500 words, and 5 cents per word for content above 12,500 words. For anything in between these, they will pay you a flat $450. The magazine is very reputed and respected with high readership.
They are mainly looking for stories with good characters, just like Isaac Asimov stories. They are not looking for reprints and don’t allow simultaneous submissions.
4. Cemetery Dance (Star rating: 6.5)
A great market for horror writers. They are accepting chilling, creepy, dark horror submissions for a payment of 5 cents per word, up to 5,000 words, with a maximum payment of $250. Solicit before you submit. They remove unsolicited material.
The site is a particularly good market for horror writers. Reputed writers like Stephen King, Peter Straub, Dean Koontz, etc., have their content published with this magazine. Their response time is rather creepy four to five months.
5. ClarkesWorld Magazine (Star rating: 8)
ClarkesWorld is a science fiction, horror, and fantasy magazine. The payment is higher at ten cents per word. However, it is difficult to get into the magazine, as it accepts only one submission each month from unpublished writers. The word length limit is strictly in between 1000 and 4000 words.
6. Strange Horizons (Star rating: 8.2)
A popular SF and fantasy magazine. Here, you can submit short stories, poetry, articles, reviews, etc. They are mainly looking for SF stories with great depth and appeal. The pay rate is five cents per word for fiction content of up to 9,000 words. However, they strongly recommend to limit the word length below 5,000.
7. Realms of Fantasy (Star rating: 7)
The Realms of Fantasy is a reputed fantasy fiction bimonthly magazine. They accept stories of up to 10,000 words. The pay rate is 5 cents per word for fiction of up to 7,500 words and 3 cents per word above that. For more information, visit their submission guidelines page.
8. Cosmos (Star rating: 6.8)
This is an Australian SF magazine. It is a highly circulated magazine online as well as offline, and offers submission for online edition or in the print magazine. However, the fees are lower for a magazine of its stature. It offers you flat rate of $280 for published content in the magazine and only $71 for online publication. Also, they buy the rights to republish or publish in form of anthology, at 10 % of the original fee.
Though payment is lower, the magazine is very respected and popular. The website itself gets almost half a million visitors per month. So, getting accepted by them is a great way to expose your writing.
Here are the submission guidelines for this magazine.
9. Pedestal Magazine (Star rating: 4)
A low-budget magazine with limited reach. Pedestal started in 2000 as a bimonthly. Since then, it has published almost a thousand authors, and showcased 1,200 works in fiction, poems, and reviews. The magazine is still in low circulation and requires donations badly. It pays you five cents per word, for fiction up to 6,000 words. You can submit poems as well as fiction content. Poems are paid $30 flat.
10. WriteLink (Star rating: 2)
This is another short story market, which pays you for the accepted submissions. However, in order to be able to submit short fiction to them at all, you need to build your profile within the site, after registering free, by writing constantly and earning points and positive reviews from other members. WriteLink pays a low 20 pounds per accepted submission.
11. Fish Publishing (Star rating: 4)
Fish Publishing is a publishing company founded in 1994. It helps writers publish their work in book format. The major attraction is the annual Fish International Short Story Prize. You can submit short stories to Fish directly through their online system after registration.
12. East of the Web (Star rating: 1)
This is an online magazine of short fiction of various genres. However, you are not paid for your submissions. The site boasts half a million pageviews per month (which seems a little far-fetched). Though there is no payment, the site may give authors a room for exposure.
Most of the reputed magazines are covered. Writers’ associations also recommend many of them. More magazines for other genres will be published soon as a separate post. Remain subscribed!
Image Credit: http://www.uni.uiuc.edu
Copyright © Gayatri Jayashankar 2008