If you’re looking to submit your short stories, let it be known that there are opportunities out there. You just need to know where to find them. And, that’s exactly why I wanted to create this simple yet in-depth post.
In today’s guide, I wanted to talk about the many reputable websites that will consider your short story submissions and pay you anywhere from a few dollars to more than $100+. It just depends on where you submit. If you’re one of the lucky ones chosen, you should earn at least $100, no problem.
From fiction to non, any genre is considered, and as long as your stories stay within a 500 to 15,000 word range, it will be defined as a “short story” by the publisher. For most, this shouldn’t take long to produce.
As always, what I’m about to mention is 100% legitimate and worth your time in most cases. Just make sure you read the fine print to know what’s expected of your story. As long as it meets the requirements, you will have a high chance of getting it accepted.
These are the sites that pay for short stories…
Websites That Pay You To Write Short Stories
NOTE: I don’t have a particular favorite, so I went ahead and listed the many options I found in alphabetical order.
AGNI is a literary magazine that publishes both short stories as well as poetry. As long as you submit your story between September 1st and May 31st, you can be considered.
There’s no limit as to how long your writing is, however, seeing space is at a premium, they do ask you to limit your work. They also will not publish romance, horror, mystery, or science fiction genres. They pay up to $300, depending on the length.
- Website: AGNI
Apex Magazine focuses on a mix of science fiction, fantasy as well as horror. You can check out their website via the link below to see what kind of stories are posted.
They pay up to $0.06 per word, up to 7,500 words. Submission guidelines are noted below.
- Website: Apex Magazine
Asimov’s focuses on science fiction, paying upwards of $0.08 to $0.10 per word for all stories submitted and accepted.
In general, the publication is looking for “character oriented” stories rather than science. Everything you need to know about the submission process as well as the story content can be found via the link below.
- Website: Asimov’s
Barrelhouse is a non-profit organization that focuses mainly on pop culture. They accept short story submissions as long as it’s fewer than 8,000 words.
If your work is accepted, they will pay you $50 for your work, but they do note it could take up to six months before you hear back. Like the many I mention here, you can find all of the submission guidelines directly on the links below.
- Website: Barrelhouse
The BBC has an amazing program known as Short Story Award. Throughout the year, the organization will accept your submissions, however, they only award the grand prize, which is usually in the thousands, once a year.
All short stories must be shorter than 8,000 words and written in English. The requirements are quite simple, and you can see what’s expected of your submission via the link below.
- Website: BBC
Carve Magazine accepts a variety of submissions, from short stories to poetry. All submissions must be “good honest fiction” in the form of a short story. Try to focus on making it emotional and as honest as possible to be considered.
All approved contributors get paid $100.
- Website: Carve
The Clarkesworld Magazine is a Hugo, World Fantasy, and British Fantasy Award-winning science fiction and fantasy magazine that accepts contributions from people like you.
All short story submissions must be in the 1,000 to 22,000 range and in the science fiction/fantasy genre. Payments are $0.12 per word, which is paid out to your PayPal account. All submissions must be unique.
- Website: Clarkesworld Magazine
Cricket Media accepts work from people all over the world, as long as you’re older than 18. The company has a wide variety of magazines, mostly targeting younger children and pre-teens.
Every magazine has its guidelines, but you should expect a very lucrative $0.25 per word if you’re accepted.
- Website: Cricket Media
Daily Science Fiction
Every day, Daily Science Fiction magazine publishes science fiction and fantasy stories. They do accept story submissions and will pay around $0.08 per word.
The company does ask that you write no more than 1,500 words and stick to a science fiction/fantasy genre. All submission guidelines can be found via the link below.
- Website: Daily Science Fiction
East of the Web
East of the Web is one of the larger publications on the list and are almost always looking for contributors who want to submit an “idea-filled science fiction or fantasy” short story.
They pay $0.05 per word and they ask that the story is at least 7,000 words and unique. Whether you’re new or experienced, they want to hear from you.
- Website: East of the Web
Fireside is a short story magazine that pays $0.125 per word, up to 5,000 words. They were founded in 2012 with a goal to find and publish great stories.
This magazine does have a short submission period every year, so make sure you know of these guidelines before submitting.
- Website: Fireside Magazine
Flash Fiction Online
Flash Fiction Online is accepting unique articles that are no longer than 1,000 words and will pay you $60 per accepted submission.
The publication publishes among many genres, including science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, horror, and literary fiction. You can read what’s expected of your submission via the link below.
- Website: Flash Fiction Online
The Iowa Review is looking for “the best poetry, fiction, and nonfiction being written today.”
They only accept submissions between September 1 and November 1, so it’s important you submit during this time frame in order for it to be read. The company pays $0.08 per word if published with a $100 minimum.
- Website: Iowa Review
The New Yorker could quite possibly be the biggest brand on the list.
The do accept unsolicited short story submissions, but it seems as it they are strictest when it comes to publication. Hey, it’s worth a shot, however.
- Website: New Yorker
One Story is always looking for literary fiction stories between 3,000 to 8,000 words as long it’s 100% unique. And, you can write in any style as long as it’s “good.”
