10 Magazines that Pay for Short Stories (Up to $1,500 or More)

If you love to write fiction, you may want to consider the opportunities offered by consumer and literary magazines. When pitching fiction to a magazine, remember that most editors prefer to receive full manuscripts. Research the magazine before submitting your piece, and ensure you follow the submission guidelines. Here are 10 magazines that pay for fiction writing.  (Here are 19 more short story publishers that pay.)

The Sun

This literary magazine pays $300-$1,500 for fiction. You must submit a complete manuscript and they discourage simultaneous submissions. They’re open to anything and would like you to surprise them with your submission, as they say they often don’t know what they’re looking for until they read it. See full submission guidelines here.


Harper’s will consider fiction and accepts 12 manuscripts yearly.  They pay $.50 to $1 per word, and your piece must be 3,000 to 5,000 words long. Make submissions by regular mail only. Full guidelines can be found here.


Published by Cricket Media, this magazine is meant for babies and the parents and caregivers who read to them. They look for very short, clear fiction that is rhythmic in nature (they often rhyme). Babybug pays up to $.25 per word for these pieces, which must be submitted by Submittable only (do not pitch directly do editors). Full submission guidelines can be found here.


Like Babybug, Ladybug is also a Cricket media publication, and it is also intended as a read-aloud, read together magazine. This one is targeted at children ages 3-6 and the parents or caregivers who read with them. It needs “imaginative contemporary stories,” new spins on fairy and folk tales, and stories from different cultures. Your piece must be no longer than 800 words, and pay is up to $.25 per word. See full submission guidelines here.


Another Cricket Media publication, Spider is aimed at children 6-9. Spider wants to publish “complex and believable” stories to which children 6-9 can relate. They want fantasy and humour and do not want romance, horror, or religious stories. Pay is up to $.25 per word. 


This is another Cricket Media publication. It is an American History magazine aimed at ages 8-14. They accept historical and biographical fiction, adventure, and retold legends relating to each issue’s theme. Your piece should be up to 800 words long. Payment is $.20-.25 per word. See full submission guidelines here.


This is another Cricket Media publication, and it is a monthly magazine aimed at ages 9-14. They need realistic, contemporary, historic, humor, mystery, fantasy, science fiction, folk/fairy tales, legend, and myth. Pay is up to $.25 per word, and you must use the Submittable form. Full submission guidelines can be found here.

Note: For all Cricket Media publications (including Babybug, Ladybug, Spider, Cobblestone, and Cricket, see their active calls for submissions (e.g. what they’re looking to include in the next issues) here.

Bear Deluxe

This is an independent environmental arts magazine. It accepts submissions for works of fiction in the genres of adventure, condensed novels, historical, horror, humorous, mystery, and western. They do not want traditional sci-fi, horror, romance or crime/action. You must send your complete manuscript. The magazine is currently accepting them via email submission only. Word count must not exceed 4,000 and pay is $25-$400 depending on piece. You’ll also receive a free subscription to the magazine as well as contributor’s copies. Full submission guidelines here.


This is a semi-annual eclectic literary magazine. For fiction, they look for “experimental as well as more traditional fiction, self-contained novel excerpts, slice-of-life vignettes, and lyrical or philosophical fiction.” Your word count must not exceed 7,200 words. Pay is $175-$250, and it will be more for commissioned work. If you live in the U.S., you must send your submission by mail and include a SASE (Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope). If you’re outside of the U.S. you may send submissions via email. For full submission guidelines, click here.

Zoetrope: All-Story

This is a magazine specializing “in the best of contemporary short fiction.” They accept short stories as well as one-act plays. Your word count must not exceed 7,000 words. This magazine is made up of a very small staff and dedicated volunteers; therefore, they ask that you submit only one story at a time, and no more than two stories per year. Pay is up to $1,000. You can submit either via regular mail or via their submissions portal. Do not send submissions via e-mail; they will not read them. If sending by mail, ensure to send a SASE. Full submission guidelines can be found here.


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