“Set it in space, in the future, and include some friendly non-humanoid aliens.”
Cheat sheet: Flat Rate US$10.00 for 3500+ words. Accepting 3500-5,000 words only. Paid by Paypal. Doc file format only (not docx or anything else). Original, never before published fiction only. (Kindle ebook and Amazon printed formats – KDP’s automatic software scans for previous publications and rejects duplicates.) No simultaneous submissions. For your US$10.00 I’ll get first print rights, along with the right to include it, if I choose, in one annual anthology due out in October. I’ll also feature excerpts on the site, and perhaps in enewsletters. If it’s utter genius, I might make the story fully available on the site for free. Read below for details. No contracts yet. By submitting you are agreeing to these terms. If you keep submitting brilliance I might be able to hire you to write something specific for a future issue. (And pay more.) If you’ve read Alien Dimensions and just want to try your hand at writing something that I might buy, but aren’t sure where to start, set it in space in the future, and include some friendly non-humanoid aliens. Read the details for the submissions email.
Submissions for each issue close on the 16th of the previous month.
Hi. I’m Neil A. Hogan and I’m the editor of Alien Dimensions. There is just me behind the scenes, so apologies if there is a delay in replying somewhere down the track. I usually do my best to reply within 7 days but, you know, that bottle of wine on the weekend, or that short story I’m working on, may push it to 8.
I recently read online that some decades old publications get between 700 and 1000 submissions a month. These publications tend to ask for more contemporary stories, or contemporary style human drama set in a slightly SF environment. While writing something is always hard, encouraging writers to tap into their experience and focus on the beauty of the word, rather than asking them to come up with a completely alien world that blows your mind, really doesn’t appeal to me that much. Sorry about that. That’s why I created Alien Dimensions. The goal is to release stories with mind-numbing ideas, brain expanding concepts, or just to get a reader to say WTF? There isn’t enough hard core science fiction out there so, that’s what I’m looking for. I doubt I’ll ever receive 700 a month, so expect a fairly fast turn around with your submission.
To give you an idea of the sort of mind-bending stuff I’m talking about, I’m currently writing a simple story where a million-year-old alien has been tasked with moving the Milky Way Galaxy out of the path of the Andromeda Galaxy, and the pseudoscience he needs to utilise to be able to do it. Let’s see if I can convincingly move a galaxy in under 5000 words!
Even so, if you can write a decent story, at least touching on some quantum physics, or any other science for that matter, you’ll get my attention. (I’d rather learn it through reading SF than try to get my head around it in a course!)
I’ve just got around to seeing The Martian. Brilliant stuff. Love most of the science in it, and Matt Damon was great. The Martian is the go-to movie for anyone wanting to get the basics on how to write a contemporary science fiction story.
About Alien Dimensions
Alien Dimensions is a not-for-profit science fiction publication with a focus on independent authors from around the world, open to submissions from anyone, anywhere from any walk of life. (I love humans too!) So, you’ll find a mix of English grammar and spelling from the UK, Australia and the USA, as well as region specific mother tongue influences on sentence construction and punctuation usage. I don’t/wouldn’t want to destroy some of the subtle flavours / flavors / taste that someone has/had added to their work so I’ll only change/be changing major/noticeable grammar problems where/if possible. English teachers beware!
I’m always on the lookout for new hard science fiction stories. Please note that in recent years the lines have become blurred as to what fantasy is and what science fiction is, mainly because marketers are promoting science fiction as fantasy, as fantasy sells more. The definition for Alien Dimensions is that science fiction contains real or extrapolated scientific ideas or concepts, and I need more of those. So, I have many fantasy stories ready to go for the rest of the year, but not enough hard core science fiction stories containing real science.
If you’ve written a science fiction story that you’ve had rejected, worked on to improve, sent it to someone else, but then been rejected again and given up on, perhaps you could submit that to me? I might reject it too, but I’m looking for great ideas. If the ideas are great and teaches readers something, but the story just needs a little tweaking, I might be able to help you rewrite it to make it work. (You’ll get the credit, of course!)