If One Story were to accept your story, they will pay you $500. Granted, they do have more than 200+ submissions a week, so you can only imagine how competitive it is. However, this is often the case with most of these short story websites mentioned. It doesn’t hurt to try.
- Website: One Story
Ploughshares at Emerson College will accept submissions, either fiction or non-fiction, up to 20,000 words. Even novel and memoirs are accepted as long as they are self contained.
If they choose to publish your works, then they wills send you $450 upon completion. They do note, however, that it can take up to five months to hear back since they receive more than 1,000 submissions a month.
- Website: Ploughshares
I’m sure you have heard of this publication before and I don’t need to introduce it.
The cool thing about Reader’s Digest is that they will pay you $100 if they accept your simple 100-word short story. They just want to hear about your story to share. There’s no theme, per se, but you can check out the previous winners to see what was accepted in the past.
- Website: Reader’s Digest
The Southern Review will accept your unsolicited work only during the submission period, in which you can find via the link below. It’s usually October 1 until January 1. All work must be unique and they cannot accept anything from people affiliated with Louisiana State University.
You’re allowed to submit any fiction or non-fiction story, but it cannot be longer than 10,000 words. The publication pays up to $200, depending on the work submitted.
- Website: Southern Review
Strange Horizons accepts a variety of genres, from non-fiction to fiction. Honestly, looking at their list, it’s almost anything.
This publication is different in the ones I mention, seeing it’s operated by volunteers who feel contributors should be compensated. All short stories should be less than 10,000 words and they pay $0.10 per word.
- Website: Strange Horizons
The Sun Magazine
The Sun Magazine is a reader supported, ad-free magazine that accepts unsolicited short story submissions as long as you’re considered an expert in the subject.
At the moment, they only publish non-fiction work and they highly recommend you get comfortable with the magazine’s theme before you submit. Payments are said to be north of $300+.
- Website: The Sun Magazine
Throughout the year, Threepenny opens up submissions, in which you can get paid $400 for your short stories. This is a literary magazine that primarily focuses on literature, arts as well as memoirs.
All submissions should be no more than 2,500 words and submitted during the active submission period.
- Website: Threepenny
Vestal Review focuses on flash fiction and is currently considering people who want to submit a short story. All stories should be no longer than 500 and can be in almost any genre except the X-rated stuff. You can read more about what they will and won’t accept on the page. As long as it’s to the point and less than 500 words, you should be okay.
In exchange for your submission, the company will send you $50, only if it gets accepted, of course.
- Website: Vestal Review
Sites That Find You Short Story Opportunities
In this section, I quickly wanted to mention some aggregators that can help you find the latest short story opportunities. The publications I mentioned above almost always accept short story submissions; however, there will come a time when some opportunities arise that are only temporary. The sites mentioned below can help you find these said options.
Duotrope isn’t a website that accepts short stories, per se, but rather, they are an aggregator of sorts that will connect you with sellers who want to buy your short stores.
While I was writing this, they had more than 7,500 requests, so there’s probably something for you. The only downfall is that it does cost a few dollars a month, but to me, if you’re serious about this, this fee can save you a ton of time.
- Website: Duotrope
The Grinder (probably your best resource)
The Grinder is a cool aggregator that keeps track of the many markets that are paying at the moment as well as what they are paying. They won’t accept your short story submissions, but they can help you.
The neat thing about this resource is that you can see if people are actually getting their short stories accepted. This can save you a lot of time if you’re finding that the publisher is rejecting 99% of the submissions.
- Website: The Grinder
Poets and Writers
Poets and Writers have a simple free job board, which often has requests for short stories.
I would give the job board a look, but keep in mind many of these gigs are considered full or part time. It’s worth a look, however, seeing it’s free.
- Website: Poets and Writers
- Make sure your story is polished as much as possible. Most of these websites will not have the time to edit your stories. Proofreading is key.
- Always make sure that you read the submission guidelines. One mishap will mean an instant decline. All magazines, as you can see, will tell you what’s expected of you.
- Make sure you’re submitting the right genre. Even though some may not be strict, it’s best to browse the magazine to get a better idea as to what they accept.
- Always make sure you’re submitting unique stories and avoid submitting the same story to multiple publications. Submit to one publication and wait for a decline or a certain time period if you need to.
- Lastly, don’t expect to get rich. Treat this as a way to make a few hundred dollars a year.
I’m not going to lie; getting a short story submitted is going to be tough. You’re competing with hundreds, if not thousands of people, who are submitting short stories as well, all for, what? $100 to $400?
I’m not going to sway you from not submitting, but I feel your time is much better used in actually writing for clients. While you won’t get to write what you want, you can pick and choose topics of your liking at least with most options. If this sounds like something of interest, be sure to check out my entry level writing websites and the more than 40+ websites that pay you type. There are a lot of them out there.
Even if you want to write short stories, that’s okay. Maybe you like writing as a hobby and you don’t mind at least submitting it to some of these publications. In that case, you can’t go wrong. All of the companies I mention are 100% legitimate, I promise you that.
That’s going to wrap it up for now.
As always, if you want to comment on the companies mentioned, you’re more than welcome to do so in the comments below.
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