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You write short stories and flash fiction while you polish that bestselling novel you’re still working on. You dream of getting published – for fame, for glory, for validation.

Well, 2016 can be your year. If you’re okay with publishing your short stories. If you’re ready to publish your short stories. (And this will silence everyone who tells you you’re afraid of getting published – including that nay-saying monster in your head.)

get published 2016 pic

I’m not going to list all the competitions you can take part in, only magazines (the electronic kind too) you can query with your short stories. Fingers crossed, this may be the year you get published.

Most all of these magazines suggest that you read at least one of their copies before submitting. A wise idea – you wouldn’t choose a publisher for your novel at random, would you?

*Some of these magazines also accept art work, though I didn’t include that in the descriptions.*

For all of these magazines the following applies: “When we say unpublished we mean completely original, never been on your blog, never been on a website and certainly never been in print.”

 

Ambit Magazine

Ambit is a 96-page quarterly literary and art magazine. Ambit is put together entirely from unsolicited, previously unpublished poetry and short fiction submissions.

Submit: 5 poems, or 1 short story up to 5000 words in length, or flash fiction (under 1000 words). Our portal opens twice a year on February 1st and September 1st. See Submittable for full details.

Payment: 2/3 copies of the edition your work appears in (outside of UK). *UK residents have other options.*

Black Static Magazine

Black Static, a fully recognisable Horror magazine. Publishes new horror and dark fantasy short stories

Submit: short stories of up to about 10,000 words in length through Submittable.

[I couldn’t find anything about payment on their site.]

 

Brittle Star Magazine

We’re interested in high quality contemporary literature for adults. With the emphasis on contemporary, we love all forms of poetry – lyric, prose poems, experimental – and literary short fiction*.

Submit: 1 – 4 poems or 1 – 2 stories up to 2000 words. (Have to post submissions.)

Payment: a copy of the magazine your work was published in.

Cricket Magazine

CRICKET magazine seeks to publish the highest quality fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction to engage our audience of enthusiastic young readers. Editors consider unsolicited submissions from writers of every level of experience.

Literary Magazines

Illustrated poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction for ages 6 months – 14 years and up

Our literary magazines welcome submissions from writers of every level of experience. Please do not submit the same piece to multiple literary magazines. If a submission to one magazine is more appropriate for another, we will pass it on to that magazine’s editor. To learn more about submitting writing and art to our literary magazines, follow the links below.

Cricket Media is committed to a diverse literary culture, and we welcome works by writers from underrepresented groups (people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQAI+ folks, and other marginalized peoples).

Our literary magazines do not post theme lists.

Nonfiction Magazines

Science, technology, culture, social studies, and ideas for ages 3 and up

Our science, social studies, and discovery magazines seek writers with subject expertise. Those interested in writing for these magazines should submit a resume and several writing samples.

Submit: short stories 1200-1800 words, poetry 8-15 lines (see website for full details on everything they publish) via Submittable.

Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word; Poems: up to $3.00 per line; Activities and recipes: $75.00 flat rate

 

Crimewave Magazine

A magazine for crime and mystery short stories – publishes new modern crime and mystery short stories.

Submit: short stories of up to about 10,000 words in length through Submittable.

[I couldn’t find anything about payment on their site.]

 

Devolution Z Magazine

Horror magazine accepting horror stories and poetry containing elements of science fiction, fantasy, romance and comedy.

Submit: short stories (1,000 – 15,000 words), poetry (100+ words). Original & previously unpublished horror fiction. (Submissions via email.)

Payment: $15 per short story, $10 per poem.

 

East of the Web

East of the Web is keen to provide exposure for writers by offering them a place where their work will be seen and read in a high quality, respected setting. The site receives about half a million unique visitors per month, so successful submissions are likely to be viewed by more readers than in almost any other short story publication. In addition, the site receives attention from agents, the press, film makers, schools, universities and other publishers.

Note that our editorial standards are high and we do not publish all the submissions we receive. If necessary, editors work with authors of successful submissions prior to placing the story on the site.

