It’s maddening: you spend ages revising your story until its perfect (or until you can’t stand it anymore, whichever comes first), then you finally submit it and have to wait another couple of lifetimes to hear if it’s accepted. Well no more. Here are five journals that won’t keep you in suspense. This month we’ve focused on outlets for short stories, but there’s a little something for everyone on this list (poets and flash fictionists, you can also check out our lists specifically for you).
1. Eunoia Review also topped our poetry list. For good reason: they aim to respond within 24 hours. Can’t beat that! More reasons to love them: they have a generous maximum word count—you can submit up to 15,000 words as one single long story or several shorts—and they will accept reprints if you have the rights to your work.
2. Gone Lawn is looking for the innovative, the absurd, the charmingly quirky. And they have no maximum word count. Prose poetry and flash fiction also welcome. They generally respond within a week.
3. Occulum is another journal that leans towards the unusual. They accept stories of up to 3,000 words, plus poetry, flash fiction, and nonfiction. They aim to respond within 30 days, but most submitters get an answer within 10.
4. Five on the Fifth publishes five short stories on the fifth of every month (we like fives). Their word limit is 5,000, but otherwise, they’re open to stories of all kinds, including sci-fi, fantasy, horror and nonfiction. You’ll also find them on our flash fiction list. Their official turnaround is 30 days, but they usually respond within 10.
5. Soft Cartel likes experimental, rule-breaking fiction that can be read comfortably in one sitting (they have no listed word limits). You can also send in your poetry and nonfiction. They were set up to showcase the work of emerging writers, and they generally respond within a week and often with a personal response.