HINT! CLICK ON PICTURE TO BE TAKEN DIRECTLY TO SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR EACH MARKET.
Managing Editor: Tacoma Tomilson
July Flash Fiction Prompt
OPEN July 1 -14
Pay: 5 cents per word
Word range: under 1,000
Simultaneous submissions? No
Every month Apparition Lit holds a flash fiction contest and buys a story based on a photo.
<--- This is the photo for July
Speculative fiction is weird, almost unclassifiable. It’s fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and literary. We want it all. Send us your strange, misshapen stories.
Send us stories with enough emotional heft to break a heart, with prose that’s as clear and delicious as broth. We love proactive characters and settings that feel lived in and real enough to touch. Stories with style, stories with emotion, stories with character.
Sample Rejection and Insight
I sent in a story for their photo prompt last month called "The Squid Pox Gamble." Hmmmm what to do with July's photo... Handmaid's Tale anyone?.
Sadly I got a rejection for my OMEN story, "Kutulu in the Desert". Though it made it out of the slush pile...
"Thank you for submitting “Kutulu in the Desert” to Apparition Literary Magazine. Your work made it to the second round of consideration. Our editors closely reviewed your piece, but ultimately decided not to accept it for publication. "
“Solarpunk at Work” exploring what labor, economics, and our relationship to work looks like in solarpunk futures.
Solarpunk Magazine publishes hopeful short stories and poetry that strive for a utopian ideal, that are set in futures where communities are optimistically struggling to solve or adapt to climate change, to create or maintain a world in which humanity, technology, and nature coexist in harmony rather than in conflict. We also publish solarpunk art as well as nonfiction that explores real world, contemporary topics and their intersection with the solarpunk movement for a better future.
Our fiction editors are interested in works that stir readers with themes of defiance, change, and achievement. This effect isn’t likely to come via high concept utopias alone, but rather, from vibrant characters whose struggles affect the reader. Speculative elements should be apparent but not dominating; our disbelief suspended not by necessity, but immersion. Any genre of science fiction, interstitial fiction, magic realism, or fantasy has potential as a solarpunk forum—we welcome robots and elves with equal excitement.
I just like the word "Solarpunk". Scot Noel from DreamForge brought this call to my writing group's attention. Learn more about the Dreamcasters...
Kristi Peterson Schoonover has been one of my most amazing finds in my exploration of speculative fiction. She has given me exceptional advice and has taken the time to communicate personally. Schoonover says: “There are two types of writing that I really love. Literary stories with prose that takes your breath away and transports you into another world. Then I also love to be scared, made uncomfortable and sometimes even shocked. 34 Orchard is a new literary on-line journal that combines both.”
The website defines what they publish: “At 34 Orchard, we like dark, intense pieces that speak to a deeper truth. We’re not genre-specific; we just like scary, disturbing, unsettling, and sad. We like things we can’t put down and things that make us go “wow” when we’ve finished. But our main goal here at 34 Orchard is to publish the stuff we like to read, and you’re not in our heads. So, don’t over think it. Just submit. We are an international journal and welcome submissions from everyone, all over the world.”
Though I haven’t sold her any stories yet, she has taken the time to give me thoughtful advice. She even did some editing and plot suggestions for two of my pieces she rejected. I’ve submitted to 34 Orchard four times. She gives some great insight in her interview with me for Horrortree.
Open until July 31
Editor: Katrina Archer
Pay: 11c a word cdn (8c US)
Word range: 2000 original 5000 reprints
Simultaneous submissions? Yes
Reprints? yes, 1c a word
We publish speculative fiction that examines humanity's possible futures living with anthropogenic climate change. We prefer fiction with a hopeful outlook, but the occasional dystopia might fit too. While science is an important piece for solving the climate change puzzle, we challenge writers to also examine our existing social, cultural, political, and economic frameworks and envision new ones to help see us through to a better, more sustainable world.
What will be a harder sell:
Yet another apocalyptic desert dystopia.
Alien/god-like being intervenes and saves the world. We made this bed. We have to fix it.
Stories in which we abandon the planet.
Stories without a narrative through line, dramatic tension, or some kind of character arc. We want stories, not vignettes.
Gratuitous gory violence or themes of suicide.
Stories that overtly lecture or preach to the reader.
What we want more of:
Optimistic fiction Visions of change for the better
Stories in which technology improves lives, not oppresses
Stories that show communities pulling together
Diverse, own-voices stories
I sent them one story (a reprint) and I got a short and sweet response.
Thank you for your interest in Little Blue Marble. Unfortunately, your submission is not a fit for us at this time.
Cosmic Horror Monthly is seeking Cosmic Horror, Lovecraftian, Weird stories, original only. If you aren’t sure if your work qualifies, submit it and we can decide. No subject is off-limits and we do encourage writers to try and push the status quo.,
At this time, we are strongly favoring stories with a contemporary narrative style. Lovecraftian themes and mythos works are welcomed but try to avoid Lovecraft pastiche and styles mimicking that of his writer circle from the early 20th century. In terms of style, we are fans of Laird Barron, John Langan, Mike Allen, Hailey Piper, etc.
Most types of horror are welcome but we do prefer the work have a science fiction or otherwise cosmic philosophical leaning. If you aren’t sure if your work qualifies, submit it and we can decide.
I have sent them in one story for their Micro-madness call and received a rejection.
Orion’s Belt is a literary speculative-fiction online magazine. We specialize in the strange and poignant and awe-inspiring, stories that have a cosmic scale and intimate personal stakes. Currently, we publish fiction only, one story per month. All stories must be 1200 words or less.
