Written by S. Kalekar March 15th, 2021

28 Literary Fiction Markets Seeking Submissions

These magazines publish literary fiction, or stories with a literary slant, and many publish stories in other genres, as well. Most of them publish other genres/forms too, like nonfiction and poetry. Several of them pay writers. A few of the calls are themed. They are now open for submissions, and are listed in no particular order. As always, it’s usually a good idea to read some stories in the magazine to see if your work is a good fit, before sending submissions.

Flash Fiction Online
They publish stories across many genres, including literary and speculative. They want stories of 500-1,000 words. Stories should have “crisp prose, well-developed characters, compelling plots, and satisfying resolutions. We want stories that engage our minds and emotions.” Pay is $0.8/word. Beginning January 2021, they are open from 1st to 21st of every month. Details here.

Cimarron Review
This literary quarterly is one of the oldest in the US, and publishes work by authors in all stages of their careers, including award-winning ones. They accept fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art. Their website says, “Our editors seek the bold and the ruminative, the sensitive and the shocking, but above all they seek imagination and truth-telling, the finest stories, poems, and essays from working writers across the country and around the world.” For fiction, they say, “We are interested in any strong writing of a literary variety, but are especially partial to fiction in the modern realist tradition”. They have no set page lengths for any genre, but seldom publish short-shorts or pieces longer than 25 pages. They read submissions year-round. Details here.

They are looking for fiction (up to 10,000 words), essays, criticism, screenplay excerpts, fashion writing, poetry, visual art, video, fashion photography, and photo essays. Their guidelines say, “Although we don’t conform to one aesthetic, we tend to respond to work that challenges traditional forms or embraces liminality.” Pay is $50. Details here.

Sundog Lit
They publish fiction (up to 3,000 words), nonfiction, and poetry. They are “committed to publishing pieces that engage with tension, introspection, empathy, considered positionality, thoughtful form play, emotional courage, and musicality.” Their guidelines say, “We want writing that attempts to salvage something pure from the collision of warmth and cold, that says what it can about the world it finds itself in. We seek a diversity of voices speaking from visceral, lived experience.” Pay is $25. They accept 300 fee-free submissions per reading period, after which submissions are charged. The current reading period is until 1 May 2021. Details here.

Midnight & Indigo
This is a new literary magazine and they publish stories by Black women writers. They have three open calls currently – for general fiction, Black speculative fiction, and essays. For general fiction, their guidelines say, “We are looking for previously unpublished, CHARACTER-DRIVEN fictional short stories written by Black women writers. All genres are welcome. Subject matter and plots can run the gamut, but we want emotion, grit, soul, and writing that forges an immediate connection with the reader.” Stories have to be a minimum of 1,500 words. Pay is $50-125 (see guidelines). The deadline for fiction and essays is 2 May 2021. Reviews are accepted year-round. Details here.

This is a UK-based children’s magazine. They publish stories and features for children aged 8-13 years, with the majority being in the 9-12-year range. They want stories of 1,000-1,300 words per double-spread stories, or 1,050-1,200 words per instalment for two-instalment stories. The content is designed to appeal to bright children who are confident and independent readers. The work should have not been published before in Great Britain. Pay is £105 per short story, or per instalment for a two-part story. Details here (download Author’s Guidelines).

The Broken City: Beach Party Tonight
This magazine publishes poetry, fiction, essays, comics, illustrations, photography, and music/book reviews. They are reading for the Summer 2021 theme, ‘Beach Party Tonight’. Their guidelines say, “Let’s look on the bright side: a semi-normal summer may be possible; what’s happening on the beach? Ship us your tales of surf and sun.” The deadline is 31 May 2021. Details here.

Reflex Press
They publish one piece of flash fiction on their website every week; send fiction of up to 1,000 words. Submissions received in March will be read in April, and four pieces selected by their flash fiction editor will be selected for publication in May. Send no more than one story per month. Pay is £10 . Details here and here.

Scare Street: Night Terrors
They want short horror stories with a focus on ghosts, the supernatural, paranormal, monsters, and dark tales for their Night Terrors anthology. They want work that is dark and literary. Send stories of 3,000-7,000 words. Pay is “$10 per 1,000 words” ($0.01/word). The deadline is 2 April 2021. Details here.

The Barcelona Review
This is an international literary magazine based in Barcelona, Spain. They publish contemporary fiction (up to 4,500 words), articles, and essays. Their guidelines say, “TBR is open to all genres and to a variety of styles and techniques. We’re after original, potent and powerful writing with a contemporary feel that is literarily sound; writing marked by a strong sense of imaginative distinction. (We do not publish tales, fables or re-worked fairy tales; nor are we after vignettes.)” Details here.

One Story
They publish one literary fiction story per issue, which can be of any style and on any subject. Their guidelines say, “We are looking for stories that leave readers feeling satisfied and are strong enough to stand alone.” Regarding reprints, if a story has been published in print (not online) outside of North America, it will be considered. They also accept translations. Send stories of 3,000-8,000 words. They pay $500 cash, and 25 contributor copies. The deadline is 31 May 2021. Details here.

They accept literary fiction, creative nonfiction, excerpts, screenplays, stageplays, fragments, meanderings, philosophy, and poetry. They like work that is “linguistically, intellectually, and emotionally demanding of the reader.  We want literary fiction that grows in complexity upon each visitation; we enjoy ornate, cerebral, and voluptuous prose executed with thematic intent. … We are not concerned with genre distinctions … we want only for it to be thoughtful, intelligent, and beautiful.” Every piece published in the magazine appears alongside a customized black & white sketch. Submissions should be up to 50 pages. They can also publish novel-length work or feature-length screenplays in instalments (see guidelines). Details here.

