Literature magazines can sometimes be tricky for amateur writers to break into. In general, these publications will publish work from up-and-coming freelancers only if copies are submitted for free. We’ve managed to scour the Internet to find this impressive list of 31 brilliant and widely-read Literature magazines, which pay their writers for their work.
It’s a good idea to make yourself familiar with the work of these publications before pitching them. Past magazines can be ordered from their site, sometimes at no cost to you.
Note: For more magazines that pay writers, check out our list of magazines that pay writers.
Boulevard Magazine is dedicated to publishing the best in literature. They want articles on the following subjects: fiction, poetry and non-fiction. They invite freelancers to submit articles that are no more than 8,000 words, and poetry of no more than 200 lines.
They pay $300 per prose and $250 for poetry upon publication. Boulevard is open to publishing new and up-coming writers, but they encourage freelancers to familiarise themselves with the magazine before getting into contact.
The Capilano Review focuses on publishing material from Canadian writers. They encourage writers to submit fiction that does not exceed the 5,000 words limit (and 600 words for poetry submissions). They pay a maximum of $150 per submission.
The Capilano Review expects prospective writers to submit work on their site only, so please check details before starting the process.
GlimmerTrain is a contemporary literature publication. They accept two types of submissions: competition ($3,000 and $2,500 prize) and individual submissions ($700). They expect individual submissions to not exceed the 12,000 words count, and pay $700 upon publication.
This magazine welcomes brand new writers and have specified their guidelines and categories on their site. Please peruse this wealth of information before submitting any work.
PloughShares is dedicated to publishing quality literature. They are in need of content in the following categories: poetry, longer fiction and non-fiction, essays and journals. They like articles to adhere strictly to the word count for each category, and pay $250 upon publication.
This publication is not open year-round for submissions, but they do have a very detailed submissions’ guidelines page on their site. Check for opening times and make sure your work fits into their brief before submissions are made.
The Southern Review focuses on publishing literature with a distinctive voice and quality. Their call for submissions is within the fiction, poetry, and essays genres (including creative non-fiction and literary essays). They expect each submission to not exceed the 8,000 words limit.
The Southern Review pay $200 upon publication. They prefer receiving your manuscripts via mail.
SubTropics is a well-respected, widely-read magazine, publishing qualitative literary fiction, essays and poetry. They are in need of content on essays, poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Articles should be about 500 words, and novellas – 15,000 words. Please do check the website for precise details on word count for the various categories.
They pay $1,000 for stories/essays, and $100 for poems upon publication.
The Sun Magazine is dedicated to addressing human challenges with solutions – through literature. They welcome freelancers to supply content in the following categories: personal essays, short stories, interviews and poetry. They expect submissions to be between 500 and 7,000 words.
The Sun Magazine pays between $300 and $2,000 for essays and less for poetry; all upon publication.
West Branch Magazine is a publication of Bucknell University, dedicated to literature. They are in need of essays, poetry and literature books review. They pay $100 upon publication.
This magazine welcomes work from both new and seasoned freelancers, but encourage you to make yourself acquainted with the work they publish before submitting yours.
AGNI publishes an eclectic array of work in poetry, short fiction and essays. They are currently in need of content in these three categories. This publication is only open for submissions at certain periods in the year, so do check their website before writing or submitting.
They pay $150 for poetry and $300 for essays upon publication. All submissions are to be made online.
Black Warrior Review is a literary magazine which focuses on publishing comics, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, prose and art. They are currently accepting submissions on prose, poetry and non- fiction. They welcome prose submissions that are no more than 7,000 words.
Their guidelines for submissions are clear and self-explanatory. Please check the site for more detailed information.
11. Carte Blanche
Carte Blanche is a literary project published by the Quebec Writers Federation. They encourage freelancers to submit content on the following: fiction, non-fiction, poetry and essays. They expect manuscripts to be sent by email.
Carte Blanche has an online submissions’ form and two distinct periods within which to submit work. Please keep a close eye on their website to make sure you send them work at the right time.
12. Carve Magazine
Carve Magazine is dedicated to publishing literary art of any form. They are in need of fiction and poetry, and pay $100 per fiction and $25 per poetry. They expect you to send your samples via their submission manager.
All work is submitted through their online form, so be careful to fill out your details correctly.
13. Colorado Review
Colorado Review covers a wide array of literature publications. They invite freelancers to submit works on fiction, non-fiction, poetry and book reviews. There is no preferable word count and they pay $200 for prose and essay upon publication.
Colorado Review only accepts previously unpublished work and has a strict format for submitting material.
14. Crazy Horse
Crazy Horse is dedicated to publishing the best writings on literature. They are in need of content on the following: fiction, poetry and non-fiction. They pay $200 for essays upon publication.
15. The Fiddlehead
Pay: $2,000 (Competition)
The Fiddlehead is a well-respected Canadian-based literary journal. They are hosting a poetry and short story contest for a very generous prize of $2,000 each. They expect each submission to be no more than 6,000 words. They accept submissions by mail only.
This contest is only held at certain times of year, so bookmark this site and keep an eye on their contest dates.
16. The Fugue
Pay: $1,000 (competition)
The Fugue is a publication of the department of English at the University of Idaho, which focuses on literature. They host an annual literary contest with a prize award of $1,000. They also accept individual submissions from freelancers on poetry, fiction and non-fiction.
