Taking Submissions: Welcome to Miskatonic University

Deadline: June 30th, 2017
Payment: 8 cents per word

With Ride the Star Wind in the editing phase, we are now open to submissions for our next anthology: Welcome to Miskatonic University, an anthology of modern-day weird tales set in good ol’ MU.

Miskatonic University is still going strong in the Arkham Valley (and in various satellite campuses and research stations around the world). Resilient and forward thinking, few institutions can weather the times and adapt like good ol’ MU. It’s a strange brew of conservatively reaching into the past while progressively marching forward. And it’s a hotbed for the weird and the wonderful!

So what might a modern MU look like? What might student life be like today? These tales combine college life and the cosmic weird. Of course, there’s beer, sex, and parties; study groups and all-night cramming; campus activism and impassioned discourse; vital research and faculty struggling for tenure. But also, you know, gruesome and psychedelic cosmic weirdness.

What avenues of study has the university sanctioned either publicly or privately? Where are they getting so much funding? The university’s been around the block and are at the bleeding edge of certain realms of research. Occult studies have seeped, seemingly innocuously, into various branches of nearly all academic departments and inform everything from quantum physics to computer science, sociology to modern American literature. Library studies is hands down the best, most advanced in the world, likely one of the most well funded of sectors at the institution with ever-evolving safeguards and best practices.

But there’s bound to be lingering effects from all the occult activity, like “sensitive” people and locations with breaches to the “other side.” People disappear all the time; sometimes they even come back. Entire wings are off limits to humans indefinitely. As a whole, this anthology is about the angst and drama of college life, the promise of big occult ideas, and the terror and dread (and headfirst exploration) of the unknown, of the forbidden. And some dark humor would not be misplaced.

We want diverse stories with modern sensibilities from many different voices that show the immense and diverging possibilities ahead for the weird. We want to forge ahead and explore the new and the strange. We are actively seeking submissions from writers from underrepresented populations. (This includes, but is not limited to, writers of any race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, class, and physical or mental ability.) 

  • We want weird fiction set in a modern-day Miskatonic University. Stories should be set within or be inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos. We want to see the Mythos continue to grow and evolve, to expand as a shared literary world and not be tied to outdated and limiting sensibilities. We are not interested in stories with bigoted views on race and gender.
  • Subversive or experimental stories are welcome. 
  • No pastiches of previous eras. 
  • Original, previously unpublished short stories (3,000-6,000 words) and flash fiction (1,000 words or less).
  • Pay rate of 8 c/w for first rights to digital, audio, and print formats in English. 
  • Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please, let us know as soon as possible if your submission has become unavailable before you hear back from us.
  • Only one submission per author.
  • We seek both rich characters and grandiose ideas. We seek diverse characters.

Submit your story in standard manuscript format as an attachment to submissions(at)brokeneyebooks(dot)com with a subject line of the following: [WTMU] “Your Story Title”.

Submission window open from April 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017. (We are working on streamlining our review process. We will start reading submissions in May after making headway into Ride the Star Wind edits. We cannot confirm receipt of your manuscript.) The published  anthology will be a mix of stories both from invited authors and from slush pile submissions. Don’t self-reject. If in doubt, submit. 

Requests

  • We’re trying to present a living, breathing setting for MU. There’s no requirement or even request for any coordination of story details. We just ask that you avoid the more world-ending (or even university-ending) plots. Sure, people will die, just as new faculty is hired and new students fill empty seats. Buildings will crumble or disappear into wormholes, but there is always new construction. Monsters will come and go, sometimes with fanfare and sometimes not; some even stick around as lab specimens, secret pets, lazing in the sewers, or disguised as faculty. But above all, Miskatonic University persists.
  • For this anthology, Miskatonic University is assumed to be a fully modern, multicultural hotbed of cutting edge occult and technological research. In this modern incarnation, we’re assuming that it has fully embraced modern technology and norms and has both a faculty and student body thriving with personalities from all walks of life (no matter race, religion, gender, or anything [so it’s not just a bunch of white dudes])–and it’s been that way for at least decades. Of course, the institution will have its secrets and likely everyone there has their own agendas as well. So while there could certainly be your occasional reactionary character pining for the “old days,” those characters are not the norm. Hope that helps!

