Ongoing Submissions: Inwood Indiana

Payment: $1.50 for everyone, and $10.00 for those marked “Editor’s Choice.”


Inwood Indiana has been publishing issues since 2010. Each issue features both new and established writers. We consider publishing all forms of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction under 5000 words.

It’s still free to submit!

Many excellent journals charge fees for either online or offline submissions (or both). We all understand those funds are needed to send contributors a copy, or otherwise generate income. More than 70% of journals today do not pay anything. These types of practices are understandable, but frustrating to writers.

Fortunately, Inwood Indiana submissions are still free.

Publication Rewards

All journals have some financial strategy to stay afloat, and those decisions are often difficult trade-offs.
What are our trade-offs?



  • We don’t require writers to pay anything to submit.
  • We are in the minority of journals that DO pay cash (via PayPal because it’s easy and convenient).
  • Along with publication, writers also receive a 1 Year Subscription to Inwood Indiana online ($20 Value).Cons:
  • We cannot afford to send free paperback copies.
  • Token payments are small.

    Submission Guidelines

    By submitting, you are acknowledging these terms.

    1. Your work has not been previously printed elsewhere. You maintain all future-use rights to your work.

    2. You affirm your submission is your own creation and no part of your submission is in the public domain.

    3. You may submit up to 5 times each issue.

    4. You may withdraw any “pending” submission prior to acceptance by logging into the submission manager (just click “withdraw”). Once accepted, you will need to contact us to withdraw a submission.


  • We do not charge you to submit your work.
  • We do not charge a reading fee for general submissions.
  • We prefer you limit your submissions to 5 per issue.
  • Remember to separate your submissions.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine.
  • One token payment allowed per issue.
  • Token payments are currently $1.50 for everyone, and $10.00 for those marked “Editor’s Choice.”
  • Online subscriptions are disbursed after publication.
  • Cash payments are paid by PayPal to any address you designate.Special consideration is given to works with these themes:* Inwood Indiana
    * Small Towns
    * Eerie / Spooky
    * Nature

    We prefer submissions using our submission manager. However, we still accept submissions by mail.

    To submit by mail, follow these directions:
    * Include up to 5 submissions on separate sheets without contact info.
    * Submissions spanning multiple pages should be collated and stapled together.
    * Include your contact info on a cover page with your bio.
    * Include a SASE for notices – or your email address.
    * Submissions will not be returned without sufficient postage.
    Mail to:
    Prolific Press Inc.
    Inwood Indiana Editor
    P.O. Box 5315
    Johnstown, PA 15904



Via: Inwood Indiana.

Taking Submissions: Reckoning #2

Deadline: September 22nd, 2017
Payment: six cents a word for prose, twenty dollars a page for poetry

If you want to know what we’re looking for, try reading Reckoning 1the interviewsthe Reckoning twitterLCRW 33or any of these.

The short version: fiction preferably at least a tiny bit speculative, nonfiction preferably more creative than journalistic, poetry tending towards the narrative and preferably with some thematic heft, art your guess is as good as mine. But the heart of what I want is your searingly personal, visceral, idiosyncratic understanding of the world and the people in itas it has been, as it is, as it will be, as it could be, as a consequence of humanity’s relationship with the earth.

I am actively seeking work from Indigenous writers and artists, writers and artists of color, queer and transgender writers and artists, and anyone who has suffered the consequences, intended or otherwise, of dominant society’s systemic disconnect with and mistreatment of the natural world. And I am actively seeking new ways to reach all of the above. Seriously, if you know of a way I can do that, please share.

Simultaneous submissions are ok. Multiple short poetry submissions is ok; with longer submissions, please send just one at a time. Feel free to submit again after you hear back. Length: 0 – 45,000 words, inclusive. Response time has ranged from one to three months. Payment is six cents a word for prose, twenty dollars a page for poetry, art minimum twenty-five dollars per piece. Arbitrary cutoff point for the second issue will be the autumn equinox, Friday, September 22nd, 2017.

Submit original fiction, nonfiction or poetry as an RTF or DOC attachment (or art in any compact, web-ready format) to [email protected]. Please use an email subject like “[Fiction/Poetry/Essay/Art] Submission: [Your Submission Title]” or we’re likely to take a lot longer getting to it, thank you!

(All of the above shall be subject hopefully not to too much change but certainly to clarification, evolution and adaptation.)

Via: Reckoning.

Taking Submissions: Real American Horror

Deadline: royalties 60% divided amongst authors evenly.
Payment: September 11th, 2017

We’re looking for short stories no more than 5k that reflect real stories and urban legends found in America. No reprints.

Payment: royalties 60% divided amongst authors evenly.

We’re also looking for raw real stories of America’s underworld, real stories from real people that are going through real life horrors. For example, stories of suffering from addiction, living in the slums of Chicago, or life as victim of sex trafficking.

All names will be confidential, unless you state otherwise.

No payment at this time. Exposure and be in a magazine that reaches a wide audience and invitation to a podcast that reaches an even wider audience.

Real American Horror is a horror anthology designed to evoke strong emotions from readers as they look into stories of Real horror.