Accepted authors receive a page on the site where readers can access all the author’s stories as well as biographical or event information, story background and links. Any comments posted to the site relating to your submission will be made available to you.

[Actually a lot like Wattpad but without the editorial control from what I’ve observed.]

Flash Magazine

Flash is the world’s leading journal of quality flash fiction and reviews of up to 360 words.

Submit: up to 4 flash fiction stories (Flashes must be no more than 360 words – including the title).

Payment: Contributors get a complimentary copy of the issue featuring their flash/flashes.

 

Halo Literary Magazine

Halo Literary Magazine welcomes flash fiction by women. We want your best words and your most imaginative stories. We’re looking for beautifully crafted flash fiction with a contemporary, literary flavour – we don’t accept genre fiction, non-fiction or poetry.

Submit: flash fiction (1,000 words or fewer) via email.

Payment: none.

Inkspill Magazine – the magazine for literary creative.

We publish both literary fiction and genre fiction – literary speculative fiction is our favourite.

We like poems that make us look at things in a new way, or that express ideas that we haven’t thought about before. Evoke the strange, the beautiful, and the ugly.

Inkspill Magazine is all about literary creativity, craft, process and originality. Do you have some useful writing advice? Do you have something interesting to say about the world of writing/publishing? We are looking for thought-provoking, balanced, structured pieces.

Submit: short stories (750-3000 words), poetry (Up to 50 lines), feature articles (750-2500 words). Submissions via Submittable.

Payment: £10 per feature article. [Not sure what they pay for short stories or poetry.]

 

Interzone Magazine

A science fiction and fantasy magazine – publishes new science fiction and fantasy short stories.

Submit: short stories of up to about 10,000 words in length through Submittable.

[I couldn’t find anything about payment on their site.]

 

Mslexia

At Mslexia we are committed to helping women writers progress and succeed, through our quarterly magazine, writer’s diary and annual writing competitions.

Download our Contributors’ Guidelines below for the current submission opportunities available. [Everything from flash fiction to poetry and non-fiction.]

Payment: We pay £25 for each piece published in Mslexia (except for ‘Life sentences’, which are a wee bit of fun; ‘Pitch perfect’ and ‘First-page surgeries’, where you’ll receive feedback on your work; and ‘Self-publishing survivors’, which is an interview slot).

Submit via an online form.

 

Plasma Frequency Magazine

We publish speculative fiction. This includes the genres of Science Fiction and Fantasy, but is not limited to those.

Submit: short story (+/- 3,000 words) via Submittable.

Payment: 1 US cent per word.

 

Riptide

Riptide publishes anthologies of new short fiction by both established and emerging writers. We are committed to providing a forum for high quality, innovative fiction, expanding the readership of the short story genre and enhancing its standing. We invite work by prominent authors who believe in the continuing importance of the short story, but we aim to include new voices in every issue.

Submit: Prose – one story only per writer – no more than 5000 words in length. (There is no minimum length). Submissions via email. [See their submissions page for when they’re open to submissions in different genres and themes.]

[I couldn’t find anything about payment on their site.]

 

Spokes Magazine

Spokes is an international poetry e-zine that welcomes poetry, short fictional prose and images of all kinds – with a particular interest in the culturally engaged and the fantastic. Spokes is ‘published’ twice yearly.

Submit: poems, stories (stories can be up to 5,000 words in length), or images.

Payment: none.

 

Story Shack

Story Shack, founded in November 2011, is an on-line literary magazine featuring illustrated flash fiction. Its focus is to bring together the worlds of fiction and illustration by fostering relationships between authors and visual artists.

Submit: flash fiction (1,000 words or less). Submissions via online submissions form.

Payment: none.

 

Strangelet Journal

Strangelet is a journal of speculative fiction that publishes fiction, poetry, nonfiction, graphic stories/comics, and artwork six times a year with an anthology at the end of each year. We showcase the intersection where genre and literature collide. We want works to reveal compelling, universal truths that speak to us—from starship computers, from dragons’ mouths, and from everyday worlds tinged with miracles.

