A lot of writers overlook the value of publishing in magazines or journals (online or in print) that don't pay contributors. Many great magazines have started off as non-paying, simply because they could not afford it. But as a writer, having your work appear in magazines can be reward enough -- either as the almighty ego boost, or just exposure to get your name out there. Also, many online venues will post a link to your blog or website and let you promote your books or other merchandise.
Here are a few non-paying speculative markets that I have found to be reputable and easy to work with:
- Black Petals
- Cemetery Moon - pays 1 copy
- Sinister Tales - pays leading story $125 and leading poem $25
- The Ashen Eye
- Twisted Dreams Magazine
- Twisted Tongue Magazine - pays for Editor's Choice award, all others free PDF and link
- Visionary Tongue - pays 1 copy
If you're looking for a great online repository of short horror stories, check out MicroHorror.com. The site is loaded with stories short enough to read in one sitting. Editor Nathan Rosen just added my story, "Shelter," to the site this month.
And if you're in the mood for a good poem, read "A Tan Dog Standing" by Julie Jordan Hanson, found online at the Michigan Quarterly Review archives. This is one of the finest poems I've read in a long time, and although it's not speculative, I think you'll enjoy it.