Good news! You can finally stop stressing about where and how to submit your short stories—we compiled a list for you.
Trying to find a sense of community comes with the territory of being a writer. Whether you’re looking for the right writing contests or residencies, it’s hard to know where to begin and how to find the right home for your personal work.
In this guide, you’ll find 30+ magazines and literary journals that publish short fiction (and nonfiction). Our list includes a mix of publications across various genres and styles, ranging from prestigious, highly competitive options to those specifically seeking new and emerging voices.
Plus, international writers, a lot of these are open to you, too!
Table of Contents
30 Outlets that Publish Short Stories
While we’ll give you a brief idea of the flavor of each magazine and site, you’ll definitely want to spend some time reading your target publications before submitting to become familiar with the sort of pieces they prefer.
Many of these short story publishers accept original submissions that are simultaneously submitted elsewhere. Just make sure to withdraw your submitted submissions if you get your story published!
Ready to get started? Here’s where to submit short stories.
1. The New Yorker
Might as well start with a bang, right? Adding publication in The New Yorker to your portfolio puts you in a whole new league, though it won’t be easy. Author David. B. Comfort calculated the odds of acceptance at 0.0000416 percent!
It accepts both standard short fiction as well as humorous short fiction for the “Shouts & Murmurs” section. No word counts are mentioned, though a quick scan of the column shows most pieces are 600 to 1,000 words.
Payment: Huge bragging rights; pay for unsolicited submissions isn’t specified. As of this post’s publication, no rates specifically for short stories
2. The Atlantic
Another highly respected magazine, The Atlantic, publishes both big names and emerging writers in fiction and nonfiction. Submission guidelines advise, “A general familiarity with what we have published in the past is the best guide to what we’re looking for.”
Deadline: Open. Fiction stories are submitted to [email protected]
Payment: Unsolicited submissions are generally unpaid
3. The Threepenny Review
The 3P Review is quarterly arts magazine focuses on literature, arts and society, memoir and essay. Short stories should be no more than 4,000 words, while submissions to the “Table Talk” section (pithy, irreverent and humorous musings on culture, art, politics and life) should be 1,000 words or less.
Deadline: January 1 to April 30
Payment: $400 for short stories; $200 for Table Talk pieces
4. One Story
Its main criteria for a great short story? One “that leaves readers feeling satisfied and [is] strong enough to stand alone.” Stories can be any style or subject but should be between 3,000 and 8,000 words.
Deadline: January 15 – May 31 | September 3 – November 14
Payment: $500 plus 25 contributor copies
Thought-provoking is the name of the game if you want to get published in AGNI. Its editors look for pieces that hold a mirror up to the world around us and engage in a larger, ongoing cultural conversation about nature, mankind, the society we live in and more.
There are no word limits, but shorter is generally better; “The longer a piece is, the better it needs to be to justify taking up so much space in the magazine,” note the submission guidelines.
Deadline: Open September 1 to December 15; February 15 to May 31
Payment: $10 per printed page (up to a max of $150) plus a year’s subscription, two contributor’s copies and four gift copies
6. Kindle Vella
Rather than seeking a magazine or journals editorial approval, you can publish directly to Kindle Vella’s short story program. Here, your work will go directly to market and its success will be determined by the general public, not by an editorial team. You also don’t have to wait months on a response as to whether your short story will be published. You can upload and be published on Kindle Vella in under 48 hours.
Payment: Royalties on KDP reads
Published by an independent nonprofit literary organization, Barrelhouse’s biannual print journal and online issue seek to “bridge the gap between serious art and pop culture.” Its editors look for quality writing that’s also edgy and funny—as they say, they “want to be your weird Internet friend.”
There’s no hard word count, but try to keep your submission under 8,000 words.
Deadline: Currently open for book reviews only. Check the webpage to see all open categories and sign up for the email list to receive updates on submissions
Payment: $50 to print and online contributors; print contributors also receive two contributor copies
8. The Cincinnati Review
The Cincinnati Review publishes work by writers of all genres and at all points of their careers. Its editors want “work that has energy,” that is “rich in language and plot structure” and “that’s not just ecstatic, but that makes its reader feel ecstatic, too.”
Fiction and nonfiction submissions should be no more than 40 double-spaced pages.
Deadline: The review accepts submissions during three time periods, September, December, and May. Submit earlier in the month because they will stop accepting submissions when their cap is reached.
