Storyville: Where to Send Your Stories

This is going to be a long article filled with lots of names and numbers, but I think when you really soak it all up and study the various genres, it won’t be as intimidating and overwhelming as you may think. I can remember attending my first AWP conference (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) in NYC back in 2008. I walked into the book fair and almost had a panic attack. AWP is one of the largest writing conferences in the nation, and the tables, the people—there were THOUSANDS of writers and editors and publications. For hours I walked around and talked to people at well-known places like Tin House and W. W. Norton, as well as smaller independents like Dzanc Books and Hobart. I filled up my briefcase with journals, magazines and books, spending hundreds of dollars. But by the end of the week, I felt like I had seen a lot, absorbed a great deal—and I realized that it was finite, not endless. I could actually wrap my head around the idea, the scope of publishing in the 21st century. And that’s a good thing.

IT’S PERSONAL

Your approach to publishing is going to be very specific, and personal—these are your goals, your hopes and dreams, your aspirations. Whatever advice I give you today, whatever lists I make, these are based on my needs. Yes, I will try to represent the best publications across many different genres, the main genres, but in the end, I can only talk about journals, magazines, and websites that appeal to me. You may not like the places I list, or they may not be appropriate for your work. In the end it’s up to YOU to do the research, to make your own lists, and to start building a network around your writing that will hopefully, ultimately, support your writing career.

YOUR GOALS

Your approach to publishing is going to be very specific, and personal... In the end it’s up to YOU to do the research, to make your own lists, and to start building a network around your writing that will hopefully, ultimately, support your writing career.

You need to figure out what’s important to you. Do you need to get paid, and how much? Do you want to be in print or online (there are benefits to both)? Do you write in one genre or many? Do you want to publish exclusively in print journals to beef up your CV? Are you chasing elite white whales that have an acceptance rate of less than 1%? These are all valid goals—so just make sure that you are very aware of what you want to do. Don’t compare your goals, or your successes (or failures) to other writers, here at LR or out in the world—it will drive you crazy. Be patient, be thorough, and have fun with it. Nobody can support your writing like you can.

MY APPROACH

I’ll be very brief about this, but I wanted to share my approach to submitting. Basically, when I’m done with a story, I think about where it should go. And not every story I write is submitted to the same place. I know that a horror story that would be great for Cemetery Dance is not something I should send to The Missouri Review. Once I figure out the genre (or genres) for my story, I go over my list at Duotrope (yes, pay the $50, yes use all of their features) and searching WITHIN my favorites (300+ publications) I narrow it down and sort it by pay and tiers. What does that mean? Yes, I want to get paid, and more often these days that is my top priority, but I’m also realistic, and I’d rather publish a story in an elite magazine and not get paid than not publish at all. I do set a minimum, I know “how low” I want to go with a story, and I never submit to anyplace that makes me feel like I’m settling. I send my stories to the best publications—I always start at the top, so that means the best pay, the most prestigious, the hardest to get into, and then I work my way down. By down, I mean less pay, and less pay, until there is no pay, but again, never settling for anyplace that I don’t deem worthy. I send my stories far and wide, usually hitting 10 markets at a time, at least. Sometimes I’ll get accepted in days, but more likely it’ll take months. Be patient, and take note—simultaneous submissions are your friend.

WHERE I’VE PUBLISHED

Before I give you the list of where I want to be, I thought it might be helpful to show you where I’ve been. I’ve published over 65 stories, online and in print. Here is where my stories have gone. I can honestly say that only about 20% of these are paying markets. As you’ll see, I started out at smaller publications and worked my way up. Unfortunately, some of the places I’ve published at are no longer around.  When I say AT it typically means online, when I say IN it typically means print (or digital, such as PDF or eBook). Dates are for acceptance, not publication.

2017

"Nodus Tollens" at Deciduous Tales 
"Hiraeth" in Behold! Oddities Curiosities and Undefinable Wonder
"Saudade" in PRISMS
"Golden Sun" in Chiral Mad 4
"Requital" in Lost Highways
"Undone" in Pantheon Magazine

2016

"How Not to Come Undone" in Blue Monday Review 
"Battle Not With Monsters" in Cemetery Dance Magazine 
"Repent" in Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories
"The Offering on the Hill" in Chiral Mad 3

2015

"Little Red Wagon" at The Writing Disorder
"Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave" in Blue Monday Review (reprint)
"From Within" at Cease, Cows (reprint)
"Shackled to the Shadows" in Truth or Dare?
"Chasing Ghosts" in Cemetery Dance
"From Within" in Slave Stories: Scenes from the Slave State (long-listed for Best Horror of the Year AND the Million Writers Award)

2014

"Tinkering With The Moon" at Goreyesque 
"Chrysalis" in XIII 
"Fireflies" in Spark: A Creative Anthology (reprint)
"Surrender" in The Sirens Call eZine (reprint)
"Sugar and Spice" in CCLap Journal 
"The God of War" in Pantheon Magazine 
"Homecoming" in 22 More Quick Shivers
"White Picket Fences" in Shadows Over Main Street (long-listed for Best Horror of the Year)
"Balance Sheet" in Penumbra 
"Asking for Forgiveness" at Menacing Hedge (long-listed for Best Horror of the Year)
"Dance, Darling" in The Oddville Press
"Little Red Wagon" in Litro 
"Moving Heavy Objects" at storySouth 

