Do I even want to know what "non funky deodorant is"?

Dear Miss Snark:

Right now I'm working on a novel. I figure it would help if I had some short stories published before I start submitting it. So... do you know of any online literary/sf journals that a potential agent might take seriously?

I've been searching but I'm turning up a lot of dreck. I would go after print journals, but I'm on deployement right now so that's sort of a non-starter. I'm ecstatic if I find non-funky deodorant at our exchange, so finding journals/ writer's market info is out of the picture.

Thanks for your time.

You're asking the wrong person. My idea of literary sf is a royalty statement.
There are people who read this blog, and through no fault of their own are devoted SFF fans and writers. (Probably cause their moms confused Mr. Spock with Dr. Spock for advice on rasiing babies, but never mind. ) Anyway. I'll post this and let's see what the comment trail churns up.

Generally, when someone tells me about a publication credit, I google it if I haven't heard of the thing. I look at their submission guidelines. If it's clear they are selective, it "counts". If it's just the in-house website of IWannaGetPublished.comma then, not so much.

But again, good writing trumps all. Pub credits are nice but they aren't any where close to required.

Snarklings, give the guy some good advice.


Anonymous said...

Check Duotrope's Digest (www.duotrope.com). It's a database listing a lot of short story markets. As Miss Snark mentioned, selectivity is important.

You might impress an agent or editor if they know a specific magazine. Most impressive would be a markets that pay pro-rates; the big ones; unfortunately, the ones that are hard to get into.

Think Asimov's, Analog, Strand, Ellery Queen, etc.

But I agree with Miss Snark here. Any publication with a reputable magazine that doesn't print just anything (and pays) shows someone else than your family didn't think it sucked and was willing to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

If you can google it's easy. They're all listed at Spicy Green Iguana:


pheeliques said...

i assume you read around in sf a lot and have a list of favorite authors. if any of those authors have written stories (easy enough to find out on google if you don't already know) and gotten them published, you can take note of where. it's likely a reputable journal or publisher.

GutterBall said...

Probably cause their moms confused Mr. Spock with Dr. Spock for advice on rasiing babies, but never mind.

*snorts Hawaiian punch...again*

As for short story markets, I've always found Ralan.com to be a reliable grouping of links. They're even marked as paying or "for the love" and include listings of what particular genre the editor is looking for. Handy.

Also, if you can find a good on-line writer's circle, they'll usually keep a list of market listings on hand, and you have the benefit of word of mouth on whether or not the place lives up to its publishing promises.

Anonymous said...

Strange Horizons is a good one (disclosure: I write book reviews for them on occasion). As is Shimmer.

Other places to consider might be found at the Internet Review of Science Fiction and Ralan. Note that the latter sorts by market level rather than publishing medium, so you'll find the online markets mixed in with the print ones.

Also, some of the print markets will take electronic submissions, though getting your contributor's copies might be tricky.

Hope this helps.

Sue said...

Strange Horizons is a pro-paying, pro-acknowledged online magazine.

For others, check the website of the SFWA. They have a list of professionally qualified markets, some of which are online.

Anonymous said...

Many of the print sf magazines take e-submissions. I would go to Ralan's and Duotrope to search for markets. Duotrope has a searchable database, which you can filter for things such as payrate, genre and submissions options.

In general, markets in the pro category are going to have higher standards. The highest paying online sf markets at the moment are Strange Horizons, Orson Scott Card's Intergalatic Medicine Show, and Jim Baen's Universe. That said, there are many magazines worth looking at which are in print format, but take e-submissions.

Good luck with everything.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

A List:


Anonymous said...

Hey, OP,

I just got an agent for my novel. I have no short story writing credits. If what you want to do is write novels, write your novel.

If you enjoy writing stories, too, then write and submit, but don't hold out on submitting your novel (or writing it) thinking you need some short story credits to pad your query. Especially if you're not interested in stories beyond what you think they'll get you.

As Miss Snark says, good writing trumps all.

Kimber Li said...

Mr. Spock loves us!

Anonymous said...

The Sword Review is worth checking out. I don't know how selective they are, but you could look into it and see what you think.

