Hidden Gems: Out-of-the-Way Fiction Markets By Laura Yeager

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When a short story writer thinks of sending out her stories, she usually thinks of sending them to literary magazines such as The Missouri Review, Zoetrope or The North American Review. And, if she has her sights set very high, she might try submitting to The New Yorker. But how often does she think of sending fiction to places like Hemispheres or Country Woman? I wager not very often.

My question is “why not?” There are great publishing opportunities and a lot of money to be made “off-the-beaten-path.”

Below are 14 paying, out-of-the-way fiction markets. Some of them call for very specific kinds of fiction and some of them want less specific kinds of stories. So sit back, and enjoy a look at fiction markets you’d probably never think of in a million years….and probably won’t ever forget.

How about Horizons: The Jewish Family Monthly? According to their web site, “Horizons, a Targum Press publication, was the first quarterly magazine for the religious Jewish market, and has been a favorite in Jewish homes for over a decade.” Send them 1000-3500-word fiction that focuses on the interests, lifestyles and needs of the Orthodox Jewish family.

Next, let’s look at Boys’ Life, the official youth magazine of the Boy Scouts of America. Send this monthly print mag short stories running between 1,000 to 1,500 words that feature a boy or boys. “[They] use humor, mystery, science fiction and adventure. [They] run one or two short stories per issue. Occasionally, stories are specifically written for ages 6 to 10 (low-demographic issue) and for ages 11 to 18 (high-demographic issue).”

And we can’t forget The Bark Magazine, a bi-monthly print magazine, which is all about dogs and the people who love them. Send them fictional stories about dogs that do not exceed 2000 words.

Next, there’s Ocean Magazine, a quarterly magazine devoted to “environmentally-based articles and stories, essays, poems, and photography about the ocean–written with fact and feeling…an eclectic blend of the informative and educational, personal, spiritual and sensual.” Send them fictional stories in which the ocean is featured in some way.

Moving on, let’s look at Mature Years Magazine, whose “audience comprises persons of retirement age and beyond (55 years plus)…[The quarterly] magazine’s purpose is to help persons understand and use the resources of the Christian faith in dealing with specific opportunities and problems related to aging.” They publish fiction no longer than 2000 words in length that “may be for…pure entertainment or [to] explore a social justice issue or concern of aging.”

Now, what about Highlights for Children? According to their web site, “Highlights is dedicated to helping children grow in basic skills and knowledge, in creativeness, in ability to think and reason, in sensitivity to others, in high ideals and worthy ways of living…” The magazine’s audience is children up to age 12. Send them stories up to 800 words that “include humor, mystery, sports, holiday, and adventure stories; retellings of traditional tales; stories with urban settings; and stories that feature world cultures.”

And then there’s Calliope, a world history magazine for kids ages 9-14. This magazine is looking for “authentic historical and biographical fiction, adventure, retold legends, relating to the theme” up to 800 words in length.

Here’s a gem. Field Trial Magazine is dedicated to the breeding, training and field trialing of bird dogs. According to the 2010 Writer’s Market, send them your 1000-2500-word fiction that concerns bird dogs and field trials.

And here’s another jewel – Country Woman Magazine. According to their web site, “the bimonthly magazine reflects the diversity, strength and spirit of country women throughout North America. Most of the material is written about, and by, real country women.” Send them 750-1000 word fiction about today’s country woman.

Now, let’s look at Muzzle Blasts Magazine. According to their web site, “Muzzle Blasts is published monthly by the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association. Material content of the publication relates only to the muzzleloading firearms, accoutrements, and historical data of that particular era.” They want 1500-2500 word fiction that pertains to muzzleloading.

And have you heard of Bowhunter? According to the 2010 Writer’s Market, Bowhunter is a “bimonthly magazine covering hunting big and small game with bow and arrow.” Send your 500-2000 word fiction about bowhunting and outdoor adventure.

Then there’s St. Anthony Messenger. According to the 2010 Writer’s Market, this monthly magazine has a national readership of Catholic families and aims to help Catholics lead more human and Christian lives. Send them your “mainstream, religious [or] senior citizen/retirement” stories ranging from 2000-2500 words. Note: They don’t want rewritten Bible stories.

Finally, we can’t forget Hemispheres, the in-flight magazine for United Airlines. This magazine wants, according to the 2010 Writer’s Market, “1000-4000 word “adventure, ethnic, historical, humorous, mainstream, mystery, explorations of those issues common to all people but within the context of a particular culture.”

In conclusion, there are more fiction markets out there than meets the eye. Why not step out of your comfort zone and compose something different, something you wouldn’t normally write? And then, market it at one of the above magazines.

The fiction world is full of opportunities.

Good luck in mining them.

Boys’ Life
$750.00 and up

The Bark Magazine
rates are negotiable

Ocean Magazine
$75.00-$150.00/story

Mature Years
$0.07/word
email: Mcropsey@umpublishing.org for writer’s guidelines

Highlights for Children
$150.00 minimum

Calliope, Exploring World History
$0.20-$0.25/word

Field Trial Magazine
$200.00-$300.00
for writer’s guidelines email: fieldtrialmag@gmail.com

Country Woman
$100.00/story

Muzzle Blasts Magazine
$50.00-$300.00 words
for writer’s guidelines email: nmlraweb@seidata.com

Bowhunter
$100-$350.00
for writer’s guidelines email: dwight.schuh@imoutdoors.com

St. Anthony Messenger
$0.20/word

Hemispheres
$0.50/word
for writer’s guidelines contact magazine: http://www.hemispheresmagazine.com/

Laura Yeager writes literary fiction, and nonfiction for many kinds of markets. Her nonfiction frequently appears in The Writer Magazine, bp Magazine and at thesavvygal.com. She also works as a professional blogger and speechwriter. She teaches online fiction writing at Gotham Writers’ Workshop. Laura is currently looking for an agent for a middle-grade novel series.