Payment: 2 Cents CA per word
What I’m looking for:
I prefer short science fiction between 1000 and 5000 words in length, though I’ll consider stories that are longer, and in very rare cases, shorter.
The type of stories I enjoy the most usually come as a surprise (I think I know what is happening, but the underlying reality is revealed to me as I read on). That said, I’ve accepted many stories that don’t fit this model. Sometimes I’m introduced to a new story structure– a style of writing I’ve not seen before (this is great too!). Sometimes the story I like reminds me of another story, but it introduces a slightly different spin on it. Other times, the story introduces such interesting and original ideas that structure and style don’t seem to matter as much.
Kasma Magazine now offers payment of the semi-professional rate of 2 cents per word. Payments are made via Paypal only, and in Canadian Dollars.
Upon having your work accepted by Kasma, you are able to and are automatically giving me non-exclusive electronic publishing rights, or reprint rights if applicable, to publish your story on Kasma’s website. I do not own your story. You are free to publish and sell it elsewhere, as long as whatever publication you sell it to understands that the rights you are giving them are non-exclusive. After a period of one year, all rights revert back to you and you may, if you wish, ask me to remove your story from the site. I hope that you won’t however, as I would like to include your story in Kasma’s archive of great, short science fiction.
Send me your short story by pasting it within the body of an email. No fancy fonts or formatting please, though feel free to underscore italics (e.g. _this is italicized_). To email me, click the “Submit Here” link to the lower right.Submit Here!
Via: Kasma Magazine.
Deadline: June 1st, 2016
Note: Poetry Market
Before you submit to Goblin Fruit, there are a few things you might find useful to know; for instance, the submission guidelines. If any question you have has not been addressed below, feel free to query at goblin.fruit[at]gmail[dot]com, and please do read our Frequently Implied Questions for additional information.
What is it we want?
We want poetry that we can call “of the fantastical”, poetry that treats mythic, surreal, fantasy and folkloric themes, or approaches other themes in a fantastical way. Re-write a fairytale, ponder an old story, consider history from an unusual perspective — really, it’s up to you, so long as the fantastical element is there. Since what qualifies as “the fantastical” is easily debatable, however, here’s what we’re not interested in: science fiction poetry (it’s not you, it’s us), horror for horror’s sake, and poetry that’s self-consciously gothic.
We have no prejudice against traditional poetic forms, rhyme, or meter. We’d like to stay that way, so please let the form serve the poem, not the other way around. Prose poems will be harder to sell, mainly because so many of them straddle the flash fiction line.
How much do we pay?
Beginning in January 2016 we will be paying $15.00 USD on publication for original, unpublished poems, and $5.00 for solicited reprints. If you’d like to submit a poem that has been published elsewhere, please query first with the poem’s title, where it was originally published and when. We purchase first North American serial rights and first Worldwide Electronic rights for three months; after that rights revert to the author, although we do request permission to keep the poem in our archives indefinitely.
When can I submit?
We are accepting submissions during the following times:
April 9th – June 1st
July 9th – September 1st
October 9th – December 1st
January 9th – March 3rd
How can I submit?
Send an e-mail to goblin.fruit[at]gmail[dot]com with your name, address and the title of your poem. Please put “Poetry Submission” in the subject line, followed by your poem title. No cover letter or bio is necessary, but we do appreciate a hello, and won’t bite until thoroughly riled. Include your poem in the body of the e-mail, in plain text, indicating italics _like this_. We accept up to five submissions from an author per reading period and no more than three submissions per e-mail. Simultaneous submissions are okay, as long as you let us know you’ve submitted the work somewhere else as well, and give us a shout if it’s accepted before we get back to you.
We are working through a substantial backlog just now, and request your patience; once we have caught up with it, we will be in a better position to announce a sensible turn-around window.
There are more important things to know about this whole submission thing?
- If your e-mail address will only accept replies a list of approved senders, approve us in advance; you have our e-mail address. We should not have to request the ability to reply in order to respond to your submission.
- When you resubmit, as we hope you will, open up an entirely new message and begin the submission process afresh. Do not reply to our reply with another submission.
Via: Goblin Fruit.
Deadline: October 31st, 2016
Payment: $10 and digital copy
Following the rabbit down the hole is the easy part. Battling time is what will kill you. Whether you’re trying to get back home or struggling to survive in Wonderland, your stories MUST be horrifying.
“You act as if time is on your side. He isn’t. He’s always on his own side.”
At the most basic, your story must have a clock involved. Clockpunk, clock engineering, and steampunk with clock elements is encouraged as well as the thought of time as an entity. Be creative, turn Wonderland on its ear. Twist it, tweak it, punk it.
Your story may star or co-star any of the characters in the original text by Lewis Carroll, as well as characters of your own creation. Feel free to “punk” any of the characters to fit your vision, but do not use any characters from other modern day Wonderland series.
A word from the editor: I don’t care how well your story is written, if it’s not scary, or horrifying, it won’t make the cut. We are HorrorAddicts.net. Bring the horror.
Font: either Courier or Times New Roman.
Double spaced, font 12 point.
Your manuscript must be in either DOC or RTF format.
1st page header to state: author name, mailing address, email address, and word count.
Following pages header to state: author name, story name, and page number.
In the body of the email:
100 words or less bio about you.
One sentence explaining the story attached. Your elevator pitch.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ids
Your website or blog
Subject of the email state:
CLOCKWORK WONDERLAND/Author Name/Story Title
Send to: email@example.com
No previously printed work and no simultaneous submissions.
