Wednesday, July 17, 2019

11 Paying Markets for Mystery and Crime Stories

Hercule Poirot, Flickr, Jose Camoes Silva
Updated 1/31/21

Mysteries and thrillers are perennial favorites among readers. According to Simba Information, the only genre that beats mystery is romance. Even in second place, crime novels pull in more than $730 million a year. The subgenres span from cozy, to hardboiled, to police procedural, to cross-genre blends with science fiction, fantasy and romance.

If you write short form mysteries or thrillers, there are a number of markets you can submit your work to. All of these are paying markets, and none of charge submission fees. Happy submitting!


Over My Dead Body!

This magazine publishes a wide variety of mystery-related manuscripts, from cozy to hardboiled and everything in between. They don't discriminate on the basis of content, subgenre, or author recognition.

NONFICTION: "We're looking for mystery-related author interviews/ profiles and articles. Mystery-related travel pieces will also be considered. (For example: travel article about the Reichenbach Falls of Sherlock Holmes fame.) 500+ words."

FICTION: "We want to see taut, absorbing, original work. Keep dialogue and narrative consistent with characterization (unless you're using the discrepancy as a plot point). Don't waste words, and don't ignore facts to facilitate your plot. Most importantly, if you're going to break the rules, do it well. 750-4,000 words."

PAYMENT: Nominal - $.01/word for fiction; $10-$25 total for unsolicited nonfiction. All contributors will be paid within 30 days of acceptance.


Switchblade is a fiction print anthology featuring the hardboiled/noir genre, and nothing else."We will consider noir/crime fiction ranging from the early twentieth century up to present day. Aside from that, we are a no limit hardboiled fiction journal—we publish the kind of stories no one else will consider." They also accept poetry and artwork. Payment: $15.


The Dark City is dedicated to the "rough and tumble of the world of crime and violence." They prefer stories that have roots in reality but we do consider humorous situations and characters. "We hope to acquire stories that leave readers thinking about the characters and their dilemma." Length:1000 to 7500 words. Payment: $35.


They are interested in nearly every kind of mystery: stories of detection of the classic kind, police procedurals, private eye tales, suspense, courtroom dramas, stories of espionage, and so on. "We ask only that the story be about a crime (or the threat or fear of one). We sometimes accept ghost stories or supernatural tales, but those also should involve a crime." Payment: From 5 to 8¢ a word, sometimes higher for established authors.


Noir Nation: International Fiction publishes crime fiction, nonfiction, and noir poetry in print and Kindle editions. Its content is often dark, sometimes creepy, and sometimes humorous but always at the service of the literary imagination as it explores the darker regions of human experience. Payment: "Not much. But always."


Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine welcomes submissions from both new and established writers. "We publish every kind of mystery short story: the psychological suspense tale, the deductive puzzle, the private eye case—the gamut of crime and detection from the realistic (including the policeman's lot and stories of police procedure) to the more imaginative (including "locked rooms" and "impossible crimes"). We need hard-boiled stories as well as "cozies," but we are not interested in explicit sex or violence." Payment: From 5 to 8¢ a word, sometimes higher for established authors.


Mystery Tribune

Mystery Tribune publishes Fiction, Non-Fiction, Art and Photography, as well as Flash Fiction. "In our view, mystery is not limited to reading but can be a multi-sensory experience. It encompasses many artistic products such as photography, film, music and comics. Our aim is to excite and inspire our readers by showcasing the finest examples of such artistic work via publishing daily articles as well as print and digital issues." Payment: Honorarium for fiction and non-fiction for its print edition. "The amount of honorarium will be discussed with contributors upon acceptance of a piece and it depends on a number of criteria including profile of the author and previous collaborations with Mystery Tribune."


Mystery Weekly

Mystery Weekly publishes original works of short fiction that have never appeared online or in print in any form. Length: 2500-7500 words. Simultaneous submissions are allowed, but not multiple submissions. Avoid scenes of animal cruelty or excessive profanity/violence, and make sure there are no typos or grammatical errors. Payment: 1¢ / word for accepted stories.


All Due Respect

This magazine publishes hard-as-nails crime fiction. Stories appear in their monthly zine. Stories will also be collected into an annual anthology to be published through Down & Out Books. Length: 1500-5000 words. No reprints. Payment: $25.


Tough is a crime fiction journal publishing short stories and self-contained novel excerpts of between 1500 words and 7500 words, and occasional book reviews and essays of 1500 words or fewer. "We are particularly interested in stories with rural settings. We are a crime journal." Payment: $35 for original stories, $20 for reprints.


Guilty publishes crime fiction. The term covers a wide range of potential topics and styles. However, there are some things they will not consider: Cozies, Police procedurals, Anything with a speculative element. Payment: $10.

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