It can be intimidating sending out your writing for the first time (or even the 10th time), so this month we decided to focus on literary journals and online magazines that are extra friendly to new and unpublished writers. Some will even pay you! In order to make our list, journals also had to accept flash fiction, short stories, poetry and creative nonfiction; charge no fees; accept simultaneous submissions; and respond with a yea or a nay within a reasonable timeframe. We also made an effort to pick journals that haven’t appeared on one of our previous lists so make sure to check our other suggestions of great places to submit.
Crack the Spine doesn’t care if your work is funny or sad as long as it makes them react. Solid writing, that’s what they’re after. They welcome stories of between 100 and 5000 words, nonfiction of up to 3000 words, and poetry (no stated limits for length or number of poems). You can generally expect a response in under 30 days.
New Reader Magazine just launched last year and they pride themselves on their international scope. Submit a minimum of 3 poems, fiction over 500 words and nonfiction over 1500 words. There is no maximum word limit! They’re also willing to publish excerpts from longer unpublished pieces. And they’ll pay you! They ask for around 3 months to respond but generally get back within 2.
Longleaf Review is interested in work that “encapsulates all it means to be human, with a particular interest in outsider perspectives”. Send in your flash fiction (300 to 1000 words), stories (1500 to 3000 words), creative nonfiction (less than 500 words or between 1500–3000) and poetry (1 to 5 poems) at the beginning of each month. Their submissions close once they reach their monthly quota. They ask for up to 6 months to make a decision but they often respond within a month.
Literary Orphans wants to give your work a loving home. Their taste is wide-ranging–everything from David Sedaris to Hemingway, but they favour pieces with purpose, drive, daring. Send in your stories (up to 2000 words), your nonfiction (up to 5000 words) or your poetry (3 pieces). They generally respond in under 2 months.
Halfway Down the Stairs publishes quarterly themed issues. They’re currently reading for their June issue on the theme of Darkness and Light. To be considered, send in your relevant stories (of up to 5000 words), creative nonfiction (up to 3000 words) and poems (up to 3 of 500 words or less) by May 1. The theme for their September issue is Trouble. They try to make a decision within a month, and response times of a couple of weeks are not uncommon.
The Magnolia Review reads year-round for their twice-yearly online magazine and they nominate for the Pushcart Prize. They accept fiction (flash and longer stories), creative nonfiction and poetry. No stated word or line limits so you have to use your best judgement. They generally give you an answer within a couple of weeks.
Foliate Oak loves quirky writing that makes sense. They have a preference for flash, but are open to stories and creative nonfiction under 2700 words. As for poems, they like them understandable and non-rhyming. They usually give you an answer within a couple of months.
Wilderness House Literary Review publishes a quarterly online magazine. They prefer fiction and creative nonfiction that’s on the shorter side–flash or stories of not more than 3000 words. For poetry submissions, on the other hand, they have no stated limits. They’ll generally give you an answer within a couple of months and often send personalised responses.
Litbreak Magazine values diversity and craft for their monthly online publication. Send in your fiction–everything from flash to novel excerpts (suggested limit: 10K words), creative nonfiction (suggested limit: 1500 words) and poems (up to five). They nominate for the Pushcart Prize–always a plus. In general, they accept fast (often within a couple of weeks) and reject very slow.
Thank you so much! I feel like there’s some hope 😉
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Thanks a tonne for this. Litbreak Magazine is the first magazine that I submitted to, and my work got accepted. 🙂 It is forthcoming in April 2020.
Just a question, please, regarding submissions to a magazine. This one is called “Reminisce” , and I’ve enjoyed it for years – and a subscription for years-ahead.
So I submitted a brief article, and that was acknowledged at mid-August of 2019. Not a single word since then , despite several inquiries by email and even one letter directly to the Editorial staff. Is this anything near ‘normal’ in magazine publishing ? And , can I go ahead and submit that same article to other places ? Thanks .
