Let’s say you’re a politically-radical writer and you’re looking to get published. Sure, we’re a publisher. You could, theoretically, send your stuff to us. But we’re not the only game in town, and honestly it’s pretty likely we’re not whom you’d like to submit your work to. We’re awesome, don’t get me wrong, but we aren’t going to be paying out much of anything in the way of royalties, and there’s really only a limited chunk of stuff we’re interested in. But we want you to get published! We want more radical writers writing more radical stuff! So, to that end, we’ve compiled this running list of writing markets appropriate for radical authors.
Anyhow, with minimal further ado, here’s the list.
Last updated 3/22/15
Most markets are only open for submissions from time to time, so please check before submitting. This information is composed of our best guesses with what information we had available. Accuracy not guaranteed. Report inaccuracies and omissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short Nonfiction, Literature, & Genre Fiction
- Beneath Ceaseless Skies (secondary world “literary adventure fantasy”)
- Clarkesworld Magazine (fantasy/sci-fi)
- Crossed Genres (fantasy/sci-fi aligned to each issue’s theme)
- Orion (literature, nonfiction. pay rates are not disclosed.)
- Strange Horizons (speculative fiction)
- Tor.com (speculative fiction at pro rates, nonfiction at various rates)
- Unlikely Story (speculative fiction on specific themes)
- Yes! Magazine (nonfiction. website writing is unpaid, magazine rates are apparently wildly variable.)
Semi-Pro & Token
- The Baffler (fiction, nonfiction, poetry)
- The Big Click (crime fiction, including criminal lifestyle fiction)
- Expanded Horizons (speculative fiction)
- Flapperhouse (fiction, nonfiction, poetry)
- The Future Fire (speculative fiction)
- Mask (nonfiction, narrative nonfiction)
- McSweeney’s (fiction and nonfiction. Web content is unpaid. Magazine content is paid, rates are not disclosed.)
- Middle Planet (Speculative fiction focused, comics and nonfiction accepted too.)
For the Rev (or exposure or whatever)
- The Believer (optimistic nonfiction, reviews, and poetry. might pay, I don’t know.)
- The Berkeley Journal of Sociology (nonfiction)
- Black Seed (green anarchist, primarily nonfiction)
- CounterPunch Online (blog articles)
- Dangerous Constellations (anarchist poetry and fiction)
- Dissent (nonfiction. apparently pays sometimes but not usually?)
- Earth First! Journal (articles, fiction, poetry)
- Fairytale Review (fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry)
- Fifth Estate (anarchist, primarily nonfiction)
- Jacobin (essays)
- N+1 (fiction and nonfiction)
- Rolling Thunder (anarchist, nonfiction, fiction, photo essays, poetry)
- Truthout (nonfiction)
- AK Press (nonfiction)
- Autonomedia (primarily nonfiction, some fiction. no guidelines online.)
- See Sharp Press (nonfiction and science fiction)
- Combustion Books (genre fiction)
- Left Bank Books Publishing Project (nonfiction. no guidelines online.)
- LBC Books (primarily nonfiction)
- Minor Compositions
- OOA! (nonfiction)
- PM Press (fiction and nonfiction)
(some publish books/chapbooks, other just take individual poems)
- Critical Documents
- Goblin Fruit (“fantastical” poetry only)
- Knives Forks and Spoons Press
- Sad Press Books
Advice for getting accepted
When you submit your work to a publisher, it goes into their “slush pile.” Finding publishable materials in a slush pile is like finding edible food in the compost–there’s an awful lot of rot in there. If you want your work to be seriously considered (and ideally, accepted), there are a few simple rules:
- actually read their submission guidelines, and follow them to the letter
- have a decent idea of what the publisher does and doesn’t publish
- make sure your writing is grammatically sound
- bonus points: if you don’t know the specific gender preference of the person(s) reading your submission, don’t open your cover letter with “dear sirs”
Rationale of this list’s organization and definition of terms
Genre Fiction is fiction that falls under one of the “genres” like fantasy, science fiction, mystery, romance, horror, et cetera. (“Speculative fiction” is a broad term that includes most of the genres that don’t take place in the “real world.” “Secondary world” refers to fiction set in an alternate universe, rather than in our past, present, or future.) Genre fiction is separated out as distinct from other literature because of the way that the publishing industry works, not because it is actually lowlier (or more noble) than “literature” proper. Genre fiction markets tend to pay better (and disclose their pay rates) and all legitimate genre fiction markets obey Yog’s Law: “Money flows toward the writer.” Which is to say, you never pay to submit your genre fiction to publishers or agents. Genre fiction markets tend to be better paid because authors are considered working writers and are treated with the respect that entails.
Literature in the context of this list is fiction set in the “real world” that isn’t a mystery or romance or horror story or whatever. Literature is separated out from “genre fiction” primarily by the publishing industry. Literature markets tend to not pay, or to pay less, and many charge authors a “reading fee” in order to submit. This is exploitative, from the genre fiction writer’s point of view. Literature markets tend not to disclose their pay rates (keeping workers from knowing what one another are paid is part of how exploitative labor practices are perpetuated). Ironically, literature markets tend to take themselves more seriously.
Nonfiction: Most markets included here are looking for regular nonfiction, including essays, theory, history, et cetera. Some might be open to “narrative nonfiction” which is, roughly, literature-but-true.
Pro-Rate Markets pay six cents a word or more. These are not necessarily “anarchist” or explicitly radical markets, but they are markets that are known to be friendly to radical work.
Semi-Pro and Token markets are ones that pay you more than nothing (contributors copies and exposure both count as “nothing,” by the way). Our bar for radicalness for these markets is slightly higher than it is for pro-rate markets, but not a ton higher.
For the Rev (or exposure or whatever) markets are ones that don’t pay you in more than ephemera like “pride in having been published” and “exposure” and “your words influencing our culture” and “contributors copies.” Corresponding to this lack of remuneration, the “how radical are you” bar for inclusion in our list is higher. But considering that our readers are likely of various political persuasions within radical left-and-post-left politics, we aim to include a diverse range of radical markets. Find the one that you tend to agree with the content of. Also we sometimes include random other markets we think are cool that are open to radical writers but aren’t explicitly radical.
A note on getting paid for writing: in radical circles, we tend not to pay or get paid for things. But in the world of writing, things look a little different. We live in a capitalist society. If the press doesn’t specifically share your values (and aren’t paying themselves with your work!) then they should probably pay you.
Book Publishers: For book-length work, we’re just including radical presses. If you want to publish with one of the big book publishers, go for it! Many of them (at least genre fiction publishers) are plenty open to radical ideas.
Poetry: The maintainer of this list is not incredibly well-versed in poetry markets, and the markets included were largely based on recommendations.
Radical: Our idea of “radical” for this list is very heavily weighted towards anarchism, but tends to include non-denominational intersectional/anti-oppression politics as well, as it is our experience that those people are quite receptive to publishing anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist works.