Deadline: October 31st, 2016, 11:59pm PST
Length: 2,000-5,000 words
Payment: $10.00 USD + digital contributor copy
Return time: Final decisions will not be made until AFTER the submission close date (10/31/16). You should expect a return within 3 months of the submission close date.
If you do not receive an email stating your manuscript was received within two weeks of submission, please send a polite query to:firstname.lastname@example.org
For any other questions, please send an email to: email@example.com
Via: Horror Addicts.
Deadline: May 1, 2016
Payment: 0.013 cents per word and 5 contributor’s copies
An open invitation for all authors to submit short story works of horror for review and possible inclusion in a new horror anthology to be published by Raven’s Head Press this summer. Seven stories will be chosen for inclusion. Please contact Michael Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Works must be 7500 words or less. Subject matter is to be supernatural/horror/noir in theme. The book will be aimed for adults but we will not accept any blatant pornography.
If the work is in Italian, editor Michael Hudson will handle the English translation.
Proposed title: Death Dances In the Moonlight
Payment will be semi-professional at 0.013 cents per word. Writer will receive five copies of the trade paperback plus any additional copies as cost plus shipping as needed.
Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2016 5:00PM EST. If approved final work due June 04/2016.
Via: Raven’s Head Press.
Deadline: Sept 15, 2016
Payment: Pay rate is a range of $0.01-0.08 per word (averaging close to $0.03 per word). People who have stories for each of the works accepted with the same world will receive a boost on each consecutive story.
ANSTAAAFL Press has an open call for short stories for the “Enter the…” series of anthologies.
- We will only accept those stories emailed as text in the email OR .txt, .doc, .docx formats.
- All attachements will be destroyed if not accepted.
- Email address is email@example.com
- We will not accept stories by mail or post. If we receive these they will be destroyed at once.
- All stories must be original and unpublished anywhere
- If accepted TANSTAAFL Press will take first english publication rights.
- Note that reprint rights are yours as are first publication in alternate languages, however the value of reprints is low as are the likelihood of getting anyone to reprint.
- This publication is likely the only location where you will likely be paid for this piece.
- Stories must be less than 8000 words.
- Stories considered for Enter the Apocalypse must be stories about the start and / or middle of any type apocalypse.
- Apocalypse can include (but isn’t limited to) nuclear, epidemic, supernatural, bioweapon, cosmic, aliens, etc.
- Stories considered for Enter the Aftermath must be stories about the burnout or shortly after any type apocalypse.
- Stories considered for Enter the Rebirth must be stories about the world coming back to a new stability after any type of apocalypse.
- TANSTAAFL Press will attempt to get to submissions as quickly as possible, but make no commitment to how quickly.
- We will accept submissions up until June 15, 2016 for Enter the Apocalypse, Sept 15, 2016 for Enter the Aftermath, and Dec 15, 2016 for Enter the Rebirth.
- TANSTAAFL Press will respond to all submissions which follow our guidelines.
Payments / Renumeration
The Enter… series will pay for each story used in the range of $0.01-0.08 per word (averaging close to $0.03 per word). People who have stories for each of the works accepted with the same world will receive a boost on each consecutive story. An example: Say TANSTAAFL thinks your work is worth 3c per word on your story in …Apocalypse. Then you submit a story from the same world to …Aftermath. Assuming it is accepted you would get 3.5c per word on that story.
TANSTAAFL Press will pay upon the finalization of three criteria:
- Acceptance of your edited work
- This means if there are changes requested that they have been completed.
- Signed contract with TANSTAAFL Press for publication of this work
- Come see our tentative contract. It hasn’t been fully vetted but it will be close.
- All works for publication have been accepted and signed.
- That is, we will pay you when we have the full manuscript in hand.
- You will not have to wait for TANSTAAFL Press to actually publish.
Via: ANSTAAAFL Press.
What do I mean by this ridiculous joke title? That we do not exist in a vacuum. Not as writers, not as purveyors of our word-vomit to the readers, not as human beings.
When I first started screaming into the void, crying out to whomever would listen, “Look at the weird stuff coming out of my brain!” I thought I was alone. I thought it was me against the tide of rejections and likely inevitable failure.
I was wrong.
From the very beginning, I found other writers, professionals, who were happy to help me. Seasoned wordsmiths reached out to me to let me know they were there if I needed anything. Well, maybe not *anything*, but advice, a sympathetic ear, help finding markets, yeah.
It was like I had opened the door to a old west saloon. I had expected the piano to stop cold and all eyes to turn my way, hands on the butts of their six-shooters. What I got instead was a friendly handshake, a hug, a “this first round’s on me.”
I simply could not believe how … nice everyone was. How supportive. How excited they were to meet someone who was new to the field. I was flooded with gratitude, and I never forgot that feeling.
So, when a new writer approaches me, I do my very best to help them out. I point them toward good source material. I tell them how to find markets for their work. I even (sometimes) offer to beta read for them. This last one has backfired on occasion: it’s really hard to communicate in a nice way when a story is truly, deeply flawed. If it’s something fixable, I give them advice on how to maybe make that happen. If it’s just awful, I try to find a way to let them know that they should maybe take some classes or something. I don’t want to crush a person’s dreams. However, I also don’t want to give someone false hope. Telling someone that their story is good, or has potential when it’s garbage is not doing them any favors.
Here’s how I curb this potential problem: up front, I say, “I will give you feedback, yes. But, I will be honest. And, you may not like what I have to say. If you still want my feedback, send it. If you have a hard time taking criticism, you may not want to have me read it.”
This particular, unpleasant scenario aside, I love it when I can help another writer. This is true whether they are novices or friends of mine who are already established.
