Thirty Literary Journals That Pay Their Authors

Written by Emily Harstone | October 10, 2016

“It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.” W.H. Auden

As someone who makes their living writing about writing and publishing, I can attest to how truthful Auden’s quote is. It is hard making a living as a writer, but it is even harder making a living as a poet or an author of short fiction.

Many literary journals do not pay their writers. This is because most are passion projects, they are not for profit, or they are run by an individual 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 literary journals do not pay their writers.  I have no problem with that. But occasionally it is nice to be paid.

For your reading pleasure are 30 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. Some pay well and others pay a token amount.

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. They are primarily interested in short stories and poems.

2. Escape Pod

Escape Pod publishes all of its stories in audio and text formats. They are a science fiction market but as they say in their submission guidelines “our mandate is fun.” They allow some flexibility to exist within the genre and they have published the occasional steampunk or superhero tale. But they are not interested in fantasy, magic realism, or stories that contain more than a tinge of horror. They pay 100 dollars for reprints and more for original work. Read our full review here.

3.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.

4. 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.

5. Clarksworld

Clarkesworld Magazine is a Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning science fiction and fantasy magazine that publishes short stories, interviews, articles and audio fiction on a monthly basis. They pay very well. Read our full review here.

6. Glimmer Train

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

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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. The Capilano Review

A print literary journal based out of Canada they publish poetry and prose. Contributors are paid $50 per published page to a maximum of $150. To learn more visit their website here.

10. Breath and Shadows

They publish only authors who have disabilities, although they define that term broadly. The pay scale is $5 – $15 for poetry, $15 – $25 for fiction, and $15 – $25 for nonfiction. To learn more visit their website here.

11. Contrary Magazine

Contrary Magazine publishes short stories, flash fiction, essays, and poetry. They pay $20 per author per issue, length of the piece does not factor into the payment. To learn more, visit their website here.

12. Workers Write!

They focus on publishing working class literature. They want to collect the stories and poems about jobs that define who we are as individuals and communities. They pay between $5 and $50, depending on length and rights. To learn more or to submit, visit their website here

13. Wherewithal

They publish poetry. They offer a token payment of $10 per poem. To learn more, visit their website here.

14. Upstreet

A respected literary journal. They offer between $50 and $150 for poems, and between $50 and $250 for short stories or essays. If your work is accepted you will also receive a contributor copy.  Learn more here.

15. The Sun

A wonderful advertisement free magazine. They pay from $300 to $2,000 for essays and interviews, $300 to $1,500 for fiction, and $100 to $200 for poetry. They also give contributors a complimentary one-year subscription to The Sun. Learn more here.

16. THELMA

A literary journal that pays $25 for short stories, $10 for flash fiction and poetry. To learn more, visit their website here.

17. Qu

Qu, the literary journal of Queens Collage pays $100 per prose piece, $50 per poem. To learn more visit their website.

18. Poetry

Poetry Magazine was founded in Chicago by Harriet Monroe in 1912. The magazine established a reputation early on by publishing many important poems of T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, and many others. They pay a minimum of 300 dollars per poem. You can visit their website here.

19. Spark

Spark: A Creative Anthology offers contributors 2¢ per word or $20 per work for unpublished writing. They publish poetry and short stories.  Visit their website here.

7. AGNI

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.

20. The Bennington Review

The Bennington Review has recently been re-founded. They publish two print issues a year and they pay their writers. Prose writers receive up to 200 dollars, poetry writers are paid 20 dollars per poem. To learn more visit their website here.

21. Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine

Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine is one of the better-paying markets there is out there, for science fiction content. This science fiction magazine predominantly favors character-oriented short stories and poetry. They pay up to a thousand dollars for fiction. You can visit their website here.

22. Cricket Media’s Literary Journals
Their flagship publication billed as “The New Yorker for Kids” publishes poetry and fiction aimed at 9-14 year olds. Read our full review here. However, they also have three other magazines called Babybug (for children 6 months to 3 years), Ladybug (3-6 years), Spider (6-9 years), and Cicada (for ages 14 and up). You can see their submission guidelines here. They pay well.

23. 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 here.

24. One Teen Story
A literary journal that publishes one short story for teens a month. They have published a variety of bestselling authors and they have a good base of subscribers. They pay 500 dollars. Read our full review of them here.

25. 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.

26. The Wanderer

The Wanderer is an online poetry journal, launched in April 2016 as a weekly feature in Harlot Magazine. Now, as Harlot has evolved into a monthly e-zine, The Wanderer has also evolved into a new online magazine, distinct from Harlot. They pay 25 dollars per poem. Read our review here.

27. One Story

One Story publishes one short story every three weeks. They have a print and e-versions of the story that they publish. Often the published story is accompanied by an interview with the author of the story. They pay 500 per story. To learn more read our review here.

28. The Forge

They pay between 25 and 50 dollars for non fiction and fiction. Learn more at their website here.

29. Grain Magazine

Published four times per year, Grain Magazine is an internationally acclaimed literary journal that publishes engaging, surprising, eclectic, and challenging writing and art by Canadian and international writers and artists. They pay 25 dollars minimum 250 maximum. Learn more here.

30. The Paris Review

This very respected print journal only accepts submissions via the post. To learn more visit their website here.


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/