Deadline: September 1st, 2017
Payment: Unlisted but “will always meet or exceed SFWA minimum compensation guidelines”
Retro Future is a quarterly pulp magazine that searches for diverse, surprising, and progressive science fiction in art, prose, essay, and comics.
Issue Submission Themes
Issue #4: Resistance to oppression.
We welcome submissions of art and writing that approaches retrofuturism through a progressive lens. Essays and flash fiction of approximately 250-500 words is especially welcome; longer works may be serialized.
Comic submissions should be 1-8 pages of finished work. Anything longer may get serialized across multiple issues. Please note that inside art should be in grayscale (please refer to art and comic templates for details.)
Galileo Books acquires first serial rights; upon publication, these rights revert back to you, the author. We ask that you acknowledge Retro Future (Galileo Books) as the venue of original publication when the work appears in your book or is otherwise collected.
If a work becomes unavailable while under our review, please contact us via email. Submitted work for specific issues may be considered for other issues if themes fit. Please include your name and contact information (at least an email) at the top of your submission.
Art and comic templates are located here. Please make sure that art finals are high resolution (at least 300 DPI), in the RGB or Grayscale color space, and native Photoshop or TIFF files. No JPG or GIF.
(Dropbox will ask you to join, you can ignore that and click the ‘continue to download’ link)
Written material should be attached to the email in TXT, RTF or Word formats.
Retro Future is a progressive publication. Subjects such as sexual violence, un-examined racism, and other potentially offensive material are often used as fodder for exposition in genre stories–this is not appropriate for inclusion in Retro Future.
We are looking for forward-looking and optimistic science and science-fiction. Sensitive topics can be part of a good story, but a vision of a future better than our present is the focus of Retro Future. Keep this in mind when submitting.
In the subject, please format as follows for artwork:
Full Name, artrf, Your Project Title
In the subject, please format as follows for writing:
Full Name, litrf, Your Project Title
This will help our filters organize better! You can expect a response up to a month after the deadline date.
We will always meet or exceed SFWA minimum compensation guidelines.
Via: Galileo Games.
Deadline: July 15th, 2017
Payment: 6 cents per word
“Strange Beasties” – Slipstream. Are you itching to invent your own odd literary devices or creatures? Impress us, delight us, or scare us with the diversity of your fiendish creations. Creatures of the id don’t necessarily have to be monsters, but they do need to be strange. We’d fancy some ghostbusters and monster hunters too.
Reading Period: May 15 – July 15, 2017
Writer Deadline: July 15, 2017
Publication Date: September 20, 2017
Third Flatiron Publishing is based in Boulder, Colorado, and Ayr, Scotland. We are looking for submissions to our quarterly themed anthologies. Our focus is on science fiction and fantasy and anthropological fiction. We want tightly plotted tales in out-of-the-ordinary scenarios. Light horror is acceptable, provided it fits the theme.
Please send us short stories that revolve around age-old questions and have something illuminating to tell us as human beings. Fantastical situations and creatures, exciting dialog, irony, mild horror, and wry humor are all welcome. Stories should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Inquire if longer.
Role models for the type of fiction we want include Kurt Vonnegut, Arthur C. Clarke, Dan Simmons, Connie Willis, Vernor Vinge, and Ken Kesey. We want to showcase some of the best new shorts available today.
For each anthology, we will also accept a few very short humor pieces on the order of the “Shouts and Murmurs” feature in The New Yorker Magazine (600 words or so). These can be written from a first-person perspective or can be mini-essays that tell people what they ought to do, how to do something better, or explain why something is like it is, humorously. An SF/Fantasy bent is preferred.
Continuing with Third Flatiron’s quarterly themed anthologies, we will be soliciting SF/Fantasy/Horror short stories with the following themes. Themes are designed to be open-ended, allowing authors considerable leeway. We appreciate short, imaginative tales, preferring those that work with the theme in some way. Short stories should be 3,000 words or less. Flash humor pieces (<=1,000 words) can be on any theme. We aim to be inclusive and encourage submissions from all creators.
Stories should be submitted in either Microsoft Word (using double spacing), RTF, or plain text. They should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Flash humor pieces (Grins and Gurgles) should be short, around 600 words.
Please don’t send simultaneous or multiple submissions. If a story has been rejected, you can then send another.
Submit by email to
either as an attachment (Word, RTF) or in the body of the mail (text).
In the Subject: line of the email, please put
to avoid being deemed a canned meat product based on ham.
If the work is for the humor section, please note that in the body of your email. A brief bio and a one- or two-sentence synopsis in the body of your email would also be helpful to us.