Payment: $25 per page for prose in journal
9. The First Line
This cool quarterly is all about jumpstarting that pesky writer’s block. Each issue of The First Line contains short fiction stories (300 to 5,000 words) that each begin with the same pre-assigned first line.
If you really want to get ambitious, you can also write a four-part story that uses each of that year’s first lines (which is due by the next year’s spring issue deadline). To find each issue’s assigned first line, check out the submission guidelines.
Deadline: February 1 (spring); May 1 (summer); August 1 (fall); November 1 (winter)
Payment: $25 to $50 (fiction); $25 (nonfiction) plus a contributor’s copy
10. The Georgia Review
Another one high on the prestige list, The Georgia Review features a wide variety of essays, fiction, book reviews, and more across a wide range of topics. You can read specific requirements for each in the submission guidelines, but the common theme among them all is quality, quality, quality.
Bear in mind submitting requires a $3 processing fee if you’re not a subscriber.
Deadline: Opens on August 15
Payment: $50 per printed page; contributors also receive a one-year subscription to the quarterly and a 50% discount on additional copies of that issue
11. Boulevard Magazine
Boulevard Magazine is always on the lookout for “less experienced or unpublished writers with exceptional promise.” It accepts prose pieces (fiction and nonfiction) up to 8,000 words (note: no science fiction, erotica, westerns, horror, romance or children’s stories).
There is an online submission fee of $3. Free if submitting by post.
Deadline: Open November 1 to May 1
Payment: $100 to $300
Story Magazine is, you guessed it, all about the story, whatever shape it takes. Each issue—printed tri-annually in February, June, and November—is “devoted to the complex and diverse world of narrative with a focus on fiction and nonfiction.” Luckily, you don’t have to stick to any formal guidelines in regards to style, content, or even length; they consider all “short” narrative length work, from flash fiction to novellas. There is a $3 submission fee.
Payment: Regular payment rate is $10 per page upon publication
13. Vestal Review
Prefer to keep your short stories extra short? Vestal Review publishes flash fiction of no more than 500 words. Its editors are open to all genres except for syrupy romance, hard science fiction and children’s stories, and they have a special fondness for humor. R-rated content is OK, but stay away from anything too racy, gory or obscene.
There is a submission fee of $2 for each submission.
Deadline: Submission periods are February to May and August to November
Payment: The author of an accepted print submission gets $25 and a print copy; $10 for accepted web submissions
14. Flash Fiction Online
Flash Fiction Online allows for slightly longer flash stories—between 500 and 1,000 words. Its editors like sci-fi and fantasy but are open to all genres (except for nonfiction and poetry!). As with Vestal, stay away from the heavier stuff like erotica and violence. What they’re looking for is developed, empathetic characters and discernible, resolved plots. Unlike many of the other publications, they will accept previously published work, which you’d submit in the reprint category.
Deadline: Open each month for submissions from the 1st to the 21st of the month.
Payment: $80 per story; two cents per word for reprints
15. Black Warrior Review
Black Warrior Review publishes a mix of work by up-and-coming writers and nationally known names. Fiction pieces of up to 7,000 words should be innovative, challenging, and unique; its editors value “absurdity, hybridity, the magical [and] the stark.”
BWR also accepts flash fiction under 1,000 words and nonfiction pieces (up to 7,000 words) that complicate western traditions of truth-telling, and “foregrounds the history of emotions rather than the history of facts.” There is a $3 submission fee.
Deadline: Submission periods are December 1 to March 1 and June 1 to September 1
Payment: A one-year subscription to BWR and a nominal lump-sum fee (amount not disclosed in its guidelines)
16. The Sun Magazine
The Sun Magazine offers some of the biggest payments we’ve seen, and while its guidelines specifically mention personal writing and provocative political/cultural pieces, they also say editors are “open to just about anything.”
Works should run no more than 7,000 words. Submit something the editors love, and you could get a nice payday.
Payment: $300 to $2,000
17. Virginia Quarterly (VQR)
A diverse publication that features both award-winning and emerging writers, VQR accepts short fiction (3,500 to 8,000 words) but is not a fan of genre work like romance, sci-fi and fantasy. It also takes nonfiction (3,500 to 9,000 words) like travel essays that examine the world around us.
