BSF Market-Side Data (2018)

We provided participants a list of markets using the previous study’s responses adjusted for market openings and closures, and then allowed respondents additional space to write in unlisted markets to which they submitted work between October 2016 and November 2018. For this iteration of the study, we did not include null subs (markets which received 0 submissions) so as to keep the reporting list manageable.

These numbers do not reflect a market’s publishing output. For example, only 11 of the writers who sold prose to FIYAH responded to the survey, but we know from our first two publication years that we published at least 40. Similarly, a story by a Black writer may have been sold to any given market within the sample period. That writer, however, may not have responded to this survey. For confirmed numbers on a (pro) market’s output, see Fireside Fiction’s annual #BlackSpecFic Report.

All rankings are provided without FIYAH’s numbers as it is a limited-demographic market focused only on Black writers.

Respondents submitted work to 80 markets and sold 71 stories.

Spreadsheet Data

The Top 9

  • 49 markets received between 1-2 unique story submissions.
  • 21 markets received between 3-9 unique story submissions.
  • 9 markets received between 12-30 unique story submissions.

The top 9 submitted markets (>12 submissions) in descending order were Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, Clarkesworld, Apex, Uncanny, Escape Pod, Fantasy & Science Fiction, PodCastle, and Lightspeed. Of these markets, four bought the rights to >1 story. F&SF, and Lightspeed bought none of submitted works contributed in this survey.

It is worth noting that Strange Horizons, Fireside Fiction, and Uncanny (as well as FIYAH) are categorized as semiprozines by SFWA standards, while also doing some of the best work in inclusive publication per this report and our POB Score.


Pay Rate

For the purposes of this survey, we categorized PRO markets as those paying >$.06/word per SFWA guidelines. SEMI-PRO markets were those paying between <$.06/word but at least $.01/word. All markets paying a flat rate <$50 or <$.01/word were categorized as TOKEN markets. Anomalies existed where markets were either shuttered, on hiatus, or could not otherwise have their pay rates confirmed through either their websites or information available on The Grinder submission tracker.


Respondents reported submitting 29 stories to assorted anthologies/special limited-demographic calls. 14 of these stories sold, making one-off anthologies as a group one of the more significant sources of Black SFF.

Market Visibility

Participants were provided a selection of methods including word of mouth, submission portals (The Grinder, Ralan, Duotrope), author blogs, conferences, and “Other/Social Media” and invited to select all the ways in which they find their markets. The majority of participants stated that they found their markets primarily through Social Media (34.6%) primarily Twitter, followed by word of mouth (21.8%), and The Grinder (12.8%). It is worth noting that there may be overlap in social media and what writers consider “word of mouth.” Increasingly as compared with Study 1, a market’s lacking social media presence is a detriment to attracting Black writers.


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