Glimmer Train is one of the most famous and respected of online writing magazines I’ve found. They publish a range of fiction, promise to read everything that’s submitted, and pay for publication. They also run contests and publish a companion “Writers Ask” magazine, which includes interviews and reviews and some articles about writing and publication.
So far they haven’t had the taste and good sense to accept anything I’ve submitted, but I don’t hold that against them!
Entry page: http://www.glimmertrain.com/writguid1.html
Glimmer Train runs a different contest each month, each with an entry fee and a prize or series of prizes:
- January: Very Short Fiction Award (Up to 3,000 words)
- February: Short Story Award for New Writers
- March: Fiction Open(2,000 to 20,000 wds)
- April: Family Matters
- May: Short Story Award for New Writers
- June: Fiction Open(2,000 to 20,000 wds)
- July: Very Short Fiction Award (Up to 3,000 words)
- August: Short Story Award for New Writers
- September: Fiction Open(2,000 to 20,000 wds)
- October: Family Matters
- November: Short Story Award for New Writers
- December: Fiction Open (2,000 to 20,000 wds)
Entry page: http://glimmertrain.com/standard.html
In addition to the contests, there are four periods for Standard Submissions. These are a lot more open and have no reading fees. Payment is $700 for any story published, together with 10 copies of the issue.
- January.Results by April 30.
- April.Results by July 31.
- July.Results by October 31.
- October. Results by January 31
A Glimmer Train publication looks great on your writing CV. They focus entirely on unsolicited submissions and most of their work comes direct from writers, rather than through agents.
Contest entries include a free subscription to the Writers Ask magazine, although my personal view of that publication is it’s not incredibly useful. I have learned a lot more from proper writing mags and certainly wouldn’t pay for this one in its own right. The entry fee can also get your story submitted into the relevant “standard submissions” period, so you get extra cover. To begin with, though, I would consider just a standard submission – the rewards aren’t as great, but entry is free and it’s a good way to get a feel for whether you can produce what they are after.
To check it out in more detail, you need to log into the Glimmer Train site with a username and password. It’s free and easy and they don’t produce a lot of spam emails – just a few reminders about contest deadlines etc, so if any of this interests you, sign up and see what you can find.