Westerns were all the rage in the 1920s and 30s. Zane Grey and Louis L’Amour wrote dozens of books featuring rugged gun slinging cowboys. Movies and TV shows like Bonanza fed the public’s seemingly endless appetite for stories of the “wild west.” But starting in the late 1960s, the genre all but disappeared. Currently, Westerns have been reduced to a small corner of the “pulp fiction” genre.
While the market for historical fiction novels is robust, historical fiction short stories occupy a small niche market. For writers that is both good and bad. If you write short historical fiction, you don’t have a lot of competition, which makes getting published a little easier. But your readership won’t be as wide as more popular genres.
That being said, if you have written a shoot-em-out in the O.K. Corral or invented a new adventure for the Scarlet Pimpernel, here are your go-to paying markets for historical fiction and Westerns.
Note: For many more paying markets that accept fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, see Paying Markets.
The Western Online Press is a publisher of Western fiction. “At The Western Online Press, our eBook imprint, we focus on quality Western fiction. We publish novella length works of at least 20,000 words up to full length novels. Review our submission guidelines and if interested, request a copy of our writers contract via the contact form.” No information about royalties. Read guidelines HERE.
The Copperfield Review publishes short historical fiction or poetry, personal essays about the writing life or tips for writing historical fiction, reviews of historical novels, and interviews historical novelists. Payment: Book reviews: $15; Poetry: $15 per poem; Short stories: $20; Interviews with historical novelists: $20; Nonfiction about tips for writing historical fiction or personal essays about writing historical fiction: $25. Read guidelines HERE.
Timeworn Literary Journal welcomes submissions of unpublished historical fiction stories in English under 5,000 words. They should be set before 1996, rooted in history and voice-driven. “We’re looking for “Historical Fiction from the fringe.” Work with a bend toward the surreal, the dream-like, the strange. The offbeat kind of story that settles into your heart long after reading. That said, we also value beauty and warmth and a generally well-written story with soul. Romance, Mystery, Crime and the Gothic are all acceptable. Speculative elements strongly encouraged.” Payment: $25. Read guidelines HERE.
Open Range is an online publication focusing on art and writing from rangelands and the American West. They are open for submissions of fiction and poetry, as well as essays, reviews, profiles, interviews, photo stories, reportage, and other. They offer an honorarium.
Prairie Rose Publications is a publishing company devoted to publishing westerns and western romances written about women. PRP’s imprints include westerns, historical fiction, mystery, futuristic, paranormal, and fantasy. In addition to novels, they accept short stories and novellas. Short stories are available in digital format only (10,000 to 29,999 words). The exception is anthologies, which are available in both print and digital formats. Payment is a percentage of net royalties. (While this is acceptable for short stories, it is not advisable for longer works, especially when the author must do all his or her own marketing.)
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