2013

"Kiss Off" at Parable Press 
"The Fix-It Man" at Black Heart Magazine 
"Garage Sales" in Midwestern Gothic 
"Bringing In the Sheaves" in Sanitarium Magazine (reprint)
"Love Letters" at Cease, Cows (reprint)
"Trinity" in Reloaded: Both Barrels (Vol. 2) 
"Head Like a Hole" in Pantheon Magazine 
"Vision Quest" at Parable Press (reprint)
"Flowers for Jessica" at MAYDAY Magazine (reprint)
"Herniated Roots" in Long Distance Drunks
"Death Knell" in Bleed
"Playing With Fire" in Chiral Mad 2
"Divining" at Revolt Daily (reprint)
"Rapture" in Pantheon Magazine
"Wicker Park Pause" at Revolt Daily (reprint)
"Gandaberunda" at Shotgun Honey
"This is How It Ends, My Love" in Vignettes from the End of the World
"Flowers for Jessica" in Gaia: Shadow & Breath (reprint)
"Bury Me Deep" at The Big Adios

2012    

"Flowers for Jessica" in Weird Fiction Review #3 (Centipede Press)
"Fireflies" at Circa Review (reprint)
"Ten Steps" at The Dying Goose (reprint)
"Something's Broken" at Flywheel Magazine
"Bringing In the Sheaves" at Beat the Dust
“On a Bent Nail Head” in Nova Parade (Solarcide)
"Divining" in Curbside Splendor #3
"Tinkering With the Moon" in Gargoyle #58
"Fireflies" in Polluto #9 (long-listed for Best Horror of the Year)
"Rudy Jenkins Buries His Fears" in Slices of Flesh (Dark Moon Books)
"Dyer" at Beat to a Pulp
"The Handyman" at Conjectural Figments
"Misty" at ManArchy

2011    

"Transmogrify" in Dark Moon Presents: Vampires (Dark Moon Books) (reprint)
"The Jenny Store" in In Search Of a City: L.A. in 1,000 Words (Thunderdome)
"Kiss Off" in Emprise Review #21
"Buried" at Rotten Leaves
“Transmogrify” in Terror Scribes (Dog Horn Publishing) (reprint)
"Death Knell" at Thunderdome
"Twenty Reasons to Stay and One to Leave" at Metazen (Pushcart Prize nomination)
"Love Letters" at Cannoli Pie
"Underground Wonder Bound" in Noir at the Bar, Volume 1 (reprint)
"Seeing Red" in Crime Factory #7
"Say Yes to Pleasure" in Warmed and Bound
"Herniated Roots" in Speedloader (Snubnose Press)    
"Daybreak" at Stepaway Magazine
"After She Has Gone" at Shotgun Honey
"Gateway" at Dirty Noir
"Ten Steps" at ChiZine (The Chiaroscuro)    
"Splintered" at PANK
"Stillness" in Shivers VI (Cemetery Dance)
"Victimized" in Murky Depths #15
"Terrapin Station" in Pear Noir #5

2010    

"Released" at Outsider Writers Collective
"Transmogrify" in Eternal Night: A Vampire Anthology (Living Dead Press)
"Condemned" at Cherry Bleeds

2009    

"Honor" in Colored Chalk #10
"Interview" at Troubadour 21
"Your Enemies Will Devour You" in The Oddville Press
"Paying Up" in Colored Chalk #8
"A Bird in the Hand" at 3:AM Magazine
"Three Mistakes" at Word Riot
"Twenty-Dollar Bill" in Colored Chalk #7
"Unzipped" at Dogmatika
"Underground Wonder Bound" in Vain #5
"Freedom" at Nefarious Muse
"Fate" in Cause & Effect #5 

2008    

"Amazement" in Colored Chalk #5
"Fringe" in Colored Chalk #4
"Fallible" in Colored Chalk #3
"Committed" in Colored Chalk #2
"Steel-Toed Boots" in Colored Chalk #1
"Redemption" in Gold Dust Magazine #15
"Animal Magnetism" at Opium Magazine

THE MARKETS

Okay, here are the lists. I’m going to add my BIG LIST at the end of this article, but for now I’m going to break it down by genre. Obviously there will be some overlap, so keep that in mind. I’m searching only for short stories, so for flash, novellas, etc. just be aware of this. Most places that take flash fiction also take short stories.

Doing a quick search on Duotrope, there are 256 professional paying markets (.05 a word and up). Of those, there are 28 for horror, 43 for fantasy, 17 for crime/thrillers, and 189 for literary fiction. Obviously there are a lot more literary markets out there, about 2,000 according to my searches, with only about 10% paying professional rates. There are about 139 that pay semi-pro rates (.01-.05 a word) and 104 that pay token rates (.01 a word or less). That leaves about 1,600 literary markets that do not pay anything—just something to chew on. Of my personal list of favorites (356 markets, across many genres) there are 63 that pay something, with 21 paying professional rates, 13 paying semi, and 15 paying token rates. I have a total of 220 literary markets in my favorites list, so that leaves a whopping 157 that don’t pay anything at all. And this is a list of publications that, in theory, are all top-notch magazines and journals, all places I want to be. We’ve been talking about pay rates lately at Lit Reactor so just keep some of these numbers in mind.

HORROR

I have 50 markets listed for horror. Of them, 16 pay pro rates, 14 semi to pro, 9 at token rates, leaving 11 that don’t pay at all. I’m only going to talk about semi pro and higher here, the rest will be on the big list:

Pro+ Semi+
BULL SPEC Aurealis
Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness Black Static
Apex Cemetery Dance
Buzzy Mag Dark Discoveries
Chiaroscuro Lamplight
Clarkesworld On Spec
Grave Tales Pseudopod
LORE GUD: Greatest Uncommon Denominator
Penumbra Innsmouth Free Press
Nightmare Midnight Echo
One Buck Horror Mixer
Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show Nightfall
Pedestal Magazine  
Shimmer  
Shock Totem  
Tor.com  

GENERAL THOUGHTS: Clarkesworld is elite, Apex is very cool, LORE is a reboot of a well regarded publication. I’ve published at Chiaroscuro and One Buck Horror, Cemetery Dance is fantastic (often closed, and very slow), Shimmer and Shock Totem are two I’ve been chasing for a long time, GUD, too, and Nightmare and Lamplight are newer, as is Nightfall. On my list of non-paying, I’ve published at Beat to a Pulp, Conjectural Figments, and Surreal Grotesque. I also like Uncanny Valley and Hyperpulp.

