Where You Can Sell Your Fantasy and Science Fiction Stories

Here is a list of some noted places to sell your fantasy and science fiction stories. The guidelines differ from each magazine but all are worthwhile and noted, safe places to sell your works. Most have had nominees and winners in the Hugo and Nebula awards, so they carry some clout. There are more than the few I have listed, but this should get any established/aspiring writer enough to go off of.

Analog – (Science Fiction Only) Founded in 1930 and having changed names a few times, this magazine has been the home to such science fiction heavy weights like Isaac Asimov, Uncle Orson Scott Card, Robert Heinlein, and many others. This is considered the longest running and continuously published magazine in the genre, now also in e-book. They are looking for stories where science is a crucial part of the plot and would fail without it. The science doesn’t necessarily have to be physical, it can be sociological as well as psychological, but the characters and their problems have to be believable.

Payment goes as follows:

Analog pays 6-8 cents per word for short stories up to 7,500 words, $450-600 for stories between 7,500 and 10,000 words, and 5-6 cents per word for longer material. We prefer lengths between 2,000 and 7,000 words for shorts, 10,000-20,000 words for novelettes, and 40,000-80,000 for serials. Fact articles are paid for at the rate of 6 cents per word.

You can find Analog’s submissions page here.

Asimov’s  Science Fiction – (Science Fiction and Borderline Fantasy (Not Swords and Sorcerers) Isaac Asimov was approached to lend his name out to a new magazine, like Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, he agreed but refused to be an editor. He instead would write editorials and answer fan mail, you know the fun stuff. The magazine was launched in 1977 and has been steadily published works bimonthly and in e-format. Asimov’s has famous writers such as Asimov (duh), Ursula K. LeGuin, Joe Haldeman, Michael Swanwick, and many others. Here the editors are looking for character oriented stories where characters are the main focus, not science or technology, borderline fantasy is acceptable but not dragons, swords, and sorcerers. No explicit sex or violence, they want a story that captures some aspect of the human condition in the massive place we call the universe.

Payment goes as follows:

Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine is an established market for science fiction stories. We pay on acceptance, and beginners get 6.0 cents a word to 7,500 words, 5.0 cents a word for stories longer than 12,500 words, and $450 for stories between those lengths. We seldom buy stories longer than 20,000 words, and we don’t serialize novels. We pay $1 a line for poetry, which should not exceed 40 lines. We buy First English Language serial rights plus certain non-exclusive rights explained in our contract. We do not publish reprints, and we do not accept “simultaneous submissions,” (stories sent at the same time to a publication other than Asimov’s). Asimov’s will consider material submitted by any writer, previously published or not. We’ve bought some of our best stories from people who have never sold a story before.

You can find Asimov’s submissions page here.

Clarkesworld Magazine – (Science Fiction and Fantasy) This magazine started in 2006 and has regularly published ever since. It has published writers such as Peter Watts and Jeff Vandermeer. Two facets about potential stories are that they must be well-written and on-screen reader friendly (easy for kindle and the like e-readers, long paragraphs might hurt you). There isn’t really any restrictions on what one can send in. Sex, violence, gore, profanity are not frowned upon, but must be used wisely within the story in order for it to be acceptable. Excess of these elements are often poorly written and hinder a sale. However, there is a list of things deemed not acceptable.

  • stories in which a milquetoast civilian government is depicted as the sole obstacle to either catching some depraved criminal or to an uncomplicated military victory
  • stories in which the words “thou” or “thine” appear
  • talking cats
  • talking swords
  • stories where the climax is dependent on the spilling of intestines
  • stories where FTL travel is as easy as is it on television shows or movies
  • time travel too
  • stories that depend on some vestigial belief in Judeo-Christian mythology in order to be frightening (i.e., Cain and Abel are vampires, the End Times are a’ comin’, Communion wine turns to Christ’s literal blood and it’s HIV positive, Satan’s gonna getcha, etc.)
  • stories about rapist-murderer-cannibals
  • stories about young kids playing in some field and discovering ANYTHING. (a body, an alien craft, Excalibur, ANYTHING).
  • stories about the stuff we all read in Scientific American three months ago
  • stories where the Republicans, or Democrats, or Libertarians, or the Spartacist League, etc. take over the world and either save or ruin it
  • your AD&D game
  • “funny” stories that depend on, or even include, puns
  • sexy vampires, wanton werewolves, or lusty pirates
  • zombies or zombie-wannabes
  • stories originally intended for someone’s upcoming theme anthology or issue
  • stories where the protagonist is either widely despised or widely admired simply because he or she is just so smart and/or strange
  • stories that take place within an artsy-fartsy bohemia as written by an author who has clearly never experienced one
  • your trunk stories
If your story falls into any one of those in the list, Clarkesworld probably won’t pick up your story. Just be aware of that before you submit your story.
Payment goes as follows:
Word Limit: 1000-8000 words (preferred length is 4000)
Pay Rate: 10¢ per word up to 4000 words, 5¢ per word after
Genres: Science fiction and fantasy
Language: English
Rights: We claim first world electronic rights (text and audio), first print rights (author must be willing to sign 100+ chapbooks), and non-exclusive anthology rights for Realms, the yearly Clarkesworld anthology.

