10 Literary Journals that Pay Their Writers

Written by Emily Harstone | May 15, 2014

Last Updated: February 29th 2016

Many literary journals do not pay their writers. This is because many are passion projects, they are not for profit, and they are run by a person or a small group of people who love to write and read but do not necessarily have a lot of money. Many of these journals are run by schools with underfunded English departments. I would say that over 75% of journals do not pay their writers.  I have no problem with that.

Below for your reading pleasure are 10 literary journals that pay. They may not be the most prestigious journals (although some of them are), they are not all open  to submissions right now, but all of them do pay their authors.

1. The Threepenny Review

We have reviewed this literary journal before, so you can learn more of the details by reading that review here. The Threepenny Review is one of the most respected print journals out there and they also pay their writers $200 per poem or $400 per short story. You can visit their website here: http://threepennyreview.com/online_submissions/. They are primarily interested in short stories and poems.

2.Flash Fiction Online

Flash Fiction Online is an electronic journal that accepts very few of the flash fiction pieces that they receive. They are only interested in publishing short stories that are between 500 and 1000 words in length. They pay 60 dollars per story. They are open to stories of any genre but have very specific guidelines that you can read on their website here: http://flashfictiononline.com/main/

3. Page & Spine

You can read our full review of Page & Spine here. They are a fairly new market that accepts a wide range of work, from the very good to the unfinished. They have a fairly high acceptance rate. Page & Spine pays its authors $20 per short story or longer poem. They are primarily interested in short stories and poems. You can visit their website here: http://www.pagespineficshowcase.com/submissions.html

4. Glimmer Train

Updated To Add: They are now charging for electronic submissions, unless you declare yourself too poor to afford the fee.

Glimmer Train exclusivity publishes fiction. Out of the 100 short stories listed in the recent edition of Best American Short Stories, 10 first appeared in Glimmer Train Stories, more than in any other publication.  Glimmer Train accepts less than 1 percent of the work submitted to them. They pay over 5 cents a word.  If you are interested in submitting to Glimmer Train please visit their website here: www.glimmertrain.com.

5. The Malahat Review

The Malahat Review is an established and respected print magazine based out of Canada. They purchase first world serial rights and, upon acceptance, pay $40 CAD per published page, plus a one-year subscription. Copyright reverts to the author upon publication. To learn lore visit their website here:  http://www.malahatreview.ca/submission_guidelines.html

6. Shimmer

Shimmer publishes speculative fiction. We have reviewed them before. For more detailed information you can read our original review here. They pay their authors 5 cents a word, with a minimum payment of $10. To learn more, read their submission guidelines here: http://www.shimmerzine.com/guidelines/fiction-guidelines/


AGNI is a respected and established journal. They are published by Boston University. Pay ranges from 1-4.9 cents per word for fiction; $5-$50 for poetry. You can visit their website here:http://www.bu.edu/agni/

8. Frigg

Frigg is an online journal that has been around for a long time, mostly as a non paying market. However, they recently started to pay their writers.  They publish short stories and poetry. They are based out of Seattle and publish a lot of compelling stories and mysterious poems. If your work is accepted you will be paid $50, regardless of length. To learn more visit, their website here: http://www.friggmagazine.com/editors/editors43.htm

9. Confrontation

Confrontation is an established and respected literary journal that publishes prose and poetry. They pay $50-125 for short stories and $25-$75 for poetry. They accept very few submissions. To learn more, visit their website: http://confrontationmagazine.org/

10. The New Yorker

It would be strange if such a list did not mention The New Yorker, which is legendary for how well it pays its writers, among other things. The New Yorker does not release the exact amount they pay on their website, although they pay very well. They are a popular magazine more than a literary  journal, and publication in the New Yorker can greatly help ones reputation as a writer. Often it leads to book deals and many other publications. Of course, because of this, it is very hard to get a piece accepted by the New Yorker. Many famous authors still try for years.  It is easy to submit online and a wonderful opportunity. To learn more read their submission guidelines here: http://www.newyorker.com/contact/contactus

Want to learn about even more literary journals that pay? Read our follow up article 10 (more) Literary Journals That Pay.

Bio: Emily Harstone is the pen name of an author whose work has been published internationally by a number of respected journals. She is a professional submissions adviser. You can follow her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/emilyharstone/