Deadline: September 11th

Send submissions to

[email protected]

With real American horror in subject, otherwise I’ll miss it.

Via: Deadman’s Tome.

Taking Submissions: If It Bleeds, It Leads!

Deadline: October 31st, 2017
Payment: $15USD

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Is this anthology looking for horror stories in the form of newspaper articles?
The answer: Yes, that’s exactly what we’re looking for!

For this anthology, we’re looking for stories that embody the spirit of the good ol’ newspaper headline! In fact, your story title MUST BE the headline.

We want feature pieces that belong on the front page; stories that draw you in and take hold of you as they unfold while the ink is still drying.

The work should exemplify the flashy style that only hot-off-the-press journalistic prose can entail. And if you want to go full-on tabloid, have at it. Give us the trash, give us the dirty laundry, but most of all, give us the juicy bits.

Remember, this is a horror collection, so be sure to keep one thing in mind: If it bleeds, it leads!

Deadline: October 31, 2017

Word Count: 2,500 – 5,000 words

All submissions MUST be submitted to:

Reading & Evaluation Period: Two to three months after close of the deadline


Payment: Each story selected for inclusion will receive a one-time payment of $15USD, an eBook contributor copy, and the right to purchase an unlimited number of print books at discount.

As per our standard guidelines, there will be no stories containing pedophilia, bestiality, or graphic rape scenarios accepted. For a full list of our guidelines, please visit our

Via: Sirens Call Publications.

‘Screams The Machine’ Blog Tour: Sam Mortimer On “Does Originality Exist?”

Does Originality Exist?

Sam Mortimer


Possibly! I know there’s always room for innovation at least. In some respects, I think select writers go in extreme directions in attempts to make that happen. For instance, a writer might be as provocative, lewd, torturous, risky, or whatever they’ll need to do, in order to push the envelope or feel original. Conflict and drama, however, is in every story no matter how it’s presented or how far it’s pushed.

Folks are drawn to conflict, especially in fiction, in different ways. It’s our human nature. We deal with it every day. Even avoiding a conflict has a sense of, you guessed it, conflict. I don’t think there will ever be 100% originality insofar as conflict in storytelling goes. It’s all based on the same principle of, ‘Without drama there is no story.’  It’s with different inventions, story structures where I believe there are innovators.

This will probably seem dreamy, but I think if someone wants to attempt originality they should write a complete utopian story with zero conflict, and stop chanting the drama mantra. The real question is, would that be any fun? A real-life problem with that idea is wondering about the appeal. Who would relate to a perfect person in euphoric world? What would a utopian character want? Something new, different? I don’t know.

Don’t expect any wars in that world. The utopia wouldn’t ever be in danger of falling, meaning there wouldn’t be an epic battle to defend it. No scandals or machinations would bring it down. The utopia would remain, because there’d be no drama or interference within the plot and characters. What story could there without chanting the drama mantra? There would be continuous progress without hindrance in that utopian paradise. How many different ways are there to live an entirely peaceful existence? How does one make conflict a matter of nothingness? If there was no conflict, how many cures would be developed for human ailments? Would there even be need of cures?  There would be no problems, and no problems mean, no drama.

Then again, the idea of a utopia isn’t even original. Scratch that idea if you want true originality. Though, I do think if something is 100% original we might not relate to it at first. It’d probably have to come from a world based on laws of physics we’re not used to. There’d have to be new shapes, sounds, colors, tastes, and senses we’re not accustomed to, that are absolutely not of our world. We’d have to experience a whole new set of emotions to witness something purely original. If that happens, we might have a new way to present some drama, or a whole new understanding of it.

Until then, I don’t believe 100% originality exists in storytelling. I’m all for seeing innovative stories though, putting new twists and turns along the way. Think of your favorite vampire stories. I’m sure they’ve all had at least something different in them. Ultimately, it’s still vampires. Not an original concept whatsoever, but one can figure out fresh ways to present them.


Cash carries a disease; one that’s already killed a large majority of the population and something needs to be done. To stop the crisis from escalating, The Solution (a worldwide organization) is formed and rises to great power. They monitor people’s dreams and shape reality to fit their own wants and needs. In an effort to control existence itself, The Solution is searching for what they believe to be the ultimate tool; a person with the ability to master a deep connection with the mysterious, pervasive energy known only as The Ultimate Reality.


Watching her neighborhood decay, her friends and family perish, Elizabeth Reznik needs to find meaning in her life. She discovers her existence is more meaningful than she could ever have imagined. Operatives of The Solution seek her out, take her from her home and perform brutal experiments on her. Their conclusion? Elizabeth is the one they have been searching for; she is the key to gaining complete power.


The stratagem of The Solution is single minded – own the resources and you own the people. And the last resource available is free will. They will own your thoughts, they will orchestrate your dreams; they will dine on your fears. But there is always a cog in the machine… or in this case, a scream.


Available on:


US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

iTunes | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | CreateSpace (Print)



Author Bio:

Sam Mortimer has worked the graveyard shift in law enforcement, attended film school, and has been writing strange stories since age eleven. He loves reading, music, and strives to meet the demands of his five cats.



