In his article ‘‘Getting Paid,” which appears in the special section “Publishing Spotlight: Literary Magazines” in the November/December 2022 issue, contributor Aaron Gilbreath considers the question writers who are attempting to place their work in literary journals must ask: Should I publish for free? For some writers, there may be good reasons to write free of charge; for others, as Gilbreath writes, “the idea of giving your work to a publisher for free—even if that publisher is a small, under-resourced yet popular literary magazine—is a nonstarter.”
Databases are a good place to start your research of paying markets, and the Poets & Writers Literary Magazines database includes a filter for payment and genre. As part of his own research, Gilbreath compiled the following list of journals that pay:
Arc Poetry has been publishing new and established poets in Canada and beyond for over forty years. Translations of poetry into English are also accepted. Payment: $50 per page of poetry, interviews, and poetry-related prose; the 500-word “How Poems Work” feature pays a flat $50.
Arkansas International, based at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, seeks to put emerging and established authors from across the world in conversation with one another. It publishes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comics, and international work in translation. Payment: $20 per printed page, maximum $250.
Arts & Letters is a biannual journal out of Georgia College in Milledgeville. It seeks both formal and experimental poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Payment: $10 per printed page for poetry and prose, with a minimum payment of $50.
Banshee is a biannual print journal and book press, coedited by three Irish writers. It welcomes submissions from Irish and international writers, including first-time writers. Payment: €250 (approximately $255) for short stories and essays, €50 ($51) per poem, and €75 ($76) for flash; commissioned pieces begin at €400 ($408).
Canadian Notes & Queries (notesandqueries.ca) publishes all kinds of nonfiction, from essays to humor to cultural criticism, written either from a Canadian perspective, or about Canadian subjects. Payment: 10 cents per word, with a maximum of $200.
CRAFT Literary (craftliterary.com) is an online magazine that focuses on the craft of writing and how craft elements make a good story or essay shine. General submissions are open year-round. Payment: $100 for original flash fiction, $200 for original short fiction and nonfiction.
The Dublin Review (thedublinreview.com) is a quarterly journal that publishes fiction and nonfiction ranging from travel essays to memoir to reportage. It is published in book format. Payment: competitive rates for all prose, with a more generous rate for commissioned nonfiction.
Event, published by Douglas College in British Columbia, is one of Western Canada’s longest-running literary magazines. Payment: $40 per page of poetry, $35 per page of prose, up to $500.
Geist is a quarterly magazine of fiction and creative nonfiction. Payment: Notes & Dispatches, usually $300 to $600, depending on length; longer nonfiction, up to $1,200; fiction, up to $1,000; poetry, $100 per page; photography/art, between $50 and $120 per page; comics, $100 per page.
The Georgia Review is a print journal published by the University of Georgia in Athens since 1947. Payment: $50 per printed page for prose, $4 per line for poetry, and a flat rate of $150 for book reviews.
Grain is a quarterly journal that publishes engaging, surprising, eclectic, and challenging writing and art by Canadian and international writers and artists. Payment: $50 per page of writing, regardless of genre, up to $250; all visual work is paid the same page rate as text, up to $500.
GUTS: Canadian Feminist Magazine is a biannual journal that publishes accessible literary essays, fiction, longform journalism, interviews, and poetry that advances feminist correspondence, criticism, and community in Canada. Payment: $500 to $2000, depending on the length and depth of work. Writers can pitch long-form, investigative pieces with negotiable rates.
High Desert Journal is a quarterly focused on literary, visual, and journalistic work about the interior West, often by residents of the region. Payment: $25 per poem or $50 per essay or story; $150 to their featured artist.
Paris Review (theparisreview.org) is an independent nonprofit quarterly journal and publishes a thriving arts and culture website, the Daily. Payment: For prose in the print quarterly, from $1,000 for short pieces to around $3,000 for longer pieces. The Daily starts at $100 for short contributions such as the Diaries series, and typically pays $500 to $1,000 for longer pieces.
Poetry is one of the country’s most esteemed poetry journals, published by the Poetry Foundation. Payment: $150 published page for prose, $10 per line per textual poem, with a minimum of $300, and $300 for visual, audio, and video poems.
Red Canary Magazine (redcanarycollective.org) is an award-winning environmental and social justice magazine that recently launched the Eco Lit series, which functions more like a literary journal, showing how journalism and literature can coexist. Payment: Generally 50 cents per word for interviews and reported pieces, and competitive rates for fiction and poetry.
SmokeLong Quarterly is one of the first web mags to focus on flash fiction. Payment: $50 per piece of fiction and flash nonfiction narratives about craft and teaching.
The Southern Review is an internationally focused journal founded in 1935. Submissions for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and translation are accepted. Payment: $50 for the first printed page of prose and $25 for each subsequent printed page, up to $200.
Southwest Review offers “nominal payment” for all contributions. Payment: Varies, but they paid me $250 for a 7,500-word essay.
The Stinging Fly (stingingfly.org) is a seasoned journal publishing work by Irish and international writers, with a particular interest in the short story and in writers from underrepresented areas of society. Payment: €40 (approximately $39.50) per page of prose, €30 ($29.50) per page of poetry, with a minimum payment of €60 ($59) per poem, and €400 ($395)to their Featured Poet.
Taco Bell Quarterly is a quarterly that appreciates absurdity and embraces “the spectrum of trash to brilliance,” with a Taco Bell reference wedged in there. Payment: $100 per piece.
Virginia Quarterly Review is a hybrid glossy literary magazine that pays higher rates than most literary publications, and its nonfiction ranges from journalism to memoir. Payment: $200 per poem, up to four poems; $1,000 for a suite of five or more poems; $1,000 and above for short fiction; $1,000 and up for creative nonfiction, at approximately 25 cents per word; investigative reporting pays a higher rate.
Thumbnail: photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash