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Kim Wilson
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Online Fiction: Eight Paying Markets on the Internet

by Erika Dreifus


How often do you find yourself reading through the posts of an Internet writing board only to be caught in a series of complaints and arguments? We writers sure can write—but sometimes our focus doesn't seem all that—how can I say this delicately—productive?

So many examples come to mind, but here's one to illustrate my point. From time to time you'll find writers talking about the relative merits of publishing on the Internet. More specifically, you may find yourself in the middle of a debate among fiction writers expressing strong feelings about the plusses and minuses of publishing fiction in e-zines and other Web-based publications (rather than seeking to place their work in print).

I'm not going to recap the many discussions. One point, however, comes up nearly every time. That line of argument typically stresses the death of paying e-zine/Web markets for fiction writers. (Of course, before too long someone usually points out that the world isn't too much brighter over in the realm of print publications, either.)

Recently I logged out of one of these discussions. I decided that instead of arguing with people about the strengths and weaknesses of everything that had been posted I'd do something else with my time online.

I'd look for some paying online markets for fiction writers.

It wasn't too difficult. Normally I keep up with a number of online publications, so I already had several markets noted among my list of potential homes for my own fiction. But realizing that not everyone writes the same type of fiction that I do, I looked around some more. I sought a variety of markets that themselves seek a range of work.

So without further ado, here are eight online publications that will pay fiction writers for their prose:

This publication's "Mama Said" section includes short fiction (plus essays, poetry, and more) written primarily but not exclusively by Austin, TX area contributors. Payment "is based on the material and writer's experience--usually between $35.00-50.00."

Espresso Fiction
E-mails stories to subscribers every week. Seeks stories for several categories/age groups (including fiction for children). Pays flat rate of $30/story, via Paypal.

This quarterly publication includes works of "flash fiction" (up to 1,000 words) among its offerings. Stipends awarded to contributing writers range from $5-25. Be sure to read the comprehensive submission guidelines, which include an editorial calendar specifying when submissions are accepted for each issue.

Oceans of the Mind®
Publishes “all forms of Science Fiction.” Pays from $.06/word.

The Pedestal Magazine
Online literary journal. Pays $.05/word for fiction, up to 6,000 words. Also accepts flash fiction (up to 1,000 words). Note that until August 28, 2005, the journal is considering only flash fiction.

Sci Fi.com
(click on “submission guidelines; note: submissions should be made by postal mail) Seeks “literate, strongly plotted science fiction and fantasy stories between 2,000 and 17,500 words—on a variety of subjects and themes.” Pays $.20/word up to $3,500.

The Stickman Review
(Check both “Submissions” and “Pay Rates”)
This online literary journal pays $20 (US) per story.

Strange Horizons: A Weekly Speculative Fiction Magazine
Seeks "good speculative fiction." Offers detailed guidelines on "what we want and what we don't want." Prefers stories under 5,000 words in length, but will consider stories up to 9,000 words. Pays $.05/word, minimum payment of $50.

(c) Copyright Erika Dreifus

Erika Dreifus edits and publishes the free monthly newsletter, “The Practicing Writer.” She has published more than a dozen short stories and is the author of “The Practicing Writer’s Directory of Paying Short Story Markets” and several other resource guides. Based in Massachusetts, Erika also teaches an online course for fiction writers seeking to market their stories. Visit her Web site at http://www.practicing-writer.com and check out her latest "Practicing Writing" blog posts at http://lulu.com/erika-dreifus











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