Top Sci-Fi And Fantasy Magazines and Journals For Short Stories

Getting short stories published in the likes of sci-fi and fantasy magazines and fantasy journals can not only help build an impressive writing resume, but it can do wonders for your confidence.

I can still vividly recall reading my first-ever acceptance email from a fantasy journal. It banished my doubt, filled me with confidence, and spurred me to write even more short stories. I didn’t get much sleep that night for the excitement. 

But finding a home for your fantasy short story can be tough. Not only do you have to find magazines, you also have to check the submission guidelines for each one.

There could be a big difference between the likes of Uncanny Magazine submission guidelines and the Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy and Clarkesworld submissions, for instance. 

You also have to account for differences in location. For example, a UK fantasy magazine might have different formatting guidelines to a US fantasy magazine (such as to do with the type of dictionary you use).

You may also be looking for fantasy magazines that pay, and ones that offer more than some token form of compensation. 

Lastly, some online fantasy magazines only allow submissions that meet their theme. These themes often change throughout the year, or perhaps with different anthologies. Either way, take your time to do the research and if you don’t feel that your short story meets that theme, don’t waste your time with a submission. 

It takes time to carry out this research, but worry not for help is at hand. 

Over the years I’ve chronicled the various publishers I’ve come across and compiled a long list of fantasy short story publishers, which you can find below. There are some sci-fi magazines down there too, with many both science fiction and fantasy magazines.

I’ve also included a small section on fantasy writing magazines beneath the table. And I’ve got a section on dark fantasy publishers too and fantasy literary magazines too.

I’ve also put together some related guides, such as writing cover letters and formatting a manuscript, also below. 

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Glossary Of Publishing Industry Terms

While navigating your way through various fantasy journals and their submission guidelines, you’ll encounter a few different terms which you may be unfamiliar with. Here are some of them and their definitions:

  • Pro: A status afforded by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America organization. Payment made for all accepted submissions. The pro-rate is eight cents per word.
  • Semi-pro: Generally, all fantasy magazines that pay a semi-pro rate are reputable and pay a very good rate.
  • Token: A magazine that offers a ‘token’ in exchange for accepted submissions, for example, a free copy of their issue.
  • Paid: A magazine that pays for accepted submissions but lacking the ‘pro’ status.
  • Non-payment: A magazine that does not offer anything for accepted submissions, save a well-deserved pat on the back.
  • Simultaneous submission: refers to whether or not you can send the same story to more than one publisher at the same time.