Hi John, Sorry to hear that, but in this case, it sounds like you dodged a bullet – we wouldn’t ever recommend submitting to a magazine with licensing terms like Reminisce’s:
“By submitting material to us, you grant RDA Enthusiast Brands, LLC, its affiliates, partners and licensees worldwide use of the material without time limitation, including the right to use your name and city/state/province in connection with any such use. We reserve the right to modify, reproduce and distribute your material in any medium (now or hereafter existing) and in any manner or appropriate place, including but not limited to magazines, promotional merchandise, and marketing and other related materials.”
Our suggestion is to write to them formally withdrawing your submission and begin sending your work elsewhere.
As to your larger question, response times of a year or more are not unusual. The longest we’ve heard of is 7 years! For our lists, we focus on magazines that have a good track record of getting back within a few months. You might check out our post on how to decide where to submit your work – https://internationalwriterscollective.com/deciding-where-to-submit/ and the one on 5 tips for getting published – https://internationalwriterscollective.com/5-tips-getting-published. Good luck!
Thank you for sharing this list!
Would you be interested in adding Auroras & Blossoms to it? Launched in 2019, Auroras & Blossoms is dedicated to promoting positive, uplifting, and inspirational art; and giving artists of all levels a platform where they can showcase their work and build their publishing credits. We publish poetry / poetry-graphy, short stories, six-word stories, paintings, drawings, and photography.
We accept poetry from adults and 13-16 year-old writers via guardians / parents. We are also a family friendly platform and want no swear words, dirty words, politics or erotica.
Thanks for some great leads. As a poet struggling like the rest of everybody out there to get published for all the many reasons, I appreciate any help I can get. Having said that I’d like to offer up my own lead or tip pertaining to a good online publisher, Underwood Press. From what I’ve been able to ascertain it’s a relatively small press, but it puts out 6 impressive journals covering different genres and styles as well as most topics. They’re open to most forms and publish very diverse literature i.e. Poetry, Short Stories, Fiction, Flash or otherwise, and will even consider short plays. They state that the prime requirement for acceptance is simply good writing. It is a terrific place for first time and emerging writers right along with established ones. They really don’t pay much attention to credentials, they focus on the writing, as it should be. I know that this is the case as I have been published there and have become a reviewer for this publisher. I hope this gives some authors out there another avenue to share their work. I believe that all journals are open for submissions, so SUBMIT!
Thanks for putting together this list! Just an FYI that as of 8/4/2021:
*CRACK THE SPINE IS CLOSED FOR SUBMISSIONS INDEFINITELY*
Literary Orphans: There are presently no open calls for submissions.
Trust me! This is an amazing list of sites to get your writing published. And, this reminds me of how the electronic publishing services evolved and how did it led to the popularity of pre-print services.
Thus, it may be any printed format that you need, it’s quite possible to get the typesetting services done in a short while using technology in this digital era.
But at the same time, we must also be cautious and pick a reputed and Apple-approved ebook conversion house to work with typesetting services and create books in EPUB format. Choose those who could provide people across the world with required top-notch services like pre-pressing, typesetting, and bespoke solutions at a price comparatively less than the rest in the market.
Once again, Thanks a lot for this astounding piece of writing. At the same time, new writers should also realize that getting your writing digitalized is now sung as a bug in a rug.
We want to read your stories!
I am establishing a micro-publishers called goatshedpress. We are going to be publishing high-quality, cutting edge chapbooks of collected writing. I would love to read your short stories, flash fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Contributors will receive free copies to sell/distribute, and an author bio both in the chapbook and on our website (still in development).
Email your writing to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try my best to get back to you in under two weeks. Look forward to reading your work!
Hello, would it be possible to have our call for submissions added to your listing? This is the link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdCaKkrsCJnomVkmYmWJRGdol6aGvK1BGuVgOvDGDaX0FeZMw/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0. Thank you for considering.