If you write in the style of Ken Liu, Greg Bear, Isaac Asimov, Poul Anderson, Clifford D Simak, Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, Stephen Baxter, Piers Anthony or Paul Cornell, and like to research your subject matter before writing, you might have what I’m looking for.
I’ll consider your story and if it is suitable, offer you a flat rate of US$10.00 (ten dollars) for it. Minimum 3500 words. If I suddenly get over 400 sales a month for several months, that will be reviewed, so tell your friends!
What I’m looking for at this time:
Main character discovers an interesting, futuristic issue and solves it using science (or convincing pseudoscience or extrapolated science based on current science) So, no battle-oriented stories. Think intellectual Doctor Who stories where the character uses his/her mind to solve a problem, but with perhaps a bit more science based in fact.
Always set in the future, at least 100 years hence. Happier with 1000 years hence. Let’s avoid 20th/21st century baggage and just tell an original story.
Always some kind of non-humanoid aliens present, usually friendly.
Stories featuring no humans are even better! The more alien the world is that you set your story in, the more excited I’ll get. (No cheating. ‘No humans’ doesn’t mean humans who no longer look human because of living on some other planet! A non-human story could be intellectual bacteria, plants with tentacles, a conscious galaxy, or some other not even vaguely humanoid creature / energy being.)
Always end on a positive note (even if you destroy the entire human race it’ll still be positive for someone!)
PG 13. No sex, swearing or obvious LGBT themes, unless the entire story will fall apart without it.
Hard science. If your character discovers a way to view the structure of a dimensional portal as a tesseract, and then uses mathematical formula translated into sonic harmonics to control it, give the maths! If your character can confirm that the vibration speed for shifting outside of space/time is 330,000 cycles per second, explain in detail how he/she worked it out. (I didn’t do this in one of my stories. Don’t make that mistake!)
All stories must be original. No using copyright characters or established series. No rewriting someone else’s work. I have to use copyscape, and I’ve been reading SF since the 70s, so I’ll probably recognise a rewrite even if you don’t know you’ve done one! Also, as Alien Dimensions will be submitted to Kindle for approval, if the auto system detects a reprint, it might get blocked from publication.
Common SF terms. Make up some new ones! For example, please avoid using ‘stargate’ (Stargate) or warp drive (Star Trek), or time vortex (Doctor Who), or ‘the force’ (Star Wars) ‘AI’ and ‘hyperspace’ are okay as they’re common terms throughout all SF.
While I’m not averse to dystopian futures, please avoid them if at all possible. Alien Dimensions is a predominantly positive series about the future. If you do have a story with a war in it, it should end in peace.
No ‘time travel to the past’ stories or ‘parallel universe Hitler won the war future Earth’ style stories, unless it’s millions of years in the past or the parallel universe is completely alien. (I’ll be writing those ones!)
Please avoid pop culture references. It is unlikely characters years in the future would know anything about the present. Readers love to become immersed in a story and feel like they are there, watching things unfold. Pop culture references that wouldn’t fit the reality throw them out of their immersion. They also age the story. Best avoided unless the story is set in 2017.
Dialogue between characters that move the story forward. Set in the now. (A short story doesn’t have time for prologues or too much backstory. Save those for your novels!)
Of course, I would expect a high level of grammar, vocabulary, intelligent dialogue and general creative writing ability.
If you have a story that you think fits the above, and you’re happy for me to use it for US$10, send it to [email protected] as a word.doc (not docx)
If possible, please reformat your story to make it easier for me to read by following William Shunn’s Guide to Proper Manuscript Format (Mainly because I don’t have a submission tracking system yet. And also, well, it means you’re serious. You’ve probably already got that template set up on your computer and use it all the time.)
