12 Short Story Publishers that Pay $1,000 or More

The following is a list of publishers that pay $1,000 for short stories. Included in this list is a variety of types of publications, including literary journals, magazines, and eBook publishers. Some of the publishers pay more than $1,000, some occasionally pay less, but all of them pay $1,000 for at least some of the stories they publish.

You’ll notice this list is dominated by publishers of science fiction and fantasy. This is in no small part thanks to the efforts of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which works hard to ensure writers are paid fairly.

1. Heroes and Heartbreakers is an imprint of the major publishing house MacMillan. They accept short stories 15k-30k words in length. While the upper limit of that length is veering into novel territory, they do pay a $1,000 to $2,000 advance, depending on length, against a 25% royalty offer. To learn more, read their submission guidelines.

2. Fantasy and Science Fiction is one of the major magazines of the genre. They pay 7-12 cents a word, up to 25,000 words. That adds up to a possible $3,000 payment.  They want stories that appeal to “all fantasy and science fiction readers.” They are particularly interested in recieving more submissions of humorous stories. To learn more, read their submission guidelines.

3. While not exactly a short story publisher, Choice of Games offers generous payments to authors for writing interactive fiction. Established authors with previous publications can apply to write for them. They pay $500 for an outline, $1,000 for a first chapter, and another $1,000 when they have accepted the first 10,000 words of a story. That adds up to $2,000 for the first 10,000 words. They also have a royalty option. If you’re not an established author, they may still accept your for publication – offering a 25% royalties in lieu of an advance. To learn more, read their submission guidelines.

4. Cicada Magazine is a young adult magazine with a largely teen audience. Their editor says “There’s room in the world for your dark weird truths.” They pay $0.25 a word, up to 9,000 words, meaning a maximum pay of $2,250. Submission Guidelines.

5. Cricket Magazine is a young reader’s magazine, targeting ages 9-14. They pay $0.25 a word. Most of their are between 1,200 and 1,800 words. However, they occasionally serialize stories up to 6,000 words. Submission Guidelines.

6. Tor is a preeminent speculative fiction. They  pay $2,000 for the first 10,000 words. They define “speculative fiction” broadly. Fantasy, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and alternative histories fit in their guidelines. Submission Guidelines.

7. The Sun is a beautiful, ad free, magazine that publishes writing with a literary bent. According to their website, “The Sun is an independent, ad-free monthly magazine that for forty years has used words and photographs to evoke the splendor and heartache of being human.” They pay up to $1,500 for fiction. Submission Guidelines.

8. Clarkesworld is a science fiction magazine that has won numerous awards, including 3 Hugo Awards. They  pay $0.10 a word for the first 5,000 words, and $.08 cents each word after that. They have a maximum of 16,000 words. That means a maximum total payment of up to $1,380. Submission guidelines.

9. Harper’s Magazine is “the oldest general-interest monthly in America.” They typically publish though-provoking articles about contemporary issues. They also accept unsolicited fiction submissions. They’ve published many famous writers, including Jonathan Franze, Annie Dillard, and David Foster Wallace. While they don’t publish their rates, expect them to be very good. Submission Guidelines.

10. The New Yorker is possibly the most profitable magazine in the world. They have a huge and loyal readership. Their fiction has been a staple of the American literary scene for many decades. They accept unsolicited submissions of short stories. Publication by them is nearly impossible – but it does happen, and it can launch your career. Submission Guidelines.

11. Asimov’s Science Fiction is a well established publisher of science fiction. They’ve won 58 Hugo awards and 28 Nebular awards. They pay ~8 cents a word for stories up to 20,000 words. That works out to a maximum of $1,600 per story. Submission Guidelines.

12. Analog is a magazine of science fiction and fact. They pay 8-10 cents a word up to 7,500 words, and 8.5 cents a word for longer stories. They publish “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.” To learn more, read their submission guidelines.

For even more short story publishers, check out 19 Short Story Publishers that Pay $500+ Per Story.


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