We all know to read a publication before submitting. Joe Mackall, editor of the CNF journal River Teeth, cautions if you want to read all the publications you'd better hope to submit to live to be 300 years old, but to be familiar with five to six you want to submit to is a realistic goal.
We have listed a small sampling of magazines below. Start your own reading list to get to Mackall's magic number of six magazines. This is necessary work in any writer's development. In addition to targeting markets for your work, you'll be reading some of the best contemporary short fiction. Note the experience of the writers you are reading. For the emerging writer a good rule of thumb is: submit to magazines whose contributors' experience match their own. Sure, submit to the New Yorker, but after they reject you, have back up strategy. There are hundreds of journals. If you work hard, your stories will find a home in one of them.
Alimentum Magazine - Avoid reading on an empty stomach.
apt - A poetic exploration of human relationships.
Arcadia - Spending time on the things that matter.
Blackbird - Singing in the dead of night "for the kind of writing we should all strive toward."
CALYX - Women writing unapologetically about women and women’s lives.
Carve - Named in honor of Raymond Carver, short story artist and master of the “minimalist” form.
Electric Literature - A magazine dedicated to great fiction and supporting other magazines.
Fairy Tale Review - Your favorites, reimagined.
Fiddleblack - Both a press and journal served on a single platter.
The First Line - Their first line, your story.
Fiction Fix - A true literary addiction.
Flash Fiction Online - Fiction so fast you may miss it.
Gettysburg Review - Over twenty years of great stories.
Glimmer Train - This top market is one every writer should know.
Greensboro Review - Down-to-earth, fun stories.
HYPERTEXT - A magazine looking to get the conversation started.
Jersey Devil Press - A stand-alone magazine that stretches the boundaries of science fiction.
Literary Orphans - A magazine looking to adopt some neat writers.
Lovecraft eZine - Channel your inner Lovecraft.
MAKE - A magazine so Chicagoan, it eats Italian beef.
Newport Magazine - A magazine with a soft spot for emerging authors.
New Pages - Not a magazine, but terrific index of magazines, contests, and publishers. Bookmark this page before proceeding.
Prick of the Spindle - A journal full of editors who want to work with you.
Requited Magazine - A journal that explores art as a creative exchange.
Specter Magazine - A magazine with a funky fresh beat.