When a writer friend has a new book out, I’ll read it and review it on Amazon. I’ll share the link on Facebook. I’ll tell people to read it. When I see a writer I admire pimping another writer’s work, I am interested. I want to read it.
Whereas, my gut reaction when I see a writer shouting “Buy my book!” on every social media platform under the sun, is to *not* want to read it. I’m not even sure why this is. Maybe it seems like they’re trying too hard. It makes me wonder, “do they have to scream about it? Why? Can the book not sell itself? Why is the writer the one talking about it and not someone who read it?”
When a book first comes out, I totally get the writer saying, “Hey! Look at the cool thing I just did!” I get that. I do it myself. But, when the same writer is still doing that months later, hitting all the relevant Facebook pages and tweeting about it every nineteen minutes, come on. It smacks of desperation, man. And, desperation is unattractive. Nobody wants to go home with the person at the bar who is wearing the “fuck me tonight” shirt. Nobody. Unless you’re shit-faced. Which is probably the only time you’ll buy that writer’s book, too. Don’t shop drunk, kids. You’ll end up with bad books and that stuff that makes your poop sparkle.
All of this is, somewhat surprisingly still on task with my original topic. By promoting other writers’ work, instead of our own, we are not only more credible to readers looking for a good story, but we are also helping our fellow wordsmiths.
And that, ladies, gents and people who identify otherwise, is what it’s all about. Give it back. Pay it forward. Be the karma.
But, don’t do the thing where you say you’ll promote someone else’s work if they promote yours. This is shallow and self-serving and not cool. I made a lot of rookie mistakes early on, and this was one. Of course, I also used to review anthologies in which I had a story (do not do this – I can tell you from experience that some publishers won’t touch you if do) – I have since deleted all of those. Shudder.
We learn from our mistakes. We learn from others’ mistakes, if we’re paying attention. We can also learn from others’ successes. We can pass on our own knowledge learned from all of these, and we should.
To quote words of wisdom from a great couple of guys who will, I hear, be making a comeback soon, “Be excellent to each other.”
Ken MacGregor 2016
6 cents US per word
Beneath Ceaseless Skies publishes “literary adventure fantasy”: stories with a secondary-world setting and some traditional or classic fantasy feel, but written with a literary approach.
Secondary-World Setting: We want stories set in what Tolkien called a “secondary world”: some other world that is different from our own primary world in some way. It could be different in terms of zoology (non-human creatures), ecology (climate), or physical laws (the presence of magic). It could be set on Earth but an Earth different from our primary world in terms of time (the historical past) or history (alternate history). It could have a “pre-tech” level of technology, or steampunk technology, or magic as technology, or anything else that’s not advanced or modern technology. However, the setting should contain some element that is in some way fantastical.
The inhabitants of this secondary world should have developed their own culture in response to the uniqueness of their world. The characters should fit this culture, and the qualities of the secondary world should have some bearing on the plot.
We are NOT interested in urban fantasy or other types of stories set in the “real world,” even if they contain fantasy elements.
Characters: We prefer stories that focus on the characters. We strongly prefer characters who yearn for something, external or internal, and feel driven to attain it. Our favorite characters are “round characters”: ones who grow and change over the course of a story instead of remaining the same.
Narrative Style: We prefer styles that are literary but readable. We love gorgeous, poetic prose, but in genre fiction it’s vital that the style be clear enough so the reader can understand what’s happening. Our favorite styles are lush yet still clear.
We have a preference for limited points-of-view, first-person or third-person, because we find it harder for a story to get deep inside a character’s head from an omniscient point-of-view. We don’t like second-person point-of-view; it feels annoying to us.
We know grammar rules, such as which types of clauses should have commas between them and which types should not. We respect the author’s freedom to bend the rules as suits their story, but repeated ignorance of grammatical principles for no apparent artistic reason will make a manuscript look unprofessional to us.
Originality: We prefer stories that are as original as possible, particularly in the setting. We are unlikely to enjoy stories featuring elements we have seen repeatedly, such as elves or barbarian swordsmen or an opening scene in a fantasy tavern, unless they present that element in a unique new way.
Extreme Content: We prefer that graphic sex and violence not escalate beyond the level of an R-rated movie. We also insist that sex and sadistic violence not be acted upon children.
Fairy Tales / Myths: We usually find that fairy tale-style or myth-style narratives don’t provide a gritty or immediate enough perspective to make us feel the texture of the secondary world or the direness of the protagonist’s struggle. Any fairy tale-type or myth-type story probably isn’t right for us.
Urban / Contemporary Fantasy: We aren’t interested in urban fantasy or other types of stories set in the “real world,” even if they contain fantasy elements. It’s just not what we prefer to read. Any story with a modern or contemporary setting isn’t right for us.
Science Fiction: We aren’t interested in science fiction; it’s not what we prefer to read. Any story with advanced technology or set in a future time isn’t right for us.
Steampunk / Weird West / Sixguns & Sorcery / Etc.: In addition to classic settings of pre-tech fantasy, we also enjoy stories set in other types of secondary world that likewise don’t have modern technology, including steampunk, smoke & sorcery, Weird West, etc. Feel free to send us anything that you think might fit.
Poetry: We don’t publish poetry; only prose fiction.
Humor and Satire: We don’t mind humorous stories, but we have a very dry sense of humor. We love wry satire, but we rarely enjoy slapstick or puns. We haven’t published much humor, but if you have a dry satire that hits us just right….
Length: We prefer under 10,000 words. We will consider stories over that length, but the longer a story is, the better it must be.
Novel Excerpts or Serials: We are NOT interested in novel excerpts or serials–we only want self-standing stories.