Trembling With Fear 08/13/2017

‘Trembling With Fear’ Is Horror Tree’s weekly inclusion of shorts and drabbles submitted for your entertainment by our readers! As long as the submissions are coming in, we’ll be posting every Sunday for your enjoyment.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

Anything Storage

Rosalyn raised her open palm again. “Our customers’ business is their business.”

Ellis rubbed his cheek and didn’t look up. “I know, but yesterday I smelled something around unit forty-one.”

“You and your thoughts and notions and allergies.” Rosalyn lowered her hand. “Wearin’ a flannel long-sleeve shirt and straw hat in this heat is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. And you look more the fool wearing that faded yellow bandanna over your nose and mouth.”

“The smell is like that of something dead,” Ellis said. “I think we should at least speak to the person—”

Rosalyn backhanded Ellis. “People pay us to store stuff. It’s our living. Not our business to ask questions.”

Ellis raised his head and looked eye to eye with his older sibling, one of the few times he ever had. “But our business is our business.”

Rosalyn flexed her fingers and glared at Ellis. They looked at each other for several moments, then she marched out of the room. She came back with what resembled a wooden spatula.

Ellis began to rock his upper body and rub the top of his legs. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please don’t use that.”

Rosalyn had named it the Thumper. It was a fourteen-inch long piece of hand-carved oak. The handle was as bit smaller than a paper towel tube, and it had notches in it for a good grip. The business end of the Thumper fanned out and was a half-inch thick. Ball bearings had been sunk halfway into the wood. “Your job, Ellis, is to clean the units after the renter has taken everything out. Not to snoop, not to play detective.” Before he had a chance to even nod, Rosalyn went out.

Ellis grabbed his crutches, got to his feet, put his arms through the crutch cuffs, grabbed each handgrip, and made his way to the front door.

Rosalyn was in the golf cart. “Get in. A wonder you get anything at all done around here, slow as you are.”

Ellis got in and the cart jerked forward. The bottom tips of his crutches bumped along the ground as they headed to unit forty-one.

The golf cart was the one decent thing Rosalyn had done for Ellis. He had several brooms in the back, a dustpan, and a box of garbage bags.

Rosalyn stopped and got out. Ellis crinkled his nose because of the smell and reached in his shirt pocket for his bandanna. Rosalyn slapped it out of his hand. “C’mon, I got end of the month bills to get ready.”

Ellis got out.

Rosalyn stood next to a dark, gooey mass. “Get over here.”

Ellis put a dab of sunscreen on his nose and made his way to his sister. “You don’t have a hat on and the sun—”

Rosalyn snatched the tube of sunscreen and tossed it behind her in the tall grass. “First off, the renter wanted something smaller and in the shade so he’s now got unit thirty-eight.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

Rosalyn shook her head. “If I spent all my time telling you every detail I’d get nothing done and we’d go broke.” She gestured. “This is what’s called a tree line.” She pointed. “That is storage unit forty-one.”

“Yes, but what about—”

“Shut up and listen. A trapper rented forty-one. That’s why I had him rent near the tree line. That’s why these guts are here. You do know what a trapper is, right?”

Ellis nodded.

Rosalyn huffed. “God help us. A wonder I’ve managed the business this long with the likes of you.” She marched over to unit forty-one and unlocked the padlock. She put the padlock in a small plastic tray that all rental units had bolted near the door.

Two steps in and she lurched forward and fell.

Ellis flipped on the light. “Rosalyn, are you all right? Let me help you.” He knelt down.

“Get away from me. I’m a grown woman.” Rosalyn, face down, tried rolling over. When she got on her left side she screamed. “My hip! I’ve gone and broke my hip thanks to you.” Her eyes fluttered shut. She moaned and went back on her stomach. “I wouldn’t have…wouldn’t have fallen in the first place if…if you’d not been so suspicious.” Rosalyn swiped at her grey-streaked light brown hair that clung to her face.

Ellis noticed the Thumper laying several feet from Rosalyn. He pulled it away with the butt end of one crutch and picked it up. “I’ve done my best to not let things get me down. I’ve gotten along pretty good since the Polio. Even when Mom and Dad split up and ended up giving you this business instead of me.” He looked at the Thumper. “Only two minutes younger than you and treated like a slave for as long as I can remember.”

His sister grunted. Her lip was swollen and her chin was bleeding.

Ellis looked at a dark spot on the floor. “You slipped on blood. I’ve said before those shoes aren’t fit for—”

Rosalyn turned her head and opened her eyes. “Shut your fool mouth! Always telling me what to do, what to wear. Damned cripples, wanting to give orders and watch everyone else do the work.”

Ellis closed his eyes for a moment. After a measured breath, he looked at the posted laminated sheet on the inside of the door. All the units had one. “At least you fell inside, out of the direct sun.”

He smiled, waited a moment, then put on his reading glasses. His smile grew wider and he began to read. “Rule one: Always turn the light out upon leaving any storage unit.”

“You’ll burn in Hell for this, Ellis!”

“Rule two: Always make sure you completely shut the storage unit door.” He did, then reopened it. “This should keep you company.” Ellis tossed the Thumper into unit forty-one. “Mind your fingers now.” He closed the door.