Speculative fiction for us encompasses a wide range of fiction that includes non-realist elements. While we focus on science-fiction and fantasy, we’re open to slipstream, horror, magic realism, myth retellings, surrealism, superhero stories, and all other fantastical genres and subgenres.
The “literary” qualifier simply means we like stories focusing on internal and interpersonal conflicts. Don’t give us people saving the world unless you can make us care about the people doing the saving. It also means we want stories that are sharply, intelligently written. We highly prize the craft of writing. This doesn’t mean you have to be Faulkner or Shakespeare, and it certainly doesn’t mean we want stories peppered with purple prose and thesaurus-words. It does mean that we care as much about form as we do about content. How a story is told is as important to us as what it is about.
Speculative fiction gives us the opportunity to imagine other worlds, but we can also use it to help us better understand our own little blue marble floating through the depths of space.
We follow in the tradition of science-fiction pioneer Darko Suvin and his concept of “cognitive estrangement,” in which the strangeness of different worlds provides readers with a lens through which to observe the strangeness in our own worlds. This is more than mere allegory. It’s an awakening to a higher level of awareness. In our view, the best speculative fiction does more than offer escapism. It facilitates a better understanding of the self and the other.
All stories must contain significant speculative elements. This does not mean all sci-fi stories must have lasers and rockets. It just means a non-speculative story doesn’t become speculative if you include a single line clarifying the story takes place on Mars.
I have sent in two stories (The Desert Monsters and The Wormhole to Farout) and received two rejections...
Here is one. We appreciate the opportunity to read “The Desert Monsters,” and we appreciate the time and effort you spent crafting it. Although your story had made it to our second round of considerations, we have unfortunately chosen to not accept this story for publication....
Personal note: I found the story intriguing and the dialogue exchanges very well done!
I'm going to try again with "Ogri Trips the Light Fantastic."
Producer: Steve Blizin
Creator/Narrator Jon Grilz
Pay: $2 per 100 words for patreon stories (typically stories at are 3000 words or less) $100 flat rate for stories selected for Sunday production.
Word range: 1,000-7,000
Simultaneous submissions: Yes
Jon Grilz is a writer and podcast living in Minnesota. His love of horror and creepypastas led to a simple question, "Where are all the creepypasta podcasts?" Having started his horror podcasting with Small Town Horror, delving into the world of some of the best scary stories felt like a natural transition.
WHAT WE WANT…
SINGLE NARRATOR STORIES Obviously we have a large cast, but for production sake, single narrator stories work the best (a story where only one person is speaking). We understand that when telling stories, we all tend to quote what someone else said, and that’s fine, but it has a very distinct tone. Multiple speaking roles will always be considered, but single narrator stories tend to get preferential treatment.
WHAT SCARES YOU We hear it plenty, “that wasn’t scary.” Well, then scare us. Tell us something new. Something dark and horrible. Something that we can’t say no to. The things that scare the writers tend to be the things that bleed through into the writing and make for the most compelling stories.
DIVERSITY We celebrate diversity at the Creepy podcast. BIPOC, LGBTQIA, anyone and everyone is welcome here. Just leave your hate at the door. If you have a story that is specifically for a black or female voice actor, please tell us. If your story really grabs us and there is an ethnicity not currently represented on the show, we will find someone to read the story to do it justice.
SCARE US We’ve read a lot of stories, and been a bit desensitized. Feel free to push the boundaries of gore and horror, but remember this is audio. Think about the listener when you are writing it.
Creepy bought my story "A Deadful Friday the 13th" Listen to it and get some hints from an interview with Jon himself. His story is amazing...
Theme: Horror/suspense stories that take place on a highway, road, or inside a vehicle.
Type: Suspense/thriller, creature feature, supernatural horror, grindhouse/exploitation.
Influential Movies/TV: The Hitcher, Joyride, Breakdown, Blue Ruin, The Wraith, Splinter, Maximum Overdrive, Death Proof, Duel, Mad Max, From Dusk Till Dawn, Drive Angry, Near Dark, Race With the Devil.
Influential writings/series: Mile 81 and Christine by Stephen King, Strange Highways and Shattered by Dean Koontz, Blacktop Wasteland by SA Crosby, The Rules of the Road by CB Jones.
They suggest you read this interview:
I’ve submitted 3 stories and got rejections in good time with each try...
"Thank you for submitting your story to The Cellar Door Issue #1: Woodland Terrors. Unfortunately your story isn't a right fit for the anthology, so we’re going to pass this time around. We hope you find a home for your story very soon, and we look forward to reading more of your work in the future."
From the website: Welcome intrepid writer, I created this space for problematic fiction. It’s fearless, feminine, sometimes fairy-tale based, and usually ends with blood. My heroines are flawed, angry, not interested in being loved, and not afraid to get ugly. Fierce. You don’t have to identify as female to submit to us, but you best come proper. You’re in the halls of the goddess. Remember that.
I want stories from the female gaze (think Aliens, Resident Evil, Hereditary, Tank Girl). I’m tired of reading what men want to do to us. I want to read what we want to do to them. Bring me smart female protagonists whose first inclinations are not to seduce the guard to get out of situations; they’ve got skills, they can get violent easily. I’m fine with them developing over the course of the story into someone like that, but please don’t revert to clichés unless you have your tongue firmly in your cheek. Please don’t use graphic rape for fridging purposes. If it’s part of a character’s backstory or development, fine, but don’t shoot the damn dog just to piss off your main character. My focus is horror, supernatural, and creeping dread. I’m not averse to extreme/slasher horror. I always love a bit of sci-fi or dystopia, but it’s not our focus, so if it’s your venue, make it scary. If you spackle a layer of women’s issues into it, even better; disenfranchisement, slut-shaming, trans violence, racism, misogyny, sex work exploitation, inequitable emotional work and housework, whatever exists in this world that pisses you off, feel free to put a metaphorical ax between its eyebrows.