Use the following template (basically, follow William Shunn’s Standard Manuscript Format):
[10 blank lines]
Body of story
Our response time is expected to be about 8 weeks (or less if the writer deadline is coming up soon).
As of: November 1, 2016
Your story must be original work, with the digital rights unencumbered. Accepted stories will be paid at the flat rate of 6 cents per word (U.S./SFWA professional rate), in return for the first publication rights to the story for six months after publication. All other rights will remain with the author. We no longer offer royalties. If your story is selected as the lead story, we request permission to podcast the story as a free sample portion of the anthology. We welcome new writers.
Third Flatiron will price and market your story to various e-publishing venues. We will format the story for the most popular electronic readers and platforms. You agree that we may distribute a sample (portion of the story) to potential customers.
For non-U.S. submissions, we prefer to pay via PayPal, if you have such an account.
Authors selected for publication will also be entitled to one free online copy of the anthology.
Via: Third Flat Iron Press.
Deadline: July 31st, 2017
Payment: $25usd and a contributor’s copy
We loved our first Mental Ward: Stories from the Asylum call so much, we’re opening another for Volume 2 with the exact same details! Have at it wordsmiths, and send us true depravity to read!
Sanatorium, mental ward, psychiatric hospital – they’re all the same. Places where the infirm, the crazy, and the certifiable go for treatment… Or what passes for ‘treatment’.
We want stories of bedlam taking place within the padded walls of an institution. Give us stories of experiments gone wrong, patients revolting against the staff, or tales from the perspective of those charged with offering care. Make them sick, make them depraved, make them atrocious – these should be the kind of stories that rarely reach the light of day.
Are you brave enough to see what your mind conjures up… Or are you afraid you’ll be locked up for trying?
Deadline: July 31, 2017
Word Count: 4,000 – 8,000 words
All submissions MUST be submitted to: [email protected]
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 $25US, plus one print copy of the book.
As per our standard guidelines, there will be no stories containing pedophilia, bestiality, or graphic rape scenarios accepted.
Full submission guidelines can be found on our website – www.SirensCallPublications.com – we invite you to read them before submitting!
Via: Siren’s Call Publications.
Deadline: June 15th, 2017
Payment: Royalty Split
Spark and Fizz Books is accepting submissions for its second issue of quarterly science and speculative fiction magazine, Planet Scumm. We’ll be accepting submissions April 23 to June 15.
Issue 002 will be released October 2017. Our benevolent overlord Scummy will be especially kind towards spooky submissions hitting his space-desk this cycle. However, horror elements are not required. All submissions must still conform to the guidelines below (we’re looking at you, zombie fiction).
What We’re Looking For
Previously unpublished short fiction that doesn’t lean heavily on genre tropes. Hard sci-fi, soft sci-fi, sci-fi that melts in your mouth-brain not your hand-brain. Speculative fiction, weird fiction, slipstream, glitterlit, analogpunk. Basically anything that pleases Scummy, our megaphone-toting slime buddy.
How to Submit
Include submissions as an .RTF or .DOC attachment sent to [email protected] along with a brief cover letter in the email body. Stories, or collections of flash fiction, should be 1000-7500 words in length, and submitted in standard manuscript format. Use the subject line “Planet Scumm Submission” followed by your story title.
Submit only one short story or flash collection. We will not accept multiple submissions from the same author in one reading period.
Simultaneous submissions are okay, as long as you promptly withdraw a story accepted elsewhere. Submissions that are too long or short will be rejected immediately, as will those that are incorrectly formatted. In addition, submissions covering the topics below aren’t likely to play well with our slush readers.
The No-No List
- Zombies, vampires, werewolves, pirates, ninjas
- Cthuloid/Mythos tales
- Straight horror without a clear speculative element
- Fan fiction
- Sword-and-spell fantasy
- Anthropomorphic animals
- Stories that end with “It was all a dream” or “Turns out they were in a simulation”
Use With Caution
- Time travel
- Political allegory
- Lasers (pew-pew handheld ones, and big blue planet-killers)
- FTL travel
Schedule, Rights and Payment
Issue 002 will be released October 2017 as an e-book with a limited print run. Most accepted stories will also be published on our website. For accepted stories, we’re asking for first world English print and electronic publishing rights for six months and non-exclusive rights thereafter.
Half the profits from the issue will be re-invested in the magazine, the other half will be split among all contributors.
Authors will receive their first payment within 6 months of their issue’s release date, and an annual residuals check. Contributors will also receive a free digital copy of the issue.