FANTASY/SCIENCE FICTION

You will start to see some repeats here. Many publications that like dark fiction are open to fantasy/sci-fi, horror, and even crime/thrillers. I have 55 on my list, with 19 paying pro rates or above, 13 paying semi and up, 8 with a token payment, leaving 15 non-paying markets. Again, I’ll only list the semi and higher below.

Pro+
BULL SPEC
Clockwork Phoenix: Tales of Beauty and Strangeness
Analog (SF only)
Apex
Asimov (SF only)
Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Buzzy Mag
Chiaroscuro
Clarkesworld
Daily Science Fiction
Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&SF)
Lightspeed
LORE
Penumbra
Nightland (SF only)
Nightmare
OSCIGMS
Pedestal
Shimmer
Shock Totem
Strange Horizons
Tor.com
Semi+
Abyss & Apex
Aurealis
Dark Discoveries
Interzone
Lamplight
On Spec
GUD
Bourbon Penn
Electric Velocipede
Innsmouth Free Press
Jabberwocky
Conjurings
Blue Shift

GENERAL THOUGHTS: On places I haven’t already mentioned, I’m a big fan of F&SF and I still mail them stories, with a stamp—seriously. I don’t write as much F/SF as I do horror/neo-noir, so I know less about these markets. BUT, obviously Asimov and Analog are two big names, as is Tor. Beneath Ceaseless Skies is cool. Lightspeed is a hot market. I forgot to mention Orson Scott Card’s website, but he’s a huge name in the business, but they only want content up to PG-13. Bourbon Penn is a little bit easier to get into, and I like them a lot, as well as Electric Velocipede. White Cat Publications has several new lines, Conjurings their fantasy, Blue Shift their SF, Nightfall their horror, and Dark Intent their noir. GUD is a market I really love, but they are always closed, and very hard to get into.

MYSTERY/CRIME/THRILLERS

There are really very few markets for crime writers these days. That’s why it’s great to find a market that is open to fantasy, SF, horror and crime. You should be able to squeeze in there with dark fiction in general. I’m going to combine crime, mystery, thrillers and suspense into one category here, but be aware that there is a wide range within these 27 markets.  Only three pay pro rates, five at semi and up, four paying a token amount, and the rest paying nothing. Tough racket, these guys, but if anything, that will help you to focus.

Pro+
Alfred Hitchcock
Ellery Queen
Shock Totem
Semi+
Mixer
Cemetery Dance
Dark Discoveries
Lamplight
Dark Intent
Token:
Big Pulp
Shroud
Spinetingler

GENERAL THOUGHTS: Hitchcock and EQ are the big names, but they are also pretty straight. I don’t think I have to say (or maybe I do) that you must do your research and READ what is in these various publications. Go to the library and check them out, buy them cheap at used bookstores, get a subscription, swap copies with friends, or read the work online. What Hitch and EQ want compared to Shroud is very different. Dark Intent is a new White Cat rag, and I dig them a lot. I really like Shroud a lot, too. Of the non-paying not listed, that I haven’t mentioned before, I’ve published at Flywheel, Punchnel’s, and Crime Factory, and really love Needle.

LITERARY FICTION

This is a huge list, so please do consult the BIG LIST later for more ideas. I’m going to make a couple of different sub-lists here, since there are hundreds of literary journals out there. A new policy that some journals are adopting is charging MANDATORY fees to submit. I’ve put an asterisk next to those. I don’t like this approach, but if the postage is the same, I MAY pay it.

Pro:

Atlantic
Bear Deluxe
Capilano Review
Electric Literature
Fireside
Glimmer Train
Kenyon Review
Meanjin*
Missouri Review
New Yorker
Paris Review
Pedestal
Ploughshares
Southern Review
Subtropics
Sun
Threepenny Review
Tin House
Virginia Quarterly Review
Zoetrope

GENERAL THOUGHTS: Wow, what a list. But only 21 markets here, out of MY favorites. I’d pretty much love to publish with any of these. Tin House is not only cool, but also elite. Atlantic, New Yorker, Paris Review, impossible to get into, and I wonder if they actually do read the slush pile. I have sent many stories to Missouri Review and Ploughshares. All of these are very hard to get into.

Semi-Pro:

AGNI
Black Warrior
Blackbird
Crazyhorse*
Gettysburg Review
Granta
Labletter
Ninth Letter
Shenandoah
Slice
Sycamore Review
Unmanned Press

GENERAL THOUGHTS: Love Black Warrior. These are all very difficult to get into.

Semi:

Bourbon Penn
Cincinnati Review
Contrary
Descant
Gulf Coast
Idaho Review
Indiana Review
Jabberwocky
New Ohio Review
New Orleans Review*
One Story
River Styx
Salamander
Witness

GENERAL THOUGHTS: Cincinnati Review is open to some wild stuff, magical realism and whatnot. One Story is a great tiny independent rag that really carries a lot of weight.

THE MOST DIFFICULT

I just wanted to list the most exclusive markets at Duotrope to show you where some of the overlap is. (There’s also a list of EASIEST markets there, but you can do better than that).