Of course, I know US$10 isn’t much in some countries, but it is a way to get something back from a story that you might have given up on, and it gets your name out there.
I also have a few regular writers. They get paid a bit more than that. If you can consistently meet the level of writing my core writers work hard to strive towards, and write a story based around a scaffold I’ve set for you, then I’ll be able to pay a bit more. But, of course, at the end of the day, I need to sell 400 copies a month to break even, so please mention Alien Dimensions somewhere if you have a chance.
Deadline: June 15th, 2017
Payment: 4-5% of gross profits depending on length.
Curated by Peter Rawlik
“I pray God will curse the writer, as the writer has cursed the world with its beautiful stupendous creation, terrible in its simplicity, irresistible in its truth…”
~Robert W. Chambers, The King in Yellow
Robert E. Chambers’ The King in Yellow features a being, the King in Yellow himself, who is embodied in the play of the same name, and in the color yellow.
We want to follow in the footsteps of Chambers, invoking links between specific colors, the mythos deity they might represent, and what influence they might have on the various arts.
For example, what terrifying things are hinted at by the titles the Black Goat, the Green Man, the White Worm, and the Red Queen, and to what arts are they linked?
Give us tales that invoke the chromatic avatars of the Great Old Ones and the impact they have on the arts, but as we all know the arts are open to interpretation, and could easily include architecture, literature, cuisine, pantomime, and haiku. Art is in the eye of the beholder, and color is only an abstract concept, but fear and terror are very real, and so are the Great Old Ones.
What We Want
Fresh takes on the Cthulhu Mythos, Chambers’ mythology (the Yellow Mythos), and Cosmic Horror. This isn’t the place for Lovecraftian clichés. The more it feels like a “lost” Lovecraft story, or relies on the clichés of the genre, the less interested we are. Creativity is the watchword.
While we are open to straight horror, we much prefer submissions closer to Chambers’ style and tone. Which is to say, we’d greatly prefer dark fantasy with a cosmic horror undercurrent. If you’re unfamiliar with Chambers: The Twilight Zone, Manly Wade Wellman’s fiction, and THING are all excellent examples of that sort of tone and sensibility.
We want complex tales of cosmic horror, the arts and artists all properly hued. To avoid overlap of colors, monsters, titles, and arts story pitches must be made to the curator first. We already have a King, and we already have a Prince; help us a fill the rest of the court.
In addition to unique and clever takes on the Chromatic Court concept, we’d prefer: strong, developed characters;
We recommend reading Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow, the monumental work of dark fantasy that started everything. It’s the foundation of so many of the above ideas and mythology. Lovecraft linked the King in Yellow—both the entity and the play—to his own revised elder god Hastur.
T.E.D. Kline’s Black Man with a Horn linked Nyarlathotep to jazz and horned instruments, making Kline’s story an early forbear of this concept.
My own story The Sepia Prints, featured in my novel Reanimatrix, establishes Cthulhu as the Sepia Prince, and intrinsically links the being to opera.
Payment: 5% of the gross profit will be paid for each accepted story. These payments will be issued to you at quarterly intervals. Stories under 1,500 words will only receive 4% of the gross profit.
Rights: First World Digital and Print.
Deadline: June 15, 2017
Word Count: 4,000-16,000
How to Submit your Story:
• All stories should be sent, as an attachment, to [email protected]
• The file must be formatted in .doc or .docx.
• The interior of the document must be in double spaced Times New Roman (12 point font).
• Indents must be placed through your system’s Paragraph function; do not set indents by pressing tab or space. If you already have tabbed or spaced indents, please remove them first. Please use full em dashes (—).
• At the top of your document, please include William Shunn’s submission header.
• Tell us a bit about yourself in the body of your email. Don’t stress this, it won’t make or break your submission.
• Place the collection you’re submitting to, your name, and your story title in the subject line of your email. For example, “Speakeasies and Spiritualists / Rose Mackenberg / So You Want to Attend a Séance?”