Rosalyn hollered. She reached forward with nothing to grip but a rough concrete floor. She put her foot against the wall and tried to push herself toward the partially-open door. “Damn you to the darkest, hottest place in Hell!”

Ellis raised his voice. “Rule three: Under no circumstances are you to leave any storage unit for any time or for any reason without locking it.” He closed the door, flipped the slotted latch over the U-bolt, slid the padlock through, and locked it.

Back home, Ellis went to his sister’s office and turned on the radio.

“…and is expected to reach ninety-eight, with a heat index of one-o-five,” the forecaster said.

“Whew, now that’s hot.” Ellis grabbed a pen and opened the daily logbook. “Storage unit forty-one occupied indefinitely.”

G. E. Smith

G. E. Smith

G. E. Smith has written gospel clown skits, script for his local junior high D.A.R.E. and PeaceBuilder programs, silly rhymed children’s verse, and horror fiction of various lengths. His lighter work has appeared in Northern Stars magazine and Nuthouse. His darker work has appeared in Dark Fire Fiction, Black Petals magazine, The Cult of Me site of Michael Brookes, The Haunted Traveler, and The Nocturnal Reader’s Box. He works in north central Illinois, where he lives with his wife Joyce.

Roses Are Red: Volume 3

The rose bush was Sarah’s pride. With reason, it had featured in many a gardening magazine, winning many prizes. Its petals were bright red, blood-red almost. The thorns; deadly. She smiled as she prepared the fertilizer. Her secret fertilizer. She mixed the ingredients, and added her special touch, leaving just a few drops for afterward.

She stopped briefly to listen to the news; another child-Shaun- had gone missing.

“Terrible shame,” she muttered.

Sprinkling the mix with the soil, she poured the drops she had saved over the petals.

The petals opened to receive them.

“Good-bye Shaun. Thank you for helping.”

Justin Boote

Justin Boote has lived for over twenty years in Barcelona, Spain, plying his trade as a stressed waiter in a busy restaurant. He has been writing horror stories for just over a year, and currently has 8 published in diverse magazines including for Lycan Valley Press, Deadlights Shotgun magazine, Zimbell House Publishing, Dark Dossier Magazine and The Horrorzine’s summer edition.

He is also a member of a private writer’s forum called The Write Practice where he has also acted as a judge on two ocassions for their contests.

He can be found at Facebook under his own name, or at [email protected].

The Twins

The twins, Tom and Lawrence, were identical in every way, except that Tom bit his nails and Lawrence twiddled his thumbs. They existed in society as one person, and the school they attended only knew of that one person–Jim–and Jim would either be Tom or Lawrence, depending on the day. While one twin was at school the other got to do whatever he wanted.

But it became problematic when Tom started to murder. Eventually, the police apprehended him, and he was subsequently thrown into prison with a life sentence.

In class, Jim would now only bite his nails.

Matthieu Cartron

Matthieu Cartron is a French American student at the University of New Mexico. He will be entering his sophomore year of college, and he writes for the New Mexico Daily Lobo.

Nest Of Bones

Up in the attic on the floorboards lies a brown feathery ball. Tattered and torn. Its blood spatters the dust. A fly lands on the bird’s glassy eye. It does not blink. Sickened I turn away.

In the neglected fireplace rests a nest. An intricately woven tangle of twigs. Inside nestle white bones. Cuddled up. I hold them gently in the palm of my hand.

Thump! Turning I see bird after bird. An unkindness of ravens. A murder of crows. Target the windows. Some get in. They fly around, cocking their heads in unison. Surrounded, I wait for the attack.

Alyson Faye

Alyson trained originally in the UK as a teacher/tutor. She wrote a couple of children’s books which were published by Collins and Ginn. Now she lives near Bronte terrain in Yorkshire with her teen son, partner and 3 rescue cats. She writes noir Flash Fiction (some of which is published on line) and spooky longer tales (3 are available for download on www.www.alfiedog). She has a collection of her Flash fiction coming out soon from Chapel Town Books in the UK. She enjoys old movies, singing, and swimming. She is a confirmed chocoholic and is still hopeless at maths. Her blog is at

Ongoing Submissions: Black Dandy

Payment: $0.03 (NZD) per word (.02 USD at time of posting.)

If you’ve ever finished reading a story and thought, “Well, that was unusual,” then you’re only a block away from Black Dandy. In this corner of the neighbourhood, we’re looking for fiction that grips readers with vivid characters under unusual pressures. Bizarre, dreamy, unsettling.

Although we like a slow burn, we want stories to intrigue us from the start. Set the tone early, even if the story’s unusual nature takes time to unfold. Magic realism, gothic, and surrealist are compass points. Perhaps your most compelling character is a place, a meadow, a stretch of road in the middle of nowhere. Or perhaps your characters believe that all is normal while the world around them spins out of control – how do they go about their affairs in such a world? Your story will leave us feeling jarred, shaken by the collision of the familiar and unfamiliar.

