Friday Findings: Lit Mags With Fast Response Times

a list of lists

In which, today being Friday, I offer up some lit-magical findings.

It’s no secret that the lit-mag submitting process is often glacial. On Twitter, I’ve seen people talk about having work in the queue for over a decade! Personally, I’ve had a story accepted after a 13-month wait. And other work has sat in the slush pile so long I’m fairly sure it eventually just melted into the gutter.

Of course, the long wait is often justifiable. Editors wear multiple hats, juggling teaching or other full-time jobs, familial obligations, their own writing, and all manner of things, usually with a small staff and typically no pay for their lit mag work. On average, I do think most reputable lit mags are good about responding within about six months.

Still, sometimes you want results fast. Maybe you’re trying to build your resume and hope to boost your publishing credits. Perhaps you’re very eager to see your name in print. Maybe you’re hungry to share your work with a wider audience and it feels good to do that through the editorial imprimatur of a magazine. Maybe you just don’t want to wait.

There are dozens of reasons to want speedy responses regarding your work. So, to that end, here are some resources that will tell you where to find lit mags with fast response times. My original idea was to list the journals themselves. But, it turns out, many others have gone before me in collecting this information. So today we have instead a list of lists. Enjoy and happy submitting!

5 great places to submit if you hate to wait: the poetry list

“Part of the pain of submitting is waiting and waiting and waiting to hear if your piece is accepted. This month we’ve focused on poetry journals, or rather journals that accept poetry, with stellar track records for responding quickly (fiction writers, you’ll find some gems here too).”

5 great places to submit if you hate to wait: The flash fiction list

“Part of the pain of submitting is waiting and waiting and waiting to hear if your piece is accepted. Response times of six months to a year are common. So for all you impatient flash fiction writers out there, we’ve homed in on journals with stellar track records for getting back quickly.”

80 fast response & no fee literary magazines/journals UPDATED!

“Below is a list of 80 no fee, literary magazines/journals that have a fast turnaround time (most average a month or less). I’ve also researched and added some others to the list, based on suggestions from experienced writers. The list is long, so I wasn't able to provide additional details or links for all of them. Those that I've featured on my blog previously are detailed below, followed by a list of all the rest.”

Fifteen Literary Journals That Respond Within A Month

“Submitting to journals with a quick response time is one of the best ways to stay motivated, not in terms of writing, but in terms of submitting. After all, if you submit to a journal and don’t hear anything (for up to a year) it is hard to feel motivated about submitting elsewhere.

Yet journals with quick turn around times regularly accept and publish work before other journals even respond with an acceptance or rejection.”

15 Literary Journals with Fast Response Times

“It is good to start out by submitting your work to literary journals that have fast response times. It is rewarding to hear back from journals within a month, rather than a year later, when you have forgotten all about them.

Submitting to journals with fast response times helps keep you motivated.”

35 Literary Magazines with One Week Response Time

“This is a list of 35 literary magazines/journals that have a response time of less than a week to the submissions. These are based on my own experience as a writer. One or more magazine may take some extra days, depending on the time of the year.
Things change quickly in publishing. As always, check the guidelines, investigate, and realize response times may vary.”


“The following listed journals and publications respond within a month.  Information regarding each will be listed underneath the link.  If you’re anything like me sometimes it’s nice to get a quick response.  That doesn’t mean the journals that take longer aren’t doing things right, they are and they’re busy.  However, on occasion fast is just what you need.”

Additional resources that let you search lit mags based on response time are The Submission Grinder and Duotrope (paying subscription required).

What about you? Got any fast-responding lit mags that you love? Got any tricks for whiling away the time during the submission wait period?

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If this list of lists has inspired you to persist, and if you’ve found it beneficial and assisting, please help others untwist the mysteries of all things lit mag.