Reprints: We publish only originals (stories that have never previously appeared anywhere in print or online). We do not consider reprints (stories that have previously appeared anywhere in print or online, including on a personal website or blog, or self-published on Kindle or Wattpad, or as Patreon or Kickstarter rewards).
(We buy First Serial rights–the right to be the first place to ever publish that story. If the story has already appeared in print or online, or been given to readers in exchange for a donation or patronage, the story has already been published, and therefore BCS can’t be the first place to ever publish it.)
Multiple Submissions (more than one story submitted at a time): We do NOT accept these. Please wait until you have received a reply to your submission before sending another.
Simultaneous Submissions (a story that is currently under submission to another market): We DO accept these, but ONLY if you state in your cover letter that your submission is simultaneous, and ONLY if you notify us IMMEDIATELY when another market accepts your story.
(We accept simultaneous submissions as a favor to writers because we know that response times from short fiction magazines in the field can be long, but if people abuse this policy, we will rescind it.)
Editing: All accepted manuscripts will be line-edited for grammar, punctuation, and clarity. The author will have the opportunity to review and discuss all of these edits. Payment will be made after receipt of the final, line-edited manuscript.
Payment: For standard acceptances, we pay 6 cents US per word, which as of 07/01/2014 is professional rate as defined by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).
Rights: For this payment, we purchase the following rights:
First World Serial Rights
First World Electronic Rights
Non-Exclusive World Audio Rights
An Option to buy Non-Exclusive World Anthology Rights
(This means that our payment buys the rights to publish your story on the Beneath Ceaseless Skies website and in our ebooks, and to publish an audio podcast of it if we choose it for our podcast, as well as the option, at our choice, to pay you again at the reprint rate specified in the original contract (2 cents per word) and reprint it in any future anthology of stories from Beneath Ceaseless Skies and distribute that anthology anywhere in the world.)
(You can’t publish that story as a first-run or “new” story anywhere else in the world, and you can’t have it appear anywhere else, in print or online or as audio, before or for 180 days after we publish or podcast it. But after that you can have it reprinted online and/or in a reprint magazine and/or in a reprint anthology, like one of the many Year’s Best collections, and you can resell non-exclusive audio rights, like to one of the many fiction podcast zines.)
We also hope that you will let us keep the story in our online archives after 180 days.
We are and always have been a SFWA-qualifying professional market, so any sale to us can be used to qualify the author for membership in SFWA.
Format: Format your manuscript in Standard Manuscript Format. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. If you deviate from this in more than a few ways, your story will look unprofessional to us before we’ve read the first word.
Include your name, address, and email on the first page, and a running header with your last name, the title, and page number at the top of every subsequent page.
Cover Letter: We do prefer a SHORT cover letter with every submission. Type it into the body of your email. Mention the title of your story in case the attachment gets lost. If you have prior fiction sales, list the best one or two. If you’ve been to any writing workshops, mention them. TELL US if this is a simultaneous submission. DO NOT give a synopsis or summary of your story; we’ll learn what it’s about when we read it.
Manuscript File: Attach your manuscript to an email as either a *.DOC MS Word document file or a *.RTF rich-text-format file, with the normal “.DOC” or “.RTF” file-name extention at the end of the name of your file. If you can’t get either of these formats to work, you may paste the text of your manuscript into the body of your email.
DO NOT send a *.DOCX file (the default format that Word 2007 uses); we can’t open those files. DO NOT post your file to a third-party storage site such as SkyDrive and email us the link; we do not download attachments from third-party sites.
Send your email to . Use the subject line Submission: (the title of your story).
IMPORTANT: your subject line MUST include the word “Submission” or our spam filter will delete your email.
Auto-Reply Email: You should receive our email auto-reply within 24 hours after sending your submission.
If you don’t, check your spam filter to be sure it didn’t get caught there. Then make sure your subject line starts with “Submission” so our filter won’t delete your email and send your story again. If you still don’t receive the auto-reply 24 hours after that, query using the email form on our Contact page. We will get back to you as soon as we can.
Response Time: Our response times average 2-4 weeks, occasionally as long as 5-7 weeks; during Spring 2014, as short as 1-3 weeks.
Slush Updates: To keep writers informed on our reading progress, we post periodic Slush Updates on our News page, under the category Slush Updates, saying what date up to which we have currently read all submissions.
Querying: If we post a Slush Update saying that we’ve replied to all submissions sent before a certain date, and you sent yours before that date, please query us using the email form on our Contact page. We really mean this; it’s not necessary to wait.
Please do not query if we haven’t announced that we’ve replied to all submissions up to the date you sent yours.
All rejections and acceptances will be notified by email.
Unsolicited Rewrites: We DO NOT accept unsolicited rewrites of stories that we’ve already rejected. (That is a nearly universal policy among short fiction markets of all genres.)
As discussed in this comment thread, we intend the personalized comments in our rejections as explanation of why that story didn’t work for us, and we hope that insight into what we’re looking for will be of help to the author with their next submission. They are not an invitation to resubmit the same story, even if it has been revised.
We only buy a few pieces of artwork a year, so we don’t take submissions of artwork. But we are interested in names of artists and links to their portfolios, so that when we are ready to buy art, we can check out their work.
If you’re an artist and would like us to put your name on our list to check out the next time we’re looking for artwork, please take a look at our past Cover Art, to see what sort of artwork we like (usually landscapes or vistas of fantastical-looking places). Then feel free to send us your information using our Contact page, and include links to a couple of your pieces that you feel might show the sort of vibe we’re looking for.
If you have any questions or comments about these Submission guidelines, feel free to contact us via our Contact page or to post a comment on our News page.
These Guidelines last updated 05/31/14.