1. Tin House (0.11 %)
2. Mid-American Review (0.21 %)
3. Ninth Letter (0.21 %)
4. Shimmer (0.23 %)
5. The Threepenny Review (0.26 %)
6. Clarkesworld Magazine (0.27 %)
7. The Collagist (0.27 %)
8. Ploughshares (0.29 %)
9. Glimmer Train (0.32 %)
10. Hayden's Ferry Review (0.33 %)
11. Fugue (0.34 %)
12. Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&SF) (0.35 %)
13. The Cincinnati Review (0.36 %)
14. Asimov's Science Fiction (0.38 %)
15. Word Riot (0.38 %)
16. Crazyhorse (0.38 %)
17. Five Points (0.4 %)
18. Alaska Quarterly Review (0.48 %)
19. Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (0.49 %)
20. West Branch (0.5 %)
21. The Paris Review (0.5 %)
22. Strange Horizons (0.55 %)
23. Prairie Schooner (0.55 %)
24. Puerto del Sol (0.56 %)
25. Short Story Award for New Writers (0.58 %)

Maybe you recognize a few of these from my previous lists, yeah? The top 25 and we’re still under 1% acceptance rate.

MY WHITE WHALES

This is my final list before the BIG LIST. It’s a list of the markets that have rejected my work the most. Obviously these are the people I’ve been going after, the publications that I most want to publish with, so maybe that will help you as well. Obviously, these are across various genres, so keep that in mind. Minimum inclusion on this list is FIVE rejections (the number next to the listing is how many stories of mine they have rejected). I was going to make a list of just “cool markets” but I think you can probably assume any listing you see on THIS list that wasn’t on any previous list—yeah, I think they’re cool and worthy of submission.

AGNI 5
Apex 6
Barrelhouse 8
Bat City Review 8
Berkeley Fiction Review 5 (was short-listed)
Caketrain 13
Camera Obscura 5
Clarkesworld 6
Collagist 6
Colorado Review
Copper Nickel 7
Crazyhorse 7
Cream City Review 5 (currently short-listed)
Emerson Review 5
F&SF 7
Fence 5
Fugue 8
Glimmer Train 7
Going Down Swinging 5
GUD 9
Harpur Palate 5
Hayden’s Ferry Review 9
Hobart 5
Indiana Review 6
Juked 11
Midwestern Gothic 5
Missouri Review 8
Ninth Letter 5
NOON 5
One Story 7
Phoebe 5
Pinch 6
Ploughshares 6
Redivider 5
Shimmer 11
Shock Totem 10
Shroud 5
Southeast Review 6
Unstuck 5

That’s quite a list, yeah? Painful stuff, but when I finally break through, it’ll be so fantastic.

THE BIG LIST

Well, here you go. I hope that everything leading up to this has helped. You don’t have to go to Duotrope.com, all of that information is out there, there are other sources, but I really love what they do, and find it easy to stay organized there. Try Ralan for speculative and New Pages for literary, if you must. This big list has publishers as well as journals, magazines and websites. It also notes where I have been accepted, and if they have closed. Most of those stories are still available, so I’ve left them on the list. Feel free to keep an eye on this list, as it is always evolving, being trimmed down, and beefed up, over at my blog.

Please feel free to post up any questions if I’ve missed something, or if you want more information on a particular publication. Enjoy! And start submitting! Make 2013 the year you break through.

22 Magazine, The
3:AM Magazine (accepted)
751 Magazine
A cappella Zoo
Abyss & Apex
AGNI
Alaska Quarterly Review
Albedo One
Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine
alice blue
Analog
anderbo.com
Annalemma
Another Chicago Magazine
Apex Book Company
Apex Magazine
Apodis Publishing
Aqueous Books
Arcadia
Arcane Anthology Series
Armchair/Shotgun
Artifice Magazine
Atlas Review, The
Asimov’s Science Fiction
Atlantic, The
Atticus Review
Aurealis
Barge Journal
Barrelhouse
Bat City Review
Bear Deluxe
Beat the Dust (accepted)
Beat to a Pulp (accepted)
Beloit Fiction Review
Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Berkley Fiction Review
BETTER: Culture & Lit
Big Lucks
Big Pulp
Birkensnake
Black Clock
Black Heart Magazine
Black Lawrence Press
Black Static
Black Warrior Review
Blackbird
Blink-Ink (twice, Pushcart nomination)
Blip (formerly Mississippi Review)
Blue Earth Review
Blue Mesa Review
Blue Shift Magazine
BOMB Magazine
Booked Podcast (accepted, anthology)
Booth
Boulevard
Bourbon Penn
BULL SPEC
BULL: Men’s Fiction
Buzzy Mag
Caketrain
Camera Obscura
Candlemark & Gleam
Cannoli Pie (accepted) [dead]
Canteen
Capilano Review, The
Cavalier Literary Couture
Cause & Effect (accepted) [dead]
Cemetery Dance (accepted, for Shivers VI)
Cherry Bleeds (accepted) (dead)
Chicago Review
ChiZine (Chiaroscuro) (contest win + 2nd story)
ChiZine Publications
Cimarron Review
Cincinnati Review, The
Circa Review (accepted)
Citron Review, The
Clarkesworld Magazine
Coachella Review, The
Coffee House Press
Collagist, The
Colorado Review
Colored Chalk (multiple acceptances) (DEAD)
Comet Press
Composite {Arts Magazine}
Conclave
Conjectural Figments (accepted)
Conjunctions
Conjurings
Contrary
Copper Nickel
Crazyhorse
Cream City Review
Crime Factory, The (accepted)
CrimeSpree Magazine
Crimewave
Criminal Element
Crystal Lake Publishing
(accepted, Fear the Reaper anthology)
Curbside Splendor (accepted)
Cutbank
Daily Science Fiction
Dark Discoveries
Dark Horizons
Dark Intent Magazine
Dark Moon Books
(accepted,Vampires and Slices of Flesh anthologies)
Dark Moon Digest
Dark Sky Magazine
decomP
Descant (Canada)
DIAGRAM
Dirty Napkin, The
Dirty Noir (accepted) [dead]
Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, The
Dogmatika (accepted) [dead]
DOGZPLOT
Dying Goose, The (accepted)
Dzanc Books
EDGE
eFiction Fantasy
eFiction Horror
Electric Literature
Electric Velocipede
Eleven Eleven
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
Emerson Review, The
Emprise Review (accepted)
Epiphany: A Literary Journal
Epoch
Etchings
Existere – Journal of Arts and Literature
F Magazine
Fairy Tale Review
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Featherproof Books
Fence
Fiction International
Fifth Wednesday Journal
Fireside
Flambard Press
Flying Pen Press
Flywheel Magazine (accepted)
Fourteen Hills
Foxing Quarterly
Freight Stories
FRiGG
Fringe
Frogmore Papers
Fugue
Fugue State Press
Full of Crow Quarterly Fiction
Gargoyle (accepted)
Gettysburg Review, The
Glimmer Train
Going Down Swinging (AU)
Granta
Gold Dust Magazine (accepted)
Granta
Grave Tales
Graywolf Press
Greensboro Review, The
Grist: The Journal for Writers
GUD: Greatest Uncommon Denominator
Guernica
Harpur Palate
Hayden’s Ferry Review
Heavy Feather Review
Hobart
Horror Zine, The
Hyperpulp
Idaho Review
Ideomancer
Ig Publishing
Ilura Press
Indiana Review
Innsmouth Free Press
Interzone
Jabberwocky
Jersey Devil Press
Journal, The
Juked
Kenyon Review, The
Keyhole Magazine
KNOCK
Labletter, The
Lake Effect
L’Allure des Mots

