Navigating this modern, fast-paced world of instant gratification is having a notable effect not only on what material we read, but also on how we consume it. Consequently, flash fiction is currently enjoying an unprecedented surge in popularity. This can only be good news for writers. Why? Because a slew of websites, e-zines, and conventional magazines and journals regularly featuring flash fiction have sprung up to satisfy demand. Some publications pay $0.20 a word or more for original material which, given the comparatively low required word counts. This means that, once you hone in on a niche, you can reap relatively substantial rewards with minimal outlay.
Firstly, know what you are dealing with. This shouldn’t require repeating, but familiarize yourself with the publication you intend submitting to, and follow their individual guidelines. Look out for any themed issues and submission windows, and be aware that the term ‘flash fiction’ is notoriously difficult to pin down. There is no universally accepted definition, and it is open to interpretation, but most agree that the term ‘flash fiction’ is used to describe a piece of work up to 1000 words in length, though some publications are very flexible.
Not just an outlet for gay fiction, but a multi-genre publication interested in, “deep explorations, timelessness, and challenging conventional thinking without being cheap and lazy.” Invites both essays and fiction, paying $1.00 per word flat-fee for accepted work. No simultaneous submissions, multiple submissions, or reprints.
El Chapo Review
The self-proclaimed ‘Highest-paying online literary journal on earth’ is seeking fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction in a range of genres including, but not limited to, crime, fantasy, romance and surrealist. Pays $100 flat fee for fiction up to 1000 words (which means if your story is 100 words long, the rate is $1.00 per word). No reprints.
General and literary fiction. The focus here is on the craft of writing and how those elements make a good story great. Pays $100 for original flash fiction and up to $200 for short stories. Accepts reprints, but does not pay for them. Also seeking essays, book reviews and interviews, and holds several regular contests and competitions.
Published four times a year, Grain is an internationally-acclaimed literary journal that publishes engaging, surprising, eclectic, and challenging writing and art. Pays $50 per printed page to a maximum of $250 for material in a range of forms from straight fiction to poetry and short plays. Only open to submissions between September 15th and May 15th.
At over 40 years old, Prairie Fire is one of Canada’s oldest literary journals, and features an electric mix of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, interviews, memoirs, and essays. Hard copy submissions from outside Canada are welcomed, but previously-published work isn’t. Pays $0.10 per word to a maximum of $250.
Seeking short stories and poems in any genre (excluding erotic), “to delight, inspire, surprise, and most importantly, move our readers.” Pays $125 for each accepted story as an advance on royalties, which each writer will continue to receive on a yearly-basis from Short Story Dispenser subscriptions.
The Sun Magazine
Operates two reading periods a year and publishes “personal stories that touch on political and cultural issues” in the form of essays, fiction, interviews and poetry. Pays $0.30 per word for the first 1000 words, and $0.04 a word thereafter. Discourages simultaneous submissions.
Pays $0.20 per word to a maximum of 2000 for speculative fiction honing in on the tech, science and future culture topics driving the zeitgeist. Looking for, “nearer-future fiction; think more sentient chat bots or climate-changed dystopias and less far-flung space operas.”
Publishes writing directly concerning mental health issues, as well as that involving the individual’s personal experience with those same issues. Both kinds of work celebrate lives in transit. Pays $50 per printed page for original fiction, articles, poetry and visual art.
Chris Saunders, who writes fiction as C.M. Saunders, is a freelance journalist and editor from South Wales. His work has appeared in over 80 magazines, ezines and anthologies worldwide, and he has held desk positions at several leading UK magazines ranging from Staff Writer to Associate Editor. His books have been both traditionally and independently published, the latest release being a collection of short fiction entitled “X: Omnibus.”
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