Wednesday, March 17, 2021

31 Places to Publish Novellas and Long Short Stories - Paying markets

If you've written a longer piece of fiction, but not as lengthy as a novel, you may be wondering where to get it published. (As it happens, I am too, because I just wrote one.) With so many literary journals preferring a "sweet spot" of about 3,000 words, a short story of 5,000 words, much less 8,000, words can be a challenge to publish. Once you get over 10,000 words, finding a home for your work can be daunting. 

Nevertheless it is not impossible. There are quite a few literary journals and publishers that accept longer short stories, novelettes, and novellas. In case you are wondering what the word counts are for these categories, Duotrope uses these guidelines:

Short story = 1000 to 7,500 words
Novelette = 7,500 to 15,000 words
Novella = 15,000 to 40,000 words

While guidelines can be useful, word counts are hardly fixed for short fiction. A novelette can be anywhere between 7,000 and 20,000 words. But while novellas usually have a top range of 40,000 words, there is no fixed bottom range. What's more, there is a no-man's-land between 40,000 and 60,000 words. Most novels under 60,000 words are deemed "unmarketable" by agents. So, what happens to works between 40,000 and 60,000 words? It's a question for the ages. 

A  word of advice: Resist the temptation to either pare down your work, or beef it up to meet someone else's word count. All literary works determine their own length. To thine own work be true.

Here is an excellent ranking of literary magazines that includes word counts: 

Photo credit: Unsplash

Length: No restrictions
Payment: $10 per printed (or printed-out) page

"At AGNI we see literature and the arts as integral to the broad, engaged conversation that underwrites a vital society. Our poets, storytellers, essayists, translators, and artists lift a mirror to nature and the social world. They not only reflect our age, they respond. We have no formula. We seek fresh vision and listen for dynamic voices that address our common reality." AGNI accepts manuscripts between September 1st and May 31st. 


Length: Up to 80,000 words
Payment: 8-10 cents per word for short fiction (up to approximately 20,000 words), 6 cents per word for serials (40,000-80,000 words)

"Analog will consider material submitted by any writer solely on the basis of merit. We are eager to find and develop new, capable writers. We publish science fiction stories in which some aspect of future science or technology is so integral to the plot that, if that aspect were removed, the story would collapse. The science can be physical, sociological, psychological. The technology can be anything from electronic engineering to biogenetic engineering. But the stories must be strong and realistic, with believable people (who needn't be human) doing believable things–no matter how fantastic the background might be." Also accepts poetry.

Length: Novelettes and novellas
Payment: Up to $100

"A Public Space is an independent nonprofit publisher of an eponymous award-winning literary, arts, and culture magazine, and A Public Space Books. Under the direction of founding editor Brigid Hughes since 2006, it has been our mission to seek out overlooked and unclassifiable work, and to publish writing from beyond established confines." Has submission periods.

Length: Up to 15,000 words
Payment: 8 cents/word

Beneath Ceaseless Skies publishes “literary adventure fantasy”: stories with a secondary-world setting and some fantasy feel, but written with a literary approach. "We want stories set in what Tolkien called a “secondary world”: some other world that is different from our own primary world in some way. It could be different in terms of zoology (non-human creatures), ecology (climate), or physical laws (the presence of magic)." 

Length: Up to 8,000 words
Payment: Prose minimum is $100, maximum is $300.

"While we frequently publish writers with previous credits, we are very interested in less experienced or unpublished writers with exceptional promise. If you have practiced your craft and your work is the best it can be, send it to Boulevard." $3 to submit online. No charge for postal submissions. Has submission periods.

Length: 15 - 25 manuscript pages
Payment: $200

Part of of the English Department at Colorado State University, "The Center for Literary Publishing partners with writers to bring exceptionally written and published fiction, poetry, and nonfiction to readers through a variety of platforms—notably, Colorado Review and CLP books. Training and cultivating the publishing professionals of tomorrow, the CLP invites graduate student interns to participate in every aspect of the publication process." No fee for snail mail submissions. Has submission periods.