Lamplight
Leodegraunce (accepted)
Lightspeed
LIT
Literary Fever
Literary Review, The
Little Patuxent Review
LITRO: Stories Transport You
LORE
Lowesoft Chronicle
MacAdam/Cage Publishing
MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine
ManArchy Magazine (accepted)
Manic D Press
McSweeney’s Books
McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
McSweeney’s Quarterly
Meanjin
Medallion Media Group
Memorious
Menacing Hedge
Metazen (accepted, Pushcart nomination)
Midnight Echo
Midwestern Gothic
Missouri Review, The
Mixer Publishing
Mojo
Molotov Cocktail, The
Monkeybicycle
Morrigan Books
Mundania Press
Murky Depths (accepted) [closed]
Natural Bridge
Necro Publications (accepted, Into the Darkness anthology)
Needle: A Magazine of Noir
Nefarious Muse (accepted, twice)
Neon
Nerve.com
Nervous Breakdown, The (featured book reviewer)
New England Review
New Ohio Review (NOR)
New Orleans Review
New York Tyrant
New Yorker, The
Nightfall Magazine
Night Land, The
Night Shade Books
Nightmare Magazine
Ninth Letter
Not One of Us
NO COLONY
Noir at the Bar (accepted, anthology Noir at the Bar)
NOÖ Journal
Noon Annual
Normal School, The
Not One of Us
Notes from the Underground
Notre Dame Review
Oddville Press, The (accepted) [dead]
Offense Mechanisms
On Spec
One Buck Horror (accepted, Winner of Cafe Doom contest)
One Story
Opium Magazine (accepted)
Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show
Otherworld Publications (novel accepted) [closed]
Out of the Gutter Magazine
Outsider Writers Collective (accepted)
Painted Bride Quarterly
PANK Magazine (accepted)
Paper Darts Magazine
Paris Review, The
Passages North
Pear Noir! (accepted, Pushcart nomination)
Pedestal Magazine, The
Permanent Press Publishing Company, The
Permuted Press
Phoebe
Pill Hill Press
Pinch, The
Pleiades
Plots With Guns (excerpt)
Ploughshares
Poisoned Pen Press
Polluto (accepted)
Portland Review, The
Post Road Magazine
Prairie Schooner
Prime Books
Prime Number Magazine
Pseudopod
Punchnel’s (accepted, winner 1/5)
Quarter After Eight
Raleigh Review
Red Hen Press
Redivider
Reprint, The
Revolution House
River Styx
Rotten Leaves Magazine (accepted) [dead]
Salamander
Salt Hill
Scintilla
Sententia: The Journal
Severed Press
Shadows & Tall Trees
Sheepshead Review
Shenandoah
Shimmer
Shock and Apall (accepted, Shock and Apall anthology)
Shock Totem
Short, Fast and Deadly
Shotgun Honey (accepted)
Shroud Magazine
Shroud Publishing
Sideshow Fables (co-editor)
Sleepingfish
Slice Magazine
Small Beer Press
Smokelong Quarterly
Snowbooks
Snubnose Press
(accepted [Speedloader]; accepted short story collection, 2012)
Soho Press
Solarcide (accepted, anthology)
Southeast Review, The
Southern Review, The
Spinetingler (excerpt)
Steampunk Tales
StepAway Magazine (accepted, Pushcart nomination)
Storyglossia
Strange Horizons
Structo
Stymie Magazine
subTerrain Magazine
Subtropics
Summerset Review, The
Sun Magazine, The
Super Arrow
Superstition Review
Surreal Grotesque, The (accepted)
Swink
Sycamore Review
Tarpaulin Sky Literary Journal
Theaker’s Quarterly Fiction
Thickjam (accepted)
Third Coast
Threepenny Review, The
ThunderDome -
(accepted online and two anthologies, LA: In Search of a City and Cipher Sisters)
Tinge
Tin House
Titular
Toad Suck Review, The
Tor.com
Torque Press
Troubadour 21 (accepted twice)
Twelve Stories
Twist of Noir, A
Two Dollar Radio
Uncanny Valley
Unmanned Press
Unstuck
Vain Magazine (accepted, and excerpt from Transubstantiate) [dead]
Valparaiso Fiction Review
Versal
Vestal Review
Virginia Quarterly Review
Warmed and Bound (accepted, Warmed and Bound anthology)
We Are Vespertine (accepted) [dead]
Weave Magazine
Weird Fiction Review (accepted)
Weird Tales
White Cat Magazine
Whitewash Dreams
Wild Child Publishing
Willow Springs
Withersin Magazine (excerpt) [dead]
Witness
Word Riot (accepted)
Yalobusha Review
Zoetrope: All-Story
Zone 3
ZOUCH (accepted, 6th place in flash fiction contest)
Zumaya Publications
 