Content & Style

  • Rape: Avoid rape, especially that intended only to demonize villains or raise heroes to action. Avoid rape victims serving only as plot devices. And on the instances when rape is vital to a story, we need to see the victim’s reactions, their journey after, the consequences. We prefer characters to have agency, not just be plot points and set pieces. If those considerations are unattainable in the writing, no rape. Also, no bestiality or child abuse.
  • Sex: Sex between consenting adults is perfectly welcome, regardless of gender, including with aliens and monsters. It doesn’t need to be tasteful, just consensual (though we’re not currently shopping for stories that are solely erotica). Incest, however, should be treated with the same considerations as rape (see above).
  • Hate: Vile, hate-filled (such as racist or sexist) characters/speech, that which could promote such hate, should not be reflective of the entire work. Any such characters should not be portrayed as narrators; such speech should not be adopted by the narrator. Such topics would be of interest to us if well navigated, as in LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom.
  • Style & Theme: We are happy to consider subversive themes, marginalized voices, and experimental styles.
  • Editorial: We will edit your work in collaboration with you and “in broad daylight” in accordance withChicago Manual of Style and our experience. We are always open to discussion.
  • Current Tropes to Avoid: Forced Motherhood; Chosen One.

Via: Broken Eye Books.

Taking Submissions: Unidentified Funny Objects 6

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Deadline: April 30th, 2017
Payment: 10 cents per word and a contributor’s copy

Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting your story!


Unidentified Funny Objects
is an annual anthology of humorous SF/F. Past headliners include George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Esther Friesner, David Gerrold, Laura Resnick, Mike Resnick, Piers Anthony, Kevin J. Anderson, etc.

For UFO6 we’re seeking all style and sub-genres of speculative humor.

SUBMISSION WINDOW: April 1 – April 30, 2017

LENGTH: 500-5000 words.

 

PAYMENT: $0.10 per word + contributor copy. Payment will be made upon acceptance. Our preferred method of payment is via PayPal, but you may request
a check.

FORMAT: RTF or DOC. Standard Manuscript Format or something close to it (We won’t take points off if you prefer Courier over Times New Roman or some such).

SEND TO: Upload your stories via this submissions link.

Limit of 1 submission per author — even if you receive a response before the submission window closes please do not send another story unless directly invited to do so.

Please do not respond to rejections. The email address associated with submissions is not monitored. If you wish to query for any reason, please use the contact form or e-mail us: ufopublishing at gmail dot com.

 

RIGHTS SOUGHT: First Worldwide print and electronic English Language rights. Exclusivity for 90 days from date of release. Non-exclusive print, e-book, and audio rights afterward. Preview sample contract.

POLICIES & RESPONSE TIME: No reprints, multiple or simultaneous submissions please. Do not send any stories we already considered for a previous UFO volume or any other anthology edited by Alex Shvartsman. You may query after 30 days. Please send only one submission per author unless directly invited to send more.

 


WHAT WE WANT:

We’re looking for speculative stories with a strong humor element. Think Resnick and Sheckley, Fredric Brown and Douglas Adams.  We welcome quality flash fiction and non-traditional narratives. Take chances, try something new, just make sure that your story is funny.

Puns and stories that are little more than vehicles for delivering a punch line at the end aren’t likely to win us over.  The best way to learn what we like in general is to read a previous volume. You can buy it here and also read the online stories for free.

 

WHAT WE DON’T WANT

These are the tropes we see entirely too much of in the slush pile. You will improve your odds if you steer clear of these:

* Zombies
* Vampires
* Deals with the Devil / Djinn in a bottle variants
* Stereotypical aliens probing people, abducting cattle, and doing other stereotypical alien things.

 

ABOUT US:

See the UFO Publishing About Us page

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

I have two 6100-word horror stories that were previously printed and are now on submission at several magazines. Can I send them to you, simultaneously?

Please don’t. We have carefully considered what we’re looking for and expressed it above. If you strongly feel the need to break one of the guidelines, query first and provide a good reason.

My story was previously published in an obscure college anthology in 1996, which sold 16 copies. Can I submit it?

Sorry, but we won’t consider previously published stories, no matter how obscure. Stories posted on your personal blog, Facebook page, or Patreon page are considered published.

I may have accidentally begun my manuscript three double spaces below the byline instead of two. Am I getting auto-rejected?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. We’ll reformat your submission to fit our needs. You’re even welcome to send your story handwritten in pink crayon on glitter-sprinkled construction paper, but we will take that into consideration when deciding whether to purchase it, and whether to file for a restraining order.

I plan on winning multiple awards for my UFO story. Will your exclusivity rights prevent me from being included in the Nebula Showcase?

Congratulations on all your future success. We will gladly make exceptions for “Best Of” anthologies.

