Being able to write is an admirable feat.
And I’m not just saying that because I am a writer. I’m saying that because it really is — and it can pay the bills.
As a writer, you can snatch up freelance gigs or submit pieces to writing contests. You can also do something a little in-between: You can submit pieces to literary publications and, in some cases, earn a pretty penny.
Say you have a piece you’ve been holding onto about, for example, bullfighting in Spain. There’s probably a literary journal out there willing to pay you for your work. The trick — and it is tricky — is tracking it down.
Or maybe you find an interesting literary journal calling for “addiction-themed horror fiction” (see below), and it stirs your creativity. Start writing. The topics are endless.
Submitting your work to literary journals takes writing talent and patience. Experience is a plus, but that’s something you can accumulate over time.
7 Literary Journals Accepting Writing Submissions Right Now
To get you started, my writer friends, I found literary journals accepting submissions right now.
But before you begin crafting dozens of emails, give each publication’s submission requirements and directions a thorough read. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the journal to be sure your work is a good fit.
Then, you may begin this adventure. These are, by the way, organized by deadline (priority first).
1. The Last Line Journal
OK, so the pay on this one isn’t as hefty as the others, but this seems like so much fun.
Each issue of The Last Line Literary Journal features one line. This line must cap off each published story.
For the upcoming issue, to be released on Dec. 14, the last line is: “It was hard to accept that from now on everyone would look at her differently.”
The possibilities for storylines seem endless.
Pay is $20-40 per published piece and should be 300-5,000 words. If you’re chosen, you’ll receive the money and a copy of the issue. International writers are welcomed.
Pay: $20-$40 for fiction
Deadline: Oct. 1
2. Broken Pencil
Broken Pencil Magazine is a quarterly “mega-zine” based out of Toronto that has been around since ’95. It covers culture and the independent arts.
The only requirement for this submission? Fiction “that conform to no principles, no guidelines, and no preconceptions. We want work that hurts you to write, and us to read,” the criteria states.
The creation shouldn’t be more than 3,000 words, and payment is $100 for pieces appearing in print (however, this is based on the zine’s financial status at the time), according to the listing.
Find more information online about fiction submissions — and other pitches. Currently, this non-conforming sucker is due Dec. 31.
Pay: $100 for fiction
Deadline: Dec. 31
3. Garden of Fiends
So this might be a bit niche — and not necessarily family-friendly — but this literary publication is new and offers an exciting opportunity.
According to the listing, the publisher of this journal is a recovering addict/alcoholic and seeks to expose the truth of addiction by publishing an addiction-themed horror anthology.
“It has been said to ‘write the book you would like to read,’” the listing states. “Well, I am trying to put together the anthology I would like to read.”
Submissions must range from 16,000 to 25,000 words. Characters should be realistic, though supernatural elements are welcomed. Zombies, werewolves and vampires cannot be cliche. “Have fun, break boundaries, blow my mind,” the listing reads.
The publisher is looking for 3-4 works, and multiple submissions are OK. If you’re selected, you’ll receive $500 (paid via PayPal) and two contributor copies.
Deadline: Jan. 1, 2017
4. Bennington Review
Many colleges, institutions and even geographic areas have literary reviews worth looking into. This one comes from Bennington College, a small school in Vermont.
The review is released biannually and features “innovative, intelligent, and moving fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, film writing, and cross-genre work,” according to the listing. It’s smitten with writing that strikes a balance between graceful and reckless.
You can be an established writer or a fledgling, but the work you submit cannot have been published previously — not even on your personal blog. And you can’t submit your work if you’re affiliated with the college.
If you’re featured, you’ll earn $100 for prose of six pages and under and $200 for more; it’s $20 per poem. These should all be double-spaced, by the way.
Pay: $100-$200 for prose, $20 per poem
Deadline: May 14, 2017
5. One Story
This not-for-profit literary publisher aims to connect the art of short story-telling to the authors. Right now, it’s seeking literary fiction submissions between 3,000 and 8,000 words.
There are no other noted parameters for the work. You may submit multiple stories that have not been previously published.
Deadline: May 31, 2017
Opossum is a “literary marsupial” — or magazine — “animated by music.” Each year, three issues are published online and one special edition comes out in print — paired with a 7-inch vinyl with author readings.
Right now, it’s looking for stories, poems and essays, all “pulsing with beats, haunted by melodies,” the listing states. If you think you can handle that, good. Along with the piece you submit, you need to write a short author bio defining your relationship with music.
There’s no deadline posted, so pull on your headphones and get inspired.
Pay: $250 for short stories, $100 for poems and nonfiction
Truthdig considers itself a “progressive journal of news and opinion” that’s “drilling beneath the headlines.” It hosts a biweekly poetry section featuring works about current events.
So do you have strong feelings about this election? It’s likely. Consider writing about them.
You may submit up to five poems at a time and, if one is published, you’ll receive a $75 honorarium. The submission process seems easy-peasy, so you can go ahead and submit some today. There’s no real deadline to this.
Pay: $75 for poetry
If you want to find more publications paying for submissions, I recommend searching writejobs.info and clicking on “literary markets” at the top.
Your Turn: Do you submit your work to literary journals?
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After recently completing graduate school, she focuses on saving money — and surviving the move back in with her parents.