Eda Obey is one of my favorite people. She is outrageous, compelling, fierce and brilliant. She published my story "Lucy and the Cosmic Comet Ride" and I also featured one of her stories on my podcast, along with two fairly outrageous interviews.
Each month, a new theme will be announced, and we will be accepting flash fiction submissions based around this theme. From these submissions, four stories will be chosen to be published each Friday of the subsequent month, and at the end of the year, these forty-eight pieces will appear in a similarly titled anthology.
Stories about the summertime; coming-of-age or young adult narratives.
Check back for detailed info about this call... think dark and splatter punk is my guess.
Last month's call was Sundown in a Tumbleweed Town and they asked for Splatter Western.
The Happiness Tool
A Daily Inspirational Quote. 10 Point To-Do List. Gratitude Practice . A place to focus on the BIG GOAL.
It Starts Today
When I started using these journals, I found WAY more time to write. Plus I focus everyday on "becoming a successful author." $10
Campbellian hard SF
Editors: Ádám Gerencsér and Mariano Martín Rodríguez.
Open for submissions: July ?
Pay: 3 Euros per word
Word range: max 2000
Simultaneous submissions? Yes
Reprints? Yes 1 Euro per word for translations
Sci Phi Journal is a cosy waystation for travellers who, through no fault of their own, find themselves at the cosmic intersection between speculative philosophy, cultural anthropology and hard SF.
The most recent incarnation of SPJ, as our gathering place is known for short, was launched in Australia back in 2014 by Jason Rennie, of erstwhile Sci Phi Show podcasting fame (or infamy), and helmed by Ray Blank through the stormy year of 2017. It spent 2018 in hibernation and was re-launched as a European project in 2019 under co-editors Ádám Gerencsér and Mariano Martín Rodríguez. As its primary mission, SPJ wishes to provide a platform for idea-driven fiction, as opposed to the ‘character-driven’ mode that has come to predominate speculative fiction. We hope that, in the fullness of time, SPJ may also act as a catalyst for discussion among mind-mates scattered around the globe, united in our attraction towards the philosophical edge of the SF spectrum.
We are a venue for speculative fiction, even if in its broadest sense. A handy rule of thumb: if your story would work without the speculative element, then it’s not spec fic. (I.e. a dating romance on a spaceship is not SF, but romantic literature “IN SPACE”.)
We prefer purple prose to contemporary grit. Think 19th century belletristique, not comic books. We frown at profanities.
No character-driven stories. We are mainly after conceptually robust, idea-driven works of intense world-building and deep philosophical implications. That said, emotion and personal concerns may have a place in these stories, if they are justified.
We believe in absolute freedom of thought and a largely unrestricted freedom of expression. That said, we are unlikely to accept stories that promote clichéd stereotypes, i.e. X group of people are all Y or Z. (E.g. ‘Jewish conspiracy’, ‘white privilege’, ‘savage natives’, etc.)
Naturally occurring diversity is beautiful. Ostentatious virtue signalling, on the other hand, usually makes for bad literature. Please leave contemporary politics and ideologies out of it. Think timeless, not timely.
All branches of philosophy and futurology are good. Cosmology and theology are great. We also welcome hard SF, high fantasy and alt history. We don’t mind plagues and zombies. We’re bored of ghosts, vampires and werewolves, though.
Avoid tired tropes too often encountered in spec fic. Evil corporations. Greedy humans. Futures that look like the present on steroids. Aliens that think like millennials. You get it.
They send a hilarious rejection letter. It's too long to share here... Submit and get one yourself!
The Arcanist is an interesting venue for short fiction. They pay well and publish content on a bi-weekly basis (every Friday). From the website: “We strongly believe that fantasy and sci-fi are two of the most important genres in the literary world, helping us escape to distant lands, reflect on our shared humanity, and gaze into the future. We want to provide readers snippets of the genres they love and we want to give writers of these genres a paid place to publish their work. (That’s right, we pay you.)”
The very best SFF stories combine imaginative world-building elements with hardened, time-honored storytelling techniques, which is obviously a lot easier said than done (especially in under 1K words!). We get a lot of stories that have a great premise or an imaginative world where we find ourselves in awe that someone actually thought them up. Then you get through the piece and there’s no character growth, no choices being made, no movement, and those are vital for a story of any genre to succeed. A good story will have active characters, a fully constructed plot, etc. A good SFF story will have all of the elements that make a lit fiction story tick plus fantastic elements that dazzle us. It’s a delicate balance!”
I’ve submitted 6 stories here and received my rejections in good time (less than a month). Here is the typical letter I’ve received: “Thanks for giving us the chance to read The Foreign Student. After careful consideration, we are unfortunately going to pass at this time. If you have other works that you think might be a good fit for The Arcanist, we encourage you to submit them through our Google form. We look forward to reading more of your work in the future and hope that this piece finds a home as well.”
Editor: Bert Edens
Open July 1-Aug 31st
"Dismember the Coop" is a charity horror anthology of stories inspired by the music of Alice Cooper, both the group and solo. The proceeds from sales go to support the Solid Rock Teen Centers, an organization setup by Alice and Sheryl Cooper that benefits the disadvantaged youth in the Phoenix area.