 

Richard Thomas

Column by Richard Thomas

Richard Thomas is the award-winning author of seven books: three novels—Disintegration and Breaker (Random House Alibi), and Transubstantiate (Otherworld Publications); three short story collections—Staring Into the Abyss (Kraken Press), Herniated Roots (Snubnose Press), and Tribulations (Cemetery Dance); as well as one novella in The Soul Standard (Dzanc Books). With over 100 stories published, his credits include Cemetery Dance, PANK, storySouth, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Arcadia, Qualia Nous, Chiral Mad 2 & 3, and Shivers VI (with Stephen King and Peter Straub). He has won contests at ChiZine and One Buck Horror, and has received five Pushcart Prize nominations to date. He is also the editor of four anthologies: The New Black and Exigencies (Dark House Press), The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers (Black Lawrence Press) and Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk. He has been nominated for the Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson, and Thriller awards. In his spare time he is a columnist at LitReactor and Editor-in-Chief at Gamut Magazine. His agent is Paula Munier at Talcott Notch. For more information visit www.whatdoesnotkillme.com.

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Comments

R. Perry's picture
R. Perry January 3, 2013 - 1:59pm

Wow, this is very comprehensive (and even more helpful). Thanks so much for posting.

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this January 3, 2013 - 1:59pm

Gold star, Richard.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies January 3, 2013 - 2:02pm

UPDATE: Nefarious Muse is no longer accepting submissions, they are indefinitely closed, but not shutting down.

Ian's picture
Ian from Texas is reading Low Down Death Right Easy by J. David Osborne January 3, 2013 - 2:04pm

This is incredible. Thanks for sharing this, Richard.

JEFFREY GRANT BARR's picture
JEFFREY GRANT BARR from Central OR is reading Nothing but fucking Shakespeare, for the rest of my life January 3, 2013 - 2:25pm

BEST COLUMN EVAR. I'll be tilling through these like a heptomancer in a chicken gizzard. Thanks Richard!

lspieller's picture
lspieller from Los Angeles is reading LEVIATHAN January 3, 2013 - 2:32pm

this is incredible. just incredible. THANK YOU.

Jeremy Robert Plante's picture
Jeremy Robert Plante from Calgary, Alberta Canada is reading Several books a month. Listing them would mean numerous updates. January 3, 2013 - 2:33pm

Or... just pick up a copy of this http://www.amazon.ca/2013-Writers-Market-Robert-Brewer/dp/1599635933/ref... for under $20.

Kristin Fouquet's picture
Kristin Fouquet from New Orleans January 3, 2013 - 2:37pm

Great article, Richard. Thanks for revealing your publication history; I recognize a few from my own early days, now sadly defunct publications. I'm told if you're not being rejected, you're not submitting high enough. Also, loved how you advised not to compare yourself to other writers. I'm a full believer in that. I feel I have to be in competition with only myself- like a sprinter trying to beat his own time. Cheers to you and may we all beat our own time and break through in this wonderful new year!

 
Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies January 3, 2013 - 2:58pm

Thanks everyone. Hope it helps. Great to see you here, Kristin!

JonGingerich's picture
JonGingerich from New York City is reading Tenth of December by George Saunders. January 3, 2013 - 3:35pm

Column of the year.

Teri Skultety's picture
Teri Skultety from California January 3, 2013 - 4:09pm

You just racked up more good Karma for yourself than I can shake a stick at. Not only is this totally cool, it is a completely generous thing to do and will come back to you.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. January 3, 2013 - 4:51pm

This is amazing.  

R.Moon's picture
R.Moon from The City of Champions is reading The Last Thing He Wanted by Joan Didion; Story Structure Architect by Victoria Lynn Schimdt PH.D; Creating Characters by the editors of Writer's Digest January 3, 2013 - 5:11pm

Dammit, Richard! You never cease to amaze. This article came at exactly the right time for me. Made a resolution to write more and get shit sent out. Extremely helpful. 2013 is going to awesome!

Jonathan Riley's picture
Jonathan Riley from Memphis, Tennessee is reading Flashover by Gordon Highland January 3, 2013 - 5:18pm

Thank you Richard. I just signed up for Duotrope myself and started searching for markets. Your list should narrow that search down a bit. I'm very grateful. The whole column is great.

leah_beth's picture
leah_beth from New Jersey - now in Charleston, SC is reading five different books at once. January 3, 2013 - 6:03pm

Richard = my hero. Thank you so much for posting this!