Via: Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
Payment: 10¢ per word for the first 5000 words, 8¢ for each word over 5000
Clarkesworld Magazine is a Hugo and World Fantasy Award-winning science fiction and fantasy magazine that publishes short stories, interviews, articles and audio fiction. Issues are published monthly and available on our website, for purchase in ebook format, and via electronic subscription. All original fiction is also published in our trade paperback series from Wyrm Publishing. We are currently open for art, non-fiction and short story submissions.
||1000-16000 words, no more, no less NEW 6/3/15
||10¢ per word for the first 5000 words, 8¢ for each word over 5000 NEW 6/3/15
||Science fiction and fantasy
||English (We accept stories from all over the world. Translations are welcome.)
||We claim first world electronic rights (text and audio), first print rights (author must be willing to sign copies), and non-exclusive anthology rights for our annual Clarkesworldanthology. If you are unfamiliar with the term “First Rights,” an explanation can be found here.
Stories must be:
- Well-written. Language is important. There is no distinction between “style” and “substance” or “story” and “writing.”
- Convenient for on-screen reading. Very long paragraphs or typographical trickery may work against you.
- Suitable for audio. Stories should be equally effective, but not necessarily the same, in text and audio formats.
Science fiction need not be “hard” SF, but rigor is appreciated. Fantasy can be folkloric, contemporary, surreal, etc. Horror can be supernatural or psychological, so long as it is frightening. There are no barriers as to levels of profanity, gore, or sexuality allowed, but high amounts of profanity, gore, and sexuality are generally used poorly. Be sure to use them well if you do use them.
Though no particular setting, theme, or plot is anathema to us, the following are likely hard sells:
- zombies or zombie-wannabes (seriously, I’m not kidding)
- sexy vampires, wanton werewolves, wicked witches, or demonic children
- stories about rapists, murderers, child abusers, or cannibals
- stories where the climax is dependent on the spilling of intestines
- stories in which a milquetoast civilian government is depicted as the sole obstacle to either catching some depraved criminal or to an uncomplicated military victory
- stories where the Republicans, or Democrats, or Libertarians, or the Spartacist League, etc. take over the world and either save or ruin it
- stories in which the words “thou” or “thine” appear
- talking cats or swords
- stories where FTL travel or time travel is as easy as is it on television shows or movies
- stories that depend on some vestigial belief in Judeo-Christian mythology in order to be frightening (i.e., Cain and Abel are vampires, the End Times are a’ comin’, Communion wine turns to Christ’s literal blood and it’s HIV positive, Satan’s gonna getcha, etc.)
- stories about young kids playing in some field and discovering ANYTHING. (a body, an alien craft, Excalibur, ANYTHING).
- stories about the stuff we all read in Scientific American three months ago
- stories about your RPG character’s adventures
- “funny” stories that depend on, or even include, puns
- stories where the protagonist is either widely despised or widely admired simply because he or she is just so smart and/or strange
- stories that take place within an artsy-fartsy bohemia as written by an author who has clearly never experienced one
- stories originally intended for someone’s upcoming theme anthology or issue (everyone is sending those out, wait a while)
- your trunk stories
Fiction Submissions Process
Clarkesworld uses an online submissions system that has been designed to streamline our process and improve communication with authors. We do not accept email or paper submissions. Go here to submit your stories.
Our submissions form asks for your name, email address, cover letter, story title, word count, genre and story. Your cover letter should contain your publishing history (if any) and any other relevant information (e.g, if you send us a first contact and happen to BE an alien, mention that). All stories should be in standard manuscript format and can be submitted in either .RTF or .DOC format. No simultaneous submissions. If you have questions, concerns or technical issues, please contact Neil via email.
After you have submitted your story, a tracking number will be displayed and an automated email confirmation containing this information will be sent to you. If you have not received this email within 24 hours, pleaseemail us. Your tracking number will allow you to monitor the status of your submission via our website, so please don’t lose it. NOTE: Yahoo.com occasionally treats our email as spam, please keep an eye on your spam folder.
Our average response time is usually under two days, but we occasionally hold submissions for longer periods. We ask that you:
- don’t send queries until after two weeks have passed. Use your tracking number to check on the status prior to that.
- don’t send revisions to a submission unless they have been requested.
- don’t submit another story for a period of seven days after receiving a rejection.
- don’t re-submit stories that have been rejected. Do not query for permission.
- don’t argue with rejection letters. You’re only wasting time.
If you are uncertain about anything above, we recommend following the most conservative interpretation.
Author’s personal information (name, address, email, phone, or secret identity) will not be shared with anyone outside our editorial staff, except in the following situations:
- if we are compelled by law
- if threats are made against our staff
- if our narrators require your assistance with pronunciation (email only)
- if established year’s best editors would like to include your story in their anthology (email only)
- if the author has instructed us to do so
$.06/word, $100 flat rate for Short Fiction, and a $20 flat rate for Flash Fiction
Note: Reprints Allowed
Note: MAKE SURE to read the guidelines before submitting
Cast of Wonders is a young adult short fiction market, open to submission up to 6,000 words in length. One of our goals is to further the education of new writers of any age. With that in mind, these submission guidelines are both lengthy and extensive. They aim to explain what we’re looking for, what we’ll do with your story, and where you can find further information.
What We’re Looking For
As a young adult fiction podcast, we’re looking for stories that evoke a sense of wonder and have something unreal about them. We aim for a 12-17 age range: that means sophisticated, non-condescending stories with wide appeal, and without explicit sex, violence or pervasive obscene language. Think Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.
