|"The Writer" by Michael Lynn Adams|
It is received wisdom that in order to get a book published you should start by placing short stories in literary magazines. Like most received wisdom, this is hogwash. It is easier to get a book published than it is to get a short story placed in any kind of reputable literary magazine. (That being said, there are literary magazines of ill repute, and your stories may wind up sliding down the slippery slope into a few of them.)
Not only is it hard to break into the literary magazine scene, it takes forever. Literary magazines are often staffed by underpaid, overworked grad students, who will take a minimum of three months to respond to your submission – if at all. Moreover, their readerships are generally small (1000 subscribers is a lot), their editorial staff quirky, and their requirements absurd. (No simultaneous submissions? Snail mail? Perpetual rights? Seriously!)
225 Paying Markets for Short Stories, Poetry, Nonfiction
15 Magazines That Pay $500 or More
36 Paying Markets for Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction
13 Paying Markets for Personal Essays
18 Paying Markets for Humor
Speculative Fiction Magazines Accepting Submissions
163 Literary Magazines Accepting Reprints
5) The Grinder (free version of Duotrope)
Like the fourth (and fifth) books of the Douglas Adams trilogy, I am adding a 6th source to my top five. (Many thanks to Wm. Luke Everest for suggesting this wonderful site.) Here you can find a virtual replica of the old Duotrope site - and it's FREE. We tempest-tossed writers yearning to publish free really do appreciate their generosity. So go to The Grinder, and check it out! I'm going there right now...
6) The Review Review
The RR offers an extensive review database, in which they provide in-depth reviews of almost all well-known 150 journals as well as interviews with their editors. If you're seeking publication in lit mags, this resource is indispensable.
More sites of interest
Winning Writers lists free writing contests, and many other writing resources. They have a free monthly email newsletter you can sign up for.
Entropy is a literary magazine with bi-monthly roundups of places to submit.