List of Sci-fi And Fantasy Magazines and Fantasy Journals

Name Status Word limit Response Sim subs
Abyss & Apex Pro 10,000 Not stated No
Letter Review Paid ($50) 3,000 Within 3 months Yes
Apex Magazine Pro 7,500 30 days No
Beneath Ceaseless Skies Pro 14,000 2 to 4 weeks Yes
Clarkesworld Pro 16,000 2 days No
Heroic Fantasy Quarterly Semi-pro 10,000 60 days Not stated
Fantasy Scroll Mag Paid 5,000 60 days Yes
Elegant Literature Pro – ($0.10) per word (actually higher than average pro-rate) 500 – 2,000 1 month from submission close Yes
Inter Galactic Medicine Show Pro 17,500 Not stated No
Lightspeed Paid 10,000 Up to 2 weeks No
The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy Pro 25,000 8 weeks No
On Spec Semi pro 6,000 Not stated Not stated
PodCastle Paid 6,000 TBC upon receipt of submission / up to 90 days Yes
Shimmer Semi pro 7,500 2 weeks No
Strange Horizons Paid 10,000 4 weeks No
Uncanny Magazine Paid 6,000 30 days No
Fireside Magazine (defunct) Paid 4,000 30 days No
Aurealis Semi pro 8,000 2 months No
Glittership (audiobook too) Semi pro 6,000 Not stated Yes
Helios Quarterly – defunct Semi pro 1,500 5 to 8 weeks Yes
Selene Quarterly – defunct Semi pro 1,500 5 to 8 weeks Yes
Aurora Wolf Token 5,000 30 days No
Strange Constellations Token 7,500 30 days Yes
Mithila Review Token 8,000 2 weeks Not stated
Kzine Token 8,000 30 days Not stated
Giganotosaurus Token 25,000 30 days No
Aliterate – defunct Pro 8,000 28 days No
Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores Pro 1,000+ 12 weeks No
Gamut Magazine Pro 5,000 Not stated Yes
Aphelion Webzine Non-payment 7,500 2 months No
Cirsova Semi pro 7,500 Not stated No
Crimson Streets Paid 6,000 Not stated Not stated
Electric Spec Paid 7,000 30 days Yes
Expanded Horizons (site down) Paid 6,000 30 days Yes
Gathering Storm Magazine – defunct Paid 2,000 15 dats Not stated
Kaleidotrope Paid 10,000 A few months Not stated
Lackingtons Paid 5,000 60 days No
Leading Edge Magazine Paid 10,000 A few months Not stated
Longshot Island Paid 5,000 Not stated Yes
Metaphorosis Magazine Paid 10,000 1 week Yes
Mythic Delirium Paid 4,000 Not stated No
New Myths (defunct) Paid 10,000 90 days No
Golden Fleece Press Paid 5,000 Not stated Not stated
Sockdolager Paid 5,000 2 weeks No
Space and Time Magazine Paid 7,500 4 weeks No
SQ Mag Paid 5,000 8 weeks No
Tall Tale TV (audiobook only) Non-payment 3,000 A few days Not stated
Far Horizons Non-payment 3,000 Not stated Not stated
British Fantasy Society Token 5,000 3 to 4 weejs Yes
East of the Web Not stated Not stated Not stated Not stated
Writer’ Forum Paid 3,000 3 to 4 weeks No
Not One of Us (site down) Paid 6,000 Not stated Not stated
Bards and Sages Paid 5,000 Not stated Not stated
Fantasia Divinity Paid 7,500 3 weeks Yes
Into the Void Token Not stated 6 weeks Yes
Asimovs Pro 7,500 Five weeks No
Interzone Pro 10,000 Not stated No
The Future Fire Paid 10,000 1 month No
The Common Tongue (site down) $0.03/word 600-6,000 Not stated No
Riddled With Arrows Paid 1,500 2 weeks Yes
Mad Scientist Journal Paid 8,000 Not stated No
Hyperion & Theia Paid 40,000 2 months Yes
Alban Lake (site down) Paid 10,000 Not stated No
Flame Tree Publishing Pro 4,000 30 days (after submission deadline) Yes
Odd Tales of Wonder Token Not defined Not stated Yes
Eibon Vale Press Token 4,000 2 to 3 months Not stated
Third Flatiron Paid 3000 8 weeks No
FIYAH Paid 7000 4 weeks+ No
Alien Pub Magazine Token 2,000 Less than two weeks Yes
Augur Token Not stated 8 weeks Yes
Snow Leopard Publishing Charitable 2,500 Not stated Not stated
Mythic Mag Paid 6,000 Not stated No
Unidentified Funny Objects Paid 5,000 30 days No
Fairytale Review Not stated 8,000 3 months Yes
Reshwity Publishing (anthology) Token 10,000 Nov-18 Yes
The Overcast (podcast) (site down) Paid 5,000 Within submission windows No
Spring Song Press Paid 10,000 1 month No
Codhill Press Paid 10,000 Not stated Not stated
4RV Publishing Royalties Not stated (standard short story length) 3 months No
Æther & Ichor Token 5000 Not stated Yes
AHF Magazine Token 3000 1 week Yes
Allegory Paid No limit 6 weeks Yes
Alcyone Token 10000 Not stated No
Altered Reality Magazine Token Not stated 1 week No
Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine (site down) Token Not stated Not stated Yes
Anotherealm Paid 5000 Not stated Not stated
Aphotic Realm Token 5000 Not stated Not stated
Asymmetry Fiction Paid 3000 4 weeks Not stated
The Wyrd Paid 5000 6 weeks Yes
Writers of the Future Contest Paid Not stated 3 months No
The Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Paid 5000 to 10000 Not stated Not stated
The WiFiles Not stated 5000 90 days Yes
The Weird Reader Token 4500 Not stated Yes
3 Lobed Mag Paid 7000 90 days No
Stupefying Stories Paid 10000 1 week No
Stinkwaves Magazine Not stated 3000 A few weeks Not stated
The Star Lit Path Token 7500 Not stated Not stated
Pixie Forest Publishing Paid Varies 1 month Yes
Castrum Press (site down) Not stated (novella and novel-length) Not stated Not stated Not stated
Ombak Pro 4000 Months’ Yes
Polu Texni Pro Not stated Not stated Not stated
Shock Totem (site down) Pro 5000 90 days or less No
Three-Lobed Burning Eye Paid 1000-7000 Within 90 days No
Sub-Q Magazine Pro 1000-5000 60 days or less Yes
Little Blue Marble Paid 2000 (5000 for reprints) Not stated Yes
Hinnom Magazine Paid 250 to 3000 or 3001 to 5000 Within 30 days No
The Fairy Tale Magazine Paid 700-2000 Not stated Yes
LampLight Paid 7000 Not stated Yes
Zombie Pirate Publishing Token 7500 Not stated No
Blood Bath Literary Zine Paid 2,500 Not stated Yes
Galli Books Paid 7500 A few weeks No
Waylines (site down) Paid 6000 30 days No
Farstrider Magazine Paid Not stated Not stated Yes
Crossed Genres Paid 6000 Not stated No
Black Denim Lit Unpaid 7500 Not stated Yes
Sorghum and Spear Paid 2,000 – 7,500 Not stated No
Parsec Ink Paid 5,000 Not stated No
AGNI Magazine Paid No limit 2-4 months Yes
B Cubed Press Paid 500-5,000 Not stated Yes
The Irreal Café Paid 2,000 2 months No
Copper Nickel Paid Not stated 8 weeks Not stated
96th of October Unpaid 1,000-10,000 ‘Startling rapidity’ Yes
Analogies and Allegories Literary Magazine Unpaid Up to 3,000 1 month Yes
Baffling Magazine $0.08/word Up to 1,200 Up to 90 days Yes
Boneyard Soup Magazine $0.05/word Up to 6,000 Up to 6 weeks Yes
Welkin Magazine $0.01/word Up to 1,500 Not stated Yes
Of Metal and Magic Publishing Token Up to 7,500 A few weeks Yes
Constelación Magazine $0.08 per word Up to 6,400 Not stated No
Improbable Press $0.05 per word Up to 5,000 Not stated Not stated
The Dark Sire Non-payment Up to 5,000 Up to 6 months Yes
Danse Macabre Not stated Up to 2,500 10 weeks Yes
Death Throes Magazine Token payment of $20 Up to 5,000 Not stated Yes
Flash Fiction        
Name Status Word limit Response time Simultaneous submissions
Aether and Ichor Paid Up to 3,000 but flash fic preferred Not stated Yes
Bewildering Stories Unpaid Up to 3,000 but flash fic preferred 3 weeks Yes
The Colored Lens Paid Up to 10,000 but flash fic preferred Not stated No
Local Nomad Unpaid 1,000 Not stated Yes
Dark Fire Fiction Unpaid Up to 5,000 but flash fic preferred 1 month Yes
Deadmans Tome Paid 1,000 and higher Not stated Not stated
Fictional Pairings Token 200-1,000 Not stated Not stated
Leading Edge Paid 1,000 and higher Not stated Not stated
Mirror Dance Token Up to 6,000 but flash fic preferred 2 months Not stated
Fiction War Paid 1,000 6 months Yes
Door is Ajar Token 1,000 6 months Yes
Storyland Literary Review Unpaid 1,000 Not stated Yes
Syntax & Salt Magazine Paid Up to 3,500 90 days No
Tell Tale Press Paid 500-5,000 Not stated Yes
Fantasy Novella Publishers Rate 15,000 – 45,000 words unless stated otherwise Response time Simultaneous submissions
Asimov’s Science Fiction $0.08 per word   5 weeks No
Bewildering Stories None   Not stated No
Black Bed Sheet Books Not stated   6 months max Not stated
Bold Strokes Books Not stated   16 weeks Not stated
Deep Magic $200 cap Up to 40,000 10-12 weeks No
Distant Shore Publishing $2,500 Between 20,000 and 70,000 Not stated Not stated
Finch Books Royalties   Not stated Not stated
Gypsy Shadow Publishing Royalties   Up to 3 months No
Ink Smith Publishing Not stated 30,000 to 50,000 Not stated Not stated
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&SF) $0.08 – $0.12 per word Up to 25,000 8 weeks No
Night Picnic Not stated   Not stated Yes