Some notes about the stories: You can base your stories on song titles. You can base it on characters referenced during a song. *** You CANNOT quote lyrics in your story. *** Doing so creates so many copyright headaches it's not even funny, and this will cause your story to be rejected outright, regardless of quality.
Alice has a huge catalog of songs to choose from, going back over 40 years. Try to be creative and go deep catalog. If you submit a story based on "School's Out" or "Welcome To My Nightmare," you might be among a bunch of others who did the same, and I want variety. So that might make your story less likely to make the cut.
Also, while Alice has been in many non-musical projects from movies to "The Muppet Show" to "Hollywood Squares" to commercials and so many other things, this anthology is focusing on his music, from the Alice Cooper Group to his solo work to Hollywood Vampires. That's a broad enough base to select from, we don't need to extend it to his other works.
Stories should be submitted to email@example.com. Please include at the top of your story your name, email address, approximate word count, and the song that was your inspiration.
I LOVE Alice Cooper. And hey soon "School's Out for Summer."
Editor-in-Chief: Arley Sorg
Open July 1-7th
Pay: 8 cents per word
Fantasy Magazine is a digital magazine focusing exclusively on the fantasy genre. In its pages, you will find all types of fantasy—dark fantasy, contemporary urban tales, surrealism, magical realism, science fantasy, high fantasy, folktales…and anything and everything in between.
Fantasy is entertainment for the intelligent genre reader—we publish stories of the fantastic that make us think, and tell us what it is to be human.
My Insights and a Sample Rejection
I haven't seen this window open in months, but fingers crossed it opens in July.
“Thank you for submitting "The Museum of The Lost People," but it didn't quite work for us. We hope you are able to place this one elsewhere.”
I send a story in almost every open window. No luck yet! But they get back to you fairly quickly.
Editor: Trevor Quachi
Pay: 8-10 cents per word
Word range: up to 20,000
Simultaneous submissions? No
This is another founding magazine and big player in the science fiction world owned by Dell Magazines. Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine was originally published as Astounding Stories of Science Fiction when it launched in 1930. Analog was where Anne McCaffrey’s dragons first took flight! There were three issues from 1967 and 1968 which have the first three novellas in McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern series. Frank Herbert’s sprawling epic Dune also originally appeared in Analog. After being serialized in the magazine, Dune was rejected 23 times before it was eventually picked up by Chilton Books. Dune has been called the best-selling science fiction novel of all time.
Editor Trevor Quachri says: “Analog/Astounding is often considered the magazine where science fiction grew up. When Editor John W. Campbell took over in 1938, he brought to Astounding an unprecedented insistence on placing equal emphasis on both words of "science fiction." No longer satisfied with gadgetry and action per se, Campbell demanded that his writers try to think out how science and technology might really develop in the future – and, most importantly, how those changes would affect the lives of human beings. The new sophistication soon made Astounding the undisputed leader in the field, and Campbell began to think the old title was too "sensational" to reflect what the magazine was actually doing. He chose "Analog" in part because he thought of each story as an "analog simulation" of a possible future, and in part because of the close analogy he saw between the imagined science in the stories he was publishing and the real science being done in laboratories around the world. Real science and technology have always been important in Analog, not only as the foundation of its fiction, but as the subject of articles about real research with big implications for the future. One story published during World War II described an atomic bomb so accurately – before Hiroshima – that FBI agents visited John Campbell to find out where the leak was. (There was no leak – just attentive, forward-thinking writers!)”
I've had a few rejections from this market, and I currently have a piece in that I submitted on April 19th - The Wormhole to Farout.
I haven't heard back yet.
Here is a typical rejection from them: “Thank you very much for letting me see "The Corp." I'm sorry it didn't strike me as quite suitable to our present needs.”
Dream of Shadows comes from the city of Jack the Ripper (London, England) and wants to offer readers: honest and daring stories - stories of struggle, stories without happy endings, where the two not-so-sexy leads don't fall in love simply because they have to.” One short story is featured on the website every month. The website says: “We're not too fond of science-fiction. While we will sometimes consider stories of something coming down to Earth from another planet if the focus is horror or fantasy, we're not really looking for space adventures. We particularly like honest and daring stories with strong characters pursuing goals, although we recognize that if a story is good, it's good. We're realists, so we don't need a happy ending. Send us those stories that other publishers rejected because they were too dark. Having said that, we don't want stories with gratuitous and/or over-the-top sex, violence or swearing. And it should go without saying, but we won't allow discrimination either. On a similar note, we're also not very fond of preachy stories, where one character explains to another how terrible humans are. We get it, people suck.”
The editor provides extra tips of what he is looking for: Stuff we like : • a good old tale of a character who wants something and tries to get it, meeting obstacles along the way • prose that grabs us and moves us and makes us feel for and with the character • supernatural elements. While we personally like a good serial killer or coming-of-age story, Dream of Shadows is all about that supernatural stuff • Stuff we're not too fond of • stories where the character doesn't want anything or woe-is-me stories where the character spends most of the time complaining, without doing anything to change it • second-person narration. It just sounds too much like meditation tapes or choose-your-own-adventure games to us. Sorry • pieces that are too experimental, like stream-of-consciousness stories or stories told from really odd points of view (like a flower or a walking stick) or stories that are basically just descriptions • romance. We don't mind if love or a relationship is used to drive inner conflict, as long as it's not the focus of the story.”
