SFWA Short Story Qualifying Markets for Speculative Fiction: 2016

This article is a major update of one of my most popular posts, “14 SFWA Short Story Qualifying Markets for Speculative Fiction.” Several markets have been added, others removed from the original list due to closures, and pertinent submission information is up-to-date as of February 29, 2016.

For the most up-to-date listing, go to 2017 SFWA Short Story Qualifying Markets for Speculative Fiction or visit my Writing Resources page.


SFWA SS Word Cloud300Achieving active membership status in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) is a continuing goal of mine. To be a member requires a certain number of speculative fiction sales to eligible markets for short stories, novels, scripts, etc. But I don’t have to be an SFWA member to benefit from the organization’s expertise. Their site maintains an Information Center full of articles ranging from manuscript preparation to publishing technologies, and Writer Beware is an indispensable resource for warnings regarding scams in the publishing industry (including which agents and publishers not to query). You can follow the Writer Beware blog here.

As much as I appreciate SFWA, their list of eligible short story markets is updated infrequently and has no links to the appropriate websites—so I’ve created my own list with submission information.

The following are the markets I submit to first in hopes of satisfying SFWA membership requirements. Those listed are still accepting unagented submissions as of February 29, 2016. At the end of the post you’ll find a link to a pdf spreadsheet for future reference.


1. AEAE is looking exclusively for science fiction, though their interpretation of the genre can be quite inclusive. They welcome submissions from both established and emerging authors – they are a Canadian market that publishes a limited number of international stories.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
500-3,000 7¢/word 90 days No
Other: Accepts simultaneous submissions (read guidelines). Submit one story at a time. No excerpts, screenplays, or poetry.

2. analogo_bwAnalog publishes science fiction stories in which some aspect of future science or technology is so integral to the plot that, if that aspect were removed, the story would collapse. The science can be physical, sociological, psychological, but the stories must be strong and realistic, with believable people (who needn’t be human) doing believable things – no matter how fantastic the background might be.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
2,000-80,000 (see Other) 8-10¢/word up to 7,500 words
8-8.5¢/word over 7,500
2-3 months No
Other: No simultaneous submissions. Accepts online and manual submissions. Preferred lengths: short stories, 2,000-7,000 words; novelettes/novellas, 10,000-20,000 words; serials, 40,000-80,000 words.

3. new-banner092512Apex Magazine is a monthly online prose and poetry magazine of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mash-ups of all three. They seek works full of marrow and passion, stories that are twisted, strange, and beautiful.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
Up to 7,500 6¢/word 30 days No
Other: No simultaneous submissions or multiple submissions. Accepts poetry.

4. as_logo_blAsimov’s is looking for character-oriented science fiction stories in which the characters, rather than the science, provide the main focus for the reader’s interest. Borderline fantasy is fine, but no Sword & Sorcery. No explicit sex or violence.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
1,000-20,000 8-10¢/word up to 7,500 words
8¢ each word over 7,500
5 weeks No
Other: No simultaneous submissions or multiple submissions. Accepts online and manual submissions. Accepts poetry.

5. Beneath Ceaseless SkiesBeneath Ceaseless Skies is an award-winning online magazine publishing “literary adventure fantasy” with a secondary-world setting – different from our own primary world – and a traditional/classic fantasy feel, written with a literary focus on the characters. No urban fantasy.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
Up to 10,000 6¢/word 2-4 weeks No
Other: Accepts simultaneous submissions (read guidelines). No multiple submissions or novel excerpts.

6. ClarkesworldClarkesworld Magazine is a Hugo award-winning monthly science fiction/fantasy magazine. Science fiction need not be hard SF. Fantasy can be folkloric, medieval, contemporary, surreal, etc. Horror can be supernatural or psychological, as long as it’s frightening.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
1,000-16,000
10¢/word for first 5,000 words
8¢ each word over 5,000
2 days No
Other: No simultaneous submissions.

7. Cosmos200Cosmos is looking for original science fiction based on scientific premises, principles or possibilities, with characterization and a story arc.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
2,000-4,000 $300, print
$100, online
Unknown No
Avoid profanity, explicit sex, and gratuitous violence.

8. DailyScienceFiction_200Daily Science Fiction accepts speculative fiction submissions: science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, etc. They will consider stories with dark elements but no pure horror.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
100-1,500 8¢/word < 4 weeks No
Other: Accepts flash series (3+ standalone stories built around a common theme). No simultaneous or multiple submissions. No erotica.