Length: 25,000 to 50,000 words
Payment: Royalties

"Based in the thriving and energetic publishing hub of Oxford, we’re a young, dynamic team wanting to do things a little differently.  Since our inception, our authors have been longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, shortlisted for the Paul Torday Prize, the BBC National Short Story Award and on the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction Recommended List. As part of our mission to make quality writing more discoverable, we’ve set up Fairlight Shorts. This online short story portal showcases some fantastic, but previously unpublished, short story writing. Making all of the stories on our website freely available to readers, our aim is to fight the corner for the short story as a form of literature which until recently has been largely abandoned or hidden behind paywalls, and promote and support the writing of these talented authors. With a specific focus on quality rather than quantity, we intend to publish contemporary adult literary fiction and well-written genre fiction. Fairlight Books is open to literary submissions of short stories (no payment), novellas and novels. We are happy to accept submissions of longer fiction direct from authors."

The Fantasist

Length: 15,000 to 40,000 words, although they may consider work that is somewhat longer.
Payment: $100

"We especially like stories set in a well-researched historical setting, set in the present or the future, stories with interaction between magic and science, the Napoleonic Era, Faeries, Dragons (but no dragon tragedy!), and stories not set in Europe. We love apprenticeship narratives/magical education, people coming together, stable romantic partnerships, nuanced friendships, remotely accurate economic and political systems, realistic depictions of power, magic that isn’t explained, highly systematized magic, made up plants, medical stuff combining magic and medicine, tall tales, pastorals, 2nd person, formal weirdness, real languages other than English (bonus points for Russian), constructed languages, intricate worldbuilding, interesting things with real or fictional religion (bonus points for Islamic characters), Speculative CNF, lyric essay, stories that engages with well-known texts, stories that deal with obscure or technical bodies of knowledge, epistemological fiction, epistolary fiction, fantasy inside virtual reality inside science fiction, surrealism, dark fantasy and horror, diagrams, psychology (but do your research), disabled people having sex, fake scholarship (Especially without seeing action in that world), trans and nonbinary characters in historical fantasy, technologically and/or historically accurate seafaring fiction, sex workers, domesticity, stories set in cities about something other than crime, the black-plague as apocalypse, the ridiculous backstabby internecine warfare of the faerie poetry community in Indianapolis, fantasy in small town America, addiction storylines, 12-step programs for magical things, socialism, communism, anarchism, part way into the high flung adventure, the hero buys a nice plot of land and settles down to raise magic sheep. YA is encouraged, but we are not primarily a YA market, and publish for all ages. Special note: We are especially seeking more urban fantasy."

Length: Not restricted
Payment: $50 per printed page. All contributors receive a one-year subscription to The Georgia Review.

Founded in 1947, The Georgia Review is the University of Georgia’s journal of arts and letters.  The journal has twice taken a top prize in the annual National Magazine Awards competition, winning out over the likes of the AtlanticEsquire, the New Yorker, and Vanity Fair, and has been a finalist twenty times in various categories. No fee to submit by regular mail.

Length: Up to 10,000 words
Payment: $25.00 per printed page for prose

The Gettysburg Review, published by Gettysburg College, is recognized as one of the country’s premier literary journals. Since its debut in 1988, work by such luminaries as E. L. Doctorow, Rita Dove, James Tate, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Wilbur, and Donald Hall has appeared alongside that of emerging artists such as JM Holmes, Lydia Conklin, Jessica Hollander, Emily Nemens, Charles Yu, and Ashley Wurzbacher, who was recently named a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree. They publish poetry, fiction, essays, and art.


Length: Up to 25,000 words
Payment: $100

GigaNotoSaurus accepts Science Fiction or Fantasy (or any combination thereof). "We could wax eloquent describing the kinds of stories we like, but it wouldn’t be useful; there are dozens of things we don’t know we like until we try them. Send us that story you really believe in–the one, maybe, that quickly ran out of places to submit it to because it’s so long. Don’t query to gauge our interest in a particular subgenre. Just submit the story. We actively seek to include stories told from and by a diverse range of cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations, and genders. We are particularly interested in #ownvoices stories."