Is It Worth Submitting To A Fantasy Journal?

You may think that writing short stories is a distraction, that if your focus is on becoming a novelist that it’s all a waste of time.

Well, I disagree with that position. Getting your short stories published in a fantasy journal or two can bring many benefits. Firstly, confidence. You’re getting external acknowledgement that your writing is good, that people want to read it.

Second, you build your writing resume. When it comes to landing the bigger whales in the publishing ocean, it can help to have a few publication credits to your name. It’s evidence that other editors and magazines have enjoyed your writing.

Third, you get to sharpen your writing skills. If you just write novels, you may miss out on the crucial skills that other forms of fiction can teach you. For example, writing short stories teaches you the need to use every word—you don’t have the luxury to waste them.

As a writer myself, getting my work published in a fantasy journal has helped me massively, and it may help you too.

Useful Resources For Sci-Fi And Fantasy Magazine Submissions

I’ve put together a few useful guides and writing tools to help you with your sci-fi and fantasy short story submissions. You can also use these guides for submitting short stories to any type of publisher, including horror magazines and science fiction magazines.

Quick Tips For Submitting To Fantasy Magazines

Here are some tips for submitting stories to fantasy magazines:

  • Research the magazine – Make sure you understand the magazine’s audience and what type of fantasy stories they typically publish.
  • Follow guidelines – Each magazine will have its own guidelines for submissions, such as word count, formatting, and how to submit. Follow these guidelines carefully. A failure to do so could see an automatic rejection.
  • Proofread and edit – Make sure your story is as polished as possible before submitting. This includes proofreading for typos and grammar errors, as well as editing for structure and pacing.
  • Include a cover letter – A cover letter should be included with your submission, introducing yourself and providing a brief summary of your story.
  • Be patient – It can take several weeks or even months to hear back from a magazine, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back right away.
  • Be open to feedback – If your story is rejected, don’t be discouraged. Many magazines will provide feedback on why your story was not accepted, which can be helpful in improving your writing.
  • Submit to multiple markets – Don’t rely on one magazine to accept your story. Submit to multiple markets at the same time to increase your chances of getting published.

Advice On Getting Stories Published By Online Fantasy Magazines and Journals

Here are some more top tips on getting your fantasy stories published in journals and magazines:

  • Always read the submission guidelines! This one has already been mentioned but it’s worth repeating. Each publisher has its own preferences. Some may ask you to use a specific font. Others may have a specific preference over line spacing. Regardless of what it is, you should adhere to it.
  • Research – spend time reading some of the stories published by the fantasy magazine or journal before you submit. Are there any similarities to your stories or style? If so, you may have a good chance here. Reading is subjective, and if a magazine editor and its readers prefer a certain kind of story, it makes sense to focus on those. Also, if you’re after some form of money, make sure you focus on fantasy magazines that pay.
  • Be patient – expect long delays in between your submissions and hearing a response. As you can see in the list of online fantasy magazines above, some publishers take a while to respond. Patience, therefore, is key!
  • Never give up – rejection will become the norm. You just need to get into the habit of brushing yourself down and sending out fresh submissions to other fantasy magazines right away.
  • Be organised. It can help to have a spreadsheet with details of all of your submissions. Note down the submission date, name of the publisher and their email address in case you lose it. If it states on the presses’ website that they’ll get back to you within a certain amount of time, note down that anticipated date too. You know then when best to send a follow up email. 

How Long Do Fantasy Magazine Submissions Take?

There’s no definitive answer on the length of time fantasy magazine submissions takes. Prior to the introduction of platforms like Moksha and Submittable, writers were very much left in the dark as to the progress of their submission. Unless there’s some kind of automatic email response system in place, there may not even be a way of verifying that fantasy magazines have received them. 

Nowadays, writers can see in real-time where their submissions are up to. That said, it still can take a while. The average fantasy magazine submission takes between 2 and 6 months. Some more established magazines may respond very quickly, sometimes within a few days. 

Smaller presses may not respond for upwards of 12 months, and some even longer. 

It all comes down to resources and the effectiveness of the system that publishers put in place. 

For example, for my fantasy writing podcast I interviewed the editors of Weird Little Worlds Press. They told me about their submissions process which involves three rounds of readers. The final reader is the editor themselves. 

Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazines

In the table above I’ve obviously included a good few fantasy magazines and journals, but there are also a lot of Science Fiction magazines in there too. So here, I wanted to highlight some of my favourites that I think you might enjoy.

Analog Science Fiction

Winner of over 75 literary awards, Analog was launched all the way back in 1930 initially as Astounding Stories of Science Fiction.

Some of the defining features of this magazine is its scientific accuracy, coupled with impeccable and far-reaching imaginations, with stories often possessing strong literary flare. Analog also publishes non-fiction articles on current research in science.

Discover more about Analog Science Fiction here.

