Are you a writer who wants to write a crime fiction novel? This guide will help you to get started.
If you’re an author who writes crime fiction short stories and are in need of a publisher, this post is especially for you.
Continue reading to learn about 17 top crime fiction short story publishers.
Named after the Master of Suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine is an award-winning publisher of suspense, crime, and mystery short stories. They are known for publishing the best of the best, and they are always on the hunt for fresh, well-written stories from new and established writers. They are particularly interested in private eye stories, police procedurals, courtroom dramas, and the like.
They are currently accepting crime fiction short stories no longer than 12,000 words. Pay is $0.05 to $0.08 per word. If you would like to submit your work for their consideration, you can do so through their online submission form. For more information about their style and formatting preferences, you can find their submission guidelines here.
Established in 1941, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine is often credited for setting the bar for mystery and crime short stories. In fact, it is considered one of the best crime fiction publications in the entire world. Over the decades, it has won more than 100 awards and has featured legendary short fiction writers such as Joyce Carol Oates and William Faulkner. Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine currently accepts submissions of mystery, suspense, and crime fiction that are original, exciting, and professionally crafted. They are not interested in stories that contain explicit violence or sex.
At the moment, they are looking for stories between 2000 and 8000 words, and they pay $0.05 to $0.08 per word. You can submit your short story through their online submission portal, and you can find their submission guidelines here.
Mystery Tribune is another online magazine that has published the work of many award-winning writers such as Lynne Barrett, Max Allan Collins, Walter Mosley, Sean Phillips, and more. In addition to publishing mystery and crime short stories, they also publish non-fiction, photography, art, and longer works of fiction. To get a better idea of the kind of work they usually publish, you can take a look at their previous issues. Mystery Tribune welcomes short story submissions all year round. There is no set word count requirement, but most of the stories they publish are between 3000 and 6000 words. When submitting, make sure you include a cover letter with a little bit about yourself. Only one story may be submitted at a time.
Visit Mystery Tribune’s submission portal to submit your work and view their current submission guidelines.
4. Noir Nation
Noir Nation publishes crime fiction, poetry, and non-fiction in both print and digital formats. Since its launch in 2011, it quickly became an internationally recognized hub for crime fiction and noir literature. Although they have no regular reading periods, they do periodically open for submissions. They also hold an annual writing contest called the Golden Fedora Awards, which celebrates contemporary noir literature under 3000 words.
Both regular submissions and Golden Fedora entries must be submitted through their online submission portal. If you would like to get notified about open calls for crime fiction, you can sign up for Noir Nation’s email newsletter.
Shotgun Honey was launched in 2011, and they continue to keep crime fiction lovers satisfied with a steady stream of high-quality flash fiction and short stories. They primarily publish crime, hard-boiled, and noir fiction—both through their website and their short story anthology Shotgun Honey Presents. In 2016, they began publishing short crime and mystery novels as well.
They are currently accepting both flash fiction submissions for their website and short story submissions for the upcoming volume of their anthology. Flash fiction submissions must be less than 700 words. Short story submissions must be between 1000 and 5000 words, and accepted entries will be paid $25 upon publication. Shotgun Honey does not accept work that contains child abuse, animal abuse, and sexual abuse.
Based in Ontario, Mystery Weekly is an online magazine that publishes original short stories that span every crime fiction subgenre you can imagine, including noir, police procedural, whodunit, humor, hardboiled, and supernatural. They are currently open for submissions, and they are interested in stories between 2500 and 7500 words. Multiple submissions are not allowed, so choose your best work when submitting. Mystery Weekly does not accept work that contains animal cruelty and excessive violence, and all submitted stories must be proofread prior to submission. Accepted stories will be paid $0.01 per word.
All submissions must be sent online. You can find Mystery Weekly’s submission guidelines as well as their submission form here.
Coffin Hop Press is a small press in Alberta, Canada that publishes crime anthologies featuring the work of Canadian crime writers. In 2015, Coffin Hop released AB Negative, a crime collection that featured crime and mystery short stories set in Alberta. In 2018, they published The Dame Was Trouble, another short story collection that featured the work of female Canadian crime writers.
Coffin Hop is not currently open for submissions, but you can visit their submissions page from time to time to stay updated on all their current projects and submission opportunities. For general inquiries, you may get in touch with Coffin Hop Press via email.
The Fiddlehead is Canada’s oldest literary magazine. Launched in 1945, it continues to publish outstanding works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. They also publish excerpts from novels. The work they publish span various genres and subgenres—mystery and crime included. Online submissions are strongly encouraged, and their submission periods are January 1 to April 30 and September 15 to November 30. Short fiction submissions must be no longer than 6000 words. Writers outside Canada are also welcome to submit.
If you would like to submit your work for The Fiddlehead’s consideration, you can start by reading their submission guidelines here. Once you’re ready to submit, you can do so through their Submittable page.
Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine is a mystery and crime fiction publisher owned and operated by Wildside Press. Although they do welcome parodies and humorous takes on the crime genre, they are more interested in serious crime fiction and reader-solvable mysteries. They also occasionally publish science fiction and supernatural fiction, but only if the story still falls within the mystery genre.
They are currently seeking short stories within 3000 to 7000 words, and they pay $0.03 per word upon publication. SHMM’s fiction editor is quite particular about formatting, so make it a point to read their submission guidelines prior to sending your work. Submissions can be sent directly to their fiction editor Marvin Kaye via email.
Established in 1999, Crimewave is a crime and mystery magazine operated by The Third Alternative Press. They specialize in publishing the kind of crime fiction you won’t find anywhere else, and all of their issues have received rave reviews. Many authors whose work has been featured in Crimewave have gone on to win prestigious awards such as the CWA Dagger. Crimewave is always open for submissions of previously unpublished crime and mystery short stories no longer than 10000 words. Submissions should be in standard MS format, and a cover letter must be included. Simultaneous submissions and multiple submissions are not allowed.
Suspense Magazine is an online magazine that has been publishing mystery, horror, suspense, thriller, and crime fiction since its inception in 2011. They release new issues each month, and they are always open for submissions. In 2010, they expanded their operations and began publishing full-length books in the aforementioned genres. Some of the authors they have worked with include Matt Hawkins, Joseph Badal, and New York Times Bestseller Paul Kemprecos.
If you have a short story you wish to submit to Suspense Magazine, you can send it to them via email. Paste your submission in the body of your email—stories sent as attachments will not be opened. All short stories need to be 5000 words or less, and must not be sexually graphic or violent in nature. For more information, you can check out their submission guidelines here.
Scribble is an award-winning short story magazine in the UK that has been in circulation for 20 years. Scribble publishes short stories across various topics and genres, such as contemporary fiction, crime, horror, science fiction, and more. They are after stories that gripping, fresh, and have sympathetic characters. You can browse through their previous issues to get an idea of what they usually publish. Some examples of short stories published in Scribble are Wanted: Dead or Alive by Andrew Giles, Only One Got Away by Gail Richards, and The New Leaf by Marcus Sims.
Scribble currently welcomes submissions under 3000 words, and all submissions must meet their formatting requirements. You can learn more about their submission guidelines and posting instructions here.
Short Fiction is an UK-based online journal that publishes short stories from around the globe. They publish the work of both emerging and established writers. Because their editors have such a wide taste range, they welcome stories across various topics and genres—as long as it qualifies as fiction. As such, they do not accept poetry or memoirs.
Submissions are currently open, and they are accepting previously unpublished short stories between 500 and 5000 words. Submissions must be sent via email as an attachment and must follow the formatting guidelines listed here. Only one story can be submitted at a time, and you need to wait for a response before sending in a new submission.
Spineless Wonders is a publishing company dedicated to publishing short fiction written by Australian writers. They are interested short fiction of various lengths—from traditional short stories to experimental micro-literature to novellas. They are also interested in different genres—romance, crime, mystery, steam punk, black comedy, psychological, speculative, and genres yet to be named. In addition to publishing collections by individual authors, they also publish anthologies in print and digital formats.
You can check out their Submittable page to see all their current calls for submissions. That is also where you can find the submission guidelines for each open call. If you have any questions for the Spineless Wonders team, you can reach them via email.
New Mystery Reader is an online magazine that specializes in the crime and mystery genre, and it’s an excellent place for emerging writers to submit their work. Some short stories they have published over the past few years include Slippery Slope: A Grady PI Story by Jim Sells, Light Perpetual by Karen Treanor, Imposter by Melodie Campbell, and more. They are currently open for mystery and crime fiction submissions under 2500 words.
If you wish to submit your work to New Mystery Reader, please send an email of interest before submitting your full story. At the moment, they do not offer monetary compensation for selected work. Learn more about their complete submission guidelines here.
Mysterical-E is an online literary journal that publishes everything under the mystery genre, including crime, cozies, thrillers, hard-boiled, noir, and more. In addition to traditional sleuth stories and police procedurals, they are also interested in seeing mystery done with a twist—supernatural investigators, new age detectives, and cross-genre fiction.
They are currently accepting submissions for short stories, novellas, and longer pieces of work. For short stories, the recommended word count is between 1001 to 7500 words. If you are interested in submitting your work to Mysterical-E, you can check out their complete guidelines and submission instructions here.
17. Brain Drip
Brain Drip is an online literary magazine that publishes short stories, essays, and poetry by Australian writers. They are open to stories about pretty much everything—including crime, mystery, horror, romance, and more—but they are especially fond of stories that grip and transport readers to another time and place. If that sounds like the kind of stories you enjoy writing, you can try your hand at submitting to Brain Drip.
Brain drip welcomes short story submissions between 1000 and 8000 words. For more information about submitting your work, you can check out their submission guidelines here. if you have any questions or concerns prior to submitting, you can contact Brain Drip here.
Are there any other crime fiction short story publishers that should be on this list? Tell us about them in the comments box below!
Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of Writing Tips Oasis.