Sometimes you write, edit, and polish a story you believe in only for it to get rejected by all the usual suspects. Sometimes, you may want to write a story but can’t think for an eventual home for it, which stops you in your tracks. The more markets you are aware of, the greater the odds of finding a home for your well-crafted story, especially if it has a very particular theme, tone, or style.
There are many paying short story markets open each year each with their own vision and style, which might just chime with your own. Here are eight of them, each looking for new voices and particular flavors of stories:
The Deadlands is a new magazine looking for speculative fiction about death. They pay $0.10/word for stories up to 5000 words, $50 for poems, and $100 for essays of 1000-4000 words. ‘The Deadlands exists in liminal spaces between life, death, and elsewhere. We are looking for speculative fiction that concerns itself with death–but also everything death may involve. A ghost in a shadowed wood. An afterlife discovered through a rusted door. An abandoned house in the middle of a haunted field. A skeletal figure moving with intent toward something unseen. Death personified. Burials in troubled lands. A raised scythe against a clouded sky. Memento mori. The rivers of the dead. The sprawling underworlds beneath our feet. The Deadlands would love to see stories from a worldwide perspective, different cultures, different approaches to death.’
Uncharted Magazine is a magazine looking for crime, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and thriller short stories, which will debut in August 2021. They pay $200 for stories of 1000-5000 words. ‘We want stories that richly imagine the future of technology and science, we want stories of fantasy that make us hunger for new worlds, new biomes, new places we can explore through thrilling sensual details and human empathy. We want stories that thrill us, that make us feel alive, that awaken our desires to explore and go on adventures. We want stories that delve into the psychology of crime, that explore desperate and dastardly characters committing crimes of passion and intrigue. We want stories of mystery that make us search for answers, for reasons, for the things that happen in the shadows. We want stories that keep us up at night, afraid to turn the corner. Stories that take us into the resonant fear of looming monsters and haunting ghosts. We want stories that thrill us by keeping us on the edges of our seats, hearts pounding, wondering how it will end!’
Fat Coyote Literary is a new literary magazine open for stories and non-fiction up to 6000 words from neurodivergent writers only. They pay $0.03/word for fiction and non-fiction (up to $120) and also pay $1/ line for poems (up to $70). ‘Bold, unapologetic perspectives. Work that funnels sunlight through a magnifying glass to scorch the surface. Stir up emotions that lurch from the gut or radiate heat from the sternum. Infuriate us. Amuse us. Leave us in quiet relief. Whether the emotional charge that pulses through your work is subtle or bludgeoning, wield it with precision.’
Blood Knife is an online magazine looking to explore cyberpunk, SF, Fantasy, and culture. They are interested in ‘imagined futures, alternate histories, blood, cyborgs, and radical left politics. They want to ‘explore the collision of the soon-to-be, the never-was, and the now.’ They pay $0.09/word for stories up to 1200 words. They also pay $60 for non-fiction pieces of 800 words.
Lascivity is not a brand new market, but they are open for new kinky erotic stories up to 4000 words, and essays up to 2000 words. They pay £0.05/word. ‘Dirty stories deserve the same craft and attention as literary ones. Smut is a valid art form. Erotica doesn’t have to be trashy or stupid. The badly-researched Cosmopolitan article is not the best we, as a culture, can do. Everything we publish features kink in some way. We’re not a market for vanilla erotica, nor do we seek generic sex and relationship articles. We welcome darker erotica and essays which tackle complex subjects.’
Brink is a new literary magazine that pays $50 for stories up to 1500 words, and $100 for stories longer than 1500 words. They pay $25 for poems. Brink is ‘dedicated to publishing hybrid, cross-genre work of both emerging and established creatives who often reside outside traditional artistic disciplines. By providing space primed to instigate new ideas, Brink fosters dialogue and collaborative community across disciplines and cultural divides.’
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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