The finances are structured such that contributors succeed proportionally as we succeed. We hope authors who can’t afford to submit a story with such an uncertain remuneration model will give us another look a few issues down the road, or whenever we can confidently offer a meaningful minimum payment.
We will not exceed a $200 budget for Issue 002. That money comes from us and goes to:
- An initial print run to sell on consignment in stores local to the editors (that’s Boston, Portland and NYC) and via our website
- Flyers and promotional materials to get the word out
- One quarter of our modest yearly hosting costs
Via: Planet Scumm.
Deadline: October 31st, 2017
Payment: 10 USD per story
Stitched Smile Publications in collaboration with Paul Mcvay present:
Drive-in of the Damned: Black and White
We are looking for 13 original stories (reprints will be considered on a case by case scenario)
Word Count: 7500 word max
Deadline: October 31st 2017
Anticipated Release: Summer of 2018 (Drive-in Season!)
Compensation: 10 USD per story, multiple submissions allowed (one at a time), but only one story will be chosen per author.
Submissions: We accept word documents only. Once you have submitted, please be patient. Acceptance letters will be sent within 90 days *after* the deadline. Send all submissions via form at www.stitchedsmilepublications.com (click “submissions) and be *sure* to include DRIVE-IN OF THE DAMNED for clarification! Or Email directly to: [email protected]
The sky was dark driving up the road to the drive-in. Headlights from other cars cut across your vision as you pull up to the ticket booth. With the window down, the warmth of the air was reprieved by the passing of a single breeze. The operator was nothing more than a silhouette in front of the flickering bulb behind him. He reaches out a thin, bony hand with his palm up and you place your money in the center of it. When he curls his fingers inward, you notice that they are unnaturally cold in comparison to the temperature.
Leaning forward, he gives you a wide grin and you can see the highways of deep lines through his wrinkled skin.
“Right this way,” he says, swinging his arm out.
He directs you to the one of the many paths that leads down into the quarry where countless screens form a circle at the bottom of the quarry. You pass the big sign with giant letters that announce your arrival to … “The Drive-in of the Damned”.
(Each story centers around a person, or persons present in the vehicle. The quarry is at the entrance of another dimension; a place of limbo between heaven and hell. Those that arrive are unaware of this, though, but will soon realize it when the story played on their screen reveals the events leading up to their death.)
• do tell a well thought out story centered around the theme and time-period which is any time prior to 1970.
• do be conscious of vernacular used in the year/time you are writing in.
• do send in a well-edited draft and include on the title page, author name, address, phone number, email and TITLE of the story. If you use a pen name, please make that clear as well.
• do have fun! Stories can include monsters, aliens, demons, supernatural, etc.
• Nothing modern will be accepted: no modern technology, terms, clothing, etc.
Via: Stiched Smile Publications.
Deadline: July 21st, 2017
Payment: $5 per 1,000 words
Franklin/Kerr Press is looking for exceptional horror short stories with post-apocalyptic and dystopian themes or settings for our upcoming horror anthology Down with the Fallen. Stories can cover a wide variety of horror sub-genre′s such as sci-fi, splatter, psychological, suspense and the weird as long as they have a substantial dystopian or post-apocalyptic element. We will not accept works with erotic or extreme sexually explicit elements. We will choose eight to ten stories to include in the anthology from author submissions to be published in both print and e-book formats.
All stories should be edited and as free of error as possible prior to submission. Each story can range from 2,000 to 8,000 words, however, longer stories will be considered.
Accepted works will grant Franklin/Kerr Press first exclusive English-language rights for one year and non-exclusive English-language rights for the life of the anthology in digital and print formats. The author of each short story will retain the copyright to their respective work.
Payment per Story
$5 per 1,000 words
Each author will also receive one copy of the published anthology in print and be entitled to an author discount on additional copies.
Simultaneous & Multiple Submissions
No simultaneous submissions will be accepted. Multiple submissions from the same author will be considered but please note that only one story per author will be accepted to allow for greater variety and diversity. Previously unpublished stories only, no reprints unless requested.
July 21, 2017 at Midnight EST or until all slots have been filled.
How to Submit
Send your full manuscript along with a query letter and brief bio to [email protected] in a .DOC or .DOCX format with a subject line of “DWTF Anthology Submission / Your Name,” i.e. “DWTF Anthology Submission / John Doe.” Submissions should be formatted according to the Shunn Short Story Manuscript Formatting Guide here. We will send out acceptance notifications a few weeks after the submission deadline.
Via: Franklin Kerr.