GutterBall said...

Has anyone else lately had trouble with Blogger adding an "http://www.blogger.com/" to any link they put in? Is the usual "a href" tag not working right now?

Sorry for the funky link! Thank goodness a couple of other people did it right!

Anonymous said...

It is pleasing to see:

1) It is about the writing.
2) It is about integrity and education.

Coolio. I don't care who you are. I'm not going anywhere. Peace has always been my choice.

Miss Snark, sing it!
You are everything wonderful.

writtenwyrdd said...

MS said: "There are people who read this blog, and through no fault of their own are devoted SFF fans and writers. (Probably cause their moms confused Mr. Spock with Dr. Spock for advice on rasiing babies, but never mind. ) "

Hey - I resemble that remark!!

What anon #1 said, I ditto. Analog, Asimov's, those big guys you can actually buy on a newsstand.

writtenwyrdd said...

I forgot to mention: If you have some internet time where you can browse, try www.spicygreeniguana.com for a list of sff magazines. It isn't perfect, but there is a lot of info and a really nice search engine to narrow your search with.

Dave Kuzminski said...

Submit the novel now. Believe me, you won't get a door open with just one short story credit unless you win a significant award with it.

The sources that were mentioned are good places to start. I will add several more, but use your own judgment in which are best for you.


Anonymous said...

Dave K said, "Believe me, you won't get a door open with just one short story credit unless you win a significant award with it."

Lightning does strike, and it does help to go out there in the storm and wave a tall metal pole.

This is what happened to me. I consider myself a novelist, not a short story writer, but it was a short story that won a significant award and got the attention of a reputable agent, who contacted me before I even started querying.

Anonymous said...

You could try the markets listed by SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) that qualify for membership. I believe some of those are online publications.


Anonymous said...

Spicy Green Iguana's site hasn't been updated in about six months.
I'd check Ralan.com

Anonymous said...

Fresh Yarn is great and selective... its more essay than short stories but if the short story is true or truish...


Anonymous said...

Lots of good suggestions, but I'd start with Ralan's market listings site, simply because it's sf focused and divides the short story markets into pro, semi-pro, etc by pay rate. There are low/no pay markets that are well-regarded, but it does help thin things out a bit if you start at the high pay rates.

The SFWA membership requirements page is at

And I'd echo the point that's been made about it not being necessary to have short fiction credits to sell a novel.

Anonymous said...

I can only agree with DaveK. If you want to write novels, write novels and submit them. Chances are, it will take you years to get a good short story publication, and in that time you could be finding an agent.

On the other hand, if you genuinely want to write short fiction, Ralan's is the most reliable and comprehensive list of markets.

Linda Maye Adams said...

--Pub credits are nice but they aren't any where close to required.--

Miss Snark is right about that. I have publishing credits (which I am actually leaving off the next query). They didn't make one bit of difference because the query itself showed the novel didn't work.

Since then, I had an agent ask to see the book when I was done based on a very short conversation. She had no idea if I had credits or not. She liked the idea, and it turned out to plug right into her core selling point.

The reason I'm leaving the credits off the query is because they're too diverse. They look like I was wandering around trying to figure out what to write (which I was at the time). Plus, there are no high level magazines that publish my genre unless I want to write crime. So I listed the two writing organizations I belong to and that I do volunteer work helping the agents at writer's conferences.

By the way, as a veteran, you're eligible to be a member of the Military Writer's Society of America. http://www.militarywriters.com/ Membership is free.

Anonymous said...

This may sound crass, but if you're on deployment, you might consider writing dispatches for a blog or website instead of trying to place short stories. Build name recognition for yourself and your mss. Slate and some of the other well-read sites have had first-person dispatches from the war. The story of a soldier writing sci fi as a means of mental escape is a pretty compelling one.

Good luck to you, and here's hoping you find non-funky deodorant and everything else you need.

Christine said...

If you've got some SF shorties laying around, you might try...

Alien Skin Mag (this is a pretty big one among SF fans; I don't read it, but I've heard. I'm a fantasy person myself.

