11 Themed Calls for Short Stories that Pay $100 to $500

These markets pay $100-500 for fiction – deadlines are approaching quickly. A few are also open for other genres, like comics, essays, creative non-fiction, and poetry. – S. Kalekar

­­­­­This literary magazine, part of Washington & Lee University’s English Department, publishes stories, essays, creative non-fiction, excerpts of novels in progress, poems, comics, and translations of all of the above. Their mission statement says, “The editors believe that reading through the perspective of another person, persona, or character is one of the ways we practice empathy, expand our understanding of the world, and experience new levels of awareness. 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.” Their current submission window is for prose and comic submissions, not poetry. The window for translation submissions never closes.
Deadline: 15 March 2019; can accept only 800 submissions per month
Length: Up to 8,000 words for fiction and creative non-fiction; up to 5 poems
Pay: $100 per 1,000 words of prose up to $500, $50 per page of comics up to $500, $100 per poem
Details here.

Selene Quarterly Magazine
­­­­­This is a magazine of romance, mystery, and alternate history. Their guidelines say that they publish “fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art that dwells in the shadows. SQM desires stories and poetry that are thrilling, reflective, and imaginative.” For serial stories, they prefer action-packed work with pulp elements. Their spotlight short story should feature a moon or the moon; for Astraeus-Quarterly, their guidelines say, “Must identify with at least one marginalized group such as race, religion, ability status, gender, and age.” They also publish reviews of adult romance, mystery, or alternate history of novelette to novel length, or of other mediums like films. They welcome translations.
Deadline: 15 March 2019
Length: 100-7,500 words for fiction (see guidelines), up to 100 lines for poetry, 1500-5,000 words for articles
Pay: $0.06/word for drabbles, $0.01-0.03/word for short fiction; $0.25/line for poetry; $35 for non-fiction; $15 for reviews
Details here.

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores
They publish work in science fiction, fantasy, myth, legend, fairy tales, eldritch, in written, podcast, video, and graphic novel story form. They care about character, plot, ideas, and storytelling ability. They accept both serious and humorous work. They accept fiction and fact-based articles, as well as reviews. See guidelines for tropes that are hard sells. They also accept reprints.
Reading period: 21-28 March 2019
Length: Anywhere from 1,000 words up, but shorter pieces will be favored
Pay: $0.06/word for fiction, $0.02-$0.06/word for fact-based work
Details here.

On Spec
­­­­­This Canadian magazine is open for fiction, poetry, and art submissions. They publish science fiction, fantasy, magic realism, horror, and other speculative fiction stories. They do not accept young adult or juvenile fiction. They accept poetry and art year-round – the deadline is for fiction submissions.
Deadline: 31 March 2019
Length: 1,000-6,000 words for fiction, 4-100 lines for poetry
Pay: CAD50 for poetry, CAD50-200 for fiction
Details here.

Sub-Q Magazine
­­­­­This is a market for interactive fiction, sequential art, and interactive poetry. They do not accept prose without interactivity or a detailed plan for interactivity. Their guidelines say, “We have a loose definition of genre. F/SF, horror, mystery, romance, your weird unclassifiable pieces… give us your best shot!

Work that builds people up instead of tearing them down is always a plus. Stories that are critical in nature should punch up, not down. We are happy to consider survivor narratives.

Twine, TADS, Inform, ChoiceScript, StoryLab, custom HTML5, or any other method of telling interactive stories are welcome, so long as they run in modern browsers.

We like beautiful, moving prose, but we also like pulpy fun!” See guidelines for the tropes they will not accept, and what they will give bonus points for. They accept reprints. Currently, all their non-fiction is solicited.
Deadline: 31 March 2019
Length: Up to 5,000 words for fiction
Pay: $0.09/word; $75 for reprints
Details here.

Westerly Magazine
This Australian magazine publishes short stories, poetry, memoir and creative non-fiction, essays and literary criticism. It covers literature and culture throughout the world, but maintains a special emphasis on Australia, particularly Western Australia, and the Asian region.

Deadline: 31 March 2019
Length: Up to 3,500 words for fiction and creative non-fiction; up to 5,000 words for essays; up to five poems; 500-700 words for reviews
Pay: AUD120 for one and AUD150 for two poems; AUD180 for stories and non-fiction; AUD120 for visual art/intro essay; AUD100 for reviews and online publication
Details here.

The Arkansas International
­­­­­This biannual literary journal was launched by the University of Arkansas. They publish short stories, essays, poetry, and translations. Longer works should be self-contained. They publish both established and emerging voices. After they hit their monthly free submissions cap, submissions are charged.
Deadline: 1 April 2019
Length: Up to 8,000 words for prose, up to 5 poems
Pay: $20/page, up to $250
Details here.

Crystal Lake Publishing
­­­­­They are currently open to novella submissions that prominently feature elements of horror and dark fantasy. They ask writers to query if the word limit does not quite fit in the range they want. They do not want stories that feature gratuitous sex, over-the-top violence that serves no narrative purpose, explicit child abuse, animal abuse, rape and/or hate speech.
Deadline: 15 April 2019
Length: 20,000-40,000 words
Pay: $500 advance against royalties
Details here.

Room Magazine
This Canadian feminist magazine publishes work by women (cisgender and transgender), transgender men, Two-Spirit and nonbinary people. They are currently open for stories, poems, creative non-fiction, and art submissions for their open issue.
Deadline: 30 April 2019
Length: Up to 3,500 words for prose, up to 5 poems
Pay: CAD50-150
Details here.

Excalibur 2020: Tales From Beyond Tomorrow Volume 3
This anthology celebrates the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The editors are looking for speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, or horror). Their guidelines say, “The work must have a thematic connection to Japan and/or the Olympics. This could include:

Works set in cities during their Olympic years; for example – Paris 1924, Berlin 1936, the first Tokyo Olympics in 1964, Barcelona 1992, Beijing 2008, London 2012, and so on (We are also willing to accept non-fiction memoirs of Olympic years, depending on the circumstances).

Works of fiction with a theme and setting of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics specifically.

Works mainly based on aspects of Japanese society and culture with a tangential connection to the Olympics.” For writers who have an idea for a story connected to Japan or the Olympics that doesn’t fit any of the points above, the editors are willing to discuss the story over email. They also accept reprints.
Deadline: 31 December 2019
Length: 2,500-10,000 words
Pay: $100
Details here.

Constellary Tales
­­­­­They publish and podcast speculative short fiction – science fiction and fantasy (no horror). Their guidelines say, “Prose can be stylish, but it doesn’t have to be. Characters can be complex, except when a story demands them to be painted with a coarse brush. But a driving narrative is a sine qua non.”
Deadline: Open now
Length: 1,000-3,500 words
Pay: $0.06/word
Details here.


We send you writing jobs.

Sign up and we'll send you 3 companies hiring writers now. Plus, we'll send more companies as we find and review them. All in our free email magazine.

We're the magazine for freelance writers.

We send you companies hiring writers.

Subscribe and we'll send you 3 companies hiring right now.

We'll also send you a guide that gets you started.

We're completely free.

Subscribe now. (It's free.)


About Us

We're dedicated to helping freelance writers succeed. We send you reviews of freelance writing companies, assignments, and articles to help build your writing career. You can view our privacy policy here, and our disclaimer. To get started, simply enter your email address in the form on this page.