Asimov’s Science Fiction

Founded by Isaac Asimov, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine is a publisher of quality science fiction. In recent years, their stories have been nominated for more Hugo awards than any other.

It’s regarded as an innovative magazine, and one of the most readable in the sci-fi genre. And it’s a publisher that gives opportunities to newer writers too. Learn more about Asimov’s here.

Dark Fantasy Publishers

Dark fantasy is a thriving sub-genre at the moment. It’s one that I’ve gravitated toward myself. And it’s why I’ve put together this short section on dark fantasy publishers, to help you narrow your focus.

Some online fantasy magazines worth checking out for dark fantasy stories include:

  • Hellbound Books – publishers of long fantasy fiction and horror too.
  • Dark Regions Press – an award-winning dark fantasy publisher. Keep an eye on their competitions. The prizes can be upwards of $2,000
  • Crystal Lake Publishing – I love their website; very sleek and cool. Keep an eye on their calls for submissions.
  • Blood Bound Books – have a browse of their calls for submissions page. They page a decent rate (1 cent per word) and have all different kinds of anthologies throughout the year).
  • Unlit Press – UK based, they publish novellas and novels as well as short stories

These are but a smattering of the dark fantasy publishers out there. A quick Google search will bring you dozens more.

Fantasy Literary Magazines

Now you may query the difference between fantasy journals and fantasy literary magazines. And that’s totally fair—I did the same.

The distinguishing feature lies in the style of the stories published.

A literary approach to writing fiction is one that experiments with form and structure, perhaps lacking punctuation for example. It’s also one in which the prose tends to lean toward the florid scale as opposed to clear and easy to follow.

Here are a few examples of fantasy literary magazines:

  • Clarkesworld – one of the heavyweights of the fantasy short fiction genre, Clarkesworld consistently publishes high-quality fiction, sometimes taking a literary style.
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies – one of my favourite fantasy literary magazines. They publish brilliant fiction. Check out their ‘best of’ anthologies. You’ll find plenty of great stories.
  • The Dark – another dark fantasy publisher but one that promotes a literary style.

Just like with dark fantasy publishers, have a search on Google for literary magazines and you’ll find a bunch.

Fantasy Writing Magazines

Now there aren’t many fantasy writing magazines that are dedicated to the craft of writing stories, which is quite funny if you think about it because fantasy writing is so popular.

There are, however, some platforms that you can submit to and below I’ve highlighted a few examples.

  • British Fantasy Society Journal – they have a monthly imprint that runs alongside their short story anthology that’s dedicated to essays and non-fiction pieces.

You can, of course, get in touch with online fantasy magazines. Many publishers also publish non-fiction. Tor is one great example, and they’re a big player in the publishing industry.

You can also submit guest posts to my website. I do pay a fee for the best-quality pieces submitted.

FAQs On Fantasy Magazines And Journal Submissions

Here are some FAQs on submitting to fantasy publishers.

What is a fantasy magazine?

A publication that specialises in fantasy fiction. Publication of such magazines may be monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, every 6 months or yearly. Some online fantasy magazines may focus on specific sub-genres like dark fantasy or epic fantasy.

How much do fantasy magazines pay?

Payment for submitted pieces of fiction varies from magazine to magazine. Some offer no payment at all. Others offer a token payment, that is a free copy of the magazine, for example. There may be some payment offered, like $10-$20 or so, and from there you have semi-pro rates which offer between 3 and 5 cents per word. Publishers that pay 5 cents or more per word are considered professional.

How long do short story submissions take?

Depending on the size of the publisher and the review process they have, this can range from anywhere from a few days to over 6 months. Most publishers aim to respond within 1-2 months.

Do fantasy journals pay?

Yes, many fantasy magazines offer a payment of some kind. That could be a professional rate of eight cents per word, or it could be a token payment, which may just include receiving a free copy of the book. It’s always important to do your research and check the pay rates offered by each fantasy journal.

Is it worth submitting short stories?

Yes. Successfully submitting short stories to publishers is a great way to build your author resume, grow your name and reputation, and develop greater confidence in your abilities.

More Writing Tools and Guides

Below you can find some more writing guides and tools you may find useful:


2 thoughts on “Top Sci-Fi And Fantasy Magazines and Journals For Short Stories”

  1. Tiger Claw Publishing

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    1. richiebilling

      Thanks so much for this! Sounds like an awesome opportunity. Can you share details on any payment that’s offered?

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