Tales of the Talisman - a spec fic mag, used be to called Hadrosaur tales. And I'm telling you this because my last book editor runs the mag and I like to give him the plug. But I hear it's also a pretty well-known one in spec fic circles

Those are off the top of my head.

Dave Fragments said...

I suspect that the dispensary on his base has underarm fragrances like lemon spricot surprise, Jasmine Ginger joy, pink rose and magnolia, old lady dusting powder,
when it should have - Old Spice...
It's tough for a soldier to smell flowery at the morning briefing.

of course, I could have misread this and he is a she (GULP, a sexist view has surfaced) then old spice is funky

Anonymous said...

No publication advice, but thank you for your service. -JTC

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you have enough advice already. I simply wanted to thank you for your service and wish you health, safety, and a speedy trip home.

Racy Li said...

Two excellent literary scifi (online mags) that take short stories are:

Abyss and Apex



They are small print journals but both have won awards with some of their stories featured in NY print anthologies of "Year's best Scifi and stuff like that."

I also highly recommend joining the yahoo group list of the Online Writers' Workshop . The workshop itself has a monthly fee, but to join the yahoo group list is free, and you'll get tons of information on the market for scifi short story markets.

Another good resource to find markets is Tangent which specializes in reviewing speculative short fiction.

Beautiful Food Gardens said...

"If you enjoy writing stories, too, then write and submit, but don't hold out on submitting your novel (or writing it) thinking you need some short story credits to pad your query. Especially if you're not interested in stories beyond what you think they'll get you."

Well, that's good to hear, because I suck at writing short stories. All my crits on shorts say "this would make a great first chapter" ...


Anonymous said...

I am primarily a short story writer, but I had an agent contact me after seeing a story of mine in Fiction. He asked to see a novel. I didn't have one, so now I am writing one. I think it helps to have your name out there, but I don't think it's a requirement. I use Writer's Market and Writer's Market for Short Stories and Novels. I also use this:


Anonymous said...

i'm still scratching my head over the stuff about non-funky pit stop.

not being a genre writer, i couldn't say for sure, but i would agree that if you're novel is ready, submit it. go ahead and submit to mags, but i wouldn't do that for the sake of trying to get an agent's attention. you might compromise your writing that way.

Jo Bourne said...

>>My idea of literary sf is a royalty statement.<<<

oh snurgle


Kate Thornton said...

I write only short stories - no novels, novellas, epics or sagas. It always puzzles me when a novelist assumes they can bang out a short story just because they have written a novel. It takes a lot of discipline to write short.

I commend the author for wanting credits - and for serving the country (use the online AAFES if you can to get a better selection of toiletries - it's what I did when deployed) but I think a good novel will stand on its own and need nothing from the short story realm. Still - can't beat Ralan's as a good list. And if you can write shorts as well as novels, you've really got it made!

Anonymous said...

Someone mentioned www.ralan.com

That's the one I use. It's a great resource for speculative fiction and Ralan updates his site every 2-3 days. He lists print mags, ezines and book publishers. Take a look.


Daisy Bateman said...

Non-Funky Deodorant

Anonymous said...

You might also want to check out Submitting to the Black Hole at
It's primarily for clocking response times of book and magazine publishers, but I use it for checking which mags are 'real' and which have vanished or never respond.
And for the reassurance of seeing how everyone else gets rejected too.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Anon.'s good wishes for your safety and swift return home . . .

One further mention: EscapePod.org takes very short stories for podcast. The quality is good, the pay is low, but it's real, and it's a credit.

But I, too, like others who have posted here, sold novels before I sold short stories. One of the reasons I read Miss Snark is she is all about the business (royalty statements, yeah!) and she is so right on: write something great, write from your heart, something that matters to you, and that 's the way to get published.

Don't shrink from writing military fiction if you like that sort of thing. Military SF, as in William C. Dietz's books, is a lively market. Very best good wishes . . . be safe.

Anonymous said...

To THIS military Snarkling only: If you would like a 2005 copy of writers market, please send me your APO, etc. at xarc_cqe@yahoo.com. Might be a bit out of date, but will provide some interesting reading while you familiarize yourself with various possibilities. Than you can doublecheck contact info online. And it's multi-purpose! Hefty size, probably good for repelling flak and use any pages you don't like for instant TP. My husband just returned from deployment and I know the drill. Thanks for your service.

