6 Paying Niche Short Story Markets for Writers – by Avery Springwood

6 Paying Niche Short Story Markets for Writers – by Avery Springwood

If articles and informational pieces aren’t your thing, writing short stories can be a great way to earn income as a freelance writer. And, there are tons of very specific genres and niches where you can submit your work. Here are six paying markets looking for short stories in very specific subgenres:

Zooscape is an e-zine looking for animal stories. They want stories up to 10,000 words, and pay $0.08/word up to 1000 words, and a flat rate of $80 for longer stories. “All stories must be furry. That means an anthropomorphic animal figure should be significantly featured in your story — it could be anthropomorphic in body or only intelligence. We’ll consider any type of furry fiction from secret life of animals to fox in Starbucks. We love science-fiction with animal-like aliens and fantasy with talking dragons, unicorns, or witch familiars.” Guidelines: https://zooscape-zine.com/guidelines/

Mermaids Monthly is a new market for merfolk fiction. They pay $0.10/word for fiction up to 5000 words, and $0.10/word for nonfiction up to 2000 words. “Everything should in some way relate to merfolk. We are loose about how you want to define that, and we will consider other aquatic fantastical creatures to be on theme. Yes, kelpies and selkies and kappas and nagas are all okay! We would love to see creative interpretations of the theme, and we’re also extremely interested in seeing work from writers of many backgrounds. We are interested in happy and sad, light and dark, funny and serious.” Guidelines: https://mermaidsmonthly.com/submissions/

Love Letters to Poe is a market for gothic short stories up to 1500 words, paying $0.05/word. They want ‘stories that evoke wonder and terror, romance and horror.’ Guidelines: https://loveletterstopoe.com/submit-a-story/

Vastarien is a literary horror journal that pays $0.05/word for prose fiction and nonfiction. Stories should be 750-6000 words, and should be ‘inspired by Ligottian and/or related themes and authors.’ Nonfiction should be ‘scholarly and/or critical articles pertaining to Ligotti or associated authors,’ and should be 2000-7500 words. Their website lists the authors who are of special interest to them, such as Shirley Jackson, H.P. Lovecraft, Angela Carter, William S. Burroughs, Vladimir Nabokov, etc. Guidelines: https://grimscribepress.com/submission-guidelines/

Grimdark is a grimdark fantasy and sci-fi market, paying (AUS) $0.07/word for stories up to 4000 words. ‘Working in a sub-genre means we are after a very specific style of story or image. We want dark settings, grey characters, morally ambiguous decisions, and plenty of grit. Joe Abercrombie, Anna Smith-Spark, George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Anna Stephens, Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch, Graham McNeill, Deborah A. Wolf, Dan Abnett, and R. Scott Bakker are our favourite authors.’ Guidelines: https://www.grimdarkmagazine.com/submissions/

Curiosities is a market for retrofiction stories up to 7500 words. They pay $0.05/word. They ‘want to be taken on an adventure in a time that never was, be it weird tales, steampunk, retro-futurism, vintage horror, mad science, amazing cities, monsters, impossible machines, clockworks, alt-history adventures, unexpected surprises, weird westerns, and things that shouldn’t work.’ They are not interested in stories set in space or themes relating to space travel.
Guidelines: https://gallerycurious.com/p/submissions-1599834174/


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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