Submit: see what they expect for each issue online.

Payment: varies according to what you submit.

 

The Interpreter’s House

Submit: 1-5 poems or 1-2 short stories (under 2000 words). Submissions via email. Please observe the submissions windows which are:

October for the Spring issue

February for the Summer issue

June for the Autumn issue

[I’m not entirely sure what kind of magazine they are, and I couldn’t find anything about payment on their site.]

 

The Stinging Fly Magazine

We publish new, previously unpublished work by Irish and international writers. We have a particular interest in promoting the short story. Each issue also includes a mix of poetry, book reviews and essays, alongside occasional author interviews and novel extracts. We also welcome submissions of poetry and prose in translation.

Submit: one short story (no more than 5,000 words), or one to four poems. (Submissions sent through post.)

Payment: a copy of the magazine your work was published in.

 

Under the Radar Magazine

Our flagship magazine is at the heart of operations here at Nine Arches Press. It is a lively mix of the best up-and-coming and established poets and writers, as well as reviews and articles. Under the Radar is a place for readers and writers alike to make new discoveries

Submit: We request that you send us a sample of twenty poems in one document from your full collection in the first instance.  [Check out their submission windows. All submissions via Submittable.]

[I think this is only for UK residents. I couldn’t find anything about payment on their site.]

Vagabondage Press

Vagabondage Press was established in Spring 2008 in order to publish fiction and non-fiction that examines life in all its lovely ambiguity, grittiness, glory and despair.

In June 2008, we launched The Battered Suitcase, a literary and art journal. In January 2013, we introduced two imprints: Battered Suitcase Press for literary and mainstream fiction and Vagabondage Romance for romance and erotica. In September 2013, we launched the Dark Alley Press imprint for horror, paranormal, Gothic, steampunk, and dark fiction. Strange Fictions Press, focusing on science fiction, magical realism, and fantasy will launch in 2016.

We hold the unique and simple belief that good writing transcends genre. We dislike the tendency in mainstream publishing to categorize and pigeonhole authors and their work into literary ghettos. Vagabondage Press has a commitment to providing an alternative.

Submit: We are open to submissions of novellas and novel length work for stand-alone publication in digital and print formats, and short stories for anthologies. [All submissions via Submittable.]

[I’m not sure how The Battered Suitcase journal works – couldn’t find the link (but that can be the result of poor internet connection). This looks like a publisher with lots of limbs.]

 

tablet mag pic

In no way is this a complete list. (Nor do I take responsibility for anything that happens when you go to those sites.) But who has the time to trawl the internet for hours without end to find magazines to send short stories to? (Thank you, Ronel.)

Remember that querying magazines with your short stories is a lot like querying literary agents or publishers with your novel. Be professional. Send your fantasy short story only to magazines that publish fantasy (please don’t send your flying elephant and dancing hyena fantasy story to a women’s lit mag). Personalise your letter by telling them where you’ve heard of them (perhaps on a blog? Or perhaps you read their Twitter feed and felt a connection to their take on flying elephants?).

purple flying elephant

Give a brief description of your story (including genre and word count). And remember your bio – a lot of magazines like to publish that along with your story. (Your bio can be as brief as a logline with your social media links.) Don’t brag (in other words: don’t be an asshat) and be courteous.

Rejection can still happen (a lot). But you learn from each experience. Perhaps your elephant and hyena epic would be better suited to a competition?

grinning hyena

September is prime short fiction competition time – by then you’ll have quite a few stories written that you either felt wasn’t right for a magazine or you weren’t sure was finished (it happens to us all). Finish those stories, polish them and see the magic happen.

Good luck with your publishing journey.

Perhaps flying elephants and dancing hyenas would make a good story…

“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” – Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

How about you, fellow scriveners: have you sent your short stories to magazines? What happened? Do you have publications you’d like to add to the list?

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