As a writer, writing is just the first step. Getting yourself out there is the next. But with so many sites out there, how do you choose the ones that are right for speculative creative writing and fiction?
The following is a roundup of the top websites that not only will publish your writing, but you will even get paid! Most of the publishers on this list pay semi-pro to pro rates for your sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, and response time is three months or less. What is better than that?
Publishers on this list prefer online submissions. However, some do list a physical address if an old-school paper manuscript is more your style.
Before submitting to a publication, read through some of the works on their site to get a feel for what they are looking for. This will help you hone in on sites more tailored to your style and genre. Always carefully review submission guidelines too! The following guidelines listed are only a brief overview; please visit the websites for full submission and query guidelines.
The following list includes sites for publishing speculative short stories and flash fiction, novels, and speculative-themed poetry in English.
Sites to publish short works
Daily Science Fiction
A professional publication that—you guessed it—publishes science fiction on the daily. However, they don’t stop at sci-fi, as all genres of speculative creative writing are encouraged: sci-fi, fantasy, and slipstream, to name a few. Daily Science Fiction accepts both short stories and artwork.
- Submissions must be 1500 words or less
- Flash series accepted (themed series of three or more flash fiction stories)
- Works must be previously unpublished
- No hard-core horror, erotica, or military-themed sci-fi
- Submissions open year-round, except from December 24th-January 2
- 8 cents per word for worldwide and nonexclusive reprint rights
Analog Science Fiction and Fact Literary Magazine
Short stories, nonfiction articles
Sci-fi writers rejoice! Analog Magazine is one of the top destinations for science fiction short story writers, although they do accept non-fiction as well. Besides publishing some of the best sci-fi stories the genre has to offer, this magazine is also highly revered for its articles in leading scientific studies and research and has a very dedicated fan base.
While this is regarded as a highly esteemed publication, new writers should not shy away from submitting, as they state they are “eager” to find new writing talent.
- All submissions will be considered based on merit
- Stories must include one or both of:
- Future science (psychological, physical, or sociological)
- Science-based stories
- No other “hard and fast” editorial guidelines that might inhibit writers’ creativity
- Online submissions are strongly encouraged, but they will accept paper manuscripts
- Submissions open year-round
- 8-10 cents per word for short fiction up to 20,000 words
- 6 cents per word for serials (40-80,000 words)
- 9 cents per word for fact articles
- $1 per line of poetry
Short stories, interviews, articles, audio fiction
A Hugo, World Fantasy, and British Fantasy Award-winning magazine, Clarkesworld publishes a variety of genres. They set themselves apart by accepting short audio fiction, which is a great way for new writers to set themselves apart from their competition. It is published monthly, with an anthology being published once a year.
- Fiction: 1000-22,000 words
- Must be convenient for on-screen reading (no long paragraphs)
- Must be suitable for audio
- The magazine claims first electronic rights, print rights, and anthology print rights
- Submissions open year-round
- Ten cents per word
Sites to publish novels Fictionate.Me
One of the newest self-publishing platforms in the game, Fictionate.me is perfect for novelists who want to “workshop” their WIP or complete manuscript and publish their book for free. The site is geared toward sci-fi and fantasy with popular sub-genres like action, adventure, thrillers, and paranormal romance.
Authors get paid royalties in a variety of ways, so this is a great option for long-term revenue. You keep all the rights to your work as well.
- All you need to do is create an account on the site, and you can start publishing.
- Authors choose which pay model they want for their readers:
- Pay per book
- Pay per chapter
- Monthly subscription
- All payments go directly to you, minus a 2.9% fee from the payments provider (Fictionate.Me does not charge a fee).
Webnovel, self-proclaimed pioneer of online literature, is another great site to publish your sci-fi or fantasy writing for free. Like Fictionate.Me, you can publish either WIP’s or completed manuscripts. On Webnovel, authors share the revenue earned from subscriptions on the site, direct sales (from other platforms), and monetization of their copyrights.
- Create an account and upload your novel
- Keep rights unless you sign a fixed-rate contract on the site
- Sign a royalty contract to share revenue from:
- subscriptions on the site
- direct sales on other platforms
- other monetization of copyright
- Fixed-rate contracts earn a minimum of $200 per month
Royal Road is another royalty-producing self-publishing platform that really focuses its advertising on new and upcoming novelists. Like Fictionate.Me and Webnovel, you can get feedback while you publish chapter by chapter or upload your finished novel.
- Create a free account on the website
- Upload and submit your work to be manually reviewed for plagiarism and appropriate tagging
- Only payout is through donations by your readers
- You keep all payments
There is certainly no shortage of free sites that will publish your writing, so this list is only the tip of the iceberg!
Heather R. Parker is a freelance content writer and editor, blogger, and poet. She is the author of a poetry collection entitled Fallen Whispers and a writer of poetry and essays on both Instagram and Medium, where she serves as editor of The Partnered Pen. Heather was named one of the Top Ten Micropoets of 2019 by Nightingale & Sparrow Press. Her work also appears in Nightingale & Sparrow’s Top Ten Micropoets of 2019 anthology.
Heather is a writer and editor for the fiction self-publishing platform Fictionate.me and publishes guest posts reviewing science fiction and fantasy literature and authors. Heather also publishes writing advice and recommended book lists for readers. Heather lives in Georgia with her husband, son, and a menagerie of pets. In her spare time, you can find her doing yoga, taking long walks in the woods, birdwatching, or picking flowers in sun-dappled meadows.