6 Novella-Length Science Fiction and Fantasy Paying Markets for Writers – by Avery Springwood

6 Novella-Length Science Fiction and Fantasy Paying Markets for Writers – by Avery Springwood

Sometimes, a few thousand words just isn’t enough for a story to reach its conclusion. Characters and worlds are complicated, narrative arcs are epic, or a story begs to be longer before it can reach a satisfying end.

If you’ve already tried submitting your SF or fantasy novelette/ novella to the four longest-running speculative fiction magazines (Asimov’s Science Fiction, Analog, Clarkesworld, and Fantasy & Science Fiction), yet were rejected, you might feel at a loss as to where to submit to next.

Below, we’ll explore six paying genre markets that also accept longer stories.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies is a ‘literary adventure fantasy’ magazine that pays 8 cents a word for stories up to 15,000 words. They want fantasy stories set in a secondary-world, written with a literary approach. They define a secondary-world setting as “some other world that is different from our own primary world in some way. It could be different in terms of zoology (non-human creatures), ecology (climate), or physical laws (the presence of magic).” They favor character-driven stories, with a close points of view, written with literary flair.

Average response time is 19 days for rejections and 98 days for acceptances.

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores accepts an eclectic mix of hard and soft SF, fantasy, myth, fairy tales, and ghost stories, and pays 6 cents a word for stories up to 40,000 words. They’re open to submissions on the 1st-2nd of every month, from 12am of the first to 12am of the third (E.S.T.) but accept only one submission per person per window.

Average response is 14 days for rejections, and 73 days for acceptances.

Deep Magic accept fantasy and SF stories up to 40,000 words, but pays 8 cents per word for the first 7,499 words, with payment capped at $599.92 for stories longer than 7,499 words. They are a market for clean speculative fictions stories, with no graphic violence, sexual themes, profanity, glorification of drug abuse, or graphic child abuse. They want stories for “a broad, family-friendly audience; think original Lord of the Rings trilogy or Star Wars.” They have irregular open windows for submissions, usually running for around 3 months at a time.

Average response is 87 days for rejections, and 239 days for acceptances.

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine is a long-established market for mystery/ crime/ thriller stories, which pays 5 cents to 8 cents per word for stories up to 20,000 words (favoring stories under 12,000). EQMM sometimes run ghost/ supernatural mystery stories, and the mystery genre can overlap with psychological horror, which might suit some speculative fiction writers.

“We publish every kind of mystery short story: the psychological suspense tale, the deductive puzzle, the private eye case—the gamut of crime and detection from the realistic (including the policeman’s lot and stories of police procedure) to the more imaginative (including ‘locked rooms’ and ‘impossible crimes’). We need hard-boiled stories as well as ‘cozies.'”

Average response is 22 days for rejections, and 85 days for acceptances.

Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet accepts a broad range of speculative fiction stories (but not sword and sorcery) and pays 3 cents per word for stories up to 40,000 words. They only accept submissions via snail mail, so if you’re submitting from outside the USA, you will need to include IRCs.

Response time is slow, averaging at 249 days for rejections, and 347 days for acceptances.

Reckoning is a niche market for speculative fiction about environmental justice. They pay 8 cents per word for stories up to 20,000 words. “What we want is your searingly personal, visceral, idiosyncratic understanding of the world and the people in it as it has been, as it is, as it will be, as it could be, as a consequence of humanity’s relationship with the earth.”

Average response is 38 days for rejections, and 241 days for acceptances.


Avery Springwood is a science fiction writer and photographer living in the UK. When she’s not working, she can be found spending time with her family and their beloved cockapoo, or trying to find time to read speculative fiction stories.


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