HINT! CLICK ON PICTURE TO BE TAKEN DIRECTLY TO SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR EACH MARKET.
Crystal Lake Publishing
Managing Editor: Vince A. Liaguno
Aug Flash Fiction Prompt
OPEN Aug 1
Pay: 10 cents per word
Word range:6000 max
Simultaneous submissions? No
Coming 2023 this horror anthology will explore the terror growing among the LGBTQIA community as they continue to make great strides forward.
The third volume in the Unspeakable Horror series, Dark Rainbow Rising, builds on the award-winning success of its predecessors. From the Shadows of the Closet, was the first—and still only—expressly LGBTQ anthology to ever be nominated or win the prestigious Bram Stoker Award since the Superior Achievement in an Anthology category was added to the awards in 1998..
When the pendulum of civil rights and social change initiatives swings toward progress, the LGBTQIA community often holds its collective breath in anticipation of the inevitable backlash when the pendulum swings back..
Even with these gains, we are constantly looking over our shoulder—waiting for the next shoe to drop, for the next attack on our personhood. The community’s enemies see progress as a perceived danger to their own heteronormative bubbles—and any advancement threatens to burst those fragile bubbles. Even as we hoist the rainbow flag in celebration, a dark rainbow rises on the horizon…
Questions to explore:
Does the unspeakable horror manifest in a subtle, growing sense of unease that our enemies must surely be plotting to thwart our efforts—or does it present in outward paranoia?
Do we settle into a false sense of security and not see the unspeakable terror that rises behind us?
Do we turn on each other now that our external enemies are (seemingly) defeated?
Do we leave part of our community behind in some misguided act of self-preservation?
Stories can be set in any time period, as long as the narrative includes some historical LGBTQ+ civil rights/social movement/moment as a direct or indirect backdrop.
This is an LGBTQIA/horror anthology. Stories must have a strong, central gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer focus/slant/theme. § Stories with a strong, literary feel and crafted with language that captivates § Stories with a strong sense of atmosphere § Stories that shock and/or provoke—but for the right reasons. We want that shock and provocation to sneak up on us versus clobbering us over the head. We want material that elicits an emotional response of some kind and leaves us with our jaws hanging open upon conclusion. § Above all, this is a horror anthology—we want stories that are scary and unsettling, stories that evoke a sense of dread or unease or excruciating tension. Think horror that’s rooted in existentialism, folklore, psychology, the avant garde, body horror, survivalist horror, eco-horror, the supernatural, occultism, urban gothic, suburban gothic, and weird fiction.
Vince contacted me directly and asked me to promote this call. Happily!!!
The Fifth Edition of this contest
Aug Flash Fiction Prompt
OPEN July 10th-Sept 10th
Win: Cash prizes
Word range: more than 5000
Simultaneous submissions? No
Top 30 entires win. KDP is the self-publishing platform of Amazon.
With this contest, Amazon invites writers to submit original and previously unpublished entries in English, Hindi and Tamil languages. An eminent judging panel will analyse the submitted entries including Sudeep Nagarkar and Sudha Nair for English entries, Satya Vyas and Vijay Kakwani for Hindi entries and Naga Chokkan for Tamil entries. Interested budding authors can enrol themselves in the contest by self-publishing their eBook with 5,000 words or more using the KDP service. Participants can submit their entries which will be judged on a number of criteria including originality, creativity, quality of writing, and customer feedback, from 10 July 2022 to 10 September 2022. Unlike previous editions of the contest, this year the top 10 entries in each language will win cash prizes. The winning entry will receive a cash prize of ₹1 lakh, while the first runners up will be awarded ₹50,000 and second runners up will win a cash prize of ₹30,000. The other seven participants from the top 10 will be granted an amount of ₹10,000 each.
I'm intrigued... Looks like romance tends to do best
Managing Editor: Tacoma Tomilson
Aug Flash Fiction Prompt
OPEN Aug 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 August
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 submit regularly to this market. No luck yet. I sent in a story about a woman who works as a fortune teller at an interplanetary rodeo... fingers crossed. This woman looks like her head is exploding. Kind of the way I feel every time I get ANOTHER rejection.
