Where to Submit Short Stories: 23 Magazines and Websites That Want Your Work

Where to Submit Short Stories: 23 Magazines and Websites That Want Your Work

Not sure where to send those great short stories you’ve written?

As with writing contests and fellowships, sometimes it can be hard to know where to begin. To help you figure out where to submit short stories, we’ve put together this guide to 23 publications that publish short fiction. The 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.

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. And before hitting “send,” make sure you’re not making any of these submission mistakes!

Ready to get started? Here are 23 outlets that publish 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 an 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.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.newyorker.com/about/contact

Deadline: Open

Payment: Huge bragging rights; pay for unsolicited submissions isn’t specified. Who Pays Writers lists several paid pieces, though 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.”

Submission Guidelines: http://www.theatlantic.com/faq/#Submissions

Deadline: Open

Payment: Unsolicited submissions are generally unpaid, although if the editors choose your piece for online content, you may receive $100-$200 depending on genre and length.

3. The Threepenny Review

This 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.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.threepennyreview.com/submissions.html

Deadline: January to June

Payment: $400 for short stories; $200 for Table Talk pieces

4. Zoetrope: All-Story

Founded by Francis Ford Coppola and Adrienne Brodeur in 1997, Zoetrope: All-Story’s mission is “to explore the intersection of story and art, fiction and film” and “form a bridge to storytellers at large, encouraging them to work in the natural format of a short story.” Submissions should be no more than 7,000 words.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.all-story.com/submissions.cgi

Deadline: Open

Payment: None, but this magazine has discovered many emerging writers and published big names like Salman Rushdie and Gabriel García Márquez, so publication here could win you some serious prestige points.

5. One Story

One Story is just what the name says: a literary magazine that publishes one great short story every three to four weeks, and nothing more.

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.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.one-story.com/index.php?page=submit

Deadline: September 1 to May 31

Payment: $500 plus 25 contributor copies

6. The Antioch Review

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.

Submission Guidelines: http://review.antiochcollege.org/guidelines

Deadline: Open except for the period of June 1 to September 1

Payment: $20 per printed page plus two contributor copies

7. AGNI

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.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.bu.edu/agni/submit.html

Deadline: Open September 1 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

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8. Barrelhouse

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.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.barrelhousemag.com/submissions

Deadline: Currently open for books, comics, and a few other categories. Check the webpage to see all open categories and sign up for the newsletter to learn as soon as new open categories are announced.

Payment: $50 plus two contributor copies (print journal); unpaid (online issue)

9. 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 is reader feel ecstatic, too.”

Fiction and nonfiction submissions should be no more than 40 double-spaced pages.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.cincinnatireview.com/#/submissions/guidelines

Deadline: August 15 to March 15

Payment: $25 per double-spaced page

10. The First Line

This cool quarterly is all about jumpstarting that pesky writer’s block. Each issue contains short fiction stories (300-5,000 words) that each begin with the same pre-assigned first line. You can also write a nonfiction critical essay (500-800 words) about your favorite first line from a piece of literary work.

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 below.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.thefirstline.com/submission.htm

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

11. 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 below, 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.

Submission Guidelines: http://garev.uga.edu/submissions.html

Deadline: Open except for the period of May 15 to August 15

Payment: $50 per printed page

12. 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 a submission fee of $3.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.boulevardmagazine.org/guidelines/

Deadline: Open October 1 to May 1

Payment: $100 to $300

13. Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura is a biannual independent literary journal that publishes contemporary literary fiction and photography. Fiction should be between 250 and 8,000 words, although its editors have made exceptions for the occasional “exceptional novella” between 12,000 and 30,000 words.

You can also try your hand at a “Bridge the Gap” piece, where you review the current photo gallery and construct a story that “Takes the reader on an unexpected journey from the first image to the next.”

Submission Guidelines: http://www.obscurajournal.com/guidelines.php

Deadline: Stay tuned to the guidelines page to find out when the next deadline is announced.

