Where to submit mystery, thriller and crime stories

Looking for a publisher for your mystery, thriller, or crime stories? Consider these magazines and journals–there’s a home for everything from gritty crime to cosy mystery. A few even accept poetry and essays (see bold text). And many of them will pay you!

Unless otherwise noted, the magazines on our list don’t charge reading fees and are open to simultaneous submissions.

Note: We are a creative writing school and compile these lists for the benefit of our students. Please don’t send us your publishing queries or submissions :). Click on the titles to go to the publication’s website and look for their submissions page.

 

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine was established in 1941. They publish 6 times per year in print and digital editions and feature stories from emerging writers alongside established names. You can submit work from 250 words to 20,000 but 2500-8000 words is their preferred range. They’re looking for original fiction but will consider reprints not published in the United States. Their rates for original stories are from 5 to 8 cents (US) per word. The editors ask for 3 months to make a decision but often respond sooner.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine is a sister publication to Ellery Queen and has been going since 1956. They produce 6 print and digital editions per year and accept everything from short-shorts to novellas (but prefer stories under 12,000 words). They’re looking for original fiction but will consider reprints not published in the United States. Their rates for original stories are from 5 to 8 cents (US) per word. Be prepared to wait a year or more for an answer.

PULP Literature embraces genre fiction in all its forms, including but not limited to crime, mystery, thriller, and suspense. Their quarterly book-length magazine (produced in print and digital editions) features short stories, novellas, novel and graphic novel excerpts, and graphic shorts. They want entertaining, accessible stories of up to 20,000 words (stories of under 5000 words have a better chance of being accepted). They also accept poetry–you can send in a maximum of three poems, totalling no more than five pages. The editors may not respond to every submission so if you haven’t heard back after 90 days assume they weren’t interested. They pay 5 to 8 cents (US) per word for short stories (to 7000 words) with adjusted pay scales for longer works. Payment for poetry ranges from $25 to $50. They accept a limited number of reprints at rates up to 50% of first publication rates.

Mystery Weekly Magazine is actually published monthly, in print and digital editions. They’re looking for stories of between 2500 and 7500 words that span every subgenre of mystery. The editors try to make a decision within 45 days and often respond in fewer. They pay 2 cents (US) per word for accepted stories.

Tough publishes online 3 times per month. Send in your crime-themed essays, short stories and self-contained novel excerpts of between 1500 words and 7500 words. They are particularly interested in stories with rural settings and those that include weird or occult elements. They do consider reprints of stories that have not appeared anywhere else online. Payment is $50 (US) per accepted piece, $25 for reprints. The editors typically respond within 3 months.

All Due Respect Magazine wants stories about crime from the perspective of criminals. Or stories about transgression from the perspective of transgressors–the story doesn’t have to include law-breaking. They publish one story a month online and an annual print anthology featuring stories from that year. They ask for 6 weeks to make a decision and often respond in fewer. They pay $25 (US) per story.

The Dark City: Crime & Mystery Magazine publishes quarterly in print and digital formats. They are looking for stories in the range of 1000 to 7500 words. They don’t look kindly on simultaneous submissions but typically respond in under 3 months. They pay writers honorariums of $25 (US) upon publication.

Murderous Ink Press has just launched a quarterly magazine-style anthology for crime fiction. The issues are loosely focused around a theme with at least one anything goes issue per year. They’re looking for stories between 1000 and 10,000 words. They have three submissions windows per year and pay £2 (GB) per 1000 words upon acceptance. Typical response time is around 3 months. Simultaneous submissions are OK if you limit to one other outlet and let them know upfront.

Mystery Tribune publishes daily flash fiction, essays and short stories all year round on their website and they produce a quarterly magazine in print and digital editions. They have no set word limits but prefer stories and essays between 3000 and 6000 words for the quarterly. They aim to respond within 3 months but often take longer. Writers whose work is selected for the quarterly will be paid a small honorarium.

Suspense Magazine was founded for new writers looking to publish in the mystery, suspense, thriller and horror genres. They accept short stories (including reprints!) of up to 5000 words for their monthly online publication. They will only respond if they accept your story which can take up to 9 months. Very suspenseful indeed!

Close to the Bone Magazine is always looking for gritty crime and mystery stories and poetry. They are very open to emerging writers and publish short stories between 500 and 5000 words twice a week on their website and poetry monthly (submit 4 or more poems). They typically respond in under a month.

Shotgun Honey publishes crime, noir, and hard-boiled flash fiction of 700 words max on their website. They typically respond within 3 or 4 months.

4 March 2021

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