New Interview with Ai Jiang!
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've had FOUR rejections from this market. But SOMETIMES they include a nice note. Like the one below.
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 was so thrilled with Ai Jiang bothering to get back to me, I interviewed her for Horrortree. She seems to have found the special sauce for getting accepted to the pro mags. Read about it here!
New Interview with felipe!
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 finally got a sale here! "Ogri Trips the Light Fantastic" will be out this November. I interviewed Felipe and got some great insights... (Pic of Ogri up above). Felipe purchased a different picture of my Osset created by Devin Towrie. A talented 13 year old artist.
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.
Chem Trails, Crop Circles, & Cryptids—Stories about aliens and extraterrestrials, UFOs, or tales inspired by other conspiracy and fringe theories, urban legends, and folklore.
I LOVE a good conspiracy theory. I mean to write something every month for this and run out of time. This month though.. I got to come up with something. Chemtrails are SO suspicious. Right?
insider info on this publisher
Editor: Azzurra Nox
Deadline Sept 12
Word range: up to 10,000
Simultaneous submissions? No
Twisted Wing Productions publishes stories by female identifying writers.
Everybody (unless you live under a rock) knows Stephen King, the modern-day master of horror novelist. With a career spanning so many years and over eighty books published between novels and short story collections there’s a lot of material to be inspired by! We’re looking for Stephen King retellings/homage of his novels or short stories with a feminist edge. Focus on themes he explores in his own writing (but not limited to this is only to give an idea) such as: Ordinary people dealing with extraordinary/supernatural events/entities, loss of innocence, coming of age, good vs. evil, and much more. The genre is HORROR. Stories MUST have elements of horror in them.
Characters in stories are own voices, POC, or LGBTQ
This anthology is being created by Input/Output Enterprises and they also publish THE PERIODICAL, FORLORN- something I've promoted on this blog before. This is their 2nd volume of Vampire stories. They use a form for their submissions
We're particularly interested in the subversion of form. We don't care about hard and fast rules, so don't worry too much about formatting. If you feel its good, chances are that shines through in the writing. And we want to read it.
Genre: Anything that's dark, creepy, weird and just a little off-kilter. We're open to genre fiction, particularly anything related to horror, science-fiction, speculative fiction or weird fiction. But we're also interested in anything that twists or subverts these genres in some unexpected way.
My first kick at this can... I sent them my story "What Slays in Vegas" A zombie vampire romp in Vegas.
War and Whiskey Publishing
Open for submissions: till Aug 31st
Editor: Bradley Birch
Word range: 2500-7500 max
Simultaneous submissions? No
Title: Strange Sunsets: Tales from Distant Planets
Theme: Science fiction stories that take place on another planet. There must be an element of horror. The setting should feel alive and have some influence on the plot. Any subgenre is welcome, but please submit horror stories to the Sunsets collection.
The tagline for this publisher is "Filtered Spirits. Unfiltered Ideas." Gore and Splatterpunk welcome- but not first choice.
I sent them in a story already for this anthology and got a rejection. But it was a really nice, helpful rejection. I am going to try again because I want to work with this publisher.
" Thank you so much for submitting Maisie and the Missing Ticket for consideration in the Strange Sunrises anthology. Unfortunately, this is not quite what we are looking for in this collection.
That said, I want to tell you how much I love Maisie and her company of misfit robo-pets. These are all great characters, and immediately upon finishing your manuscript, I wanted to know what other adventures they get into. If you are not writing more stories about Maisie, I would strongly encourage that you do. The characters are fun, and the world is fun. I will happily read any other submissions you send our way."
. PS. Maisie and the Missing Ticket was purchased by Hireath Books and will be in their Cosmic Crime Magazine.
Open for submissions: till Aug 15th
Word range: 500-999
Simultaneous submissions? no
Magic and mystery, gods and goblins, curses and crystals. Give us your fleeting fantasies. All of them. From traditional to epic to urban to science to whatever you can come up with as long as it is fantasy. Give me fantastical stories that delight, amaze, frighten, and mystify. Gritty and low level to universe shaking. Swords and sorcery. Djinns and elder gods in the garden. Fairy rings in space. Spells gone awry. Broken curses. Stolen artifacts. Prophecies come true. Wishing wells with personality. Any type of fantasy is on the table as long as it has a fantastical element to it.
