CONTEST VS. STANDARD?
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Reading fees help make substantial cash prizes possible for contests—from $2,000 to $2,500 for 1st place. (All contest submissions are additionally considered as standards, by the way.) Those fees also allow us to present stories in a handsome print publication that will persist in the real world.
Literary agents read Glimmer Train Stories and they read our monthly bulletins. They are always on the lookout for great new voices, and they take special note of award winners. Agents, and the publishing houses they approach when they want to sell a book, are more confident when a respected literary magazine has selected—and invested in printing and distributing—a writer's work.
Top-25 contest winners are announced in our widely distributed bulletins, as well as on other major blogs for writers. Those who didn't quite make the Top-25 list, but are in the top 10% of submissions, make the Honorable Mention list, which is also announced in those monthly bulletins.
There is no such thing as a profitable literary journal. To the best of our knowledge, all surviving literary journals are supported by universities and/or by individuals who love short fiction and are willing to put their own time and money into them. Besides making it possible to pay higher prizes to writers, reading fees (and your subscriptions) help keep Glimmer Train Stories a first-class publication credit.
We very much appreciate the opportunity to read your work, no matter the category, and we maintain two Standard ($2 processing fee) reading periods a year. Contact us if that fee creates a hardship. No one should be prevented from submitting their work for lack of funds.