An anthology of humor SF/F is the greatest idea since sliced bread. What can I do to help?

Spread the word. Support our Kickstarter campaign. Pick up copies of previous UFO volumes. If you want to invite our authors/editors to a con you’re organizing, sell paperback copies of UFO at your store, bake us cookies, or help in any other way, we’d love to hear from you.

Via: Alex Shvartsman.

Ongoing Submissions: The Forge

Payment: $0.05/words up to 1,000 words, with a minimum payment of $25 and a maximum of $50

Our Process

The Forge Literary Magazine publishes one prose piece per week selected by a rotating cast of editors. Each submission is read anonymously by two editors. If a story is chosen to move forward, it is read by one of two rotating Editors of the Month who each make final decisions on the stories they receive. Since we are a diverse, international group of writers, our tastes and styles are wide-ranging. Read more about us here.

Try us!

 

Fiction and Nonfiction

We accept unsolicited submissions via Submittable. Again, since we read anonymously, please do not put your name anywhere in the file. We prefer stories below 3,000 words but will consider work of rare quality up to 5,000 words. We love flash and micro prose. Please send one previously unpublished piece per category and wait to hear from us before submitting another. Reprints are by solicitation only. Literary excellence is our only criteria. We are open to all genres and voices, and stories with any background, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual and personal identity from all over the world. We accept and encourage simultaneous submissions, but please withdraw promptly via Submittable if your piece is accepted elsewhere. Please do not inquire about the status of your submission until three months has passed. If you are a former contributor, please wait at least six months before you submit again; we only publish one piece per contributor per year.

Sorry, poets. We admire what you do but sadly, we only read prose for the time being.

 

Payment and Rights

We pay, upon publication, $0.05/words up to 1,000 words, with a minimum payment of $25 and a maximum of $50. We request exclusive worldwide English language rights to publish in the Forge Literary Magazine, an online journal, for a period of three months, after which all rights revert to the author. Authors outside the U.S. must be able to receive payment via Paypal.

Ready? Go!

 

Via: Forge Lit Magazine.

Ongoing Submissions: PodCastle

Payment: We pay $.06/word for original fiction 6000 words or less, $100 flat rate for reprints over 2000 words, and $20 flat rate for flash fiction reprints (stories below 2000 words).
Note: PodCastle opens and closes throughout the year.

PodCastle is looking for quality fantasy fiction. If you’re a writer with a speculative short story that you’d like to hear narrated by one of our performers, we’d like to see it.

Submit online via our submissions portal using Standard Manuscript Format. We accept files in .odt, .rtf, .docx or .doc format.

Word count: up to 6,000 words.

Occasionally, we run reprints in the novelette range (up to 17,000 words), although they are a harder sell. Query to [email protected] before submitting longer works.

No multiple submissions.

Simultaneous submissions are permitted; just mention it in your cover letter up front, and let us know if you sell it elsewhere first.

Reprints are welcome, and strongly encouraged. We are happy to consider stories previously released on Patreon as reprints.


Payment and Rights

We pay $.06/word for original fiction 6000 words or less, $100 flat rate for reprints over 2000 words, and $20 flat rate for flash fiction reprints (stories below 2000 words).

As of January 2016, PodCastle publishes in both text and audio. You are offering us both when you submit your story. We ask for 4 months exclusivity for text and audio for original stories, and 4 months audio exclusivity for reprints. We are happy to receive previously-podcasted stories; this just means don’t re-pod the story until 4 months after publication with PodCastle.

We distribute under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license. Briefly, this means that 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 beyond 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; you retain your copyright and all rights to any other use of the story.

You can find samples of our contracts at the links below. Note that these are for informational purposes only, and upon acceptance all the relevant information will be completed by our managing editor:

What We Want

PodCastle is looking for fantasy stories. We’re open to all the sub-genres of fantasy, from magical realism to urban fantasy to slipstream to high fantasy, and everything in between. Fantastical or non-real content should be meaningful to the story.

We are an audio magazine. Our audience can’t skim past the boring parts. Ideally, fiction should have strong pacing, well-defined characters, engaging dialogue, clear action, and still be beautiful. Above all, we’re looking for stories that are fun to listen to. Humor is encouraged.

We hope to publish fiction reflecting the full range of settings and tropes found in fantasy fiction. We’d particularly like to see more stories set outside America, and stories that feature characters who represent a range of backgrounds and ethnicities.

