25 Literary Journals That Publish Genre Writing

Written by Emily Harstone | January 23, 2017

Most literary journals are interested in literary work, by which they mean, not genre work. The dictionary definition of genre is “a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.”

However, in the context of writing, genre can refer to poetry, prose or nonfiction in terms of form. Or it can be a subject matter classification referring to science fiction, romance, mystery, or various other established types of stories.

Most literary journals assume that you will not submit genre work to them, because many don’t consider it to be literary. This leaves many genre writers with fewer options in terms of short story and poetry publication. However, there are journals that just publish genre work.

The majority of these focus on science fiction and mystery. But there are also horror, western, romance, fantasy, thriller, and other genre publishers on this list. We tried to focus on literary journals that specialized, not ones that were open to every genre in the book.

Not all of these literary journals are currently open to submissions but most are. A link to their website or our full review of the publisher is embedded in their name. The genres they accept are mentioned in the brief description.

Unlike most literary journals, the majority of these pay.

The Five-Two
Always open to submissions, this online journal publishes crime poetry.

Romance Magazine
They publish romance short stories, but not erotica. They are open to most subgenres of romance and they pay based on royalties.

Escape Pod
An audio science fiction journal that pays.

The Western Online
The Western Online is dedicated to everything Western. The type of story most likely to be published there is the traditional post-Civil War Western.

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
This paying and competitive magazine publishes short stories and novellas in the mystery genre.

Azimov’s Science Fiction
Stories in Asimov’s have won 54 Hugos and 25 Nebula awards. They pay well.

Betty Fedora
Betty Fedora is a feminist crime fiction magazine that publishes fiction and nonfiction. They publish great work in a wide variety of subgenres from noir to thriller.

Analog
A respected science fiction journal that publishes everything from short stories to novellas. They pay well.

Cowboy Jamboree
They publish short fiction and flash fiction in the western genre.

Suspense Magazine
All Stories must be in the suspense/thriller/mystery genre.

Apex
Apex is a beautiful publication that publishes science fiction, fantasy, and horror. They pay 6 cents a word for everything up to 7,500 words in length.

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
They publish 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
They have a very low acceptance rates, they pay professional rates, and most importantly, they publish very good stories in the science fiction genre.

Crimson Streets
They publish various genres (such as noir) in the pulp style. They pay.

The Dark
They have a very quick response time, sometimes within a day, but often within two weeks. They focus on publishing dark science fiction, surrealism, magic realism, and fiction with elements of the fantastic mixed in.

Gamut
Gamut is an online magazine of neo-noir: speculative fiction with a literary bent. They publish fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. They pay professional rates.

Mystery Weekly Magazine
Mystery Weekly Magazine presents crime and mystery short stories by some of the world’s best established and emerging mystery writers. They run the gamut from cozy to hardboiled fiction. They pay their writers.

Stinkwaves Magaizine
They publish mostly action adventure, fantasy and science fiction stories aimed at young adults.

Lightspeed
Lightspeed is an established monthly electronic publisher of science fiction and fantasy writing. Many of the works that have been published there have gone on to be nominated for prestigious genre awards, including the Hugo. They pay all of their authors.

Planetary Stories
Planetary Stories is dedicated to publishing space adventure fiction of the type a pulp magazine reader of the 1940s would find in Thrilling Wonder Stories, Astonishing Stories, Super Science — and especially in the legendary Planet Stories.

Clarkesworld Magazine
They publish science fiction and fantasy works in print and eMagazine editions. They are highly respected. They pay professional rates.

Occult Detective Quarterly
Occult Detective Quarterly is devoted to those intrepid investigators who investigate the weird, exotic and bizarre. They publish fiction and nonfiction and they pay.

Adromeda Spaceways
They accept science fiction, fantasy and supernatural horror works up to 10,000 words in length. They accept poetry and non-fiction works as well. They pay all their authors.

Spinetinger Magazine
Spinetingler publishes stories that could, within the broadest definitions of genre possible, be categorized as crime, mystery, thriller, suspense or horror. They offer token payments.

Shimmer
Shimmer is an online journal that specializes in publishing speculative fiction. They largely publish contemporary fantasy short stories, although they are also open to science fiction and horror.