You can visit Clarkesworld’s submissions page here.

Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine – (Fantasy and Science Fiction) F&SF was founded in 1949 under The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, which later shortened to Fantasy and Science Fiction, F&SF for the super efficient. This magazine publishes bimonthly and in e-book format. Notable past writers to the magazine include Robert Heinlein, Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut and many more. They are looking for stories that appeal to the fantasy and science fiction reader base. Science fiction can be slight, but must be a felt presence in the story. In fact they do not receive enough science fiction or humor pieces, so these are in high demand.  They accept stories up to 25k words long and must follows standard manuscript guidelines.
Payment goes as follows:
Payment is 6-9 cents per word on acceptance. We buy first North American and foreign serial rights and an option on anthology rights. All other rights are retained by the author.

You can visit F&SF’s submissions page here.

Fantasy Magazine – (Fantasy Only) This online only magazine was started in 2005 at World Fantasy Convention. It published physical copies for six more issues but then switch to online only. This magazine has published stories from notable authors like Jeff Vandermeer, Peter S. Beagle, and many others. Fantasy magazine is published by Prime Books and has a sister magazine for science fiction called Lightspeed. Fantasy magazine is looking for anything fantasy. They accept stories with strong sexual themes, but not erotica. The more adult themes must be well executed and balanced within the story.
Payment goes as follows:

Stories should be fantasy only (not science fiction), and be between 1500 and 7500 words long. Stories of 5000 words or less are preferred.

Payment for original fiction is 5¢/word, on acceptance. To see which rights we’re seeking, please view our contract template for original fiction.

You can find the Fantasy Magazine’s submissions page here.

Lightspeed Magazine – (Science Fiction Only) This is the sister magazine to Fantasy Magazine, first published in 2010. It has been nominated for several awards and has the same staff as Fantasy Magazine. Lightspeed has published authors such as Stephen King, Joe Haldeman, Mike Brotherton, and many more. They accept anything science fiction and the same rules apply from Fantasy Magazine as does Lightspeed. One thing that is particularly cool about Lightspeed is this:
…No subject should be considered off-limits, and we encourage writers to take chances with their fiction and push the envelope.
Payment goes as follows:

Stories should be science fiction only (not fantasy), and be between 1500 and 7500 words long. Stories of 5000 words or less are preferred.

Payment for original fiction is 5¢/word, on acceptance. To see which rights we’re seeking, please view our contract template for original fiction.

You can find Lightspeed Magazine’s submissions page here.

Orson Scott Card’s Intergalatic Medicine Show – (Fantasy and Science Fiction) This was first started in 2005 with a quarterly publishing schedule, which later came to a bimonthly publication. The first two issues were edited by Orson himself, but later edited by Edmund R. Schubert. Notable writers that IGMS has published include Peter S. Beagle, Eric James Stone, Bud Sparhawk, and many more. IGMS tries to keep a PG-13 rating as to be accessible to all ages. That means no explicit sex and detailed gore and violence. Orson is serious about keeping a PG-13 rating. There are no restrictions to the fantasy and science fiction that IGMS will publish, as long as it falls within the PG-13 guideline.

Payment goes as follows:

We pay 6 cents a word up to 7500 words and 5 cents a word thereafter.

With this payment we buy exclusive rights in any language or any medium throughout the world for one year from date of first publication in the magazine, and nonexclusive electronic and/or online rights in any language in perpetuity. We also buy nonexclusive print and audio rights throughout the world and in all languages for inclusion in multi-author anthologies based on the magazine, for which you will receive a pro rata share of the authors’ share of advances and royalties, to be reported and paid when reports and payments are received by us from the publisher (or, if we are the publisher, every six months after one year after publication, if there are any earnings to report).

You can find IGMS’s submissions page here.

One thought on “Where You Can Sell Your Fantasy and Science Fiction Stories

  1. seabeegirl says:

    Thank you for this information. Very helpful!

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