Saturday, August 14, 2010

Reid Picks: 5 Best Places to Submit a Science Fiction Short Story

Here is a list of--in my opinion--the five best places to submit a science fiction short story. The picks are not ranked in any particular order. If you'd like to point out a magazine not mentioned, that's great--leave it as a comment.

Also, I'd suggest that if you haven't already, pick up a copy of the "Writer's Market," a writing reference book categorizing thousands of book publishers, magazines, journals, agents, etc. I consider it very useful and have used it for this list.

Here we go:

1. L. Ron Hubbard's Writers of the Future Contest (
Info: Quarterly contest; winning stories are published yearly as a collection.
Word count: up to 17,000.
Pay: First place: $1,000; second place: $750; third place: $500; $5,000 grand prize for best of the year.
Response time: More than three months.
About: This is a prestigious short story contest for new writers. I think it's one of the best contests for speculative fiction. If you can win this contest, you're one of the best.

2. Lightspeed (
Info: Monthly online magazine (started this year)
Word count: 1,000–7,500.
Pay: 5 cents/word for short stories.
Response time: Two days to two weeks (really great).
About: I recently discovered this magazine and love it! The website is well-designed and the stories are excellent. Stories are posted online for free, but you can buy a downloadable issue for $2.99. I'm confident the magazine will go far.

3. Analog Science Fiction and Fact (
Info: Monthly magazine; accepted stories are published about 10 months later.
Word count: under 7,500.
Pay: 6-8 cents/word for short stories.
Response time: A few months.
About: This magazine is science- and technology-oriented. They have some great stories focused on technology.

4. Asimov's Science Fiction (
Info: Monthly magazine (with the exception of double issues); publishes accepted stories 6-12 months later.
Word count: 750-15,000 for short stories.
Pay: 5-8 cents/word for short stories.
Response time: Three months for stories; two months for queries.
About: You should to have character-oriented stories for this magazine. The magazine accepts some new writers.

5. The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (
Info: Bimonthly magazine; publishes stories about 6-8 months after acceptance.
Word count: less than 25,000.
Pay: 6-9 cents/word for short stories.
Response time: Less than two months.
About: The magazine prefers character-oriented stories. It also accepts poetry.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. These are, indeed, the very best of the best. Daily Science Fiction is another fine market, now SFWA-qualifying.

  3. The Writers of the Future contest is intended to promote Scientology.

  4. Fowler, I enjoy Daily Science Fiction, myself.

    Anarchist, although the money from the Writers of the Future likely goes to scientology, it is considered the best science fiction contest since many winners go on to get book contracts.


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