Story Writing: Twenty Sites That Pay Writers Top Money


Are you a writer? Do you love story writing? Are you looking for a home for that story that has kept you awake for nights and made you talk to yourself like a fresh nutcase? There are thousands of websites willing to publish you, scores of them will pay for your story.

Wondering where to start? We have narrowed the field for you. These are some online sites that will put cool money in your pocket for your passion for story writing.

1. The Sun Magazine

The Sun Magazine is to literary magazines what the Chinese League is to football. They don’t just pay top money, they shatter the ceiling. They pay as much as 2000 dollars. Once your work is accepted you can be sure to earn, at the very least, 300 dollars.

And they are open to just about anything. Just about anything outrageously good, I should add. The magazine attracts more than a thousand submissions per month, so your masterpiece has to wait for six months for their response. No, you shouldn’t budget your feeding money on them.

Submission Period: All year round

2. Virginia Quarterly

These guys are strictly for literary fiction. Romance, no; science fiction, no; fantasy, never! For non-fiction they accept art and cultural criticism. Stories go as high as 8000 words and non-fiction for as high as 9000.

They usually pay 25 cent per word. 1000 dollars at least. They are equally open to poetry.

Submission Period: July 1st to 31st

3. One Story

They publish one top story every four weeks. Just one. They pay 500 dollars for the story, irrespective of style and content, not exceeding 8000 words.

They prefer a story ‘that leaves readers feeling satisfied and strong enough to stand alone’. Since they get hundreds of entries per month, you should pitch your top class story. The usual ‘Ayo was now seeing her again’ might not sell.

Submission Period: From September 1st to May 31st


4. Cincinnati Review

This site is looking for stories that are not ecstatic but makes the reader feel ecstatic. What does this mean? No one knows. They pay 25 dollars for each double-spaced page. They have earned the right to be mysterious.

Submission Period: August 15th to March 15th

5. Apex magazine

They pay six cents per word up to 7,500 words. Additional one cent if your story gets in the podcast. They welcome all manner of works.

Submission Period: All year round

6. Vestal Review

They publish fiction between 100 to 500 words. They are ‘not interested in porn, racial slurs, excessive gore or obscenity… no preachy stories either, please. Our target audience is people over 18, so R-rated content is OK, but no X-rated.’

They pay between 3 to 10 dollars per word.

Submission Period: February to May; August to November

7. Strange Horizon

They publish speculative fiction, broadly defined, of usually less than 5000 words although your story writing of 10,000-word might tempt them. They pay eight cent per word.

Submission Period: All year round

8. Ploughshares

Ploughshares accept works of poetry, fiction and non-diction. Nothing more than 6,000 words please. They pay 45 dollars per printed page up to 450 dollars.

There is a service fee of 3 dollars. You can bypass this if you send your entry via mail to Boston, USA. If you are a subscriber of you won’t be charged.

Submission Period: June 1st to January 15th

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9. Crazy Horse

They publish poetry, fiction and nonfiction. Anything (no rambling). Between 2500 to 8500 words. Once your work is with them expect to hear from them within sixteen weeks.

It may take longer ‘if your work is under serious consideration’. So the earlier the response the more likely ‘non merci’ is the answer. They pay 20 dollars per page; maximum of 200 dollars.

Submission Period: All year round except for January and July (competition submissions)

10. The First Line

The First Line demands the irregular. They publish quarterly, each edition with a prepared line that must be your first line. ‘The plan suddenly made sense’ is the first line for this summer.

‘The plan suddenly made sense. Ada would cut his throat.’ You may start from there. They pay as much as 50 dollars.

Submission PeriodSpring (1st February, deadline); Summer (1st May, deadline); Autumn (1st August, deadline); Winter (1st November, deadline)

11. The New Yorker

It will be crazy to exclude the New Yorker here. They are arguably the number one literary website on earth. Once you get published there you are in the same rank with the topmost writers like Salman Rushdie, John Updike etc.

They don’t pay for unsolicited stories but having ‘published in New Yorker’ in your bio can open hundreds of doors. The chances of getting published there is less than 0.00001 percent.

12. Daily Science Fiction

They will publish your fantastic stories. They publish stories ranging from 100 words to 1500 words. They pay eight cent per word and you would receive additional alert if they republish your work in their themed anthologies.

What are you waiting for? No idea? Think of a planet where everyone moves around naked. Start from there.

Submission Period: All year round

13. The Antioch Review

They are looking for stories that count, ‘a story worthy of the serious attention of the intelligent reader, a story that is compelling, written with distinction’. Fold your sleeves.

They pay twenty dollars per printed page, of stories up to 5000 words. These run for several pages. Grab a calculator.

Submission Period: All year round (except between June 1st and September 1st)

14. The Black Warrior

They seek for stories of up to 7000 words. A service fee of 3 dollars is required. They pay ‘a nominal lump fee’ for accepted work. It has to be a lot. After submitting, you are expected to wait for as much as six months.

Submission Period: December 1st to March 1st; June 1st to September 1st

15. Story Magazine

These guys are looking for experimental narrative that would surprise them. Each issue has a theme that you must write on. You can submit both online and via post. Maximum of 2500 words.

They pay but they won’t tell how much. Wise, so you don’t pin your child support on them.

Submission Period: February, April, June, August and October


16. Georgia Review

The review draws its materials from a wide range of cultural interests. They don’t fuse over length. They pay 50 dollars per printed page. Cool money.

There is a submission fee of 3 dollars. This is nothing, of course, when placed side by side the prestige and prize of being published here.

Submission Period: August 16 to May 14

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 17. Cricket Magazine

This is a children/young adult magazine that accepts fiction, nonfiction, poetry and comics. They have multiple categories including Babybug for 6 months to 3 years old. They pay as much as 25 cent per word up to 9000 words.

Submission Period: All year round

18. Fireside

Fireside ‘is looking for great storytelling’. They are particularly against depiction of brutality such as sexual assaults, child molestation, torture, animal abuse etc.

They accept flash fiction of less than 1000 words and stories of not more than 5,000. I can assure you they will blacklist you if you submit anything over 5,000. They pay 12.5 cents per word.

Submission Period: Currently closed.

19. AGNI

‘AGNI regularly features emerging writers… known for publishing important new writers early in their careers’. What are you waiting for?

Submit to them, you’ve already conquered your Whatsapp group! The pay is also good, ten dollars, maximum of 150 dollars. Plus one year subscription.

Submission Period: September 1st to May 31st

20. Flash Fiction Online

FFO are open to stories between 500 to 1000 words of any genre although they are not crazy about erotica and horror. They pay a flat fee of 60 dollars.

Submission Period: All year round

Now you have the deals, you can as well write your way out of recession with your story writing. At least, it is better than decorating masquerades.