Length: Up to 10,000 words; they will serialize at a maximum of 50,000 words over four issues
Payment: $100

Heroic Fantasy Quarterly is a quarterly ezine dedicated to publishing heroic fantasy — in both prose and poetry. "We are unrepentant in our goal of elevating unapologetic sword and sorcery to a rightful high place." Accepts poetry. See submission periods.

Length: 20,000 - 40,000 words
Payment: Royalties

"Luna Press Publishing™ is an award-winning independent UK press, founded in 2015 by author Francesca T. Barbini. We deal with Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy and Dark Fantasy, in both fiction and academia. We are also a proud member of Publishing Scotland."

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction

Length: Up to 25,000 words
Payment: 8-12 cents per word on acceptance

"Fantasy & Science Fiction has no formula for fiction, but we like to be surprised by stories, either by the character insights, ideas, plots, or prose. The speculative element may be slight, but it should be present. We prefer character-oriented stories, whether it's fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, or another genre. F&SF encourages submissions from diverse voices and perspectives, and has published writers from all over the world. Do not query for fiction; submit the entire manuscript."

Length: Up to 8,000 words
Payment: $65 CAD per published page

The Malahat Review welcomes submissions in English of previously unpublished work in any of these three genres in a broad range of forms and styles, and the Editorial Boards are pleased to receive submissions from all writers who wish to send their work for consideration, including writers from communities generally under-represented in literary magazines, in particular Indigenous writers, writers of colour, 2SLGBTQIA?+ writers, and writers with disabilities. Writers at all stages of their careers are welcome to submit their work to The Malahat Review. It publishes poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction by new and established writers mostly from Canada, reviews of Canadian books, and the best writing from abroad.

Length: Not restricted.
Payment: Up to $400

"There are no rules." Has submission periods. (But nobody seems to know when they are.)

Length: Up to 10,000 words
Payment: $50 

"We love narratives that challenge our perceptions of the world by opening up new ways of conceiving of what’s always been around us. We want to feel electrified by prose—to be taken in by sentence-level writing, where there’s a choreography to the language, the rhythm, the cadence. Most of all, we want to read the kind of work that could only have come from you—if it comes from the gut, it’ll likely hit us in ours." Accepts fiction and nonfiction. Has submission periods.

Missouri Review

Length: Up to 12,000. They prefer under 9,000.
Payment: $40 per page

"The Missouri Review, founded in 1978, is one of the most highly regarded literary magazines in the United States. For the past four decades we’ve upheld a reputation for finding and publishing the very best writers first. We are based at the University of Missouri and publish four issues each year. Each issue contains approximately five new stories, three new poetry features, and two essays, all selected from unsolicited submissions sent by writers throughout the world."

Length: 30,000 to 80,000 words
Payment: Not specified

"Since 2010, Mocha Memoirs Press’s mission is to amplify marginalized voices in the areas of speculative fiction (science fiction, horror, and fantasy). We publish engaging stories that amplify diverse experiences with vivid storytelling, robust protagonists, and fearless voices."

Length: 15,000 to 40,000 words
Payment: $1000

"Narrative accepts previously unpublished manuscripts of all lengths, ranging from short short stories to complete book-length works for serialization. Narrative regularly publishes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, including stories, novels, novel excerpts, novellas, personal essays, humor, sketches, memoirs, literary biographies, commentary, reportage, interviews, and features of interest to readers who take pleasure in storytelling and imaginative prose. We look for quality and originality of language and content." Narrative charges for online submissions. They have a free open period during the first two weeks of April. 

Length: Up to 20,000 words
Payment: $20 per page ($50 minimum)

"NER accepts submissions in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, drama, translation, and NER Digital’s “Confluences” series. We welcome and encourage submissions from writers of every nationality, race, religion, and gender, including writers who have never been affiliated with an MFA program and whose perspectives are often underrepresented in the literary world." Has submission periods.

Length: Up to 8,000 words
Payment: $25 per printed page, with a maximum payment of $150, as well as two complimentary copies of the issue in which the work appears.