Payment: $1,000 to one featured writer published in each issue, as determined by the editors; all other contributors receive two copies of the issue in which they are published. The best Bridge the Gap piece receives $50.

14. Crazyhorse

Open to a wide variety of fiction from mainstream to avant-garde, Crazyhorse puts no limitations on style or form. If you’ve got something people haven’t seen before and won’t be able to forget, its editors are looking for it.

Crazyhorse also accepts nonfiction of any sort, including memoirs, journal entries, obituaries, etc. — we told you it’s open to anything! Keep your word count between 2,500 and 8,500 words.

Submission Guidelines: http://crazyhorse.cofc.edu/submit/

Deadline: Open for submissions from September 1 to May 31, except for the month of January (when it only accepts entries for the Crazyhorse Prizes)

Payment: $20 per printed page (up to a max of $200)

15. Story

Story Magazine is, you guessed it, all about the story, whatever shape it takes. Each issue is based around a theme, but its editors encourage writers to think outside the box when it comes to how to address that theme — fiction, nonfiction, hybrid forms, “hermit-crab essays” and more are all up for consideration.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.storymagazine.org/submit/

Deadline: Open January 1 to May 1 (print magazine); open February, April, June, August, and October (online)

Payment: Not specified

16. Vestal Review

Prefer to keep your short stories extremely 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.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.vestalreview.org/guidelines/

Deadline:  Submission periods are February to May and August to November

Payment: Ten cents per word (for stories up to 100 words); five cents per word (101-200 words); three cents per word (201-500 words). “Stories of great merit” in their estimation can receive up to a $25 flat fee.

17. 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. As with Vestal, stay away from the heavier stuff like erotica and violence. As of March 1, 2015, FFO accepts previously published works.

Submission Guidelines: http://flashfictiononline.com/main/submission-guidelines/

Deadline: Open

Payment: $60 per story, two cents per word for reprints

18. 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 examine and challenge beliefs and boundaries. There is a $3 submission fee.

Submission Guidelines: http://bwr.ua.edu/submit/guidelines/

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)

19. 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.

Submission Guidelines: http://thesunmagazine.org/about/submission_guidelines/writing

Deadline: Open

Payment: A one-year subscription plus $300 to $2,000 (nonfiction) or $300 to $1,500 (fiction)

20. Virginia Quarterly (VQR)

A diverse publication that features both award-winning and emerging writers, VQR accepts short fiction (2,000 to 8,000 words) but is not a fan of genre work like romance, sci-fi, etc. It also takes nonfiction (3,500 to 9,000 words) like travel essays that examine the world around us.

Submission Guidelines: http://www.vqronline.org/about-vqr/submissions

Deadline: Submission periods are June 15 to July 31 and October 1 to November 15. VQR also accepts nonfiction pitches from June 15 to December 1.

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.

21. Ploughshares

Ploughshares’ award-winning literary journal is published by Boston’s Emerson College. They accept fiction and nonfiction under 6,000 words and require a $3 service fee if you submit online (it’s free to submit by mail, though they prefer digital submissions).

Submission Guidelines: https://www.pshares.org/submit/journal/guidelines

Deadline: June 1 at noon EST through January 15 at noon EST

Payment: $25 per printed page (for a minimum of $50 per title and a maximum of $250 per author).

22. Shimmer

Shimmer “encourages authors of all backgrounds to write stories that include characters and settings as diverse and wondrous as the people and places of the world we live in.”

Traditional sci-fi and fantasy need not apply; Shimmer’s editors are after contemporary fantasy and “speculative fiction” with strong plots, characters and emotional core — the more unique the better. Keep your stories under 7,500 words (4,000 words is around the sweet spot).

Submission Guidelines: http://www.shimmerzine.com/guidelines/fiction-guidelines/

Deadline: Opens for submissions on September 4

Payment: Five cents per word (for a minimum of $50)

23. 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’re especially eager to get flash fiction series (several flash stories based around a central theme), science fiction, fantasy, and slipstream.

