Have a main character that a middle grade reader (ages 8-12) can identify with;
Show a diverse set of real characters;
Are well written, fun to read, and encourage a love of reading science fiction;
Tell of adventure, space, science. Give us rockets, robots and alien encounters, and we’re pretty happy; Steampunk, time travel, weird west and alternate history are all fine;
Are between 3,000 and 6,000 words.
To be super clear – we’re looking science fiction, in all its variants. While we love fantasy as well, please don’t submit fantasy stories for this anthology.
We’re especially looking for stories:
Of adventure! We love a good dystopia as much as the next robot, but remember – this is the Young Explorer’s Adventure Guide;
Where the main character is of a population that has traditionally been under-represented in science fiction, e.g. girls, people of color, differently abled people;
Where the main character has agency, exercises it, and isn’t just along for the ride.
We are strong supporters of both the #weneeddiversebooks and #ownvoices movements.
We’re not interested in:
Stories where the female characters primarily exist to be rescued or as a prize for the males;
Stories where the primary plot or subplot is romantic in nature;
Stories with graphic violence or any form of sexual activity;
Stories with any violence towards animals;
Stories about the first girl to do X, surprising everyone;
Stories that depict any ethnicity or gender as universally bad or stupid.
Please note: although we’re aware kids have a wide and varied vocabulary, we’d prefer not to have swearing in the stories. If your story has swearing, please rephrase before submitting.
Submission deadline, mechanics and planned schedule:
Anthology will be open for submissions from July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017, with a reading period of January and February 2018.
While we prefer original stories, if you have something perfect that had a limited run elsewhere, query us and we’ll talk;
Acceptance notices will be sent by March 30, 2018;
In the summer we will launch a crowd-funding campaign to help with pre-publication costs. Regardless of results of crowd-funding campaign, we are committed to publishing the anthology. We’ve successfully funded the previous three anthologies this way, chances are favorable.
Rights and Payments:
Authors will be provided with a complete Anthology Contract for review and consideration with the notice of accepted submissions.
In keeping with SWFA’s guidelines, we pay $0.06/word on final edited word count for one-year exclusive worldwide English rights and nonexclusive right to republish, print, or reprint the complete anthology in any language or format after the first year, print and electronic, and two contributor copies. Payment upon final edit.
If the crowd-funding fails, please note that we are still committed to this anthology, and will find other ways to fund the project. However, there may be delays. If authors feel the need to withdraw their submission due to delays, we understand.
We will provide professional editing, primarily for issues of grammar and spelling.
If authors have other questions about rights or payments, please contact us before submission. We want to make sure all concerns are addressed.
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.)
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.
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: Submissions@SirensCallPublications.com
Reading & Evaluation Period: Two to three months after close of the deadline
** NO REPRINTS WILL BE CONSIDERED **
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 websitewww.SirensCallPublications.com.
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.
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?
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.