All fiction must be submitted through our Moksha online submission system. Please do not email your submissions. Manuscript must be in either .RTF, .DOC, or .DOCX format. Submit your manuscript in double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman or Courier font. Please include your byline as you’d like it to appear in publication. Keep your cover letter short and sweet. The Editor wants your story to do the talking.
When I tried to research them, their website was down. New market for me. I sent them in a short... I'll let you all know how it goes!
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
Mission = Revive the art of the short story, support artists, and produce something wonderful.
Maybe you... like I... am asking the question, what is Substack?
Looks like they are saying it is an email newsletter platform? But you can publish on the web with it?
this is what the web says... my brain hurts trying to figure this out...
The bread and butter of Substack is publishing. With Substack, you can quickly and easily publish posts to the web or as emails in a matter of clicks. The posts can be paywalled or published for free. You can also try out discussion threads — a feature that allows you start Twitter-style conversations among your subscribers.
I'm not sure I really understand this yet... but perhaps this call is a good way to dip our toes in?
What does the timeline look like?
Submit stories by the end of the month, winner to be announced on the 15th. There is ONE story that wins and receives the full payout.
Where do I send submissions?
What are the rules for submitting?
1. No Fees
2. Send in Microsoft Word or Google Doc form
3. Any genre
4. 6- 10,000 words. Yes, just 6 words, like Hemingway's famous 6-word story "For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn."
5. Reprints are ok so long as you still have the rights to distribute.
6. Acknowledge Distribution Rights on this Substack - You can still sell your story elsewhere but we need to be able to save and publish it here. The goal is to create a library for subscribers.
7. Only the winner will be published and rights will only transfer for the winning story.
What do I get for subscribing?
One beautiful story every month. The complete library. The joy of supporting artists and doing something interesting.
Yes! Analytics will be published monthly in terms of subscribers, the number of submissions, and anything else that might be relevant.
There is also the option to sign up for FREE emails. You won’t get the story, but you will get information and can follow the project.
Why did I choose to feature this call?
I do get tired of rejections. Perhaps you -too- are getting tired of getting rejection after rejection and are looking for alternative ways to make some money at this.
I have heard that some short story writers have found ways to monetize their work directly. aka Radish, Kindle Vella. So, I am researching Substack.
I submitted to their contest but am now getting spammed by them. Argh.
Interzone has long been one of the most exclusive and highly regarded sci fi magazines in the industry. They are starting up a new "digital" offering.
TTA Press is named after the magazine it founded in 1994, The Third Alternative, which is now known as Black Static. We also publish Britain's longest running science fiction magazine Interzone, plus Crimewave, TTA Novellas and the occasional standalone book.
Email your submission to email@example.com - they definitely don't consider simultaneous submissions or reprints.
I have 7 rejections from TTA Press - usually sent very quickly
Many thanks for sending 'The Knocked-Up Nun and her Peculiar Hen', but I'm afraid it's not quite right for Interzone. Sorry to disappoint this time but please keep trying.
They don't pay much but are a VERY respected market.
We are looking for complete 500- to 1000-word stories with crisp prose, well-developed characters, compelling plots, and satisfying resolutions. We want stories that engage our minds and emotions.
Flash Fiction Online has published stories from both new and established authors across the globe. We love narratives with crisp prose, well-developed characters with emotional arcs, fascinating plots, and satisfying resolutions. We want works that engage our minds and emotions and that leave us with a sense of awe or give us something to muse on. We’re always on the hunt for something new, surprising, clever, or beautiful.
I've had 3 rejections from this market. So I forge on...
The Dread Machine is a magazine, publishing house, and community where writers and fans of dread-inspiring fiction can read and connect. We make cool creative projects accessible to those who will love them the way they deserve to be loved. In service of that mission, we are always accepting submissions.