Jaded Ibis Press: Scarlet
This is a bimonthly blog “dedicated to publishing the work of artists whose pieces give voice to the complexities of our multiple identities. In keeping with JIP’s mission to uplift marginalized voices, Scarlet aims to showcase bold and unique framings of the view from the margins, giving strong preference to writing that questions norms and provokes discourse. We are looking for work that redraws lines and reclaims spaces.” They publish fiction, nonfiction, and poetry of up to 1,500 words. Pay is $80. Details here.

They publish short fiction (up to 500 words) and poetry on “mental illness, neurodivergence, and suicide prevention. We only want to read original work from the author’s perspective.” Pay is $5. Details here.

West Branch
This respected literary magazine publishes fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and translations. Send up to 30 pages of prose. Pay is $0.05/word for prose up to $100. The deadline is 1 April 2021. Details here.

This international literary journal only publishes work by high school students (grades 9 through 12). They publish stories, poetry, creative nonfiction, and art in any medium. They accept submissions year-round. Details here.
(Another magazine that only publishes work by high school students is Blue Morpho Review; they are open now for submissions.)

They want new and innovative works of literary arts across all mediums and genres. They publish fiction (up to 4,000 words), nonfiction (including collaborative essays – see guidelines), poetry, cross-genre work, visual art, music, digital, multimedia, and interactive art.  While Air/Light is based in Los Angeles and approaches the literary arts from a Southern California perspective, they want to read and publish work by everyone from everywhere. Details here.

Alluvian: Masked – A Time of Lies
This journal publishes work around “the climate crisis and to social justice issues related to the increasing environmental contamination and ecosystem degradation.” They accept fiction (350-1,000 words), nonfiction, poetry, micro video, and art (including cartoons) related to these concerns. They are reading work for Summer 2021 issue, themed ‘Masked – A Time of Lies’. “We are looking for thoughtful, creative environmental works of revelation, deception, and conviction.” The deadline is 1 April 2021. Details here (call on Twitter, with deadline), here (journal’s ‘About’ page – see top of page for theme), and here (Submittable).

Capsule Stories: Second Isolation Edition
This is a print literary magazine. They are reading fiction (up to 3,000 words), nonfiction, and poetry on the theme, ‘Second Isolation Edition’. This edition “will capture our stories and feelings during the yearlong coronavirus pandemic and the isolating social measures that come with it. We recognize that in uncertain times, writers often turn to the written word to work through their feelings, to document all the changes in their lives, to be angry with the world, to heal.” They have “a penchant for pretty words, an affinity to the melancholy, and an undeniably time-ful aura”. The deadline is 1 May 2021. Blog submissions are open year round – they currently want submissions on your reading life. Details here

Southword Literary Journal
This is a print literary journal published in spring and autumn by the Muster Literature Centre. They have published the likes of Helen Ivory, Haruki Murakami, Tess Gallagher, and Colm Toibín. They are accepting fiction currently; send stories of up to 5,000 words. The deadline is 31 March 2021. Pay is €250 per short story. Details here and here.

This is a journal for LGBTQ+ contributors. They want fiction (up to 7,500 words), creative nonfiction, poetry, and hybrid works. They are especially interested in cross-genre, intersectional, marginal, and transgressive work. Pay is $25. The deadline is 1 May 2021. They are always open for cover art. Details here.

Gordon Square Review
They publish fiction (up to 5,000 words), nonfiction, hybrid prose work, and poetry. Payment for prose is $25. The deadline is 1 April 2021. Details here.  

The Queen’s Quarterly
This journal is based in Ontario, Canada. They publish fiction (up to 3,000 words), articles, essays, reviews, and poetry. They want submissions “on any topic that presents a novel perspective and point of departure for thinking about our contemporary world. Whether fiction or non-fiction, a premium will be placed on singularity of voice, accessibility of ideas and relevance to issues of common concern.” They pay. Details here.

Griffith Review: Hey, Utopia!
This is a premier Australian literary magazine. They publish fiction, nonfiction, visual essays, reportage, and poetry. They’re reading on the ‘Hey, Utopia!’ theme. Their guidelines say, “This edition of Griffith Review visits utopias old and new, near and far, to explore the possibilities and pitfalls of imagining a better future. From Plato’s Republic to JG Ballard’s High Rise, from the Indus Valley Civilisation that thrived in the Bronze Age to the failed countercultural dream of Drop City in the 1960s, utopian thinking has long influenced how we see the world. Where will it take us next? And do we even want to go there?
What do our visions of utopia look like today? How can we disentangle the practical realities from the pipe dreams? What are the dangers of utopianism? How do questions of sustainability, gender equity and economic justice shape our visions of an ideal society, a new politics? Can imagination save us in the end?”
Fees are negotiated, except for contributors employed by universities, who are paid a flat fee. The deadline is 25 March 2021. Details here (writers’ guidelines) and here (Submittable with theme details).

Writer Shed Press: Second Thoughts
They publish fiction (up to 2,000 words), creative nonfiction, personal essays, and poetry that is directly or loosely linked to the theme of ‘Second Thoughts’. The deadline is 15 July 2021. They pay $20 (they can only pay through the Venmo app). Details here.

Psychopomp Magazine: Published work for reprinting
They want only stories that have been published before, or reprint fiction submissions, for a special issue. Any story not currently available for free online is eligible (see guidelines). Stories have to be up to 5,000 words. They are reading submissions for this through March 2021. Details here.

This respected literary journal accepts fiction, poetry, nonfiction, translations, and essays. All work will be considered for print and online publishing. Pay is $10/page for prose, up to $150. The deadline is 31 May 2021. Details here

Bio: S. Kalekar is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to this magazine. She is the author of 182 Short Fiction Publishers. She can be reached here.


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