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Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazines that Pay for Short Stories

Updated on December 15, 2017
M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer has submitted more than 91 queries to literary agents and self-published two novels.

I’m not terribly good at writing short stories. I struggled with it in college and I almost never write a short story for fun on my own time. However, I’m realizing more and more that submitting my novel to agents ‘cold turkey’ is a huge gamble. Agents and publishing companies want to see evidence that you are worthy of publication. This means that if you’ve had a short story in a magazine, you’re going to be a better sell than if you’ve never been published anywhere. Getting my book published is my life goal, but it isn’t going to be easy, therefore anything I can do to help that process is a good idea. At the same time, however, I need money right now, so I also want to get paid for any short stories that might be accepted. For this reason I’ve begun researching magazines where I might be able to submit. What I have found, I will share with you below, just in case you are also thinking of submitting short stories. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to write fantasy or science fiction novels as it is a way to bridge the gap between nerdy writer and published author.

Of the magazines listed here, I required three things to apply:

1. Accepted stories must be paid.
(I’m a poor writer and I need cash.)

2. Stories must be submitted electronically.
(Snail mail submissions are notoriously slow. I can cover more ground and save money on postage with e-submissions.)

3. Must be in the Fantasy or Science Fiction genre.
(That’s what I write, it’s what I want to get into, so it only makes sense that I should shoot for that market. It is because of this that I will probably not post links to magazines that publish any other genre.)

Also, before you get started you should know a few basic things:

  • Almost all, if not all, of these magazines require that your story be in manuscript format. Here is a link to what that looks like.
  • None of these magazines accept simultaneous submissions, so don’t submit your story to all of them at the same time. Wait until that story gets a rejection before shopping it around elsewhere.
  • Some magazines use a form for submitting your story, others use email. Make sure you have a working email account and you know how to save your manuscript in a .doc or .rtf format.
  • Most magazines say they are looking for character oriented stories. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t submit your plot driven story, but it’s something to consider when writing new stories you are thinking of submitting.

Having said all that, here are the magazines I’ve discovered so far (I will try to keep this list up to date as much as possible):

Title: Clarkesworld Magazine
Link: http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/
Notes:
1,000-8,000 words long with 10c per word (up to 4,000 words) then 5c after. This magazine also has wait periods. After a rejection, an author must wait at least seven days before submitting anything else and after an acceptance; the author must wait at least six months before submitting anything else to the same magazine. Of all the magazines I’ve searched, this is one of the highest paying, though it isn’t easy to get into.

Title: Shimmer Magazine
Link: http://www.shimmerzine.com/
Notes: Anything under 5,000 words and pays 1c per word with a minimum of $10. There is a good variety of subgenres accepted here and it is the only magazine I’ve ever submitted to that gave me a personalized response. I can’t guarantee everyone will get that, but it was nice to see for a change.

Title: Fantasy Magazine
Link: http://www.fantasy-magazine.com/
Notes: 1,500-7,500 words and pays 5c per word. This magazine is strictly rooted in the fantasy genre, so if you’re shopping around a science fiction story, you might want to look elsewhere.

Title: Daily Science Fiction
Link: http://dailysciencefiction.com/
Notes: 100-10,000 words and pays 8c per word. This magazine seems most interested in flash fiction pieces (less than 1,000 words) so if you have a short science fiction story lying around, this might be the right one for you.

Title: Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine
Link: http://www.asimovs.com/
Notes: Anything under 20,000 words with 6c per word up to 7,500 words and 5c per word for stories longer than 12,500 words. Looking primarily for science fiction but some fantasy is okay. Interested in character oriented fiction.

Title: Albedo One Magazine
Link:
http://www.albedo1.com/
Notes:
3 euros per 1,000 words. As this is an Irish Magazine, it may be difficult with money conversion if you live in the states, but they say they sometimes publish international fiction. The email submission is listed below the snail mail submission address.

Title: Apex Magazine
Link:
http://www.apexbookcompany.com/
Notes:
No more than 7,500 words at 5c per word. This website requires a registration with HeyPublisher, an external writing website. Upon researching HeyPublisher, it seemed like a legitimate site where one could register for free, but I cannot vouch for it as I do not have an account.

Title: Flagship Magazine
Link:
https://sites.google.com/a/flyingislandpress.com/flyingislandpress/
Notes:
2,000 to 7,000 words at $25 per story (not word). This magazine seems to be looking for more of the old school/classic science fiction. If you’re into some of the greats of the genre, and you write like them, this might be the magazine to check out.