Stories are presented in audio format, which means our audience rarely skim past boring bits. We’re looking for fiction with strong pacing, well-defined characters, engaging dialogue, and clear action. We like a proper narrative structure and a unique prose style not laden with clichés and over-worn idioms. We like fiction that makes us think, but the main element should be thrilling entertainment and adventure.
We prefer high fantasy — elves, dragons, secondary worlds, and magic — to the more cerebral forms of fantasy you find in adult markets.
We like all forms of science fiction: far-future, near future, space opera, “hard” sci-fi — but it must be accessible to our target audience. This means a minimum of technical jargon.
We’re happy to read comedy, steampunk, horror, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, superheroes and many other genres. All that matters is adherence to our core concept and that critical spark of wonder.
Check out our Staff Picks page for more examples of favorites.
Does My Story Have To Be About Young Adults?
Absolutely not! A good story appeals to all ages. We define YA as the absence of the adult elements described above, not as stories featuring children or young adult characters.
Some good examples include “Cosmetic Procedures” by Desmond Warzel (a noir horror detective story) and “Gods of Stone” by Jeff Samson (the thoughts of a Gorgon victim).
What About Sex?
Sex is a universal constant, regardless of age, gender, orientation or even species. How an author deals with that reality is up to them and the characters of their stories, not us. We won’t reject a story simply because it includes sexual content, but it’s not the sole thing we look for in stories, either. In other words, just because it’s happening doesn’t mean we want it to take center stage.
An example of a story that handles this extremely well is “A Song For The Season” by Eliza Hirsch.
What About Violence?
Sadly, violence too is a reality of the everyday lives of many young people around the world. Like sex, we don’t require our stories to avoid the subject, but violent acts should never be the centrepiece of a tale.
A very well handled example is “Flowers For The Dead” (Parts 1 and 2) by Jamie Mason.
Fairy Tales? Wondertales? Huh?
We use the word “wondertales” as the generic description of speculative fiction stories based on classic and/or historical cultural narratives. Synomyms include fairy tales, folklore and mythology – all academic terms with their own meanings, origins, distinctions and historical connotations.
This is to help distinguish wondertales as a whole from the subset of stories based on Western European ancestry, which we assign the label “fairy tales”. Good examples include Hans Christian Andersen stories, or older Disney movies.
Fairy tales are popular as a genre of young adult fiction to the point where they cross the line into tropes. We receive a lot of them. Unless a story succinctly retells one of these narratives in a new and unique way, we generally decline. A good example of one we liked was “Piper” by Ian Rose – a flash piece retelling ‘The Pied Piper’ from one of the rat’s point of view.
Wondertales, on the the other hand, are under-represented in short fiction and we’d love to receive more of them. For an example of one we liked check out “The Dun Horse” by Edward Ahern – the retelling of a Pawnee legend.
We don’t accept media-based fiction (for example, stories set in the Harry Potter or Hunger Games universes) or any kind of fan fiction. We don’t have a problem with people reading or writing fan fiction or media-based fiction, we’re just not legally allowed to consider publishing it. Many popular properties allow others to use their settings, characters and plot lines for fanuse, but you’re submitting to a commercial market.
Anything In Particular You’re Looking For?
Our editor is always interested in receiving more short stories set in the worlds of existing novels. We refer to these as “off-cut” stories, and love to run them because our audience can immediately buy the author’s novel to enjoy more of the same. If you’re submitting an off-cut, please let us know so we can make sure your biography includes full purchase links to the related novels.
The same applies if you have a book coming out soon and want to publish a short story with us to coincide with its release. We’re always happy to delay our episode if the resulting timing is better for author promotion. And you can approach us about a sponsorship opportunity as well – just email our editor.
I’ve Got A Great Holiday Story, When Should I Submit It?
Holiday-themed stories (regardless of which holiday) are ideally submitted 4-5 months prior to the holiday in question. A short note in the submission cover letter helps too. Cast of Wonders runs themed episodes every year for Halloween, the Winter Holidays, and Banned Book Week (usually in September).
What We’re NOT Looking For
We’re a YA podcast. If you wouldn’t give your story to a teenager to read — or worse, the activity in question is unlawful — it doesn’t belong in our slush pile. Consider instead our recommended list of adult fiction Markets and their submission guidelines. Stories which talk about or address these issues are fine, but graphical descriptions are not. We absolutely, positively do not want to receive:
- Graphical depictions of rape or sexual assault
- Non-consensual sexual activity (including necrophilia)
- Non-consensual drug use. Drug use of any kind will be a very hard sell.
- Graphical or explicit descriptions of animal abuse
- The gratuitous brutalization of women, people of color, and people with disabilities
- ANY sexual depictions of children whatsoever
The following subjects will be difficult to pass our slush readers but have appeared in stories in the past. Be prepared to address why these topics appear in your story and what purpose they serve. Our editor may challenge you to change them. Pervasive use is more likely to lead to rejection.
- Drug use, especially if not critical to the story
- Gratuitous profanity
- Fat shaming
- Broad baseless assumptions (‘all gamers are overweight’ — ‘all athletic girls are gay’ — ‘boys don’t feel emotions’)
We are particularly interested in considering stories and content from younger writers. If you are under 18, please let us know your age when you submit your work and be aware that your parent or legal guardian will be required to sign and return your contract. If your submission is part of a school project, please let us know that as well and we’ll work with you to provide any documentation required by your teachers.
Our episodes are in English, but we accept and encourage translated stories from across the globe. Translation of non-English works of fiction is a growing and thriving new aspect of the market, and we want to help bring those works to audio fiction audiences.
