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.
Jump To A Section
- List Of Sci-fi And Fantasy Magazines
- Is It Worth Submitting To A Fantasy Journal?
- More Help Getting Published
- Useful Resources For Sci-fi And Fantasy Magazine Submissions
- Glossary Of Publishing Industry Terms
- Advice On Getting Stories Published By Online Fantasy Magazines and Journals
- Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazines
- Dark Fantasy Publishers
- Fantasy Literary Magazines
- Fantasy Writing Magazines
- FAQs On Fantasy Magazines And Journal Submissions
- More Writing Guides and Tools
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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
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.
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.
- A Guide to Cover Letters – this guide goes over writing cover letters for short story submissions in particular.
- A Guide to Formatting A Manuscript – if you’re unsure how to format your short story in preparation for a submission, this guide will talk you through everything.
- List of Fantasy Novel Publishers – If you’re looking to get your novels published too, I have another list you may like.
- List of Book Reviewers – And if you’re looking for reviews for your book, this list of over 100 book reviewers may be what you need.
- Random Name Generator Tool – a free tool for writers struggling to come up with cool and unique fantasy names when writing short stories
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Here are some FAQs on submitting to fantasy publishers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Below you can find some more writing guides and tools you may find useful:
- Head here for guidance on descriptive writing, complete with lots of 5 senses examples
- Here’s a guide on the life of medieval lords during the Middle Ages to help inspire your writing
- To learn more about archery and the fantasy arrow, click here.
- Check out my free book description generator here
- To discover more about the castle in fantasy fiction, go here
- And you can learn all about weapons in fantasy here
- Learn all about prose writing here
- Writing tools
- Join a writing group
- List of fantasy publishers
- Creative writing lectures
- Head here to learn how to write fantasy short stories
- Fantasy writing groups
- Book description generator for Amazon and Goodreads
- List of book reviewers
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