The Dread Machine publishes futuristic dark fiction, speculative fiction, cyberpunk, slipstream, and science fiction. We do not accept religious fiction, fetish horror, or erotica. All submissions must be in English.
Just rejections so far.
James Gunn defines science fiction as “the literature of change” and states that it “incorporates a belief that the most important aspect of existence is a search for humanity’s origins, its purpose, and its ultimate fate.” A tall order but a worthy goal.
Our editorial vision for James Gunn’s Ad Astra calls for raising our eyes above the horizon and not limiting the scope of speculative fiction. It is in this spirit that we welcome great stories that range from the near-reality to the far reaches of the what-if.
Suggestions about what we’re looking for can unnecessarily constrain writers. That said, we can offer this advice: Be sure your story actually tells a story. And be sure it requires your speculative element in order to hold together.
Beyond that, the sky (the stars, the edge of the next universe over) is the limit.
James Gunn’s Ad Astra is a publication that aims to show visions of the future for all readers. We are not interested in stories that perpetuate existing systems of discrimination, i.e. stories that demean women and other marginalized groups.
I've only sent them one story. And it was rejected.
Dirt in the Sky is the new horror mini-anthology from Filthy Loot focusing on juxtapositions. We’re looking for stories about the haves and have-nots, but also seeding elements of genres like alt-lit with body horror, or dirty realism with transgressive horror. Heady themes in the sugarcoating of genre fiction. Since I only said it 3 other times in this paragraph, this is horror. We’re looking for things that are general, but very specific—so if you have any questions, please just contact us.
What we’re not looking for: sci-fi/fantasy, experimental, torture, anything too humorous or bizarro.
Focused on misfit fiction (transgressive, existentialist, horror, and other cult fictions) and odd other ideas — we publish zines, art stuffs, & books in both limited edition and open formats.
I have a reprint that is Noir Pulp Fiction, I want to try it here... They also have a call for an anthology called Little Birds (Green) 2c a word, Outsider fiction basically. info here... https://www.filthyloot.com/submissions/
Roe V. Wade has happened. The question is what is next? What happens in our country? What happens TO our country? what freedoms are next? Do we resist? How? There will be consequences. What are they? Who stands up? Who caves? This is a look at the consequences of a SCOTUS who reserves rights for the Rich, the Corporation, the Badged and the Powerful.
Bob Brown is trying to ignite change with fiction. From his website...
In November of 2016, America was faced with a choice. Regardless of your choice, we were all hopeful for the future - and B Cubed Press made a pact: within the first 100 days of the new administration, we would release a book.
Alternative Truths hit the shelves and was widely reviewed and loved. Since then, we have released multiple books every year, exploring the nation, humanity, and the future. From poetry to essays, fiction to absurd, we explore what it means to be human in the age of anti-humanity.
I like this publisher. I haven't sold him a story yet, but he has sent me helpful advice a few times and is very approachable on social media.
Info on the Editors: Kristina’s published two anthologies already alongside her team at 84th Street Press, with a third in the works now.
While this will be my first anthology, I published my debut novel, Face the Night, earlier this year. Face the Night has already won the Hoffer Award for Best Commercial Fiction, has been a finalist for numerous other awards, and received a starred review from Kirkus.
We’re confident we will put together a high quality, darkly satisfying anthology filled with unique, independent voices. We’d be honored if you’d trust us with your support, and maybe your story!
All leaps in technology are scary. Mysterious. Misunderstood. Until they slowly creep into our daily lives and become impossible to get rid of. Like an evolving parasite.
OBSOLESCENCE is a new collection of short stories about horrifying or fantastical interactions with technology.
The broken cell phone that can only text with your dead husband. The backyard tire swing that becomes a portal to another world. The Radio Shack Walkie-Talkies that pick up an alien GPS… In OBSOLESCENCE, technology gets repurposed, subverted, and redefined.
Not sure.. but they are encouraging everyone to submit.
Editors: Krishan Coupland & Lee Mackenzie
Open for submissions: Until June 15th 2023
Pay:min 10 Pounds 2p per word
Word range: max 5000
Simultaneous submissions? Yes
Neon is a magazine of slipstream fiction, poetry, and artwork. We publish creative work that is fantastic or surreal, and which crosses the boundaries between science-fiction, horror and literary fiction. It is one of the longest-running independent literary magazines in the UK. It is supported entirely by its readers: no adverts, no sponsors, no public funding – just a community of people who all enjoy the same kind of weird literature.