Deadline: Submissions read July 1 to July 31
Payment: Generally $1,000 and above for short fiction and prose (approximately 25 cents per word) with higher rates for investigative reporting; $100 to $200 for content published online
Ploughshares’ award-winning literary journal is published by Boston’s Emerson College. They accept fiction and nonfiction under 7,500 words and require a $3 service fee if you submit online (it’s free to submit by mail, though they prefer digital submissions). You can also submit your significantly longer work (7,500 to 20,000 words) to the Ploughshares Solos series!
Deadline: June 1 to January 15 at noon Eastern Time
Payment: $45 per printed page (for a minimum of $90 per title and a maximum of $450 per author); plus two contributor copies of the issue and a one-year subscription
19. Carve Magazine
Writers are in for a treat! Carve Magazine accepts poetry, short stories and nonfiction submissions, not exceeding 10,000 words. They accept literary fiction only and are not open to genre fiction (i.e. thriller, horror, romance, etc.). They also accept novel excerpts but only those that can stand alone in the story. There’s a $3 submission fee, but you can subscribe to the magazine to skirt past it.
Deadline: Open all-year-round from anywhere in the world
Payment: Pays $100 and offers feedback on 5 to 10% of declined submissions
20. Daily Science Fiction
Sci-fi and fantasy writers, this one’s for you. Daily Science Fiction is looking for character-driven fiction, and the shorter, the better. While their word count range is 100 to 1,500 words, they might consider flash series—AKA three or more flash tales built around a common theme.
Deadline: Open except for the period between December 24 to January 2
Payment: Eight cents per word, with the possibility of additional pay for reprints in themed Daily Science Fiction anthologies
JMWW is a literary journal that publishes fiction stories with up to 300 words and flash fiction of no longer than 1.500 words, and it’s open to any genre as long as the story is well-crafted. To up your chances of catching the editors’ eyes, note that they like “strong characters whose motivations are not always known to us but can be explained within the confines of common sense,” as well as surprise endings (nothing gimmicky).
Payment: No pay specified
22. Smokelong Quarterly
SmokeLong, a literary mag devoted to flash fiction, publishes flash narratives up to 1000 words—and that’s a firm word limit, so be sure to stick to it. The SLQ aesthetic remains “an ever-changing, ever-elusive set of principles,” but it most likely has to do with these kinds of things: language that surprises and excites, narratives that strive toward something other than a final punch line or twist, and more which you can see in the submission guidelines. Think you can handle that?
Payment: $50 per story upon publication in the quarterly issue
23. The Master’s Review
The Master’s Review’s New Voices category is open to any new or emerging author who has not published a work of fiction or narrative nonfiction of novel length—not including authors with short story collections. Submit your flash fiction of 1,000 words or your piece of fiction or narrative nonfiction of up to 7,000 words. Though, editors are honest: There are no submission fees, but they’re highly selective.
Payment: A flat rate of $100 for flash-length stories; $200 for short fiction
24. Ruminate Magazine
Both emerging and established writers are encouraged to submit fiction or creative nonfiction stories that “engages the contemplative spirit of our journal and embraces curiosity and discovery rather than resolution.” Both genres are capped at a word count of 5,500 words.
Want another option? There’s no pay for this one (just contributor copies), but The Waking is Ruminate Magazine’s online publication space and they’re looking for short-form prose, fiction and nonfiction that is “holy, nutritious and crucial.” Keep your submissions to 1,000 words or less.
Deadline: July 2, 2020; fiction reading periods are April 1 to June 30; January 15 to June 30 for nonfiction
Payment: $20 per 400 words, plus contributor copies
25. Asimov’s Science Fiction
Have you ever wondered where George R. R. Martin’s Daenerys Targaryen first appeared on the printed page? Well, this is it! An established market for science fiction stories, Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine has won numerous Hugo and Nebula Awards, and the writers they’ve published have led successful careers.
They want you to submit your character-oriented, “serious, thoughtful, yet accessible fiction,” but there’s room for humor as well. While science fiction dominates what the magazine publishes, you’re welcome to submit borderline fantasy, slipstream and surreal fiction—steer clear of sword and sorcery, explicit sex or violence. While there’s no specific word count, ASF seldom buys stories shorter than 1,000 words or longer than 20,000 words.
Payment: 8 to 10 cents per word for short stories up to 7,500 words; 8 cents per word for each word over 7,500
Check out this helpful video from our friends at selfpublishing.com for writing a short story.