"Ninth Letter is published semi-annually in print at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. We are interested in prose and poetry that experiment with form, narrative, and nontraditional subject matter, as well as more traditional literary work." Has submission periods.

Length: Up to 8,000 words.
Payment: $500 and 25 contributors copies. 

One Story is seeking literary short stories. "They can be any style and on any subject as long as they are good. We are looking for stories that leave readers feeling satisfied and are strong enough to stand alone." Single stories are sent to email subscribers every month. See reading periods.

Length: 7,500 to 20,000 words.
Payment: $450

"Ploughshares has published quality literature since 1971. Our award-winning literary journal is published four times a year; our lively literary blog publishes new writing daily. Since 1989, we have been based at Emerson College in downtown Boston." Submissions accepted June 1 to January 15. Charges for online submissions. No charge for mailed submissions.

Length: Up to 8,000 words
Payment: $25 to $150

"As a multicultural magazine of poetry, short fiction, essays, short plays, and art, River Styx seeks to publish work that is striking in its originality, energy, and craft, from both new and established writers. The high quality of work published in River Styx has made it a leader among literary magazines for over 45 years. River Styx has been included in many editions of the Best American Poetry, Best New Poets, New Stories from the South, and Pushcart Prize anthologies." Has submission periods. Opens March 1.

Length: Up to 8,000 words
Payment: $100 for every thousand words of prose—for a maximum honorarium of $500 per author)

"Shenandoah aims to showcase a wide variety of voices and perspectives in terms of gender identity, race, ethnicity, class, age, ability, nationality, regionality, sexuality, and educational background (MFAs are not necessary here). We love publishing new writers; publishing history is not a prerequisite either. Checking out our current issue is another great way to get a sense of the kind of work we like."

Length: 30,000 to 60,000 words
Payment: Royalties

Silver Shamrock publishes hard-hitting horror novels and novellas. They are interested in unique takes on classic horror tropes: demons, witches, vampires, etc. No YA, gore, or torture.

Length: Up to 8000 words
Payment: $1000

"VQR strives to publish the best writing we can find. While we have a long history of publishing accomplished and award-winning authors, we also seek and support emerging writers." Only opens for submissions in July.

Viva la Novella (Contest)

Length: 20,000 - 40,000 words
Prize: $1,000 and publication in Seizure
Note: Open to Australian and New Zealand writers only.

"In 2012 Seizure began a novella prize to celebrate and promote short novels – because we love the form and believe some of the greatest works in the English language are actually novellas. Even in its first year, competition was fierce with over 80 submissions. We made a shortlist in January 2013 and selected a winner, working on the book in secret until the big reveal at the Emerging Writers Festival in Melbourne where Sandy Grant spoke of the power of the form and the support of Copyright Agency which would kick in for our second year. The inaugural winner was the talented, subtle and emotionally powerful Midnight Blue and Endlessly Tall by Jane Jervis Read." Entry period opens in October and closes December 31.

Length: 20,000 (min) to 100,000 (max)
Payment: Royalties

"World Weaver Press looks for speculative fiction. Anything that does not contain a speculative element (i.e. fantasy or science fiction) will not be considered. We are interested in standalones, duologies, or trilogies only. Longer series will not be considered at this time. We publish in both digital (ebook) and paperback (print on demand) formats. Unagented submissions welcome."

Length: No upper limit
Payment: Token to semi-pro.

ZYZZYVA is a print journal based in San Francisco. "We have established a vigorous tradition of finding and fostering new talent, in our backyard and beyond. For over thirty years ZYZZYVA has nurtured emerging writers, many of whom go on to spectacular careers (Haruki Murakami, Po Bronson, F.X. Toole, Kay Ryan, Sherman Alexie) and whose work in ZYZZYVA is recognized by the Pushcart Prize, the Best American series, the O. Henry Prize Stories, and other awards organizations." They publish fiction, poetry, essays, and artwork. They accept submissions from January 7 through May 31, and September 1 through November 19. Snail mail submissions only.

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