Submission Guidelines: http://dailysciencefiction.com/submit

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

Where to find more places to submit your short stories

These 23 magazines and online publications are just a small subset of what’s out there. For more potential places to share your short fiction, check out the following resources, several of which helped us compile this list:

Do you write short stories? Where have you submitted them?

This post was originally published in May 2015. We’ve updated it to reflect the most accurate information available. 

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173 comments

  • Chris McCormick says:

    Im a Amateur writer, hooked on creativity and i was looking for a place to try and submit some work and get my name out there. so i looked and found this interesting resource so thank you for showing me something interesting. But i do have a question… Im am curently writing a murder mystery that has some mature content as well as gore(in retrospect) would something like that be to much to submit to these?

    • Jack Owen and/or Jack M D Owen says:

      Before submitting anything anywhere eyeball past issues to get the flavour of writers and editor choices; plus scan the READER responses to material published. No need to spend vast sums on ‘commercial’ publications, many will be available in Box Store rack or public/university libraries. You should be able to suss out whether your submission of ‘Hannibal’s Thrifty Brain Soup Recipe’ will fit between the covers of ‘ Vegans for Victory’.
      Most entries in WRITERS Market annual (availale at most libraries – and on CD) goes into depth about Wants and Taboos.
      Good luck!

  • You have published great list. As a magazine publisher I think this is very valuable list. Thank for sharing.

  • I found this website online and submitted to them. They rejected my story for publication, but I was surprised with how thoughtful they were. Instead of just saying sorry, not accepted, they actually gave me a critique of my story. They were nice about it too. I thought that was cool, considering no one else bothers to do that that I have come across. Anyhow, they don’t charge for submission.

  • Lew Goddard says:

    Great list. I’m up here in snowy Canada trying to get my short stories published and make some money to boot.

    Have short stories actually made a comeback?

    Good luck writers

  • I sold my first piece of fiction 20 years ago, at age 19. Absolutely everything has changed since then and none of it for the better. I used to get paid $1, sometimes $2 a word for long feature articles. Now, I’m lucky to get a free contributor’s copy and an expired receipt coupon for Burger King.
    Fortunately, the negative karmic repercussions generated by any literary publication scurrilous enough to demand mordida before they will deign to read your work ,whether they call it an “entry fee,” “reading fee” or “staple recycling fee”, can all die in a rainy parking lot waiting for an ambulance. For their filthy collection plates full of lucre goes directly to support Satan’s personal projects, like paying Lena Dunham for 3,000 glial cell-mutilating words about a life-sized Cookie Monster going down on her… Where was I? Oh. Trying to figure out how I will eat tomorrow. I can’t even afford to to live in the USA any longer, so I moved South of the Border. But, yes, I’m going to get right on that piece for the New Yorker. Realize, $20 per printed page is less than 10 cents per word. Still…it beats real work.

    is such a blisteringly hateful practice that

    • Tom says:

      This. This, this, this, THIS.

      I submitted a piece for the Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Awards one year. My piece–entirely in the spirit of Algren, involving addiction and the reality of street-living–was rejected in favor of a handful of stories about, variously:

      -a singing goat
      -a couple of bickering old women
      -a jumping frog (never heard that one before…*cough Twain cough*)
      -four pages describing a woman eating flan

      If Nelson Algren weren’t dead already, he’d have surely killed himself upon learning what that magazine has done to his name and legacy.

  • Africanne says:

    Hi am from Kenya and your article has really enlightened me and so like we say it back home.. Asante sana(thanks alot)

  • Lacey Chapman says:

    Why do so many places not accept Children Fiction Storries? I am also little confused about how to write fiction about the current culture if it only applys to adults and not teens or kids? Any Suggestions? Thx – Lacey (teen who wants to be an author one day!)

  • rohit says:

    Thanks for the wonderful list. Can you suggest any magazines that are interested in publishing Kafkaesque material?

  • Madison Broughton says:

    Hi, I’m Madison Broughton and i’m an 11 year old short story author.
    I want to talk with some of you so we exchange ideas.