Cast of Wonders welcomes and encourages submissions from writers of all backgrounds, and would like to see more submissions from people of backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented or excluded from traditional publishing. Some examples include people of color, LGBTQ or non-binary gender people, persons with disabilities, members of religious minorities, and people from outside the United States and Western Europe. We want to publish YA fiction that reflects the entire spectrum of the human experience, so we strongly encourage submissions from these and any other underrepresented groups. We are not interested in acquiring fiction that denigrates any culture or perpetuates stereotypes: stories should be well-researched, respectful, and conscientious.
Cast of Wonders is the broadest reaching Escape Artists podcast in terms of genre, but the tightest in terms of story requirement. As a result, we may occasionally refer a story from our slush pile to the editors of Pseudopod, Podcastle orEscapepod for consideration. All four shows operate on substantially the same pay scale.
If we decide to refer your story to another editor for consideration, we will contact you first and get your permission. If you are unwilling to have your story referred, please make a note of this in your cover letter.
Also, if you have been encouraged to submit to us from another source, please let us know so we can thank them!
We run both reprints and original stories, and have no strong preference between the two. We always fully attribute the original publication of a story in our episodes, and are happy to consider stories previously released on Patreon or under crowd-funding arrangements as reprints.
Cast of Wonders is open to submissions for stories of up to 6,000 words. We will reject unread any submissions exceeding the 6,000 word cap if you haven’t previously contacted us for permission.
Please note we have a strong preference for stories between 3000 and 4500 words in length: they best fit our target episode length of 20 to 30 minutes. Please do not submit single chapters of novel-length works; they rarely hold up as properly self-contained short stories.
Your story is mostly likely to run in its own episode, but may be serialized over multiple episodes or combined with other stories in a single episode, such as our Little Wonders themed flash fiction collections.
Our Submittable portal has options for Flash Fiction (under 1500 words) and Short Fiction (1500 to 6000 words).
Cast of Wonders uses a blind review process. This means all author information (including your name) MUST be removed from the manuscript text body, headers, and file name. It should be saved and uploaded in any standard word processing file type, such as Word, Google Docs or .RTF. PDFs are not accepted.
We have prepared a sample manuscript to show you exactly what we’re looking for. The sample is derived (with thanks) from the Shunn standard manuscript format and has undergone the ‘blinding’ process we require. It also contains some comments specific to submitting manuscripts to audio venues such as ours. We have no preference between American or British English, as long as you’re consistent.
Inappropriately formatted manuscripts, including those submitted containing identifying author information, will be rejected unread.
Our Submittable portal will request the story’s title, first publication (if any), and word count. There’s also a field for you to enter any of the items we’ve asked you to note in these submission guidelines. Please do NOT supply a full covering letter or summary of the story, either on the submission form or the manuscript. The text box on the submission form is minimal to help prevent this.
Once you’ve sent us your story, you will get an automated confirmation via email. Please query if you haven’t received this confirmation within 24 hours.
We aim to respond to all submissions within 8 weeks. After three months, if you haven’t received a response, feel free to query by email.
Multiple and Simultaneous Submissions
We do not accept multiple submissions from an author at the same time. If you submit multiple stories at once (and yes, we do check) we will reject all of them.
We don’t mind if you submit your story to us and other venues at the same time, as long as you withdraw the work if it’s accepted elsewhere (and congratulations!)
Payment and Rights
We pay $.06/word for original fiction of any length (yes, including flash!). Cast of Wonders intends to qualify as a SFWA Short Fiction market retroactively from January 1, 2016. We are currently in our one year probationary period.
For reprints, we offer a $100 flat rate for Short Fiction, and a $20 flat rate for Flash Fiction.
We ask for 4 months exclusivity for text and audio for original stories, and 4 months audio exclusivity for reprints. We happily accept stories that have been podcast previously; this means we ask you don’t re-sell the story to another audio market for 4 months after publication with Cast of Wonders.
Cast of Wonders buys nonexclusive audio and print rights to distribute the audio file under a Creative Commons license. Specifically, we use the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license. As we say every week in our outro, this means the entire world has permission to distribute the audio files for free, provided they give credit for it, don’t try to make money off of it, and don’t change it in any way. Transcribing it, extracting portions from it that exceed fair use, and mashing it up are all prohibited.
This license applies only to our audio performance of your work, for which we’ve contracted and paid you. It does not apply to your story itself. Authors retain their copyright and all rights to any other use of the story.
You can find samples of our contracts at the links below. Note these are for informational purposes only, and upon acceptance all the relevant information will be completed:
If you have concerns about these rights, please let us know. We are happy to discuss tailoring the contract if you have particular requirements (such as estates).
Any personal information we collect (name, address, email, social medial links, secret identity, etc.) is held in strict confidence and not shared with anyone unless we are compelled by law or in the event threats are made against our staff.
If a third party contacts us expressing interest in an author’s work, we will contact the author for permission before sharing any contact details.
By sending us your story you understand and agree that:
- You are the original creator of the work submitted to us;
- You are the copyright holder of the work;
- You are not prohibited by any prior agreement from the transfer of non-exclusive electronic and audio rights to the work;
- All information in the submission form is accurate and truthful; and
- You accept sole responsibility for any false statements or encumbrances upon rights not disclosed to us.
How To Submit
Once you’ve read all the above, click the link below!
Don’t self-reject. If in doubt, submit. Every submission is another step in the learning process. We take pride in giving the most constructive and helpful rejections time allows.
Email the editor, Marguerite Kenner. You can expect a response within a few days, but feel free to query if you’ve received no response in over a week.
Thank you for reading all the way through to the end, and we look forward to receiving your stories!
Via: Cast of Wonders.
