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 Fabulist

The Fabulist seeks short (up to 3,000 words) works of fantastical and genre fiction, which we define expansively. Surprise us! We do love science fiction, fantasy, intelligent horror, speculative fiction, literary fabulism, magic realism, mythic/folkloric works, near-future speculations, solarpunk/cli-fi, hopepunk, and genre subversions (crime, mystery, romance, westerns, thrillers, sea adventures, gothic, and quasi-realist works) that are anchored by some element of the fantastic. Payment: $25. See submission periods.

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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. Charges $3 for online submissions.

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"hi, we're looking for writing and art and whatever else you've got that engages with and reimagines the 'west.’ ideally you or your work will have some connection to the western usa, but this theme is wide open to your interpretation (though our print issues will be more focused and western-y than online, which will be more free-wheeling). we like  intersections and echoes, mythos and symbolism, and perspectives not as often seen. we like road stories and weird americana. most of all, tell us a great story. show us something cool. something we can't help falling in love with. our goal is to remain open to the unexpected—to what surprises us, to what moves us, to what makes us see ‘the west’ in ways we haven't before. still unsure? tune into word west radio, or catch a flick at the westword cinemas. maybe you'll find some inspiration? yeehaw" Fiction, poetry, nonfiction, books, videos and photography that engage with "the west." Payment: Short prose and poetry: $100 for each accepted print piece. $25 for each accepted online piece. Photography: $5 per photo used online. $15 per photo used in print. Video: $50 for each two week block of screening. Books: authors recieve an advance upon acceptance, 15% royalties on print sales, and 35% on ebook sales, paid out quarterly. Has two submission periods per year.

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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.)

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