As it says in the name, literary journals and magazines typically publish literary work, not genre pieces. So if you are writing something similar to a specific form, style, or subject matter, your publishing opportunities can be limited.
And this all comes down to the fact that most presses don’t believe that genre work has any literary merit. (Ouch, right?) Thankfully, not all literary journals and magazines think this way, and some only accept genre writing.
Not all of these literary journals are currently open to submissions. Most of these publishers will pay you for your efforts too.
The Literary Journals and Magazines that Accept Genre Work
You can submit your genre pieces to the following literary journals and magazines:
The Five-Two is an online journal that publishes crime poetry. They are always open to submissions.
The Copperfield Review is a literary journal for writers of historical fiction. They pay all their authors.
Lackington’s is a speculative fiction magazine that focuses on different themes in each issue. They pay their writers and are currently reading work on the Archives theme.
Escape Pod is an audio science fiction journal that pays.
PodCastle is a fantasy audio journal from the makers of Escape Pod. They, too, pay their contributors.
PseudoPod is a horror audio journal by the publishers of Escape Pod. They pay. They currently have an open call for reprints of horror fiction that was published or will be published in anthologies and collections in 2020.
Cast of Wonders is a young adult (YA) short fiction market that publishes flash fiction and short stories up to 6,000 words in length. Also founded by the makers of Escape Pod, they publish science fiction, fantasy, and horror primarily. The press publishes reprints and pays it’s writers. Their submissions period is open throughout July to young authors only.
EnLighten Magazine is a publication for speculative poetry. They accept poetry, including straight horror, preferably 100 lines or fewer, and offer token pay.
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine is a paying and competitive magazine that publishes short stories and novellas in the mystery genre.
Mystery Tribune is an online magazine that publishes original mysteries as well as interviews and articles about mysteries.
Close to the Bone is a literary journal that focuses on regularly publishing gritty fiction about crime. They also consider western, science fiction and fantasy stories, as long as they are gritty.
Asimov’s Science Fiction publishes science fiction. Many of their stories have won many Hugo and Nebula awards. They also pay well.
Analog is a respected science fiction journal that publishes everything from short stories to novellas. They pay well.
Cowboy Jamboree publishes short fiction and flash fiction in the western genre, though not traditional western – they describe themselves as a “Grit-lit magazine focused on the rural working class and revisionist western writing.” They are reading for a John Prine themed issue until August 7, 2020. The press is also accepting un-themed submissions.
Suspense Magazine only publishes stories in the suspense, thriller, mystery, and horror genres.
Frontier Tales publishes western and historical short fiction.
Apex Magazine publishes science fiction, fantasy, and horror. They also pay their writers.
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine publishes every kind of mystery short story: the psychological suspense tale, the deductive puzzle, the private eye case – the gamut of crime and detection, from the realistic to the more imaginative.
Strange Horizons has very low acceptance rates and publishes exceptional stories in the science fiction genre. And if you do get selected, they pay professional rates.
The Dark focuses on publishing dark fantasy and horror. The publisher has a quick response time and pays good rates.
Lightspeed is an established monthly electronic publisher of science fiction and fantasy writing. Many of their stories are nominated for prestigious genre awards, including the Hugo. They pay their authors.
The Dark City is a crime and mystery magazine that pays its authors.
Clarkesworld Magazine publishes print and online versions of science fiction and fantasy works. They are highly-respected and pay professional rates.
Augur Magazine wants “dream-touched realism, slipstream, fabulism, magical realism and, for lack of a better descriptor, “literary” speculative fiction.” They accept both YA and adult pieces and pay professional rates.
Andromeda Spaceways accepts science fiction, fantasy, and supernatural horror works up to 10,000 words in length. They accept poetry and nonfiction works as well, and pay all of their authors.
Aphelion Webzine publishes science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
Mystery Weekly Magazine is an online magazine that publishes mystery stories monthly. They do not like excessive profanity or violence, and the magazine pays its contributors.
Eye to the Telescope is a quarterly publication for speculative poetry in the fantasy, science fiction, and horror genres. They pay and are currently accepting submissions for the ‘Cat People’ theme until September 15, 2020.
Another Realm is a free publication that focuses on science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
MYSTIQUE is a themed anthology series searching for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender erotic romance with science-fiction and fantasy elements. This opportunity is for authors and readers over 18 only. Also, see open calls in other genres by the publisher, Aurealia Leo.
Anthema publishes speculative fiction (including fantasy and science fiction) by queer and two-spirit persons of color and Indigenous/Aboriginal writers. They pay their contributors.
Dark Fire is an online horror magazine, geared towards adults.
Alcyone is a print and electronic press that publishes anything speculative, including fantasy and science-fiction, in all its forms.
Youth Imagination publpublishes short fiction written by teen and adult authors. They accept most fiction genres, including fantasy of all kinds, sci-fi, literary, action-adventure, or suspense, and pay their writers.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies publishes “literary adventure fantasy,” or stories with a secondary-world setting and some fantasy feel, but written with a literary approach. They pay professional rates.
The Dark Sire publishes poetry and fiction in the genres of fantasy, horror, and Gothic.
The Drabblecast is an online journal of speculative fiction that publishes its content as a podcast.
Electric Spec pays authors to publish speculative short stories.
Kzine is a genre magazine for the Kindle, with a print option. They focus on publishing science fiction, horror, fantasy, and crime, and offer a token payment.
Ink & Sword publishes clean fiction (think PG), in a variety of genres.
The Future Fire publishes speculative short stories and poetry. They pay token rates.
The Fairy Tale Review publishes prose, poetry, art, nonfiction, drama, and comics about or inspired by fairy tales.
Mirror Dance publishes a variety of fantasy fiction and poetry.
Three Crows Magazine publishes dark and weird fantasy, horror, and sci-fiction, with complex characters that make morally ambiguous decisions. They will also pay you.
Teleport Magazine publishes short fiction, reviews, and articles in fantasy, science fiction, and horror.
Sirus Science Fiction publishes short stories in the neo-classical science fiction tradition.
As always, good luck to those of you who choose to submit! I hope that your poem or story gets accepted at one of these literary journals and magazines.
If you do get accepted, please let me know! I’d love to read your work and pass it along to a friend.
Stay safe, everyone.
Until next time.