I’ve submitted six stories to this market (including one two days ago - called Ogri Trips the Light Fantastic -and have received standard rejection letters either on the same day, or at most, in a day or two.)
The last letter was my best one yet with some advice. Felipe is now one of my favorite editors (next to the ones who actually publish my work, lol.).
Dread Stone Press is a new independent publisher based in Michigan. We make no bones about it – our goal is to publish the best in horror, but we strive to specifically amplify fresh voices in horror. While we love all kinds of dark speculative fiction, as the name suggests, our tastes tend toward horror stories that seep dread. That being said, if you have a story that fits an open submission call, we want to read it.
I sent in a short story called "Secrets of the Gargoyle" to this market and got a rejection in good time.
Although the story didn't quite work for me, it may be the perfect fit for another editor. I wish you all the best as you search for a home for your story, and I hope you submit to Dread Stone Press again in the future.
Open for submissions: June 1-Sept 6th
Editor: M.M Carrigan
Word range: 500-1500
Simultaneous submissions? Yes
Taco Bell Quarterly is the literary magazine for the Taco Bell Arts and Letters.
We’re a reaction against everything. The gatekeepers. The taste-makers. The hipsters. Health food. Artists Who Wear Cute Scarves. Bitch-ass Wendy’s. We seek to demystify what it means to be literary, artistic, important, and elite.
We welcome writers and artists of all merit, whether you’re published in The Paris Review, rejected from The Paris Review, or DGAF what The Paris Review is.
First and foremost, TBQ is about great writing. It’s about provoking and existing among the white noise of capitalism. We embrace the spectrum of trash to brilliance.
Taco Bell Quarterly has tens of thousands of readers. We’ve been interviewed or mentioned in Vox, Salon, Food and Wine Magazine, Mental Floss, Yahoo, The Guardian, The New York Post, Publisher’s Weekly, Literary Hub, Bon Appetit and dozens more.
Is this real? A joke? A literary psy-op? We don’t fully know. We just decided to write about Taco Bell. We are absolutely not affiliated with Taco Bell and make no profits. We can’t even get extra sauce in the drive-thru. Employees treat that shit like unicorn blood.
It still sounds like you’re joking, but okay. What are the guidelines?
Taco Bell Quarterly seeks literary/creative essays, short stories, fiction/prose, poems, comics, art, one act plays, fever dreams, multimedia, stupid status updates, criticisms, manifestos, recipes and anything else that explore any and all elements of Taco Bell. Or not. Shoehorn a chalupa in your short story. Maybe we’ll love it. An elegy for the discontinued menu items? Fine. An experimental essay about marine biology and the XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito? Awesome. Review the new Beefy Fritos Burrito and how it reminds you of the time your grandma died? We want it.
Something that introduces us to inventive form, dynamic language, and strong voice. Or perhaps it does none of the above. We’re not judgey and pretentious. We’re the Taco Bell fucking Quarterly. We lean towards pieces that are queer and center their pain/joy in a Taco Bell.
I just can't even. Or can I? I sure want to. A burrito inspired story.... hmmm. Yum.
Reading for Issue #16
Opens July 8th
Editor: Sean Clancy
Pay: 5 cents per word
range: 5000 max
PLANET SCUMM IS A TRI-ANNUAL SCIENCE-FICTION MAGAZINE, PUBLISHED BY SPARK & FIZZ BOOKS.
Born out of reverence for the bizarre science fiction magazines of the pulp era, our short story anthologies showcase collections of original fiction by international authors. We cherish the genre as an open forum for philosophy, anxieties, and thought experiments. We are proud to emphasize the central role of artwork in sci-fi and are committed to working with and supporting independent illustrators.
“On Planet Scumm, we want to read stories that are different and unexpected. Stories that introduce new ideas, or that look at old ideas with a fresh perspective. They are looking for: Hard sci-fi, soft sci-fi, sci-fi that melts in your mouth-brain not your hand-brain. Speculative fiction, weird fiction, slipstream Basically anything that pleases Scummy, our megaphone-toting slime buddy, will be considered for entry to the interstellar archive aboard Scummy’s saucer.”
My Experience with Them
They actually were holding my story "A Deadful Friday the 13th" for consideration when I withdrew it after having it accepted by Creepy Pod. Very enjoyable to correspond with them.
They are currently still holding onto my story, "What Slays in Vegas". I submitted it on April 5th and they say they will have a decision in June.
Editor: Water Dragon Publishing
Open Feb 1-July 30th
Pay: 2 cents per word
Word range: 2,000-10,000
Simultaneous submissions? NO
No Reprints? No
The pandemic came and the world changed. Lives have changed; work has changed. The boundaries between reality and fantasy have become as blurred as those between life and work. Corporate Catharsis: The Work From Home Edition gives you the opportunity to explore the impact of the COVID pandemic on your personal and professional life through your speculative fiction. We’re certain that you can, far too easily, find inspiration from your real or virtual workplace. Magic, mayhem, revenge — and, yes, perhaps even redemption — can all be found there.
Your story does not need to be set in a corporate environment. We welcome stories involving, among other settings, retail, education, or stay-at-home parenting. Your story can be from whatever genre best fits its theme, but should contain some fantastical element. However, we are not looking for erotica or stories that contain excessive gore or violence. Please leave your politics at the door. While politics might play a role in your story, your story should not be a political message.
New market for me.
Editor: Jason Sizemore
Pay: 8 cents per word
Word range: up to 7,500
Simultaneous submissions? No
Apex Magazine focuses on dark and spectacular science fiction, fantasy and horror. Publishing bi-monthly, it used to be called Apex Digest and has been nominated for several awards. It went on hiatus for a while, but is back in business and accepting submissions.
