UK litmags great for new writers

UK-based publishers for your poetry, flash fiction, short stories and creative nonfiction

The UK is home to some great literary magazines and online journals. For this month’s list, we looked for publications that welcome new and unpublished writers from around the world, that are not restricted to a particular genre (for example, sci-fi), and that have reasonable response times.

Unless otherwise noted, the publishers on our list don’t charge fees. Some will even pay you! We’ve highlighted the forms accepted in bold – fiction means both flash fiction and short stories. After the first two entries, the list is ordered very roughly by acceptance rate – from high to low.

We didn’t include Litro, Riggwelter, Wildness and Literally Stories since they have appeared on some of our other lists, but they are also great and you should check them out.

 

Note: We are a creative writing school and compile these lists for the benefit of our students. We’re happy to answer questions about our courses but please don’t send us your publishing queries or submissions :). Instead, click on the green links to go to the publication’s website and look for their submissions page. For more great places to submit as well as our best tips on getting published, check out our other lists and resources.

 

Goatshed Press just launched in 2022 and the editors are keen to champion new writers. They plan to publish in print biannually and are currently looking for bold, exciting poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for their first issue (due out summer 2022). They will pay £60 for stories and personal essays over 1000 words and £25 for poems and flash fiction. The editors aim to respond in around a month. Since they reached out to us personally, we put them at the top of the list. You may want to clarify usage rights & copyrights before sending them your work.

Makarelle publishes attractive digital issues quarterly. They are looking for poetry (up to 3 poems, maximum 40 lines each) and fiction and creative nonfiction (up to 2000 words). They do charge a small submissions fee of £3 to cover their operating costs. The fee also enables them to reward the authors selected as the featured entry for each form (poetry, flash fiction, short story and creative nonfiction) with an honorarium of £10. They have four submissions windows, and their next runs from 28 February to 18 March 2022. They aim to respond in around a month. Like Goatshed, they are quite new (2021) and reached out to us, so we’ve also given them a spot at the top of the list.

Impspired, which was founded in 2019, publishes 6 online issues and 3 print anthologies per year. They’re looking for work that “shows care and attention to style,  language and form, and material that has been self-edited so that every word counts”. They prefer unpublished work but will consider previously published pieces. Send in your poetry and fiction (up to 4000 words). The editors tend to respond quickly – often in under a week!

Fiction on the Web is a one-man show and has been publishing short stories online since 1996! The publisher values quirky stories that have “strong plots, strong characters, and an evocative atmosphere” and prefers work that is between 1000 to 10,000 words long. He will consider previously published work. Genre fiction – sci-fi, fantasy, horror, crime – is welcomed.  The publisher aims to respond within a month (and usually succeeds) and will prioritise submissions from patrons and regular commenters.

Idle Ink reveals in the “strange and questionable”. Established in 2017, the magazine features poetry, fiction and essays (as well as art, articles, and reviews) in monthly online issues. Send in your prose of up to 5000 words or up to 3 poems. The editors try to make a decision within 30 days and usually do.

Fairlight Shorts is a weekly online series published by Fairlight Books. They’re looking to showcase fiction characterised by “originality, contemporary themes and superb writing”. They accept everything from flash to long-form fiction (up to 10,000 words). The editors will try to make a decision within 3 months and sometimes take a little longer.

Bandit Fiction publishes poetry (up to 50 lines per poem) and fiction and narrative non-fiction (between 250 and 3500 words) online as a part of their Read More Project. They will consider previously published work. The editors try to make a decision within 30 days but sometimes take a little longer.

En Bloc, established in 2021, publishes quarterly in print and digital formats. They’re looking for great poetry and fiction and don’t have any particular style or word count limitations. They pay £35 per printed page as the work appears in the magazine. They don’t respond to all submissions so if you haven’t heard anything within a couple of months, assume your work was rejected.

Truffle is looking for “clever, happy, funny and entertaining fiction” of up to 2000 words for their online magazine. The editors typically respond within a couple of months and tend to accept faster than they reject. If you’re in a hurry, you can pay £5 to hear back within 3 days.

Fictive Dream has been publishing stories online since 2016. They’re looking for fiction of between 500 and 2,500 words with “a contemporary feel that gives an insight into the human condition” to feature on their website. They aim to respond within a month and usually do.

Sepia was established in 2020 and publishes attractive online editions several times per year. You can send in your poetry (maximum 5 poems), fiction and creative nonfiction of up to 8,000 words. They’re open to submissions year-round and most of the time are able to get back to you within their target response time of 3 months.

Shooter has been publishing two themed print issues per year as well as running regular contests since 2017. You can send in poetry (up to 3 poems), short stories and creative non-fiction of between 2,000 to 6,000 words (so no flash). They pay £25 per story and £5 per poem upon publication. The submission deadline for their next issue on the theme of Out West (anything to do with western places and westward migration) is 9 May 2022. They generally send acceptances within a couple of weeks after the deadline; rejections may take longer.

Popshot Quarterly has been turning out high-quality print and digital editions since 2008. They accept poetry (between 12 and 40 lines) and fiction (between 100 and 3,000 words). All of their issues are themed. The deadline for their next issue on the theme of Joy is 1 March 2022. They don’t respond to all submissions – if you haven’t heard within 2 or 3 months, then you should assume it was a no.

12 February 2022

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