9. escapepod2Escape Pod seeks science fiction stories, centered on science, technology, future projections, alternate history, and how any or all of these things intersect with people. Fairly flexible on what counts as science. No fantasy, magical realism, or more than a tinge of horror.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
2,000-6,000 6¢/word Unknown Yes
Other: Reprints: $100 flat rate. No flash fiction, poetry, serialized fiction, or novel excerpts.

10. fsi-new-logo1_200Fantastic Stories of the Imagination accepts stories that cover the entire science fiction and fantasy spectrum, from magic realism to hard SF. Let your imagination run wild, push the limits of genre, or send them something traditional.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
Up to 3,000 15¢/word 2-8 weeks Yes
Other: Reprints: any length, 1¢/word ($25-$100). No simultaneous submissions. Accepts up to two submissions at a time.

11. FlashFictionOnline200Flash Fiction Online seeks complete stories with a resolved plot and strong, interesting characters (not a story synopsis or scene from a novel). They lean toward science fiction and fantasy, but also like literary fiction; great flash stories aren’t always easily classified.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
500-1,000 $60 flat rate 2-10 weeks Yes
Other: Reprints: 2¢/word. No poetry, erotica, porn, graphic sex, or violence. No simultaneous submissions. Accepts multiple submissions.

12. logo302bIGMS (Intergalactic Medicine Show) is looking for science fiction and fantasy stories of any length. Science fiction: hard sf, sf adventure, alternate history, near-future, far-future, psi, alien, etc. Fantasy: heroic fantasy (based on any culture’s mythology), fairy tales, contemporary fantasy, and horror in the sense of supernatural suspense (not gory bloodfests).

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
Any Length 6¢/word 90 days+ No*
Other: No multiple submissions. Might accept some reprints (see guidelines)*. This is a PG-13 magazine and website – no explicit/detailed sex that would earn a movie rating over PG-13 or language that earns an R rating.

13. fsflogo5_200The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction is looking for stories that appeal to science fiction and fantasy readers. The SF element may be slight, but it should be present. They prefer character-oriented stories.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
Up to 25,000 7-12¢/word < 8 weeks Unknown
Other: No simultaneous or multiple submissions.

14. nightmare_28_january_2015_bannerNightmare is seeking all types of original horror and dark fantasy stories. No subject is considered off-limits, and they encourage writers to take chances with their fiction and push the envelope. Open for submissions June 1-15, 2016.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
1,500-7,500
(< 5,000 pref.)
6¢/word 2-14 days Yes
Other: Reprints: 1¢/word. No simultaneous submissions, multiple submissions, fan fiction, or poetry.

15. sh_headStrange Horizons is a weekly online magazine seeking speculative fiction, broadly defined, previously unpublished in English.

Word Range Payment Response Time Reprints
Up to 10,000
(< 5,000 pref.)
8¢/word < 40 days No
Other: No simultaneous submissions, multiple submissions, resubmissions, serialized novels/excerpts, erotica, horror, or poetry.

Here’s a handy spreadsheet incorporating the information from this post. Go HERE for the pdf version with clickable links. I’ll keep an updated list on my Writing Resources page.
15 SFWA Short Story Markets 022916
Good Luck!

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Speculative Fiction Writer

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Posted in Call for Submissions
7 comments on “SFWA Short Story Qualifying Markets for Speculative Fiction: 2016
  1. Joyce Hertzoff says:

    Thanks! I see a place I can submit a YA short story when my critiquers are finished with it.

  2. carolynmcb says:

    Lots of legwork in this post, thank you for taking it on. I have yet to find a market for my first foray into spec fic, but I’m ever hopeful. So far it doesn’t seem sf enough, or dark and twisted enough for most of those markets. Ah well, keep writing, right?

    • KL Wagoner says:

      You’re welcome! I thought if the information was something I could use, it might be helpful to others as well. Looking at the list, IGMS (Intergalactic Medicine Show) seems to hold a lot of promise — a decent rate, unlimited word count, and a broad range of categories. Give it a try, and NEVER give up. Good luck!

  3. SFWA had great resources and I too would like to be a member one day. Thanks for the more up to date list on short story markets. I favorited this post :-) You never know :-)

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