Apex Magazine is an online zine of fantastical fiction. We publish short stories filled with marrow and passion, works that are twisted, strange, and beautiful. Creations where secret places and dreams are put on display. We publish in two forms: an every-other-month eBook issue and a gradual release of an entire issue online over a two-month period. Along with the genre short fiction, there are interviews with authors and nonfiction essays about current issues. Additionally, we produce a monthly podcast of narrated original short fiction.”
Thank you for submitting "Invasive Species" to Apex Magazine. We appreciate the chance to read it. Unfortunately, the story does not meet our needs at this time. We're going to pass. I wish you the best of luck finding a home for "Invasive Species" and I hope to read something new from you soon.
Open for submissions: July 1st
Word range: 300-700 max
Simultaneous submissions? No
Established 2011, Shotgun Honey has been a steady outlet for crime, noir, and hard-boiled flash fiction. After a decade of submissions, we’ve seen nearly every permutation of the genre that can fit within this tiny 700 word world. So surprise us and send your best original crime flash stories.
Genre is Crime, Noir, or Hard-boiled
No content that could be deemed as condoning or promoting: sexual abuse child abuse animal abuse No romance, fetish, or pornographic fiction
I sent them in a story for their anthology call called "Quiver" - if you have been following me, I've been trying to sell this story - about my archery wielding cop and her leech man boyfriend - for years. Another rewrite... fingers crossed.
The /tƐmz/ Review is a literary journal based in London, Ontario that publishes fiction, poetry, and reviews. We publish 4 issues per year (Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter), and we focus on publishing work from a diverse range of emerging and established voices. Our goal is to reflect a wide variety of editorial perspectives and publish an eclectic mix of writing.
We are looking for innovative short fiction from diverse voices. Our preference is for the strange, the experimental and the boundary-pushing, but we are open to a wide range of styles and voices.
One rejection: Thank you for sharing your writing with us! We received a very large volume of submissions and can only accept a small number; unfortunately, we have not selected your work. We wish you well as you continue writing.
Dark Matter Magazine
Editor: Alex Woodroe
open June 1-July 15th
Pay: 8c a word
Word range: 2000-4000
Simultaneous submissions? Yes
I’ve been referring to this anthology as “the next season of Black Mirror that never got aired” and that’s exactly what I’m looking for--dark sci-fi with an emphasis on exploring our connection with technology and one another through speculative concepts and backdrops.
I want every piece to look at some aspect of our lives through a “what if” lens and only lean on science as much as strictly necessary to show those human experiences. Think about that Twilight Zone episode, “The Lonely”, where an inmate serving time on an asteroid receives a synthetic companion. We don’t need to know a thing about the propulsion of the ship or the makings of the AI in order to be struck by the emotional impact of the story.
Focus on showing your concept and character on page one, and use the social, environmental, political, and philosophical absurdities around us as your launch-pad. Ask questions about life, the universe, and everything. Avoid providing answers.
Want: near-Future or alt-present; concept-forward; characters that feel real; dark and ominous moods; and stories with a philosophy. A sense of humor is also welcome, especially if it’s wry and clever. The speculative element can be slight (i.e. marginally improving upon current technologies) if the consequences of that change are significant. You can surprise me with a retrofuturism or cli-fi or whatever else piece, if it fits into the greater ethos.
Hard-ish sell: far-future; outer space; supernatural.
Absolutely not: secondary worlds; hard sci-fi; pure comedy science fiction; and stories without a speculative element. Nothing using existing fiction canon like Lovecraft or Doctor Who.
Regarding form: I enjoy weird and experimental things, and I will absolutely consider lyrical works, a script, or whatever else you come up with, if the narrative is clear and fits the theme. Your work will be judged on the story, so make sure the story is accessible through the form. Keep in mind that the acceptance rate for prose poetry and second person present POV will be low, as I’m only likely to select one such work for the anthology, if any.
I've submitted to this press a couple of times, and a couple of writers in the Dreamcasters writing group are involved with them as first readers...
They are great to deal with. (At least as far as sending out their rejections in good time, lol. I haven't been accepted to any of their projects. YET. )
One of my rejections: "Thank you for allowing us to read "Invasive Species." Unfortunately, the story doesn't fit our needs at the moment. We wish you success in finding the right outlet for your work."
The submission portal is OPEN -- I sent in my piece "The Emotives of Wasp-76b"
Alex Woodrow is the editor and Holley Cornetto interviewed him-- have a read.
Open for submissions: June 1-Aug 31
Editor: Robyn Huss
Pay: 5-8 cents per word
Word range: 7000 max
Simultaneous submissions? No
Theme: Hidden Villains Arise – Bold, imaginative fantasy, horror, and sci-fi sculpted to thrill and entertain readers with the bizarre or delve into the shadows. Arise – appear, emerge, come to light, surface, befall, ensue, stand up, transpire, etc. Express yourself as the theme moves you. There is no restriction as to how you incorporate the theme into your story as long as the genre falls within Sci-Fi, Horror, or Fantasy. We encourage you to weave the theme into an engaging story with well-developed characters and deep emotion. Stories that contain infanticide, rape, or gratuitous gore will not be accepted.
This is a new press and Hidden Villains is their first anthology. They have a good headliner. "New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jody Lynn Nye has allowed us to include a wonderful short story in the upcoming anthology. The Fiber of Being will be our lead story and we can’t wait for you to read it."
Nothing here yet! But can we talk about how gorgeous this cover art is?
