For the Writers: Awesome Journals that don’t charge submission fees
Posted by on April 17, 2014

Here at Little Curlew Press we love lots of things — a good trail in the early morning, strong coffee, loyal dogs.

Another one of the things we love is quality lit journals and those stories and essays that keep us up reading into the late hours of the night. Of these, we especially love those journals that don’t charge submission fees. Journals that accept work online without any charge are awesome, in our opinion. Unfortunately, the practice of charging a fee for submissions is becoming more and more common.

Fee-free submissions indicate a journal is welcoming to all kinds of work, including that of writers who might be new to sending their work to publications, as well as those who can’t spare a few dollars every single time they submit their work.


At Little Curlew Press, we don’t charge for submissions, and our plan is to keep it that way. Although submission fees could mean more resources and the ability to run contests with award money, we just don’t feel either of those benefits would outweigh the negatives of asking writers to pay fees just to send their work. (PS – If you have something that meets our guidelines, we want to see it!)

Here are just a few exceptional journals that we love to read and that don’t charge any fees for regular online submissions (as of post time):

Cumberland River Review
A River and Sound Review
Baltimore Review
Potomac Review
The Emerson Review
Third Coast
Fifth Wednesday Journal
Mad swirl
Pif Magazine

Do you know of any other great journals that don’t charge writers to submit work? We’d love to know! Please share in the comments below.


  • Allen Taylor
    3 years ago - Reply

    Rattle doesn’t charge a reading fee. They are an independent non-profit lit journal not associated with a university press. They’ve survived for more than 20 years without charging reading fees.

    • Roger Drouin
      3 years ago - Reply

      Thanks, Allen. That’s an excellent addition! We’re fans of Rattle. (We loved their issue #44 cover.) It’s commendable also that this journal has several methods for submitting work.

  • Adrienne Ross Scanlan
    3 years ago - Reply

    The Blue Lyra Review ( does not charge a submission fee. Please take a look at our magazine – – we’re proud of the quality of fiction, poetry, translations, and nonfiction we publish. We do offer writers the option to pay for an expedited response and critique of a submission, but it’s up to the writer to decide to go that route. Going the expedited route, by the way, does not lead to a guarantee of publication.

  • Jen Lambert
    3 years ago - Reply

    burntdistrict is free, free, free!!! And it’s gorgeous (I may be biased since I’m an editor, but still… it’s gorgeous…)

  • David Walker
    3 years ago - Reply

    FIELD ( doesn’t charge a submission fee. Free submission since 1969. Online submission (poetry only) through a link on our website.

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