Dave Fragments said...

appropos of non-funky:
I have this astounding image of Miss Snark in a black Vera Wang with Pearls, Prada spikes and the heady scent of Aqua Velva.

Just thought I'd share that image.

Miss Snark said...

sweet mother of dog
Aqua Velva?
is that ...gin?

Anonymous said...

Many of the suggestions made thus far have been excellent. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Realms of Fantasy or The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction yet (or perhaps they did, and I missed it). As an additional note: some of the magazines mentioned here can be particularly difficult for newcomers to break into, and others are considered very reputable but not necessarily literary.

I would also suggest some significantly smaller markets that aren't household names, but would certainly catch the eye of any agent or editor particularly interested in "literary" SF:

-Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet
-Electric Velocipede
-the already suggested StrangeHorizons.com
-Alchemy (though I think this one has gone out of business)
-Lone Star Stories (online)
-already suggested Ideomancer (online)

Mac said...

I'm a little confused by one line:

"So... do you know of any online literary/sf journals that a potential agent might take seriously?"

Why online journals? If are you particularly interested in them?

I read much more SF than is healthy for a single, overweight male - and I spend too much time online. But the names that I'd be most impressed with are print mags - Asimovs, Analog etc...

Good luck,


Kate Thornton said...

Mac - online is easier if you are deployed - postal supplies & regular post is more difficult from the field - also, the author may not have access to a printer in the field.

Anonymous said...

Here's a run-down on the current sf short fiction market, in case it's helpful:

In sf/fantasy short fiction, pro is defined as a market that pays a certain amount per word (currently 5 cents). To qualify as pro for SFWA standards (Science Fiction Writers of America), it also has to meet other standards in terms of circulation, prestige, etc.

The Ones That Currently Count:

Asimov's--of course. Old, highly prestigious. Prefers character-driven sf, hard or soft. Occasionally takes fantasy.

Analog--also, of course. Even older, just as prestigious. Science fiction only, preferably hard. No fantasy ever.

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction--doubt there's a year that it doesn't have at least one story up for a Hugo. Takes, as the name suggests, both fantasy and science fiction

Cemetery Dance--horror. might take dark sf or dark modern fantasy. no high fantasy, though.

Chizine--online now. also dark. definitely takes dark sf.

Interzone--British. Literary. Not as widely read as Asimov's or F&SF but very, very respectable.

Shadowed Realms-dark specfic.

Strange Horizons--online. up-and-coming. often likes work on the more literary or politically/socially relevant side.

Writers of the Future--real pros need not apply--can't have more than 3 publications, and their definition of publication is much less stringent than the SFWA's. Four quarters, each with three winners a year. pays very well. science fiction and fantasy.

Here's a link to the SFWA site if you want more info on markets and how they're defined: http://www.sfwa.org/org/qualify.htm

Anyway, basically, impressive literary sf short credentials would be publications in Analog, Asimov's, or F&SF. Interzone and Strange Horizons are good but not as 'classic'.

Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, as someone else suggested, is non-pro but literary and a respectable cred.

I think you can get both Asimov's and Analog as online downloads now. Don't know what type of reader you'd need to open them though.

Like someone else said, joining the Online Writing Workshop would be a great idea. The newsletter/mailing list alone will get you up-to-date on a lot of this stuff.

Unknown said...

I have quite a few market listings on my helpful links for writers page.

I like Spicy Green Iguana, and Story Pilot.

I suggest writing whatever you write, then look for publishing for those particular stories, be it novel or short story.

I actually got my first publishing credit for a poem that I sent out on a lark.

The trick with publishing credits and query letters: If your novel is fantasy add in credits for other fantasy stuff. If it's mystery, add in mystery. Otherwise just mention you are previously published in a general sort of way.

Most of my friends have a website with their publishing credits listed in a bibliography. This is another place I go trolling for markets. If they can get published there...

I'll be updating my market lists because of this post.