Obviously we’d all prefer an acceptance, but if your work is rejected, it is so helpful to receive some feedback on why and some tips on how to improve. Here are seven literary journals that for a small fee will give you just that. The journal gets some dough to fund their operations. You get some input that can increase your chances of an acceptance next time around. Win-win!
Most of the journals on our list accept simultaneous submissions and also offer the option to submit for free. Many are open to genre fiction. See their websites for details of what they’re looking for and, as always, try to read the journal before submitting to see if your work is a good fit.
- Spank the Carp – accepts flash fiction (800 words or less), short stories (5,000 words or less) and poetry. They’re now also accepting creative non-fiction (5,000 words or less). For $4, they’ll give you an answer and some feedback within 2 weeks. For regular submissions, they ask for 2 months to make a decision but sometimes take longer. They publish monthly online.
- Typehouse Magazine – For $7, they’ll give you feedback on a fiction or non-fiction piece of up to 5,000 words (so flash fiction too) and for $6 you can get feedback on 2 poems (you can submit up to 6 and choose which ones you want feedback on). Their response time is generally under a month for both paid and free submissions. They publish in PDF and print form 3 times per year and offer token payment.
- Third Point Press – You can submit up to 5 poems, 3 flash pieces (each of which should not exceed 1,000 words) or a short story of up to 3,500 words. For $7, they’ll provide you with some thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of your submission. They generally respond in less than a month. You can also submit for free or pay $5 for a quicker turn around. They publish online only and have set reading periods for each issue.
- Tahoma Literary Review – accepts fiction (everything from flash to novel excerpts up to 10,000 words), nonfiction and poetry. They do charge submissions fees ($4 for poetry and flash; $5 for short stories and nonfiction), but for only $2 more they’ll provide you with some short but actionable feedback (the feedback option is not available for poetry). If your work is accepted, they pay $50 for flash prose and short poems; $125 for longer prose and poems. They ask for 3 months to respond but sometimes take longer.
- Split Lip Magazine – accepts flash fiction, short stories (up to 5000 words), memoir (up to 2000 words) and poetry (only 1 poem per submission) for their monthly online magazine and annual print version. For $12, they’ll give you a paragraph of feedback on a fiction submission of up to 2500 words. If you don’t want feedback, you can submit for free in December, February, April, June, August, and October. They pay their authors $50 for web publication and $5 per page for print (this could change). They ask for 6 to 8 weeks to respond, but they often get back in fewer.
- Fiction Pool – You can submit your flash fiction (up to 3 pieces of under 1000 words), short stories (up to 3000 words) and poems (up to 5), and in return for any donation to cover their operating costs, they will provide you with a paragraph of feedback. They publish new work every few weeks on their website. Allow 30 days for a response. No simultaneous submissions.
- Tinder Box Poetry Journal – You can submit 3 to 4 poems and for $5 they’ll provide you with some feedback. They pay $15 per accepted submission and nominate for the Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, and Best of the Net. They ask for at least 3 months to respond but sometimes take longer.