Deadline: June 30th, 2016
Payment: Pay rates for original stories: $25.00 for reprinted stories: $7.00. And a contributor’s copy.
Note: Reprints Allowed
Guidelines Potter’s Field 6
Potter’s Field 6
An anthology of tales from unmarked graves
Open to submission as of 1 March until 30 June 2016.
Writers and Artists Guidelines
Alban Lake Publishing is looking for stories and illustrations for Potter’s Field 6, a print anthology of tales from the graveyard.
This volume will be the sixth in the Potter’s Field series. This anthology is scheduled to be published on 1 October 2016 in trade paperback format with a color cover, and black and white interior illustrations. Potter’s Field 6 is edited by Robert J. Krog.
Potter’s Field 6 is not open to poetry.
Please note that horror fiction written in the third person stands the best chance for acceptance.
“They” say that there are no new plots or stories anywhere. “They” may be right, but you are the only you there is, so send us a story as only you can tell it, one that’s atmospheric and highly entertaining, has fascinating characters, one that takes place in a unique location or time period.
A potter’s field is the burial place for the indigent and the unidentified. Just about every city has one. There’s a potter’s field in the Michael Douglas movie, Don’t Say a Word. Obviously, we’re looking for works that are themed to graveyards in some way. However, it does not have to be a conventional graveyard. Let me give you one example: back during the days of the Black Death, bodies were crammed–yes, literally crammed–into mass graves underneath churches. Even today, in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, you can take a walking tour deep under the church and see walls of skeletons and dirt. Such a place would also qualify as a graveyard for the indigent.
We do not want gore, blood, splatter, or slice-and-dice. Sure, it might be good fun to make balloon animals out of someone’s intestines, or find out how long the heart will continue to beat after it has been ripped from the body with a spatula. But that’s not what we want. We want stories that will scare readers, not stories that will make them gag. This is not to say that someone in your story cannot bleed, or die. Just put a lid on the icky stuff. Think spooky or suspenseful not spewing.
Think too of the ways that a person might end up in an unmarked grave. Think of homeless folk, murder victims, unidentified soldiers, runaways, plague victims, etc, and tell a story involving them. Use any perspective that strikes you as workable to tell that story. Tell it from any angle that seems workable. Such stories may come from the person before he gets to that unmarked grave, or from his ghost, or from his murderer, or the kind soul who at least thought to bury him, or from an investigator of some kind. Run with it.
For inspiration, by all means, visit the Alban Lake store and buy back issues of Potter’s Field 3-5 [1 & 2 are sold out], but do not repeat those plots and situations unless you have a really unique twist on one of them.
A word about sex and extreme language: we don’t mind it, necessarily, but the sex and/or colorful language must have a purpose.
Stories for Potter’s Field 6 must be written in English. You may use King’s English or American English [but don’t mix them in the narration, please. Characters will of course use the voice appropriate to each.]. Please use standard manuscript format: 12 pt Times New Roman, double spaced, page numbers at bottom right corner, etc. The word count of your story should be between 2,000 and 8,000 words. We will be somewhat flexible on the 8,000, but the 2,000 is pretty firm. Of course, story quality usually overrides word count limitations. Usually.
Other useful hints:
1. Do not underline. If you want italics, use italics.
2. Put quotation marks around your dialogue, so that we know it’s dialogue.
3. Do not, repeat, do not use headers or footers. (Except page numbers. )
4. Your bio should include your thoughts about your writing style and what drives your stories. Of lesser interest is your favorite color of pizza. And do not include your publishing credits, please.
We are looking primarily for original stories. However, we will consider reprints. If your story is a reprint, be sure to let us know when you submit it. We will want to know the name of the publication [online or in print] in which the story first appeared, and when it first appeared. Also, you must currently own the rights to the story. We likely won’t accept more than two reprints for Potter’s Field 6, and unpublished stories stand the best chance for acceptance.
Submit your story as a Word or rtf attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. [Yes, same address as PF5]. Be sure to put Story Submission and the title of your story in the subject line of the e-mail. Be sure to include the following information in your e-mail: your name; your snail mail address; your story’s word count; your story’s title; a statement about which rights are offered; and a brief bio written in the third person [50-100 words, more about YOU, less about where you’ve been published].
Please allow 3 months for us to respond to your submission as we will not begin responding until the submission period ends.
Writers and Artists, please note: If you move, tell us. If you change e-mail addresses, tell us. It is your responsibility to let us know where you are so that we can communicate, as well as send your payment and contributor’s copy.
Interior art should be thematic, not necessarily applicable to any particular story.
Submit one black and white illustration at a time as a jpeg of less than 50K in the body of an e-mail to email@example.com. Be sure to put Art Submission and the title of your illustration in the subject line of the e-mail. Be sure to include the following information in your e-mail: your name; your snail mail address; the title of your illustration; a brief bio [50-100 words, more about YOU, less about where you’ve been published].
In return for your accepted story or illustration, you will receive payment and one contributor’s copy of Potter’s Field 6, upon publication.
Pay rates for original stories: $25.00
Pay rate for reprinted stories: $7.00.
Payment for cover illustration: $25.00.
Pay rate for original illustrations: $6.00 per illustration.
Contributors who live in the U.S.A. will receive checks. Contributors who live outside the U.S.A. have two payment options. One, they can receive cash in American dollars. Two, they can receive payment via PayPal. And yes, if they have a third option, we’ll listen to it.
Contributors are also eligible to buy additional copies of Potter’s Field 6 at 30% off the cover price, plus S&H at cost.
If you have questions about this anthology or these guidelines, please contact Editor Robert J. Krog at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to working with you.
Via: Alban Lake.