OtisTheBulldog's picture
OtisTheBulldog from Somerville, MA is reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz January 3, 2013 - 6:36pm

Richard, you know I've been anticipating this one. Thanks for the hard work and advice. It makes it a lot easier for me to start digging in.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies January 3, 2013 - 8:24pm

i know a lot of you were asking about this, for a long time now, so this was the best i could do without listing everything on Duotrope. it certainly isn't exhaustive, but i hope you can all start putting together small lists, figure out what places you want to target. small rags or new online websites, horror magazines, edgy journals, and the best literary publications in the nation. at least now you know. much like that first AWP i mentioned, it's overwhelming, but it's finite. when you have time to start wrapping your head around it, eliminating places you don't want, you'll start to make your own personal lists. start with 10, 20, 30 markets, and in time, at Duotrope, or on your own, you'll build a fantastic list. it gets easier, i promise. but it's always a challenge. onward and upward!

good luck!

Covewriter's picture
Covewriter from Nashville, Tennessee is reading & Sons January 3, 2013 - 9:00pm

Richard thank you. I have a lot of stories now and have not submitted hardly anything. It can be overwhelming. I have to focus more on this in 2013. 

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch January 3, 2013 - 9:35pm

This is huge help, Richard! I was glad to see one journal where I published a story.

voodoo_em's picture
voodoo_em from England is reading Zombie Bake Off by Stephen Graham Jones January 4, 2013 - 2:04am

Wow ~ awesome! 

Thank you Richard :)

 

*Adds to favorites*

rmatthewsimmons's picture
rmatthewsimmons from Salt Lake City, UT is reading I just put down 'A Game of Thrones' after 6 chapters....Couldn't do it. January 4, 2013 - 10:11am

Great article. Now I just need to sit back down with a cup of coffee and go back through it all.

 

Gretel (The Children Of The Sun)

Dino Parenti's picture
Dino Parenti from Los Angeles is reading Everything He Gets His Hands On January 4, 2013 - 11:08am

Seriously, this should be paired with Palahniuk's 36 essays, and you should charge about $500 a pop for the package. Thanks for taking the time to do this!

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies January 4, 2013 - 11:46am

lol....thanks, dino. i appreciate all of the kind words everyone. i really hope it inspires you to send your work out! pm me if you have any specific questions or post up here.

Tim Johnson's picture
Tim Johnson from Rockville, MD is reading Notes From a Necrophobe by T.C. Armstrong January 4, 2013 - 11:57am

Very helpful and thank you! But here's a question I can't seem to get over: You say "simultaneous submissions are your friend," but I've found most publishers don't want simultaneous submissions. Is this something you guys are all doing and just not telling me? Or do you mean to simply seek out markets that do accept simultaneous submissions. I've always heard that, if a publisher asks for no simultaneous submissions, you should honor that, as if there's some blacklist you might find yourself on if you violate it. What is your advice here, Richard (or anyone)?

Marla_Eizik's picture
Marla_Eizik from Seattle, Washington is reading Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, by JRR Tolkien, Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, and Exit Music: The Radiohead Story by Mac Randall. January 4, 2013 - 12:54pm

Man, this is SO helpful. Definitely saving and will consult it on the regular. Thank you for helping us with the often daunting task of gettin' shit out. You're the best!!

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies January 4, 2013 - 2:50pm

@tim - i wrote a whole article on simultaneous over at my blog:

http://whatdoesnotkillme.com/2009/08/31/simultaneous/

but basically:

1. aim for markets that are SS. of the 296 markets that are on my favorites list for short stories, 208 allow SS. so, over two-thirds.

2. yes, i do often ignore the NSS rule. or hit those NSS markets up first, especially the fast ones. i tend to AVOID markets that are NSS and take more than six months to respond. jerks.

3. i don't think there is any blacklist. if there is, they are few and far between, and are probably the smaller markets.

of the 62 submissions i have out right now, only six are NSS. hope this helps. it's ultimately your call. if you REALLY feel queasy about it, then hit those NSS markets first, and if it was me, send your work to only those that have really short response times. F&SF for example is only about 10 days i think.

Tim Johnson's picture
Tim Johnson from Rockville, MD is reading Notes From a Necrophobe by T.C. Armstrong January 4, 2013 - 4:30pm

Awesome! Yeah, Richard, that helps a lot. Honestly, I really just need to do more research into markets, and this article is such a great jumping off point. Thanks again!

Michael J. Riser's picture
Michael J. Riser from El Cerrito, CA (originally), now Fort Worth, TX is reading The San Veneficio Canon - Michael Cisco, The Croning - Laird Barron, By the Time We Leave Here, We'll Be Friends - J. David Osborne January 4, 2013 - 9:00pm

Fantastic. I'd burden you with lots of praise, but clearly others have done that for me. Was looking forward to this and you didn't disappoint. This will be bookmarked.

Thanks for your contributions to the community, I know there are many of us who really appreciate it.

Bill's picture
Bill January 5, 2013 - 7:03am

Great post. Thanks for the "FREE" listings. Pretty comprehensive as well.

Angel Colón's picture
Angel Colón from The Bronx now living in New Jersey is reading A Big Ol' Pile of Books January 5, 2013 - 8:48am

Wow, just wow.

If I ever meet you, I owe you at the very least, 2 beers.

Thanks so much for this!

