Tuesday, January 12, 2021

5 Paying Markets for 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 novels is robust, historical fiction short stories occupy 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. Corral 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.

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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.

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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.

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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Timeworn Literary Journal welcomes submissions of unpublished historical fiction stories in English under 5,000 words.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.

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Open Range is an online publication focusing on art and writing from rangelands and the American West. They are open for submissions of fiction and poetry, as well as essays, reviews, profiles, interviews, photo stories, reportage, and other. They offer an honorarium.

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Prairie Rose Publications is a publishing company devoted to publishing westerns and western romances written about women. PRP's imprints include westerns, historical fiction, mystery, futuristic, paranormal, and fantasy. In addition to novels, they accept short stories and novellas. Short stories are available in digital format only (10,000 to 29,999 words). The exception is anthologies, which are available in both print and digital formats. Payment is a percentage of net royalties. (While this is acceptable for short stories, it is not advisable for longer works, especially when the author must do all his or her own marketing.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

5 New Literary Agents Seeking Historical, Commercial, Literary Fiction, YA, Kidlit, Narrative Nonfiction and Translations

Here are five new agents actively building their client lists. Olivia Maidment is seeking historical, commercial, crime, and reading group fiction, along with narrative non-fiction. Sandra Pareja is looking for authentic, unconventional literary voices in fiction, non-fiction and sometimes poetry. She reads and edits in English, Spanish and Italian at a native level, and could tackle manuscripts in French, Portuguese and Catalan. She would consider works from other languages if they are attached to an English translator. 

Laura Cameron is interested in plot-driven literary, upmarket and women’s fiction and research-based narrative non-fiction. She is also open to memoir with a strong voice and perspective. For children’s and YA, Laura looks for unique characters and imaginative stories that reflect contemporary culture. Chelsea Hensley is seeking Middle grade and young adult fiction as well as select adult projects. Lisa Amstutz is seeking nonfiction for all ages (preschool–adult), picture book and middle grade fiction, and picture book author/illustrators.

Always check the agency website and agent bio before submitting. Agents can switch agencies or close their lists, and submission requirements can change.

You can find a full list of agents actively seeking new clients here: Agents Seeking Clients.

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Ms. Olivia Maidment of The Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency (UK) 


After graduating with a degree in English Literature and Classical Civilisation from the University of Birmingham, Liv’s first experience of publishing was with an internship at the Madeleine Milburn Agency. She then went on to roles at The Blair Partnership and United Agents. Liv was very excited to come full circle when joining the agency in 2020 and she now works closely with Madeleine across her roster of authors.

What she is seeking: Historical, commercial, crime, and reading group fiction, along with narrative non-fiction.

How to submit: Please follow their long, complicated instructions HERE.

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Ms. Sandra Pareja
of Massie & McQuilkin Literary Agents 

Sandra worked as head of foreign rights at Casanovas & Lynch Literary Agency for eight years. She was part of many international success stories, such as Mariana Enriquez, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Maria Gainza and Mercè Rodoreda. Her own client list includes bestselling literary authors, as well as winners and finalists for the National Book Award in Translation, the Premio Strega and the Premio Biblioteca de Narrativa Colombiana. Several of her authors have been translated into more than twenty languages. She was born in Toronto, was raised in Detroit too, and has spent much of her adulthood in Europe. She has degrees in Hispanic Literature from the University of Toronto and the University of Buenos Aires, and a Masters in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Barcelona. She has worked as a teacher, translator and an assistant editor at Granta en Español and Duomo Ediciones, though her first gig was managing an indie singer-songwriter when she was a teenager. She runs a Barcelona reading series called Albor, which mixes authors from different cities and languages. 

What she is seeking: Sandra Pareja is looking for authentic, unconventional literary voices in fiction, non-fiction and sometimes poetry. She reads and edits in English, Spanish and Italian at a native level, and could tackle manuscripts in French, Portuguese and Catalan. She would consider works from other languages if they are attached to an English translator.

