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EZ Access to E-zines

by Angel Leigh McCoy

Online fiction magazines (fiction e-zines) have popped up all over the Internet and are flourishing. Electronic publishing remains a new enough medium that many writers haven’t yet explored the potential of e-zines. The expanding Internet, however, offers many amazing opportunities for the writers willing to add a few new tricks to their bags.  

Initially, these online magazines had to fight the stigma that came with not being printed on paper, and they faced an uphill battle. They had to earn the respect of writers and readers in order to gain credibility. They’ve done it. 

In addition to e-zines that print stories as downloadable text, many publishers (such as Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine) make audio recordings (called fiction podcasts) of the stories they purchase. People are downloading these audio recordings and listening to them while they work, drive, and relax with a margarita by the pool. They’re listening on their computers, MP3 players, phones, and other mobile devices. 


Literary awards (such as the Nebula, the Hugo, and the Bram Stoker) nominate and award stories from electronic publications without prejudice. The Parsec Awards honor superiority in speculative fiction podcasting. As the first decade of the 21st century comes to a close, not only is it possible to publish short stories in the electronic arena, it’s necessary. Readers are migrating online. The publishing industry is changing. Newspapers and print magazines are closing their doors in record numbers. A successful writer will evolve as well. 

Tips for E-zine Submissions

If you’re submitting to e-zines for the first time, take a quick spin through the following tips. They’ll give you a feel for pitfalls that could stand in the way of your getting published.

1.   If there’s a chance your story will be voiced and recorded, read it aloud to yourself and make sure it works. Listen for the places where your own tongue stumbles.

2.   Don’t rely on fancy layout or unnatural words to tell your story if it’s headed for a podcast. Indents, italics, and symbols will not translate easily into the audio medium.

3.   When using an online submission form, read the directions carefully before you fill out the form so you know what files and information they want. For example, many online forms have anti-virus security programs that won’t allow certain file types. In addition, it’s easy to hit the “send” button too soon or accidentally cancel when working in an online form, so thoroughness is its own reward.

4.   Pay close attention to the e-zine’s accepted level of profanity and adult content. Nothing will get you rejected faster than material that blows through their sensibility ceiling. Be aware of the e-zine’s intended audience.

5.   Put links on your own webpage to every story you publish in an e-zine. This is a great way to share your work with your fans without having to self-publish the story on your own site. It fleshes out your website nicely.


A Dizzying Array of E-Zines

The following e-zines have established themselves or are new publications to watch. Click on the name of the e-zine to visit their submission guidelines page. Don’t think for a moment that because it’s just an e-zine they don’t take their guidelines or editing responsibilities seriously. The editors for these periodicals are professionals. 


Pro E-zines

The following markets pay professional rates (≥US$.05/word). I always recommend that a writer submit first to the pro markets.

    Apex Magazine publishes science fiction, fantasy, and horror fiction and poetry. [http://www.apexbookcompany.com/submissions/]

    Asia Literary Review buys fiction, non-fiction, reportage, memoir, travel writing, literary essays, humor, documentary and themed photographic essays, photography, art and poetry from and about Asia. [http://www.asialiteraryreview.com/web/en/aboutUs/submissionsPolicy]

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies wants “literary adventure fantasy.” They publish text and sometimes audio versions of the stories they buy. [http://beneath-ceaseless-skies.com/page.php?p=submissions]

    Electric Literature posts five stories per month in varying media. Literary fiction only. [http://www.electricliterature.com/electric-literature-submit.html]

    Flash Fiction Online wants short short fiction of between 500 and 1000 words. They accept genre and literary fiction. [http://www.flashfictiononline.com/submit.html]

    Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show accepts stories under the broadest definitions of fantasy and science fiction, including paranormal, horror, far future, near future, and alternate history. [http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=content&article=submissions]

    Pedestal Magazine buys poetry, book reviews, interviews, and high-quality literary and genre fiction, including traditional and experimental works. [http://www.thepedestalmagazine.com/submitguidelines.php]

    Podcastle records fantasy fiction as an audio podcast, while Pseudopod does the same for horror stories. There’s nothing much cooler than the first time you hear your story read by a stranger. [http://podcastle.org/guidelines/] [http://pseudopod.org/guidelines/]

    Tor.com publishes original science fiction and fantasy short stories of exceptional quality. [http://www.tor.com/blogs/2010/05/our-fictional-offerings-expanded-staff-new-procedures-same-old-quirky-fiction]




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Semi-Pro E-Zines

The following markets pay less than professional rates, but more than nothing. If you’ve exhausted appropriate pro markets and have filed your rejections in the appropriate bin, try these publications next.


    Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine publishes fantasy, horror, and science fiction. [http://www.andromedaspaceways.com/submissions/what-we-want-and-don’t]

    Cabinet des Fées limits its purchases to folk and fairytales, though the stories can be written in any genre (fantasy, science fiction, dark fantasy, horror, mystery, romance, steampunk, western, and literary). [http://www.cabinetdesfees.com/submissions/]

    Café Irreal buys surreal speculative fiction of less than 2000 words. [http://cafeirreal.alicewhittenburg.com/guidelin.htm]

    Contrary prefers stories of less than 1500 words. They’re looking for fiction that is concise and surprising. [http://www.contrarymagazine.com/Contrary/Submissions.html]

    Horror Garage is looking for horror fiction, non-fiction, and interviews with horror writers. [http://www.horrorgarage.com/horror/submission.php]

    Hunger Mountain publishes literary fiction, young adult and children’s fiction, poetry, stage and screenplays, and interviews. [http://www.hungermtn.org/submit/]

    Story Station wants short fiction in any genre for children aged 6-12. [http://www.viatouch.com/learn/Storystation/Storystation


    Wily Writers posts audio recordings of short speculative fiction: fantasy, science fiction, and horror. [http://www.wilywriters.com/blog]

    ZYZZYVA seeks literary fiction by writers working on the West Coast of the United States. [http://www.zyzzyva.org/zy-subs.htm]

For the Love E-Zines

Not all e-zines pay for the stories they post. That doesn’t mean they’re unworthy of your time, however. There are several reasons you may want to go with a particular e-zine, even if they don’t pay. For example, an e-zine can bring a particular fan base to your story. Some are prestigious and known for their high quality fiction. Or, you may have a story that simply doesn’t fit anywhere else. Here are a few good e-zines that are “for the love.” 

    Absent Willow Review publishes horror, fantasy, and science fiction. [http://absentwillowreview.com/submissions]

    Bull: Fiction for Thinking Men is looking for fiction that addresses men’s issues, challenges, and interests. [http://www.bullmensfiction.com/submit.html]

    Camera Obscura chooses one story per issue to receive a hefty cash award. They are looking for literary and genre fiction. [http://www.obscurajournal.com/guidelines.php]

    Crime Factory takes only stories that have an element of crime in the plot. They welcome any genre. [http://www.crimefactoryzine.com/main/SUBMISSION_


    Evergreen Review accepts literary fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. [http://www.evergreenreview.com/123/submissions.html]

    Istanbul Literary Review publishes literary and mainstream fiction and poetry. [http://www.ilrmagazine.com/submissions/]

    Midwest Literary Magazine posts literary short fiction and poetry. [http://www.midwestliterarymagazine.com/submit/terms.php]

    Moon Milk Review likes stories and poetry that have a fantastic quality. [http://www.moonmilkreview.com/submit/]

    Pine Tree Mysteries takes…wait for it…mysteries. [http://www.pinetreemysteries.com/PTguidelines.html]











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