Written by A Guest Author

Seven Murder Mystery Magazines & Journals

By Alex J. Coyne

Murder mysteries, detective stories and good old whodunits are a hugely popular genre, including authors like Agatha Christie, Jeffery Deaver and Kathy Reichs. It’s one of the genres read by people from all walks of life, and they can be some of the most engaging stories to write, too.

Sometimes murder mysteries are rooted in real-life events, and as long as it’s fictionalized far enough, that’s fine, with the exception of two markets appearing on this list – namely Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Here are some of the best literary journals, magazines and other markets for murder mysteries.

Not all of these markets are currently open for submissions

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

Paying Market (5c to 8c per word)

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine (also known as AHMM) is one of the oldest mystery magazines in operation, and no list of murder mystery markets would be complete without it. Of course, they don’t take just murder mysteries, but also detective stories in every other form – including forensic procedural.

AHMM accepts stories of up to 12,000 words in length, although most stories in their magazine are considerably shorter. Submissions should be sent only in .doc format and through their online submission form at this link or via mail.

Submissions require proper William Shunn manuscript formatting.

After your submission, they’ll issue a tracking number that can be used to track the status of your submission.

Rates for the stories they accept are 5c to 8c per word – see their guidelines for writers.

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

Paying Market (5c to 8c per word)

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (also known as EQMM) is the partner publication for AHMM, and their guidelines are similar though not quite the same.

Guidelines note they’re looking for “every kind of mystery story” whether you have a good whodunit, locked room story or private eye tale to tell. Like most, they aren’t looking for any overly explicit violence or sex. They also publish poetry.

Guidelines look for stories 2,500 to 8,000 – but will consider up to 12,000 in exceptional circumstances.

Also accept occasional 250 word flash fiction. Writers who haven’t been published before should submit to their section for First Writers.

Submissions are through their online submission form or via mail, and their rates for accepted stories are 5c to 8c per word.

EQMM can take up to three months to get back. Guidelines ask that you only query again after this period has passed.

Mystery Weekly Magazine

Paying Market (1c per word)

Mystery Weekly Magazine is both a website and a magazine, and why they’re called a “weekly” when their magazine is published once per month might be part of the mystery.

Their guidelines list ideal story length as being between 2,500 to 8,000 with a 1c per word rate for accepted and published stories (which can be for the magazine, website or app). Submissions are directly through the form on their guidelines page, together with a short bio and synopsis.

Stories must be completely unpublished elsewhere.

A response from Mystery Weekly can take between 3 to 6 weeks.

SERIAL Magazine

Paying Market (Query for rates)

SERIAL magazine is a literary fiction publication that accepts submissions throughout the year. They publish short stories of 500 to 10,000 words in length, sent through their Submittable form. They’re also after serials (between 7,500 to 10,000 words). Submissions for these require two serials and an outline for the rest

Guidelines are specific about formatting, and ask for “extremely thorough” outlines including “every red herrings, scare and twist you plan.” Pay rates aren’t mentioned on their guidelines, though sites like Duotrope mention them as a paying market.

Thriller Magazine

Non-Paying Market

Thriller Magazine is a newer literary journal publishing any thrilling mystery or horror stories and some occasional poetry.

Preferred length for short stories are 3,000 words and under, but they also accept “flash” pieces under 750 words. Previously published work is fine, as long as it’s credited and mentioned. They also publish poetry of up to 50 lines.

If you have accompanying artwork for your submission, feel free to submit together with your story.

Thriller Magazine’s guidelines ask for a short author bio accompanying the submission.

They’re a non-paying market, asking for one-time publishing rights.

Noir Nation

Paying Market (Query for rates)

Noir Nation is a classic crime fiction and mystery story journal.

Their guidelines note that they’re looking for “crime fiction that makes us forget we’re reading.”

Submissions are through Submitttable, and their guidlines ask for submissions in submitted only in .doc, .rtf or plain text formats.

Their ideal story length is mentioned as 5 to 10 pages, but they’ll accept up to 20 pages. They also accept poetry. 30 lines or less.

According to their guidelines, payment is “Always. Not much. But always.”

Suspense Magazine

Rates Unlisted

Suspense Magazine began in 2007 and seeks “suspense, thriller, mystery and horror.” Ideal story length is 5,000 words or under – and their guidelines note that previously published stories are considered, too, just mention this in your submission e-mail.

All stories submitted should be in the body of the e-mail, with no attachments. Rates aren’t mentioned, and Duotrope lists them as a non-paying market.

They can take up to 9 months to get back regarding your submission.


About the Author: Alex J. Coyne is a journalist, writer and bridge player. His contributions have been published in markets like People Magazine, Funds for Writers, and Great Bridge.

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