We prefer darker pieces, especially those with an element of the surreal or speculative, but are open to anything and like to be surprised. Images, comics, and graphic poems are also welcome, as are self-contained extracts. If you have any doubts about whether something is suitable, go ahead and send it anyway.
I've got a couple rejections from this publishers, they often provide a personalized comment.
"Ultimately I didn't think it would be quite right for Neon, and so won't be able to offer publication. I thought that the pace of the piece would have benefitted from a tighter edit."
New Interview with brandon
Theme: a story for each of the 22 Major Arcana
Editors: Brandon Butler & T.Spec Authors
Open for submissions: Until Oct 4
Pay: 3c per word
Word range: max 7500
Simultaneous submissions? Yes
Reprints? yes 1c per word
The Tarot has been a source of mystery for centuries. But what would a card reading of the future look like? This anthology aims to deliver 22 stories based around concepts concerning relevant themes and topics within the genre of Science Fiction. As a collection, The Science Fiction Tarot will introduce short stories dedicated to concepts replacing the Tarot Deck's major arcana, looking forward to the world ahead: The Alien. The Colony. Cyberpunk. Technocratic archetypes to rival rival the well known Fool, The Hanged Man -- even Death itself.
The biggest must is a well-told story that fits the Science Fiction genre. It doesn’t have to be hard SF by any means, and it can even play with genre boundaries a bit, but we’ll want something with a prominent aspect that we can distill into a card. So, if someone submitted ‘Blade Runner’ (let’s pretend just the movie since I still gotta read ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ – I’m getting around to these masterpieces, I promise!), that might be distilled to a number of possibilities: ‘The Synthetic’, or ‘Cyberpunk’ or even, ‘The Corporation’. That said, some stories can be difficult to break down into even one archetype or subgenre. This can be harder than it looks! But be prepared for us to work with you on this if you’re selected. Length can also be a factor. We’re breaking some of these softer rules, but there’s definitely a bias towards stories that can tell their tale in under 5,000 words. Beyond that, try to send us something that nobody else is doing. No small ask, eh? We plan to announce some story-specific cards as we go which will be an indication of what we already have, and might serve as an indication to either go in a different direction, or feature another aspect of your story more prominently. Just because we’ve chosen a clone story doesn’t mean we won’t also choose yours if it has clones, but if there’s something else in there that could also fairly represent your submission? You’ve got a much better shot.
I interviewed Brandon to get the nitty-gritty about this call for you.
Campbellian hard SF
Editors: Ádám Gerencsér and Mariano Martín Rodríguez.
Open for submissions: July 4- Aug 4
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!
Editor: Laura Furman
Open: August till December
Pay: they say "competitive"
Word range: 2000 max
Simultaneous submissions? yes
American Short Fiction has published and continues to seek short fiction by some of the finest writers working in contemporary literature, whether they are established or new or lesser-known authors. In addition to its triannual print magazine, American Short Fiction publishes stories online and holds two yearly contests, the Halifax Ranch Prize for Fiction and the American Short(er) Fiction Prize for stories fewer than 1,000 words.
Our goal here at American Short Fiction is to respect that involvement by offering consistently intelligent, engrossing, and beautiful reading, in print and on this website, and we appreciate your company. “Stories! Stories, stories, stories!” cried the narrator on the final page of that first Spring ’91 issue, in a work by W. D. Wetherell. Stories, indeed.
When I tried to research them, their website was down. New market for me.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include at the top of your story your name, email address, approximate word count, and the song that was your inspiration.
So I sent in a story and it was less than 3000 words. They are serious about word limits. Bert Edens got back to me and asked me to plump up the story before he could consider it. We had a nice back and forth. I love friendly editors.
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.
So I sent in a story inspired by Edgar Allan Poe (The Oval Portrait). Fingers crossed. I put a Cheesy Gordita in it...
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?
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