Fiction we can’t forget:

Nights in the Gardens of Spain, Witi Ihimaera
Rene’s Flesh, Virgilio Piñera
Already Dead, Denis Johnson
Mrs God, Peter Straub
Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury
Maldoror, Comte de Lautréamont
Shoeless Joe, W.P. Kinsella
Encounters, Juan Garcia Ponce
The Master & Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov

Black Dandy pays $0.03 (NZD) per word for stories between 2,500 and 7,000 words. Our turnaround time for decisions is from one to three months.

Submit manuscripts to [email protected] in Word or RTF format, using some variation of a standard manuscript format. In the body of your email, tell us a bit about yourself.

We do not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions.

Author’s rights: Use of the author’s work by Black Dandy entails the assignment of First World Anthology Rights, for publication in the English language anywhere in the world. Black Dandy may use the author’s work only in the above-mentioned Anthology – both paperback and electronic editions – and re-printings of it, and the author shall retain all other rights to his or her work not specified here.

Via: Black Dandy.

Taking Submissions: The First Line – Winter 2017

Deadline: November 1st, 2017
Payment: $25.00 – $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 – $10.00 for poetry and contributor’s copy

“I’m tired of trying to see the good in people.”
Due date: November 1, 2017

We love the fact that writers around the world are inspired by our first lines, and we know that not every story will be sent to us. However, we ask that you do not submit stories starting with our first lines to other journals (or post them online on public sites) until we’ve notified you as to our decision (usually two to three weeks after the deadline). When the entire premise of the publication revolves around one sentence, we don’t want it to look as if we stole that sentence from another writer. If you have questions, feel free to drop us a line.

(Also, we understand that writers may add our first line to a story they are currently working on or have already completed, and that’s cool. But please do not add our first line to a previously published story and submit it to us. We do not accept previously published stories, even if they have been repurposed for our first lines.)

One more thing while I’ve got you here: Writers compete against one another for magazine space, so, technically, every literary magazine is running a contest. There are, however, literary magazines that run traditional contests, where they charge entry fees and rank the winners. We do not – nor will we ever – charge a submission fee, nor do we rank our stories in order of importance. Occasionally, we run contests to help come up with new first lines, or we run fun, gimmicky competitions for free stuff, but the actual journal is not a contest in the traditional sense.

Fiction: All stories must be written with the first line provided. The line cannot be altered in any way, unless otherwise noted by the editors. The story should be between 300 and 5,000 words (this is more like a guideline and not a hard-and-fast rule; going over or under the word count won’t get your story tossed from the slush pile). The sentences can be found on the home page of The First Line’s Web site, as well as in the prior issue. Note: We are open to all genres. We try to make TFL as eclectic as possible.

Non-Fiction: 500-800 word critical essays about your favorite first line from a literary work.

All Stories: Writers should include a two- to three-sentence biography of themselves that will appear in the magazine should their story run.

Multiple Submissions: We don’t mind if you want to submit multiple stories for the same issue. However, it is unlikely we will use more than one of your stories in the same issue.

Four-Part Stories: If you think you are up to the challenge, you can write a four-part story that uses the spring, summer, fall, and winter sentences. However, all the parts must be submitted at once (a single e-mail or snail mail) before the February 1st deadline. (If selected, each part will be published in its respective issue.)

Submissions: We prefer you send manuscripts via e-mail to submission (@) thefirstline (dot) com. We accept stories in MS Word or Word Perfect format (we prefer attachments). Please do not send pdf versions of your story or links to Google docs. Make sure your name and contact information, as well as your bio, are part of the attachment. Stories also can be sent to The First Line‘s post office box. No manuscripts will be returned without an accompanying SASE with sufficient return postage.

Notification: We don’t make decisions about stories until after each issue closes. We typically send notices out within two to three weeks after the issue’s deadline to everyone who submitted a story. You can also check the home page of the Web site as we will indicate each issue’s production status there.

Payment: We pay on publication: $25.00 – $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 – $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction (all U.S. dollars). We also send you a copy of the issue in which your piece appears. You’ll receive your money and issue at the same time.

Note to our international writers: Postage cost for sending author copies overseas is becoming outrageous, so we are reducing international author payment by the amount it would cost to send one author copy overseas. However, if you would like to receive an electronic version of the issue (PDF) instead of a hard copy, author payment will not change.

Via: The First Line.

Taking Submissions: The Fantasist

Deadline: August 25th, 2017
Payment: $100, on publication, and 10% of one’s own e-book sales

General submissions are open! The Fantasist is now considering work for Issue 5 and, potentially, Issue 6. Submissions will close on August 25th, 2017.

General Submission Guidelines:
1. Well-written. Prose craft matters a lot. And do your dialogue well (we read everything out loud).
2. Ideally 15,000 to 40,000 words, although, in exceptional circumstances, we may consider work that is somewhat longer.