How to submit: Please query Sandra directly at sandra@mmqlit.com and strive to include as much reading material as possible. If you haven’t heard from her in 4-6 weeks, your project is not a good fit for her.
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Ms. Laura Cameron
of Transatlantic Literary Agency

Laura Cameron joined the Transatlantic Agency after six years at Penguin Random House Canada, where she worked in editorial, sales and publicity. Before her career in publishing, Laura did a Master’s in Journalism at Columbia University, interned with the Economist Group, and worked for Canadian Business magazine. During her time as a freelance reporter, she wrote for the Economist Intelligence Unit and contributed stories to various publications including the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail.

What she is seeking: Laura is interested in plot-driven literary, upmarket and women’s fiction and research-based narrative non-fiction. She is also open to memoir with a strong voice and perspective. For children’s and YA, Laura looks for unique characters and imaginative stories that reflect contemporary culture.

How to submit: Query Laura at: lcameron@transatlanticagency.com  
Attach a synopsis, author bio and the first 20 pages in a double-spaced word doc or PDF. If it's an author/illustrator submitting a picture book or graphic novel, she’d like to see finished artwork samples and a link to the artist's portfolio. 

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Ms. Chelsea Hensley
of KT Literary

Before joining kt literary, Chelsea was a freelance editor and perpetual publishing intern. In 2018 she mentored in Pitch Wars and most recently was an editorial intern at Page Street Publishing where she assisted on titles from Addie Thorley and Breanna Shields. She has a BA in English from the University of Missouri and lives and works as a bookseller in St. Louis, MO. She likes fresh and imaginative SFF, dark and twisty mysteries/thrillers, and whipsmart protagonists. She is interested in working with authors belonging to groups traditionally underrepresented in publishing, especially Black authors. When she isn’t working, she can be found playing Dungeons & Dragons, watching The Golden Girls, or playing with her dog.

What she is seeking: Middle grade and young adult fiction as well as select adult projects. She's looking for the whimsical and adventurous in Middle Grade, especially fantasy (and select contemporary MG).In Young Adult, she's looking for genre fiction, twisty mystery, and wants thrillers that are character-driven, dark, and edgy. She also is looking at select adult fantasy that's atmospheric, lush, bold, and female-driven.

How to submit: Please email your query letter and the first three pages of your manuscript in the body of the email to Chelsea at chelseaquery@ktliterary.com


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Ms. Lisa Amstutz
of Storm Literary Agency

Lisa fell in love with reading at an early age, devouring stacks of books from the library each week. While she never stopped reading, she earned degrees in Biology and Environmental Science and worked as a lab technician, outdoor educator, and small-scale farmer before returning to her first love: books.

With sixteen years of experience as an author and freelance editor, Lisa comes to Storm Literary Agency as an Associate Literary Agent. She has written more than 140 books for the educational and trade markets as well as numerous magazine and newspaper articles. As an editor and mentor, she worked with writers to shape and polish their manuscripts, many of which went on to land agents or book contracts. She also edited materials for several publishing companies.

From 2011–2020, Lisa served on the board of SCBWI: Ohio North in various roles, including Assistant Regional Advisor. She also volunteered as a judge at Rate Your Story and was one of the founders of the annual NF Fest challenge. Now, she looks forward to helping clients achieve success as an agent. Lisa lives with her family on a small farm. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, nature photography, scrapbooking and, of course, reading.

What she is seeking: She is seeking nonfiction for all ages (preschool–adult), picture book and middle grade fiction, and picture book author/illustrators. Lisa loves books with heart; science, agricultural, and environmental topics; new insights on history, culture, or the arts; strong characters and settings; humor; lyrical texts; and multicultural themes. She enjoys a good rhyming story, but please be sure the meter is strong and consistent.  

How to submit: Query Lisa via her submission manager HERE.
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