Title: Grace & Victory Publications
Link: http://graceandvictory.ca/
Notes: 1,500 to 6,000 words and pays $5 per story. They're a Canadian company but are accepting Science Fiction and Fantasy submissions from all over the world. They're also the youngest magazine on this list, which can be helpful to new authors trying to get in on the ground floor.

Other Websites that list Short Story Markets:

http://www.jbwb.co.uk/markets.html

http://scifi.fictionfactor.com/promarkets.html

Further Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing Resources:

How to Write Genre Fiction for Beginners

How to Write Your own Creation Myth

How to Describe a Fantasy City

How to Describe a Fantasy Creature

My Struggle Writing an Epic Fantasy novel

I found most of the above magazines by typing in “submission guidelines fantasy science fiction” into a search engine, so if you find this article unhelpful, that is a good place to start. As I said before, I’ll try to keep this list up to date and add any new magazines I find along the way.

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    • Neutrastaff profile image

      Staff Oneil 

      4 months ago from Norfolk, VA

      Wow, as a author of several short stories I think this is just what I was looking for. Quite an amazing article this one is

    • NBYomi profile image

      N B Yomi 

      2 years ago from Dallas, TX

      Well dang, had I known this site existed four years ago with this article, I would've come here. Now to check if these publishers are still accepting submissions.

    • profile image

      Jibrail Raha 

      2 years ago

      Thanks for this list! Another great site you should use as well as add is ralan.com. It has dozens of paying sf&f markets listed and its information is updated regularly. Plus it lets you know which markets are pro, semi pro, or token pay, as well as which ones count towards SFWA membership and what their response times are. Good luck with your submissions!

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      3 years ago from United States

      Rmaxix - Since writing this article, I've tried to keep it up to date as much as possible. Which means updating links and cleaning out ones that no longer exist. But I apologize if any broken ones slipped through the cracks. And thank you for the compliment and the comment! I feel like I'm getting closer to my dream every day, and I hope that this article has helped you in your journey as well. :)

    • profile image

      Rmaxix 

      3 years ago

      I found this article really informative but wasn't sure if it was still relevant since it was created 4yrs ago. Yet I can see that you have replied to every comment on this article over that period and I just wanted to say that with dedication like that I really hope you achieve your dream of getting published.

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      3 years ago from United States

      ghalkett - Glad I was able to provide some new options; we writers need all the help we can get. Thanks for the comment!

    • ghalkett profile image

      Genevieve Halkett 

      3 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

      Nice list, with some markets I haven't seen on other webpages-thanks!

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      3 years ago from United States

      N.A. Twyman - I was aware that they accept novel submissions by writers without a literary agent, but I wasn't sure if they had any division for short stories. I will look more into it. Thanks for the suggestion and the comment!

    • profile image

      N.A. Twyman 

      3 years ago

      Tor.com also pays for submissions.

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      4 years ago from United States

      Grace Seybold - Well, since you asked so nicely, and your site matches all the requirements for this article, you can consider it added. Having Doctor Who on your 'likes' list also helps. ;)

    • profile image

      Grace Seybold 

      4 years ago

      May I add a market to your list? A friend and I have just gotten into fiction publishing, after many years' experience in related fields. (We're a copy editor and a freelance graphic designer, respectively, as well as both being published SF writers ourselves, so it seemed a natural step.) We're putting together an e-book anthology called Redwing, and looking for SF stories between 1,500 and 6,000 words. We offer $5 Canadian per story. (Not as much as our authors deserve, I know, but we're just starting out; we hope to be able to offer more in future, if this first book goes well.) More detailed guidelines are at http://graceandvictory.ca.

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      4 years ago from United States

      Joshua Cook - Magazines are a great place to start out. And, in addition to getting paid, a published short story looks amazing on a query letter. Good luck!

    • Joshua Cook profile image

      Joshua Cook 

      4 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Wow, I had no idea that these were options for a writer starting out. I'm gonna have to use this info to get started. Thanks very much! Maybe now I can get out of my dead-end factory job...

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      6 years ago from United States

      LaurenEC - I'm glad I could help out. I compiled these links while I was trying to find homes for two or three different short stories. It didn't quite pan out for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that my passion lies in novels, not short stories. So, as of right now, the only place you can read any of my fiction is here on HubPages. But thank you for the interest and the comment!

