Tuesday, August 20, 2019

5 Paying Markets for Short Historical Fiction and Western Short Stories

Westerns were all the rage in the 1920s and 30s. Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour wrote dozens of books featuring rugged gun slinging cowboys. Movies and TV shows like Bonanza fed the public's seemingly endless appetite for stories of the "wild west." But starting in the late 1960s, the genre all but disappeared. Currently, Westerns have been reduced to a small corner of the "pulp fiction" genre.

While the market for historical fiction is more robust, in terms of short stories it also occupies a small niche market. For writers that is both good and bad. If you write short historical fiction, you don't have a lot of competition, which makes getting published a little easier. But your readership won't be as wide as more popular genres.

That being said, if you have written a shoot-em-out in the O.K. Coral or invented a new adventure for the Scarlet Pimpernel, here are your go-to paying markets for historical fiction and Westerns.

Note: For many more paying markets that accept fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, see Paying Markets.


The Western Online

This magazine is dedicated to everything Western. The type of story (up to 5,000 words) most likely to be published here is the traditional post-Civil War Western, but they will consider any story that is connected with the early settling of America that takes place during the 1700s and early 1800s, from swashbuckling pirates to mountain men and the early pioneers. All stories must be set in the 17th, 18th, or 19th centuries and deal with the opening and exploration of the American West. They will consider stories with supernatural elements (ghost stories, or stories dealing with regional folklore) as long as the story is clearly a Western, as well as weird Westerns as long as the story is done tastefully. Payment: $5.00 per story regardless of the length and $3.00 per piece of artwork or article. Read submission guidelines HERE.

The Western Online Press

The Western Online Press is a publisher of Western fiction. "At The Western Online Press, our eBook imprint, we focus on quality Western fiction. We publish novella length works of at least 20,000 words up to full length novels. Review our submission guidelines and if interested, request a copy of our writers contract via the contact form." No information about royalties. Read guidelines HERE.

Copperfield Review

The Copperfield Review publishes short historical fiction or poetry, personal essays about the writing life or tips for writing historical fiction, reviews of historical novels, and interviews historical novelists. Payment: Book reviews: $15; Poetry: $15 per poem; Short stories: $20; Interviews with historical novelists: $20; Nonfiction about tips for writing historical fiction or personal essays about writing historical fiction: $25. Read guidelines HERE.

Timeworn Literary Journal

Timeworn Literary Journal welcomes submissions of unpublished historical fiction stories in English under 5,000 words. They should be set before 1996, rooted in history and voice-driven. "We're looking for "Historical Fiction from the fringe." Work with a bend toward the surreal, the dream-like, the strange. The offbeat kind of story that settles into your heart long after reading. That said, we also value beauty and warmth and a generally well-written story with soul. Romance, Mystery, Crime and the Gothic are all acceptable. Speculative elements strongly encouraged." Payment: $25. Read guidelines HERE.

Historic Heroines

Historic Heroines is a destination for readers hungry for female focused literature or history viewed through a female centric lens. "It can be about a real woman – famous or obscure. It can be about a real or fictive woman participating/witnessing a real historical event or moment."They publish nonfiction and fiction (1500-5000 words). Payment: $25 for short stories. Read guidelines HERE.

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