Written by Emily Harstone November 21st, 2013

Shimmer: Open to Submissions

Last Updated December 2017

Shimmer is an online journal that specializes in publishing speculative fiction. They largely publish contemporary fantasy short stories, although they are also open to science fiction and horror. They favor stories that are burdened by sadness, but have space for the occasional humorous ones as well.

Shimmer is one of the most popular online fantasy magazines. Many of the works they publish are later republished in established print anthologies. Because of this, they have a very low acceptance rate. They publish less than 1% of the work they receive. They respond to most submissions within the month.

They also pay their writers: they pay 5 cents per word, with a minimum payment of 10 dollars. That falls in the professional pay range for literary and freelance writers alike.

It is good to submit your work to a journal with a very active readership, and Shimmer definitely has that. Shimmer has a diverse audience, so they also want to publish the work of a diverse group of writers, writing about characters that are from different backgrounds and have various sexual orientations, etc. They really want to publish a wide range of work.

They often accept speculative fiction that does not clearly fit into a particular genre. They really want to publish unusual stories, but they prefer them to be told in a traditional manner. They are not looking for a story with overly complex narrative style or structure, but one where the actual story, rather than the mechanics of how it is told, propels you forward.

They prefer to publish works that are 4000 words in length or so, but they are open to publishing work up to 7,500 words in length. They will even publish longer work than that, but you must send a query letter and the first page of the manuscript in order to receive permission to submit the entire work.

Submissions are made via email and it is very important that your subject line begins with the word ‘submission’ and also contains the title of your story otherwise it may be lost in their spam filters.

In conclusion, Shimmer is a great market to submit to because they are established, respected, have a large audience and they pay their writers. To learn more visit their website here.


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