  • Hi,

    Cultured Vultures also accept short story submissions: http://culturedvultures.com/short-story-submissions/

    Could also be some money involved!

  • thanx and glad to find such awide world of online publications especially aroom for fresh writers…i wan to know are these publishers give room for eastern writers, say indian fresh writers?

  • Kavyashree Mahanta says:

    Happy to learn all about these . I am a humble short story writer from Assam , the eastern province of India . Will these magazines room for writers from India ? shall I be able to send contributions ?Because being a creative writer in my country is not a matter of financial comfort . but here the writers can take up diverse subject matters which may enchant the readers from different part of the globe and the writers will be fortunate to get a wider readership

  • Nikki says:

    Hi Kelly,

    We love your website! We wondered how we might be able to get The Masters Review listed on this page? http://www.mastersreview.com

    Please LMK thanks!

  • Faye Graham says:

    I have a question.. If I want to submit short, true funny stories, do I submit to all of the places or just one at a time? And how long do I wait for them to respond? Do these places, actually respond with a denial or acceptance? Id hate to submit to more than one, and more than one accepts. Which they will:)

    • Antony W.F Chow says:

      Each contest will specify if they allow simultaneous submission (same story to multiple publications) or not. That said, USUALLY the answer is no. And for the ones that do, they ask that if the submission is accepted elsewhere you’ll need to let the editors know ASAP.

      As far as wait time is concerned, it really depends. Due to the volume of submissions, it is quite understandably if the editors don’t get to read your submission in the stated time frame (2 weeks, 2 months, 3 months, etc.). I generally wait 3 months and if I don’t hear from them then I assume that my submission has not been accepted. (I’ve also encountered a situation where the server went kaput and all the submissions were lost; the editors asked for resubmissions.)

      If you want to play the story submission game, you need to have some way of keeping track of: a) what story you submitted to where; b) when you submitted it; c) the time frame for a response to your submission.

      Good luck! 🙂

      • Lisa Rowan says:

        I (on a very irregular basis) submit to literary magazines and find that at least half of them use Submittable to collect and review submissions. As a submitter, the Submittable system allows me to keep track of my submissions to various publications. It’s not a perfect solution since you might be sending a group of poems or more than one short fiction piece to an outlet, but most of the time, viewing your submissions by title and outlet helps track what you’ve sent and how long ago!
        Thanks for reading, Antony and Faye!
        Lisa Rowan
        Editor

      • Mike Picray says:

        I just use a spreadsheet. It’s easy to build and you get exactly what YOU want to keep track of.

  • Amit Roy Chowdhury says:

    I am from India. My stories wonder around the life and time of my country which is full of diversity. Do these 25 publication houses accepts fictions / essays from Indian authors who write in English?

  • fatima munshi says:

    i dont understand. some people have the chance to write and some people dont. i think we need to change this. writing doesent need to be paid for or to be won.it has its own personality like we have ours. nobody would like it if they were won or if they were bought with money.people dont treat writing with respect. thats what i want to change. so please pass this message onto others.everybody should treat writing and books the way they want to be treated.so please change this. im not happy and neither are other people. why? why are you ruining the thing you use. so please spread this message to others aruond you and tell them to tell the people around them. forward this message to as many people as possible. some people might not like what ive said so sorry to those people.

  • shariffa says:

    I really hope I can have my stories published. I am just scared of frauds and fees that might be collected.

  • Jwal Patel says:

    How can I be assured that there would be no any wrong use of my story

  • Levashen Govender says:

    Hello my name is levashen I am 13 and write short stories when I am inspired I have two short stories that I have completed. I love to write short stories because it takes up my free time and I also write about my dreams.

  • Rich Powell says:

    Perhaps you would consider adding http://www.shortstories101.com to the list? I’m the head developer on the site and I can safely say that a lot of work goes in to the website, enabling budding authors of short stories and poems to publish their work online! 🙂

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