THE FIENDS IN THE FURROWS III: MORE TALES OF FOLK HORROR is a collection of short stories of Folk Horror, honoring its rich and atmospheric traditions.
Fans of Folk Horror will find herein more terrifying tales of rural isolation, urban alienation, suburban superstition, pastoral paranoia, as well as mindless and monstrous ritual that epitomize the atmospheric dread of this fascinating and developing subgenre.Folk Horror continues to haunt the horror world with visions of terror bound up in twisted morality forged in isolation within unforgiving landscapes that summon forth great evils at the fervent hands of human beings held captive by forces they can neither entirely comprehend nor fully control.
To Nosetouch Press, it is an artistic understanding that sometimes the best things are found in unexpected places. We look in the margins as readily as we pay attention to them, and try to find the newest, most exciting authors currently out there. The Nose Knows is the promise of Nosetouch Press, that we’re following our noses to find the best fiction authors can produce, for readers who yearn for a satisfying reading experience. Look for the asterisk, and know that we’re looking out for you, whether you’re an up-and-coming author or a discerning reader of fiction.
I did send a story to them in 2020 and received a rejection from David T. Neal. Shafted... a story about my leech man. Almost no one wants to buy a leech story. For this third edition I sent in my story about my supernatural chicken. So far no one wants to buy that story either. But I think it is one of my best, so I keep throwing it out there.
Editors: John and Joe
June 1-August 15
Pay:8c a word
Simultaneous submissions? yes
There will be four to five themes. Please only write one story per theme. You may submit stories for more than one theme, but please submit all your stories at one time in the same email.
When We Were Getting High
Oasis. The Chronic. 90s. That kid in HS that dropped acid every morning before school.
My Last Trick ‘r Treat You’re 12 or 13 out trick-or-treating with your pals, having the time of your life–and somewhere in the back of your mind you knew this was probably the last night of your childhood. Make it spooky.
Body Grotesquerie “Your body is like a charcuterie board for worms and maggots.” -Something I think I read on social media.
Ominous Visitors From Deep Space Everyone knows that aliens love 80s slashers, so they emulate them when they land in your backyard. It’s like with kids and violent video games and movies; except for real.
Out in the Fields, Forests, and Lakes Out here in the fields, we fought for our meals. Cabins by the lake. Hikes. Farm fields and rows of corn for miles.
From my research it looks like Cemetery Gates is run by two fellows who write horror themselves.
I have sent them a couple stories. Once they closed submissions early (filled up the anthology)... so I missed out. The second time I got this letter.
Hey Angelique, Thanks for sending in your story, unfortunately we're going to pass on it for the anthology. Best wishes. -- Joe Sullivan
Open: July 1-31
Editors: Donald S. Crankshaw & Kristin Janz
Pay: 8 cents per word
Word range: 9000 max
Simultaneous submissions? No
Reprints? Yes 4c a word
We are looking for speculative stories--science fiction, fantasy, horror--with Christian themes, characters, or cosmology, and for artwork for this site.
The story must have a speculative element. It needs something beyond the everyday. We love science fiction and fantasy, enjoy good ghost stories, and think there's great fiction material hidden in the mysteries of Christian theology--cherubim, leviathan, nephilim, visions, prophecy, and more. The story must engage with Christianity. We want stories with Christian characters whose faith affects their actions, with Christian themes such as grace and redemption, or with a Christian view of the supernatural. Note that we're not saying that you must be a Christian. We are not in a position to judge your faith and won't try, and we welcome submissions from authors of all backgrounds and perspectives. Nor does your story need to be unambiguously pro-Christian. If you can tell a good story that meaningfully engages with Christianity, we want to read it.
I've had two rejections from this market. One with some good advice:
Thank you for submitting "Linked Lives" to Mysterion. We appreciate having the chance to read it. Unfortunately, we have decided not to accept it for publication. I thought the world was interesting and the story was well-written, but while it was a straightforward projection from current trends, it was too much of a straight line projection, without the twists and turns that you usually find in real history. For example, no matter how luxurious a society is, there are always people who opt out.
Also, I found the idea of cellphones causing cancer in people's heads less believable than it would have been in the early 2000s. While modern smartphones are heavily used, they don't spend much time near people's heads, and they usually come with headsets.
Tales from the Ruins: A Post-Apocalyptic Anthology
Open for submissions: till July 31st
Editor: Cameron Trost
Simultaneous submissions? Yes
Reprints? Yes 5 Euros
We're looking for tales of survival in a post-apocalyptic world. There are no specific thematic guidelines and we're open to submissions featuring sci-fi elements, but at the heart of your story must be a human struggle. Action and adventure is great, but more importantly, we want to feel for the protagonists. Make us walk in their tattered shoes and go through their struggles with them. Lean towards mystery rather than information overload. The nature of the apocalypse is secondary. The key is your story. Drop us straight in and leave hints so the reader can put the pieces of the puzzle together while the adventure progresses.
Black Beacon Books is an independent publisher founded by author and anthologist, Cameron Trost. It began in Australia in 2013 and is now based in Brittany. We publish gripping and intriguing fiction that falls into the genres of mystery, suspense, post-apocalyptic, psychological horror, and folk horror. We like our tales quirky, atmospheric, and thought-provoking. Why the name? There are many tropes and symbols used in fiction of a dark and mysterious nature. Amongst them, we have keys, mirrors, telescopes, treasure chests, secret passages, graveyards, skulls, churches, castles, caves, telescopes, clocks, the moon, oil lamps and candles, and, of course, beacons and lighthouses. The beacon or lighthouse conjures a setting of darkness, for in daylight they are rendered almost useless. In this darkness, they have a role to play, a crucial role, and that is to either warn away or beckon nearer. That is also the role of Black Beacon Books, to thrust the reader into mystery and darkness whilst providing a distant and guiding light, one that can be seen atop cliffs rising up from a troubled sea or on the peaks of wild mountains. We want stories that both warn you of impending danger and draw you into the worlds they create.