Stuff we like:

We especially like stories set in a well-researched historical setting, set in the present or the future, stories with interaction between magic and science, the Napoleonic Era, Faeries, Dragons (but no dragon tragedy!), and stories not set in Europe. We love apprenticeship narratives/magical education, people coming together, stable romantic partnerships, nuanced friendships, remotely accurate economic and political systems, realistic depictions of power, magic that isn’t explained, highly systematized magic, made up plants, medical stuff combining magic and medicine, tall tales, pastorals, 2nd person, formal weirdness, real languages other than English (bonus points for Russian), constructed languages, intricate worldbuilding, interesting things with real or fictional religion (bonus points for Islamic characters), Speculative CNF, lyric essay, stories that engages with well-known texts, stories that deal with obscure or technical bodies of knowledge, epistemological fiction, epistolary fiction, fantasy inside virtual reality inside science fiction, surrealism, dark fantasy and horror, diagrams, psychology (but do your research), disabled people having sex, fake scholarship (Especially without seeing action in that world), trans and nonbinary characters in historical fantasy, technologically and/or historically accurate seafaring fiction, sex workers, domesticity, stories set in cities about something other than crime, the black-plague as apocalypse, the ridiculous backstabby internecine warfare of the faerie poetry community in Indianapolis, fantasy in small town America, addiction storylines, 12-step programs for magical things, socialism, communism, anarchism, part way into the high flung adventure, the hero buys a nice plot of land and settles down to raise magic sheep. YA is encouraged, but we are not primarily a YA market, and publish for all ages.

Special note: We are especially seeking more urban fantasy.

In addition to all of the above, following the Issue 4 Space Opera Issue, The Fantasist will also consider Space Opera.

Above all, we appreciate EARNESTNESS.

Some questions and thoughts to consider before submitting:
*Who builds the roads?
*If you can’t find room for a second female character, we’re concerned.
*Are you being the person Mr. (Steve) Rogers knew you could be?
*Did you Google it?
*Who are you? What do you want?
*Who is the milkman? What happened inside that house? Why did you set that bush on fire? What did the rainbow squirt tell you? What is the purpose of the goggles?
*Did anyone eat?
*Would the 10th Doctor want to take Rose here?
*Agriculture? Classism.

Basically, we’re open to anything that you’re willing to call fantasy, although faux-medieval fantasy can be a harder sell.

The Process
The Fantasist uses email submissions. Please send your novella to [email protected].
In the email, please include 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 changeling story and happen to BE the great granddaughter of the Leanansídhe, mention that). All stories should be in standard manuscript format and can be submitted in .DOC, .DOCX, or PDF format. You will earn bonus points with Will if your story is saved at 135% magnification.

No multiple submissions, but simultaneous submissions are fine. Please notify us immediately if your piece is accepted elsewhere.

On reprints: A few people have asked, but we aren’t currently accepting unsolicited reprints. Currently, our priority is choosing material for our first few issues. We feel that it’s important to come out the gate with only new, previously unpublished work. However, our stance on this may change.

If you have questions, concerns or technical issues, please contact us via [email protected]. Our average response time is 6 months, but we occasionally hold submissions for longer. We ask that you don’t send queries until after 3 months have passed. Don’t argue with rejection letters. You’re only wasting time.

We buy first North American serial rights, non-exclusive anthology rights, exclusive electronic and e-book rights for 90 days after first publication, and non-exclusive electronic and e-book rights after that. Payment is $100, on publication, and 10% of one’s own e-book sales.

We’re a bit of a mom and pop. Actually, more of a pop and pop, and pops’ couple friends. We hope to pay more at some point, but $100 is what’s possible for us at the moment.

We wish this went without saying, but it does not: We aspire to publish excellent fiction across lines of race, income, religion, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, geography, and culture, and therefore encourage submissions of diverse stories from diverse authors. This includes, but is not limited to, people of color, QUILTBAG folks, women, writers who are working class, elderly, or disabled. We are especially interested in work that displays intersectionality with regard to the above, and we aim to read with a compassionate eye.

Announcing next year’s theme issue: Issue 8 – Steampunk! – With roots as far back as gothic horror and the earliest pulp mags, and yet other roots as recent as the cyberpunk of authors like William Gibson, Steampunk is arguably at once one of speculative fiction’s oldest and youngest subgenres. However, here at the Fantasist, we wonder: How can Steampunk be Fantasy? As a subgenre riddled with monsters, clockwork, and other borderline farcical technological accomplishments, we don’t imagine with much difficulty. Think airships, lamplight, and top hats. Try to think not England, or at least not Victorian London, if you can, but don’t worry yourself terribly over that either, as stories set in familiar settings can still be surprising and good. Consider works like Nisi Shawl’s Everfair, China Mieville’s Un Lun Dun, and Phillip Pullman’s novel, The Golden Compass.

We’re also honored and delighted to be able to announce that Megan O’Keefe will guest edit the Steampunk! Theme Issue. Megan was raised amongst journalists and, as soon as she was able, joined them by crafting a newsletter which chronicled the daily adventures of the local cat population. She has worked in both arts management and graphic design, and spends her free time tinkering with anything she can get her hands on. Megan lives in the Bay Area of California and makes soap for a living. It’s only a little like Fight Club. She is a first place winner in the Writers of the Future competition, and the author of The Scorched Continent series, available through Angry Robot Books.