26. Slice Magazine
Got a fresh voice and a compelling story to share? This one’s for you. To bridge the gap between emerging and established authors, SLICE offers a space where both are published side-by-side. In each issue, a specific cultural theme becomes the catalyst for articles, interviews, stories and poetry from renowned writers and lesser-known voices alike. Short fiction and nonfiction submissions should be 5,000 words max.
Deadline: Slice published their final issue in the fall of 2021 and are no longer looking for submissions
Payment: $400 for stories and essays; $150 for flash fiction pieces; $100 for poems
27. Cricket Media
Cricket Media wants to publish your finest quality writing for children of all ages in one of its four literary magazines—you have options! Open to submissions from writers of every level of experience, CM’s mags are interested in a lot of things, no matter what genre: realistic contemporary fiction, historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy, folk tales, myths and legends, humor, and even westerns. Their advice? Focus on telling a good story that’s well-plotted, character-driven and has a satisfying conclusion.
Most stories are 1200 to 1800 words in length; however, they occasionally serialize longer stories of up to 6,000 words.
Deadline: Varies; check the guidelines to learn the deadlines for each lit mag
Payment: Up to 25 cents per word
28. The Dark Sire
Horror writers, you’re up! A fairly new literary journal, The Dark Sire is a quarterly online and print journal that “explores speculative fiction works for enthusiasts” of gothic, horror, fantasy and psychological realism in short fiction, poetry and art. Subjects of particular interest include: vampires, monsters, old castles, dragons, magic, mental illness, hell, disease and decay of society. No word count.
Payment: None, but they promote writers through author events, social media outreach and the (in development) TDS podcast
29. The Common
Based at Amherst College, The Common is an award-winning print and digital literary journal published biannually in the fall and spring. They seek fiction and nonfiction stories and dispatches (800-word notes, news and impressions from around the world) that “embody a strong sense of place: pieces in which the setting is crucial to character, narrative, mood and language.” Stick to a 10,000 word-count and you’re solid. There is a $3 submission fee.
Deadline: Reading periods are March 1 to June 1 and September 1 to December 1; subscribers can submit for free year-round
Payment: $100 for fiction and nonfiction submissions; $50 per dispatch
30. The Antioch Review
The Antioch Review is currently paused and not accepting submissions. Check back in the future.
The Antioch Review rarely publishes more than three short stories per issue, but its editors are open to new as well as established writers. Authors published here often wind up in Best American anthologies and as the recipients of Pushcart prizes.
To make the cut, editors say, “It is the story that counts, a story worthy of the serious attention of the intelligent reader, a story that is compelling, written with distinction.” Word count is flexible, but pieces tend to be under 5,000.
Deadline: When operational, open except between June 1 to August 31. No electronic submissions
Payment: $20 per printed page plus two contributor copies
31. Literary Orphans
Literary Orphans is currently paused and not accepting submissions. Check back in the future.
Fiction comes first for this short fiction and art magazine. Editors want your fiction of any genre, but they have a need for micro-fiction, flash, and short stories that are 2,000 words or less (but 1,500 is their sweet spot!). Creative nonfiction is also accepted for the bi-monthly Literary Orphans issue on the main website; just keep your story to 5,000 words max. Plus, teens under 19, there’s a category for you, too. Submit a story of no more than 3,000 words to its “TEEN SPIRIT” section
Because they receive a high volume of submissions, editors ask that you submit your *best* piece. But here’s where it gets interesting: If you can’t choose just one, send both! (As long as both stories combined don’t surpass 2,000 words.)
Deadline: Currently no open calls for submission, but check back in the future!
Payment: Not specified
Short Story Submission Tips
With hard work and patience you can see your short stories published!
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when looking to submit short stories
- Take time to read through the literary magazines before you submit. You will have a better idea of what they are looking and know which magazines fit best with your writing style
- Read the submission details before you submit. Each publication has different specifications for submissions – make sure you fulfill their requirements
- Be patient. Many of these publications have a small team and a lot of submissions. It is normal to wait several months before hearing whether an article will be published or not
- Keep track of which articles you have submitted to which publications. Because can submit the same short story to multiple publications, you will need to withdraw that article if it gets published. You don’t want to accidentally publish the same piece in multiple places
- Don’t give up! While you might receive multiple rejections before you get your first piece published, with hard work it will be worth the wait once you get your first piece in print!
The original version of this story was written by Kelly Gurnett. We updated the post so it’s more useful for our readers.
Photo via Nito/ Shutterstock