Please note that there is a very small submission fee for each piece. As with contests in general, submission dates are only open at certain times of year.
17. Grain Magazine
Grain Magazine is dedicated to publishing informative and entertaining literary work. They encourage submissions from freelancers on poetry, fiction and literary non-fiction. They expect both fiction and non-fiction to be between 500 and 3,500 words. Do check their website for their specific categories and word count for each.
Grain Magazine pays a maximum of $250 per submission. All work is to be sent by post.
Pay: $1,500 (Competition)
Gulf Coast Magazine promotes and publishes quality literature. They are in need of content within the following genres: stories and essays, poems, interviews and reviews of literary collections. They like essays submissions to between 300 and 1,200 words.
Gulf Coast Magazine is hosting an annual competition on Literature, with a grand prize of $1,500 for both prose and poetry. Detailed submission guidelines are on their site.
19. Iowa Review
Iowa Review publishes short stories, flash fiction, graphic novels, self-contained novels, excerpts, plays and poetry of all kinds. They also encourage submissions from freelancers who can produce quality work in creative non-fiction, including personal essays, lyric essays, memoirs, and literary journalism.
Iowa Review pays a minimum of $100 for prose upon publication. Submissions can be made both by email and by post.
Iron Horse Review is a quality publication that deals with short fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. They expect manuscripts for prose to be 5,500 words or less. They pay $100 per essay and more for contests.
Follow their guidelines on their website and keep an eye out for dates and details of upcoming writing contests.
21. Nashville Review
Nashville Review publishes a wide array of literary works. They are accepting submissions on fiction and poetry, non-fiction and comics. Manuscripts can be no more than 8,000 words. They pay $100 for stories upon publication.
Nashville Review has specific reading times and detailed submissions’ guidelines, so please check their site for more information.
22. Ninth Letter
Pay: $1,000 (Competition)
Ninth Letter covers most topics related to literature. They are currently accepting submissions for their literary contest with a grand prize of $1,000 for the winners within the following categories: poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Fiction and Non-fiction submissions should not exceed the 8,000 words limit.
Submissions can be made either by email or by their submissions manager on their site.
The Puritan is a widely-read literary publication. They are in need of essays, poems and works of fiction. They invite freelancers to submit flash fiction of no more than 500 words; and stories – no more than 10,000 words. They pay $100 upon publication.
The Puritan Magazine charges a small fee for contest submissions and require writers to fill out a submissions form.
The Threepenny Review is dedicated to literature and literary collections review. They are in need of essays and poems. This publication invites writers to submit stories between 1,200 and 2,500 words. Poems should be 1,000 words or less. They pay $400 for stories and $200 for poems.
This publication has an online system for submissions, so please follow their guidelines carefully.
Confrontation Magazine is a widely-read publication which projects literary writers into the limelight. They are inviting submissions within the following areas: poetry, stories and non-fiction. They expect story submissions to be no more than 7,200 words, and pay $250 per story upon publication.
Confrontation magazine has specific submissions’ opening times, so do check their website for precise details.
26. One Story
One Story is focused on publishing literary fiction. They publish new writers and invite freelancers to submit manuscripts between 3,000 and 8,000 words. They pay $500 upon publication.
This publication is looking for previously unpublished work and has an online system in place for all submissions.
VQR is a long-running literary works publication. They are in need of content on poetry, short fiction, non-fiction and non-fiction pitches. They encourage freelancers to submit manuscripts between 2,000 and 9,000 words.
Virginia Quarterly Review pays $1,000 and above for short fiction, and $200 for poems upon publication.
28. Willow Springs
Willows Springs publishes the very best of literature. They are currently accepting submissions on fiction and poetry. There is no specific word count on submissions and they pay $100 upon publication.
This magazine is open for submissions only during certain periods in the year, so do check their website for details on this.
Pay: $10 cents per word
Clarkesworld Magazine is a science-fiction and fantasy-based publication. They expect submissions to be between 1,000 and 16,000 words. They pay 10 cents per word for the first 5,000 words.
This publication has a streamlined system for online submissions, so visit their site to find out more.
Pay: 10 cents per word
Asimov Science Fiction is dedicated to publishing science-stories. Asimov is happy to publish new writers, and expects each submission to be between 1,000 and 20,000 words. They pay 10 cents per word for the first 7,500 words, and 8 cents (per word) for the rest of the story – upon publication.
This publication prefers copies to be submitted in a precise format, so do consult their site before starting work.
Narrative Magazine publishes a wide array of material on the topic of literature. This publication has created extensive and descriptive submission guidelines and expects prospective writers to follow them carefully.
Manuscripts should be between 500 and 15,000 words. They pay $1,000 for copies of more than 7,500 words.
32. Slice Magazine
Slice Magazine publishes literary works. They are in need of submissions on the following: poetry, short fiction and non-fiction. Submissions are expected to be between 500 and 5,000 words. They pay $250 for essays and prose upon publication.
This magazine invites both new and seasoned writers to submit work, as long as it’s exciting and innovative.
33. Tin House
Tin House focuses on promoting and publishing the best of American writing and fiction. They are inviting freelancers to submit essays, fiction and poetry. They expect each submission to be no more than 10,000 words.
This publication has precise periods of submissions intake, so please do see their website if you plan on submitting work to them.