A new market for me! Thanks Tough Crime for the link.
From Perpetual Motion Machine
Open for submissions: Aug 1st deadline
Editor: Lori Michelle & Max Booth III
Pay: 3 cents per word
Word range: 3500 max
Simultaneous submissions? Yes
Dark Moon Digest, the quarterly magazine published by Perpetual Motion Machine, is now open for submissions to our special annual young adult edition titled Night Frights. We want to introduce young minds to the fabulous world of horror fiction.
What we want: the same awesome stories that we use for our quarterly magazine. We want stories with complex characters and new ideas. Scare us. But also, inspire young readers into a lifelong obsession with the genre. Cool it on the profanities, no overly graphic sexual situations, etc. Consider the following scenario: we are selling books at a local county fair. A family approaches with their kids (9 and 11 years old, maybe). One of the parents asks, “Is this okay for my kid?” We want to be able to confidently answer, “Yes,” without going through a long interrogation of what they’re allowed to read and watch at home. If this seems like a very specific scenario, that’s because it’s something we’ve lived through more times than we can count, as we sell books at many local fairs.
None, but what a fun call. Makes me think of the series "Stranger Things" which I'm watching on Netflix right now...
YA horror stories steeped in 90s nostalgia. You’ve heard the stories about Fear Street—the unexplained mysteries, missing people, the things that lurk in the dark—but wouldn’t you rather experience them for yourself?
A little nostalgia and all Ode to Stine, this anthology promises to keep you up at night.
Please, do not submit stories that do not fit the theme (erotica). Submissions cannot contain rape scenes on-page. Please ensure any scenes of a sexual nature are necessary and non-exploitative.
Electric Spec has been around for over 12 years, don’t use slush readers, and pride themselves on giving every story they publish a good edit. They define themselves as: “Electric Spec is a not-for-profit speculative fiction magazine published four times per year. Our primary goal is getting great speculative fiction into the hands (or screens) of readers. Since 2005, we've been publishing short stories from authors all over the world. We've worked with all kinds of authors, from published professionals to new writers. We also believe in the value of the editorial process, and we edit every story we publish.”
A note on our editorial policy: before publication we may work with the author to edit the story for length or readability. However, we always remain true to the spirit of the story and the author has final approval. We consider any story between 250 and 7000 words with speculative fiction elements. We prefer science fiction, fantasy, and the macabre, but we’re willing to push the limits of traditional forms of these genres. We do not consider poetry, stories with over-the-top sex or violence, serials, novels, fan fiction, or non-fiction. We don’t accept multiple submissions; in other words, only submit one story at a time and wait for a response before submitting another. We accept simultaneous submissions as long as you let us know up front and tell us as soon as it’s accepted elsewhere. We do not publish reprints, including anything that has appeared on a website.
I’ve sent six stories to this publication and one was held for consideration but ultimately rejected. My responses took around four weeks. This is the first email I received about a story called “The Writing Retreat”: Thank you for submitting your story to Electric Spec. The editors have reviewed it and decided to hold it for voting. We anticipate making our final selection of stories for our May issue in early May. We will notify you as soon as a final decision has been made.” Then this: “Thank you for submitting your story to Electric Spec. Unfortunately, your story does not meet our needs at this time. Yours is one of many high-quality submissions we received, and we encourage you to try us again if you have another story that you think would be a good fit.”
West Mesa Press Anthology
Editor: Robert Allen Lupton
open June 1-July 15th
Word range: 1500-4000
Simultaneous submissions? Yes
Tired of verifying that you’re a human online? Sick of dealing with automated protocols rather than talking to real people when you call for service? Worn out by having to give your personal information to make a purchase?
Maybe the machines (robots, computer programs, etc.) are taking over.) Send us your story about raging against the machines, surviving attacks on your privacy, navigating the deliberately confusing systems out there, or dealing with the trials and tribulations of ever advancing technology.
Only the other day, in a national fast food restaurant, there was a sign in the lobby that orders weren’t taken in person, you had to enter them on a kiosk. In a national department store, standing in front of the clerks, people are required to identify themselves as human. Has your robotic vacuum been watching you? WE’RE NOT ROBOTS AND WE AREN’T GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!
Use your imagination and interpret the call as broadly as possible. Just be careful, because you know that THEY’RE watching everything you type.
They are accepting any genre except erotica. Science Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Horror, Urban, Mystery, Adventure, Cyberpunk, and even western, if you can figure that out.
Rated G with violence and mild profanity permitted, but don’t go splatterpunk. No child abuse, no rape, and don’t kill or injure any animals. If you hurt a dog in your story, well, we have your address and are on good terms with the internet robot overlord.
Robert Allen Lupton contacted me directly through my Author page on Facebook...
I'm thrilled to help. If anyone else wants me to post their calls... you can either email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my Facebook messenger.
ever wondered how to become a voice actor?
Kelly Pidgeon is the voice on so many commercials on TV today, you may recognize his voice immediately.
This is Kelly
Listen to him read a short horror story and then give an interview on my podcast – some great pointers if you’d like to give voicing a try.