It would be reasonable to assume that magazines which pay more for their stories end up with higher-quality material to publish. I decided to plot my ratings of short stories in 49 ranked magazines against the cents per word paid for them. I was only able to use 299 out of 365 stories, as some magazines only pay royalties, others have gone out of business and no longer have a submissions page, and still others are invitation-only and don’t publish their rates.
As there were many stories sharing data points, I used Microsoft Excel’s bubble chart feature to represent the data:
Let’s look at the horizontal axis first. Magazines are called “professional-rate” if they pay six cents or more per word, “semi-pro” if they pay between one and five cents per word, and “token” if they pay less than one cent per word. My data seems to indicate that these…
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