Diversity

Podcastle welcomes submissions from writers of all backgrounds. We are especially interested in seeing more submissions from people of backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented or excluded from traditional publishing, including, but not limited to, women, people of color, LGBTQIA and non-binary gender people, persons with disabilities, members of religious minorities, and people from outside the United States.

If you identify as part of these or other underrepresented groups, we welcome and encourage you to indicate so in your cover letter. We acknowledge the reality of unconscious bias and will make our best efforts to account for it during the editorial review process. Our goal is to publish fiction that reflects the diversity of the human experience.

How to Submit

Prepare your manuscript in something approximating Standard Manuscript Format and submit through our online submissions portal. We accept files formatted in .rtf, .doc, .docx, and .odt.

In your cover letter, please include your legal name, byline (if different from your legal name), mailing address, and the story’s approximate word count and publication history. If you have any previous publications, feel free to list the most recent three, but this is optional and won’t affect your story’s consideration.

Once you’ve sent us your story, you will get an automated confirmation via email. Please query if you have not received this confirmation within 24 hours.

After three months, if you haven’t received a response, feel free to query by email.

Legalese

By sending us your story you understand and agree that:

  1. You are the original creator of the work submitted to us;
  2. You are the copyright holder of the work;
  3. You are not prohibited by any prior agreement from the transfer of non-exclusive electronic and audio rights to the work;
  4. All information in the contact and cover sections of your submission is accurate and truthful;
  5. You accept sole responsibility for any false statements or encumbrances upon rights not disclosed to us.

If we buy your story we’ll send you a contract, and you’ll be bound to all of the above.

Questions?

If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, send them to our staff at [email protected] We’ll do our best to get back to you within a few days.

Thanks very much for your time, and we look forward to reading your fiction!

Sincerely,

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali and Jen R. Albert, Editors

and editorial staff

Via: Pod Castle.

Taking Submissions: The Binge-Watching Cure II

Deadline: June 30, 2017
Payment: $200 for stories under 5,000 words and $500 for stories 5,000 words and longer. Contributors also receive a paper copy of the book.
Note: I HIGHLY suggest reading the linked to pages here to see exactly what they’re looking for.

The Binge-Watching Cure II, our all horror edition is open for submissions.

We want to see your most terrifying prose. We’re interested in the full range of horror fiction genres and topics: dark fantasy, vampires, zombies, werewolves, Cthulhu Mythos, pure horror, psychological horror, ghost stories, East European myths, kind fairies gone rogue, Japanese monsters, apocalyptic horror, gothic, and plain scary monsters. If your imagination can conjure it, we want to read it.

The same general word length categories apply; we’re paying the same as we did for the first edition of The Binge-Watching Cure (which will be available later in 2017.)  Please see our submissions page for details on how to submit your story, and our FAQ for answers to your most pressing questions. For submissions, the only difference between the first edition and the horror edition is that you need to include the words “Horror Edition” in the subject line of your email.

The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2017.

We are not interested in fan fiction or stories with graphic or sexual violence against children, graphic incest, necrophilia, animal torture, or gore for gore’s sake.

If you have a question, use our contact form or ping us in Twitter. Please don’t use the submissions email address for queries.

Via: The Binge Watching Cure.

Ongoing Submissions: Strange Horizons

Payment: 8¢/word

To make sure that the volume of submissions doesn’t get out of hand while we’re still getting up to speed with our new submissions system, we’re trying out a weekly schedule:

  • We’ll always reopen every Monday when the new issue is published.
  • When we’re open, there will be no daily cap.
  • During the week, if and when the queue begins to significantly outstrip the reading, we’ll close for the week to give ourselves room to catch up.
  • This page will always clearly indicate whether we’re closed and if so, when we’ll be reopening.

Fiction Editors

  • Vajra Chandrasekera
  • Lila Garrott
  • Catherine Krahe
  • An Owomoyela

Guidelines at a Glance

We want:

  • Speculative fiction, broadly defined.
  • Up to 10,000 words (under 5000 preferred).
  • Previously unpublished in English—we buy first English rights, including audio.
  • Submitted through our Moksha submission gateway—no email or postal submissions.
  • No simultaneous or multiple submissions; no re-submissions.
  • Please send only RTF, DOC or DOCX files and try to stick to standard manuscript format as much as possible.

We offer:

  • Payment of 8¢/word USD, within 60 days of contract.

If you have any questions, write to [email protected] with the word QUERY: at the beginning of your subject line.

Everything else on this page is intended to clarify, explain, or provide insight into the above guidelines. If you’ve submitted to us before or feel confident that your story meets our guidelines, feel free to skip the rest of this page. If you’re uncertain on any point, you’ll find more detailed discussion below.


