Do prize-winning literary journals pay?
There’s an expression, you get what you pay for — but not necessarily in fiction. Below, find a list of the top 31 journals publishing flash (short stories less than 1000 words) as determined by the number of pieces they published that won Best Small Fictions, Best Microfiction, the O. Henry Prize, Best American Short Stories, Wigleaf Top 50, and the Pushcart Prize within the last two years.
These stories are supposed to be the best of the best — at least as determined by their peers. But are the best-laureled among the best-paying?
Yes and no. While 58.6% of these journals don’t pay writers, the top 15 overwhelmingly do, with number one listee New Yorker shelling out an estimated $1,500 per story. Others pay more modestly: $25-$100 seems to be the norm.
What’s more common among winners is their lack of submission fee: Only three (9.68%) have writers pay them to consider publishing their work. This may mean that journals that do charge fees are pricing themselves out of flash fiction’s best.
|1||The New Yorker||38.5||$0||varies – abt $1,500 up**|
|2||X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine||15||$0||N/A|
|6||American Short Fiction||11.5||$3||“competitive”|
|7||Paris Review||11||$0||reported up to $1,000|
|8||The Southern Review||10.5||$3||$50|
|9||New Flash Fiction Review||10||$0||N/A|
|10||The Citron Review||9||$0||N/A|
|11||Atlas & Alice||8.5||$0||N/A|
|12||Milk Candy Review||8||$0||N/A|
NOTE: Payment and submission fee details subject to change.
*The point value is assessed by the number of winning stories in the awards mentioned above.
**New Yorker amount estimate based on input from a number of writers (who all received different rates) and Dan Baum’s figures stating he was paid $7,550 for a 5,000 word article.
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