Issue 8 will come out in September of 2018, and submissions for it are a long way off. We’re announcing the theme now because we know that novellas take a long time to write, and it’s easier to write to a theme when you know what it is.

Via: The Fantasist.

Taking Submissions: Fantastic Trains: An anthology of Phantasmagorical Engines and Rail Riders

Deadline: September 30th, 2017
Payment: $50 for stories up to 1,500 words, rising to a maximum of $150 for stories up to 5,000 words.

Does a train whistle in the distance make you excited, wistful, or afraid? Trains have fired the imaginations of many people, especially writers. Anna Karenina, Night on the Galactic Railroad, The Signal Man, Strangers on a Train, The Lady Vanishes, Murder on the Orient Express all use trains as their main setting, not to mention the trains in children’s books—like Thomas the Tank Engine, The Little Engine that Could, and The Polar Express.

As travelers, we’ve been spurred to go farther because of trains, see new things, take chances. Trains have also, sometimes, pushed us too far, sliced the wilderness, inserted us into places to draw out resources, assisted in invasion. Trains, in a sense, even created Time as we know it. Trains altered our perceptions of identity, place, even of destiny. Suddenly, people could travel far away quickly, leave their families and homes for a better life, or opportunity—or people could escape the destiny of location. Step on a train, and you never know what you might find, or with whom you might cross paths. In essence, trains are Change.

We’re looking for your stories of trains—fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, horror, slipstream, urban fantasy, apocalyptic, set in any time, any place,—we’ll buy a ticket on all of them. We’d like to see what you can do with a train. A good part of your story should take place on a train—or most, if you can do it. We don’t care what era, what planet, or how the train might look differently there (it might even be alive!) or even if the train is moving. We just want that train—what you do with it is your magic.

This book will be both for lovers of the fantastic, and train aficionados. Think about how trains change the lives of people who travel on them, or how trains are used. Think about those people who love them, and know so much about trains, and why as children we were amazed. We want good character stories. We also want to see that you’ve thought about how your train runs. Make us feel like we’re on it. Make it fantastic!

THE TWIST: The Locomotifs

We’re looking for an author to choose one or more archetypal minor characters from the following list and interpret them through the lens of their story (their time, place, genre, etc.) as purely background characters, or, if you want, a main or POV character.

They can be combined too into a composite type character. An author would not HAVE to choose more than one, but one of these must pass through your story. (You will need to mention who you’ve chosen on your submission, under your contact information, using the letter(s) appropriate.) These characters are not named, nor is there any requirement for nationality, gender, race, ability/disability, gender expression, etc. You are free to interpret.

Here are the ten we’d like you to consider:

  • A) The Schemers: a couple with a plan
  • B) The Dreamer: someone who speaks about, or gives value to, his/her dreams;
  • C) The Detective: a person trying to solve something—a riddle, a puzzle, a mystery;
  • D) The Reluctant: someone who doesn’t want to get on, or perhaps, leave the train;
  • E) The Adventurer: someone who believes they are on an adventure;
  • F) The Guide: a mentor, a knowledgeable person about place, trains, etc.
  • G) The Box: a mysterious piece of cargo with important implications to someone.
  • H) The Lovers: a couple at any stage of love
  • I) The Knight: someone who will fight for a cause, theirs, or one they are given
  • J) The Seeker: someone who doesn’t know, but who wants to learn

We think the recurring nature of these “locomotif” characters through the collection will have an effect on the reading brain. We think readers will create connections and stories of the minor characters between these very different stories; they will link them up like train cars. Readers will make connections and see arcs by the juxtaposition of stories. (Think Cloud Atlas.)

You are invited NOT to take them literally. The Detective probably shouldn’t be a detective, but someone who is trying to solve a puzzle, a personal mystery, with a detective’s sensibilities. (And damned if Murder on the Orient Express’ trailer didn’t just use a similar concept by introducing characters as “types”—ignore that. We’d love to be original, but archetypes are very very old, and they’re not necessarily job-oriented, as they are in that trailer. But Christie’s MotOE is a great example of a train story!) Also, do not think that you need to try to fit in all ten. That’s like trying to meet everyone riding on your train. You can do it, but it takes too much time away from you.

Authors, of course, are free to develop their story on their own—but they should allow one of these kinds of characters to board their train, even if for a fleeting reference.

If you have a “train trunk” story and can retcon one of these characters into it seamlessly, without it looking like a shoehorn, awesome. Ultimately, we’re looking for you to tell us a good story.

We invite you to take us on a journey.

Submissions will close September 30, 2017.


Jerome Stueart is the author of The Angels of Our Better Beasts, a collection of stories recently long-listed for the Sunburst Award. Jerome was also the co-editor of Wrestling With Gods (Tesseracts 18) and Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Literature. His work can be found in Fantasy, Lightspeed’s Queers Destroy Science Fiction,, Strange Horizons, Icarus, Geist, Geez, and several Tesseracts anthologies. Jerome was the trolley conductor for the Whitehorse Waterfront Trolley for several summers when he lived in Whitehorse, Yukon. He now lives in Dayton, OH and teaches creative writing at the University of Dayton. [MORE]

Neil Enock is the author of two books, Doc Christmas and the Magic of Trains, and Mayan: Atlantis Returns, and the face and creator of the million-plus-views podcast He is past president of the Alberta Model Engineering Society. His love for trains is no secret to his thousands of train-loving fans. He is also active in the film industry as an actor, prop designer, producer and screenwriter. Recently, Neil has become the creator of the Wrist-Rack, a handmade leather gauntlet for carrying your cell phone on your wrist launched on Kickstarter and sold at Expos and Cons. Neil lives, creates, and fabricates with his family in Calgary, AB. [MORE]



  • We’re looking for your stories of trains—fantasy, steampunk, science fiction, horror, slipstream, urban fantasy, apocalyptic, set in any time, any place,—we’ll buy a ticket on all of them. We’d like to see what you can do with a train. A good part of your story should take place on a train—or most, if you can do it. We don’t care what era, what planet, or how the train might look differently there (it might even be alive!) or even if the train is moving. We just want that train—what you do with it is your magic.
  • The Fantastic Trains anthology will reflect as broad a spectrum of stories as possible; highlighting unique styles and manners.
  • Stories should contain a train in them. We don’t really believe you missed that one, but we’re just making sure. The whole story doesn’t have to be on the train, but a train should figure in the story. It can be moving, broken, stalled, a relic in a museum, or a prototype, even a toy train. But it needs to be there. Because people will buy this anthology because your story uses a train!
  • We are aiming towards two audiences, those who love speculative literature and people who love trains—remember that. Train aficionados are amazing people who love every detail about trains—the history, the specs, the technical parts. Capture that kind of love too if you can! Be accurate about trains, as much as fiction can be.
  • Stories must contain one of the “locomotif” minor characters as a walk on, or used however you want to use them. You should indicate the letters (A,B,C, etc) of the locomotifs you’re using below your contact information on the first page of the submission story itself.
  • Submissions must be speculative fiction: science fiction, fantasy, dark fantasy, magic realism, slipstream, supernatural horror, modern fantasy, fantasy noir, weird tales, alternate history, space opera, planetary adventure, surrealism, superheroes, mythic fantasy, etc.
  • Submissions should be short fiction.
  • The maximum length for stories is 5,000 words, with shorter works preferred.
  • The Fantastic Trains anthology is open to submissions from everyone, from every country, and we specifically encourage historically-underrepresented groups, of any race, gender or gender expression, LGBT, class, or ability.
  • Authors who write in languages other than English are welcome to submit an English translation of their work, provided it otherwise falls within the parameters of this anthology. Translation into English is the sole responsibility of the author. Please supply details of original publication for any submission that originally appeared in a language other than English.
  • Deadline: September 30, 2017 (midnight EST).
  • Do not query before submitting.
  • Email submissions to: [email protected]
  • Emails MUST contain the word “submission” in the subject line, or they will be deleted automatically by the server. Please also include the story title in the subject line.
  • Submissions MUST come in an attachment: only .RTF and/or .DOC formats are acceptable.
  • Emails MUST contain a cover letter in the body of the email; for security reasons, email attachments with no cover letter will be deleted unread and unanswered.
  • Cover letter: include your name, the title of your story, your full contact information (address, phone, email), and a brief bio. Also include the locomotif(s) you are using.
  • Do not describe or summarize the story.
  • Reprints (stories having previously appeared in English in any format, print or electronic, including but not limited to any form of web publication) will not be considered.
  • Submission format: no strange formatting, color fonts, changing fonts, borders, backgrounds, etc. Leave italics in italics, NOT underlined. Put your full contact information on the first page (name, address, email address, phone). No headers, no footers, no page numbering. DO NOT leave a blank line between paragraphs. Indent paragraphs. ALWAYS put a # to indicate scene breaks (a blank line is NOT enough).
  • ALWAYS include your full contact information (name/address/email/phone number) on the first page of the attached submission.
  • Payment for short stories is prorated as follows: $50 for stories up to 1,500 words, rising to a maximum of $150 for stories up to 5,000 words.
  • Rights: for original fiction, first World English publication, with a two-month exclusive from publication date; for all, non-exclusive anthology rights; all other rights remain with the author.
  • Spelling: please use standard American English spelling.
  • Response time: initial responses (no / rewrite request / hold for further consideration) will be prompt, usually within fifteen days. Please query if you’ve not heard back within 30 days. Final responses no later than 15 December 2017.
  • Submit only one story. Multiple submissions will not be accepted.
  • Simultaneous submissions will not be accepted.
  • Publication: May (e-book) and Sept/Oct for trade paperback.
  • Email submissions to: [email protected]

Other Train books/movies of the fantastic to consider:

  • China Mieville’s Iron Council
  • Stefan Grabinski’s The Motion Demon (collection of train stories)
  • Snowpiercer (a movie based off the French Graphic Novel Le Transperceneige by Lob, Legrand, Rochette)
  • Source Code (Jake Gyllenhal on a speeding train locked in a loop in time)
  • Darjeeling Limited (a comedy/drama based on character on a train—though not fantastic, still awesome)

Via: Edge.

Pin It on Pinterest