Heather Constantinescu's picture
Heather Constan... from Indianapolis, Indiana is reading Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman January 5, 2013 - 11:40am

Very nice column. I appreciate the help that authors give other authors now that Duotrope has gone paid. Columns like this inspire us to continue to submit. I recently got accepted at my FIRST publication, and I look forward to a future filled with rejections - an author's badge - and hopefully, more acceptances. I will keep writing, and subbing! Thank you for the ideas on where to send my work.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies January 5, 2013 - 8:02pm

thanks, guys. and don't forget, there are always new anthologies launching. also, keep an eye on "fledgling" publications at Duotrope. those can be easier to get into, and over time evolve into really exclusive places.

holan's picture
holan January 6, 2013 - 5:33am

Good comment Richard.
Check out B O D Y at www.bodyliterature.com - looking for submissions of high quality fiction and non-fiction.

drea's picture
drea from Rural Alberta, Canada is reading between the lines January 6, 2013 - 10:09am

I really appreciated how you shared the number of rejections you'd received in addition to the number of acceptances (also, praise for 65 publications; I think 2013 is your year, Mr. Thomas) as it really puts the situation into perspective. 

Bravo, and thank you. 

DmNerd's picture
DmNerd from Orlando Florida is reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress January 6, 2013 - 10:19pm

Really, thank you for this. As a new writer everything seems daunting and exhausting. But having some idea of where to send work really helps.

Tom Elias's picture
Tom Elias from Maine is reading Everything I can afford or that is within arms' reach. February 4, 2013 - 9:58pm

...And saved as a bookmark.  There is too much awesome in this post to quantify.  Thank you.

Kristin Harding's picture
Kristin Harding from Portland, OR is reading The Turn of the Screw February 5, 2013 - 9:45am

This was a super generous thing to do. Thank you!

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies February 7, 2013 - 10:33am

thanks, guys. send out that work!

Carly Berg's picture
Carly Berg from USA is reading Story Prompts That Work by Carly Berg is now available at Amazon February 7, 2013 - 11:09am


... keep an eye on "fledgling" publications at Duotrope. those can be easier to get into, and over time evolve into really exclusive places.

 

Definitely, this. I don't know how many magazines I've seen where that acceptance percentage on Duotrope slides down lower and lower as time goes on, while the number of submissions goes up. What seems like a "just okay" or even a bit cringey acceptance today might get you bragging rights a year from now. :)

I just checked my rejections on Duotrope. Since Nov. 2011, I'm at an even 400 rejections on there, for 65 acceptances. Which means nothing, of course, because some people shoot for higher or lower acceptance rate markets. I'm just kinda proud of myself that over 400 rejections there, I did not cry once! *tantrums don't count!*
.

.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies February 7, 2013 - 9:22pm

UPDATE: I had a story, "Garage Sales" accepted at Midwestern Gothic, one of my "white whales." I'm really excited—they've published work by Roxane Gay, Lindsay Hunter, Jac Jemc, and many others.

 

Carly Berg's picture
Carly Berg from USA is reading Story Prompts That Work by Carly Berg is now available at Amazon February 7, 2013 - 10:24pm

Woo hoo! Congrats, Richard. :)

Neil Davidson's picture
Neil Davidson is reading Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov February 13, 2013 - 4:48pm

This is a really helpful and fantastic article. I'll definitely spend some more time going over it again to get a look at some of these publishing houses with fresh eyes and in more detail.
Thank you so much for sharing this.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies February 14, 2013 - 10:56am

thanks @carly! glad it helped, @neil. good luck, all! keep at it.

Johann Thorsson's picture
Johann Thorsson from Reykjavik, Iceland is reading Echo Lake April 24, 2013 - 4:58am

YAY ME!

Just sold a story to Fireside. *pats self on back* 

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch May 14, 2013 - 11:35am

I want to say (belatedly), Richard, this list absolutely rocks! You are saving me (us) a ton of time, and I love that most of them are part of the Submittable system. I am not a patient person and this is saving me so much frustration! I am finally getting my ass off the metaphoric couch (and placing it on the literal chair at the computer) and sending out my stories, including War1 and War2 stories, and I'm already seeing results. So THANK YOU, again, for sharing it with us.

7R4SM's picture
7R4SM June 22, 2013 - 1:31am

This is ace. Thank you.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies June 22, 2013 - 9:29am

@johann - congrats, they're awesome!

@liana - great to hear all of that. best of luck.

@7R4SM - great!

Mikaela Shea's picture
Mikaela Shea August 20, 2013 - 4:24pm

3Elements Review is a unique new literary journal accepting fiction, poetry, photography, and art submissions. Please read the guidelines here: http://3elementsreview.com/submission-guidelines.

Luke Asa Guidici's picture
Luke Asa Guidici September 7, 2013 - 2:35pm

A question on submitting - I see many of the online forms have a "comments" section.  Do you include anything here?  Would you recommend using this space for a query letter or synopsis?

Thank you!

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies September 7, 2013 - 5:39pm

You mean, like, Submittable? Yes, that's where I put my query and bio. Here's what I currently have in mine:

Howdy,

I'm a big fan of your work. I'm submitting my short story "Sugar and Spice" and I hope you enjoy it. I'd be honored to publish with you.

Sincerely,
Richard Thomas
Chicago, IL
wickerkat@aol.com

BIO: Richard Thomas is the author of three books—Transubstantiate, Herniated Roots and Staring Into the Abyss. His over 75 publications include Cemetery Dance, PANK, Gargoyle, Weird Fiction Review, Midwestern Gothic, Arcadia, Pear Noir and Shivers VI (with Stephen King and Peter Straub). He is also the editor of three anthologies out in 2014: The Lineup (Black Lawrence Press), Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press) with Chuck Palahniuk and The New Black (Dark House Press). In his spare time he writes for The Nervous Breakdown, LitReactor, and is Editor-in-Chief at Dark House Press. For more information visit www.whatdoesnotkillme.com or contact Paula Munier at Talcott Notch.