What We Want and What We Don’t Want

We want good speculative fiction. If your story doesn’t have a speculative element, or strong speculative-fiction sensibilities, it’s probably not for us.

Some particular things we love, or are interested in:

  • Fiction from or about diverse perspectives and traditionally under-represented groups, settings, and cultures, written from a non-exoticizing and well-researched position.
  • Unusual yet readable styles and inventive structures and narratives.
  • Stories that address political issues in complex and nuanced ways, resisting oversimplification.
  • Hypertext fiction. If you have a work of hyperfiction you think might be a good fit for Strange Horizons, please query us to discuss how to submit it.

Things which are fine:

  • Profanity is fine. Use whatever words are appropriate for your story.
  • Sex or violence in a story should be artistically justified; no excessive gore.
  • We welcome submissions from anywhere in the world, and British spellings are fine.
  • We will consider stories which have previously appeared in another language, but have never been published in English.
  • We welcome all subgenres and forms of speculative fiction.

Things we won’t consider:

  • Stories above 10,000 words, including serialized novels or novellas.
  • Partial or incomplete stories. Please don’t send us part of a story and ask us to request the rest of it if we’re interested.
  • Unsolicited reprints of works previously published in English.
  • Stories previously submitted to Strange Horizons, even if they have been revised.
  • Multiple stories at once from the same author.
  • Submissions sent to us and another venue simultaneously.
  • Poetry or nonfiction; we’re the wrong department for those.

Pay Rates and Lengths

We prefer stories under 5,000 words, but we consider stories up to 10,000 words. Note, however, that the longer the story is, the less likely we are to be interested. Our wordcount limit is not absolutely inflexible, but we can’t consider stories much over the limit, not even as serials. However, we have no minimum wordcount requirement; we consider short-short stories. We determine story length by taking the word-processor wordcount and rounding up to the next highest 100 words.

We pay 8¢/word (USD), with a minimum payment of $60. SFWA officially considers us a professional market. We pay by check or PayPal, according to the author’s preference.

We buy first-printing world exclusive English-language rights (including audio rights) for six (6) months. After that period, you are free to republish the story elsewhere. We hope you’ll allow us to leave the story in our archives indefinitely after it’s rotated off the main table of contents, but you have the right to remove your story from the archives at any time after one (1) year.

How to Submit

Check the top of this page to see if we’re open to submissions, and if we’re open, upload a file using our submission gateway. In order to track stories correctly, we can only consider stories submitted through that form—no email or paper mail submissions.

Your cover letter can be minimal: generally, these should be short and list just a few of your most recent or most relevant publications or workshops. If you’ve got life experience relevant to your story (e.g. your story takes place on a submarine, and you served on a submarine), please do mention that. Cover letters shouldn’t include plot synopses or pitches. If you are still concerned, please take a look at our sample cover letters page.

Don’t worry about how your story is formatted, in terms of font, font size, line spacing or indentation. Our system automatically reformats submissions the way we like them.

If you’re having trouble submitting, or have any other questions, please send an e-mail with a subject line of “QUERY: Your Question Topic” to [email protected].

Response Time and Response Status

We usually respond within a few weeks, but if you haven’t heard from us within 40 days, please query immediately. You won’t be rushing us along—most likely, we have responded, but the email’s gone astray.

We send an autoresponder message in response to every submission we receive. If you haven’t received an autoresponse within 24 hours after submitting, please query immediately. Missing an autoresponse usually means we have an incorrect email address for you, and won’t be able to contact you when we make a decision on your fiction.

Withdrawal policy

After you submit a story, we strongly prefer you don’t withdraw it. If you withdraw a story, we won’t consider any version of that story in the future. However, if you do need to withdraw a story, please send an e-mail telling us that you need to withdraw, and let us know why.

How to Contact Us

To contact us for any reason, write to [email protected] with the word QUERY: at the beginning of your subject line. Add a few words to the subject line to indicate what you’re querying about.

Strange and Interesting Miscellany

None of this is required reading, but if you’re curious about how we do things, you may find the following links interesting:

  • Stories we see too often: This list was made by the previous editing team, and has since been reposted and referenced by various people who’ve found it useful. Though there is some good advice here, we offer it as a curio rather than as a prescription.
  • Why we don’t want authors to withdraw stories: This is a post by previous senior fiction editor, Jed Hartman. We agree with his reasoning.

Via: Strange Horizons.

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