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Strange Literary Magazines That You Should Submit To

Because we all write weird stuff, that’s why we go here.

By Featured, Literature 203

 

Illustration by Bei Lin

As we approach Holiday Break, it’s the perfect time to craft a portfolio for the winter/spring writing season. As many of us writers know, it’s difficult to find magazines that accept genre work, or anything that digresses from “real life.” So, here are five literary magazines that accept work beyond “literary” fiction. And don’t worry, they pay.

 

ASIMOV’S SCIENCE FICTION: 

Although science fiction dominates most of their publications, they also publish genre-bending work from great fantasy to pieces that just barely bleeds into magic. They accept poetry too! A good overview of what they publish would be “to consider that all fiction is written to examine or illuminate some aspect of human existence, but that in science fiction the backdrop you work against is the size of the Universe.”

They Don’t Like: Sword & Sorcery. Also, no excessive violence towards any particular group. Keep it classy, people. No previously published work. Nothing over 20,000 words, nothing less than 1,000 words

Payment: 8-10 cents per word for short stories up to 7,500 words, and one-dollar per poetry line (they do not accept poetry over 40 lines)

How To Submit: Through their website asimovs.com and their personal online submissions system. They accept work on a rolling basis.

 

ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S MYSTERY MAGAZINE:

They claim they love new writers, why not take them up on it? This is a mystery magazine, so your story must have elements of that genre. They’ve published classic true crime and also new-age. They only ask that your story include a crime (feared or threatened). 

They Don’t Like: Anything not-mystery related. Simple, right? Keep it below 12,000 words. Sorry poets: fiction only.

Payment: 5-8 cents per word

How to Submit: Through their website alfredhitchcockmysterymagazine.com (what a mouthful) and their personal online submissions system. They accept work on a rolling basis.

 

APEX MAGAZINE:

This magazine is SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) certified. This means that their work and what they publish exceeds industry standards — whatever that means. Generally, they want strange, shocking, and twisted tales written in beautiful prose. They want and value diverse voices.

They Don’t Like: Anything over 7,500 words and previously published.

Payment:  8 Cents per word (minimum of 50 dollars). If they podcast your story, it’s one-cent per word up to 7,500 words

How to Submit: With their Moksha account! Found very easily on their website, apex-magazine.com. They accept work on a rolling basis.

 

STORM CELLAR:

You didn’t think I was just going to suggest fiction magazines, did you? Storm Cellar publishes everything under the sun and then those things’ distant cousins. They take poetry, fiction, non-fiction, any sorts of photography, and hybrid work so long as it’s within the theme of “home.” They want stories that you would make time to read, even if Grey’s Anatomy has a new episode that Thursday. 

They Don’t Like: Previously published work. Fiction/Non-fiction longer than 5,000 words and poetry longer than 400 lines.

Payment: Ten dollars and “big heart emojis forever.”

How to Submit: Through Submittable (finally, a submittable option). Easily found on their website, stormcellar.org. They accept work on a rolling basis.

 

THE CAFE IRREAL: THE INTERNATIONAL IMAGINATION

They like fantastic fiction, and they reference what they like within the scopes of Kafka, Abe, Lispector, and Borges: Basically, stories that undermine reality, and stories that ask more questions than they do provide answers. Don’t try to make them care about characters; sometimes that’s the thing they are least interested in. 

They Don’t Like: Simultaneous submissions, Fiction over 2,000 words. They take reprints in “unusual cases.” 

Payment: One-cent per word (2$ minimum)

How to Submit: Email them old-school style at [email protected]. Paste your work in the body of your email, don’t send it as an attachment. The deadline for their next issue is January 1st, 2023. 

I know what you’re thinking. Why do three of these magazines start with the letter ‘A’. I have no clue but here’s an idea: write a mystery about it!

Honestly, most literary magazines do not pay and often charge a reading fee on top of that. So, magazines like these that do pay are not only hard to come by, but also competitive.  Although this list is scarce, I hope that it encourages a further deep-dive for you (especially you poetry writers– life is tough for y’all). The worst that could happen is you get a rejection letter or don’t hear back at all, so get your shit out there, F’ around and find out. 

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