Wednesday, July 17, 2019

13 Paying Markets for Mystery and Crime Stories

Hercule Poirot, Flickr, Jose Camoes Silva
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.


Who Knocks?

This magazine accepts mystery, weird tales, suspense and horror, 1500-5000 words in length. If you are not sure what category your story falls into feel free to send it anyway. They will accept previously published work on a limited basis. They are open to blog style editorials and articles about the craft of writing or pertaining to the accepted genres. Payment: $0.01/word up to $50 for fiction; $15 for editorials and articles; $25 for reprints.


Flash Bang Mysteries

This magazine is looking for original mystery/suspense of all types (police procedural, private eye, amateur sleuth, cozies, hardboiled, etc.). Flash fiction ONLY between 500 and 750 words. "Basically, if it involves a crime and it is within our guidelines, we would love to consider it. We want stories that feature believable characters who speak naturally, realistic situations that bleed conflict, and surprise endings that stay with us long after we reach the final period. We welcome new and established authors." Payment: $20.


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.


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 of 1500 words or fewer. They are particularly interested in stories with rural settings. Payment: $35.


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.


Occult Detective Quarterly Magazine

Occult Detective Quarterly Magazine is devoted to those intrepid investigators who explore the weird, exotic and bizarre. These are the people who explore the darkness, both within and beyond, often to their own peril and the expense of their very lives and sanity. They accept fiction (3,000-6,000 words), nonfiction (2,000-5,000 words), and art. "We are eager to read stories featuring a diverse range of characters, cultures and periods. You may cheerfully pursue established Lovecraftian, Pulp or Dystopian themes, for example, but a fresh twist on the classics is always more likely to grab us. We do like stories with unusual protagonists, or with less common backgrounds, and we have an appetite for the pulp and modern weird tale as long as it fits the overall concept." Payment: Fiction: 1 cent per word, with a $50 cap; $25 per accepted reprint. Articles: 1 cent per word, $25 cap. Interior art rates are $15 - $40 per piece.


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.

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