    • LaurenEC profile image

      LaurenEC 

      6 years ago

      This is really helpful information (and the kick in the butt I need to get writing again). I appreciate how you share the links and payment rates. Are any of your stories available to read online, out of curiosity?

      Thanks for sharing!

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      6 years ago from United States

      Docmo - Glad I could provide some helpful resources. Finding snail mail submissions is kind of rare now, even when it comes to novel publishing. I wouldn't totally count them out, but electronic is definitely more convenient (plus it saves on a whole lot of paper). Thanks for the comment!

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      6 years ago from UK

      Really useful hub here. I've sent stories to Asimov and F&SF some time ago and put them away for gestation. I am feeling a little bit more confident of my writing and this hub is a timely one for links. I, like you , hate the snail mail route and prefer to submit electronically. Thanks for this- much appreciated!

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      6 years ago from United States

      TToombs08 - I had a few classes in college that taught short story writing, but it didn't help me much. It was valuable for honing my craft, but I don't really feel any more comfortable writing them now than I did before. I really would have loved a novel writing course. I know that novels are too long to edit by a teacher, but that doesn't mean we couldn't have covered the various aspects of a novel in pieces. Oh well, thanks for the well wishes!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I'm afraid I fall into that same pitfall, M.T., I seem to only be able to write something too long or way too short. I wonder if there's a school or class somewhere to teach the "just right" length... :) I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      6 years ago from United States

      TToombs08 - You're very welcome. I'd love to say I've been successful with publishing short stories but I haven't. Among these magazines, I've attempted to submit roughly three different short stories (each one was submitted to almost all of them) but I didn't get any bites. I'm not terribly surprised, though, because my passion is writing novels. I've always struggled with condensing a story to less than twenty pages. So, these magazines are just those that I've collected on my journey. Hopefully they will be of more help to you than they were to me. And thanks for the comment!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      6 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Complete awesomeness. Thank you for this! You saved me a ton of research! I do have a question; how sucessful have you been so far? Have you found some magazines more receptive than others? Voted up and across.

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      6 years ago from United States

      Khal Blogo - I didn't know Fantasy Magazine had made that change. Thanks for the heads up and the comment!

    • Khal Blogo profile image

      Khal Blogo 

      6 years ago from A gas station on the yellow brick road

      Great list. Fantasy Magazine is just an archive now, the activity per se has been moved to www.lightspeedmagazine.com and now accepts sci-fi as well.

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      6 years ago from United States

      Treysaur - You're very welcome. It's important to attempt the short story market for any writer trying to get into fiction. Thanks for the comment!

    • profile image

      Treysaur 

      6 years ago

      Thank you, kind sir, for this list. It has been very helpful to me, an aspiring but unpublished author. Thanks so much!

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      6 years ago from United States

      Ali-Mostofizadeh - Thank you for the compliment and the comment!

    • profile image

      Ali-Mostofizadeh 

      6 years ago

      Nice article. Informative and good organized.

      voting up!

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      6 years ago from United States

      amaranthmercy - You're welcome. Good luck with your stories!

    • amaranthmercy profile image

      amaranthmercy 

      6 years ago

      Thanks so much! I'm glad I found this article.

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      7 years ago from United States

      dysfakto - I got the idea for this hub when I realized that I personally wanted a list like this as well. After all my digging, I decided to make one of my own. Hope it can help your future writing endeavors! Thanks for the comment!

      Robwrite - You are welcome, thank you for the comment!

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 

      7 years ago from Oviedo, FL

      Very useful. Thanks.

    • dysfakto profile image

      dysfakto 

      7 years ago from USA

      Awesome! I've been looking for a list like this. :D

    • M. T. Dremer profile imageAUTHOR

      M. T. Dremer 

      7 years ago from United States

      randslam - When I first thought of submitting short stories for money, I was also worried that the market was dying. But while the print magazines are struggling to stay afloat, the electronic magazines (I think they're called ezines) are testing the waters. I don't know if they will remain stable, but it's good to see that writer's aren't entirely without paths to revenue. Thanks for the comment!

    • randslam profile image

      Rand Zacharias 

      7 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

      I have been writing for nearly a decade and my love of science fiction/fantasy is probably what got me to dedicate a life to writing.

      I had no idea these types of connections were still out there and thank you for a most useful hub. Voted up and interesting, too.

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