Pete Rawlik is the author of the novels Reanimators, The Weird Company, and Reanimatrix, and the co-editor for the anthology Legacy of the Reanimator. His fiction has appeared in Tales of the Shadowmen, The Lovecraft eZine, Talebones, Morpheus Tales, Crypt of Cthulhu, and Innsmouth Magazine. The concept for The Chromatic Court evolved out of his story The Sepia Prints, which became a key chapter in Reanimatrix.
Deadline: May 1st, 2017
Payment: Royalties (See details below.)
Currently we are seeking science fiction with a deep space theme. A galaxy far, far way…if you will.
Season One Submission Deadline: May 1st, 2017
How to submit:
At the moment, we are accepting submissions through our Online Submission Form. Only submissions through the online submission form will be accepted.
What we’re looking for:
We will be publishing 3 SEASONS of genre anthologies each year. Each Season will have its own theme. See the SEASONS page to see what seasons we are currently looking for and what seasons have past. We will also be publishing other anthologies, so feel free to send us work at anytime. We will post if and when we have themes for other anthologies. We publish anthologies with Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror themes.
Please note that we do not consider novel excerpts, or anything with illustrations or photographs.
Our anthologies will be available in paperback and ebook formats exclusively through Amazon.
What’s the deadline?
Check the SEASONS page for each seasons deadline. Otherwise, please feel to send us other work that may be great for another anthology as we will be publishing others.
We’re based in the US but we accept submissions from authors all over the English-speaking world.
We ask for first serial rights on any story we publish. This means that the story should not have appeared anywhere else, either in print or online. (This includes publication on an author’s own website.) When we publish a story, we ask for a brief period of exclusivity (roughly 18 to 24 months), and the right to keep the story in print. We do not place any limits on what you can do with your story after the exclusivity period.
We are able to consider stories for publishing on the site that are between 1,000 and 20,000 words in length; please do not send anything longer than this. Stories shorter than 1000 words may be considered for extra exclusive content when the season is published in book format. (Most of the stories have been submitted so far are between about 2,000 and 7,000 words.)
Do you get paid?
Each story once published to the site will come with a listing of how to find everything from that author and a weeks paid advertising to help drive traffic. Once the Season is finished and published in book format with exclusives added 50% of the profits will be deducted for charity, 10% will go to our editors and 40% will be split between the authors to be paid quarterly.
Yeah, we don’t have one of those.
Multiple and simultaneous submissions:
Please feel free to send us more than one story at a time. We do have a limit of 3 submissions per day. Please send each story through the form one at a time, and not together in one document.
We do understand if you want to submit to more than one outlet at a time. However, please let us know if a story you’ve submitted to us has been accepted elsewhere!
Our response times:
We aim to reply to all submissions within three weeks, although sometimes we may fall behind.
If you’re waiting for a reply from us, please keep an eye on your promotions and junk mail folder, as our replies can sometimes make their way there. If you have submitted a story and not heard from us after 4 weeks, please check your spam/junk mail folder again. If there’s nothing there, email us: [email protected] Please include your name and story title.
Deadline: March 31st, 2017
Payment: $10 and a contributor’s copy
SONOFAWITCH! Anthologist: Trysh Thompson Open for Submissions: February 1, 2017 to March 31, 2017 Expected Publication: Fall 2017 Story Length: up to 15,000 words Payment: $10 + contributor copy
No one is perfect—not even a witch. Witches have amazing power at their fingertips to do unbelievable things. That magic can come in really handy sometimes too. They can make someone fall in love, poison an apple to enact a sleeping curse, to banish an enemy to an alternate reality, or just to conjure up some Nutella when there is none in the house.
But what happens when those spells go horribly awry?
SONOFAWITCH! seeks humorous stories of spells gone wrong. What spell fell apart and how did the witch get out of it? Give me a contemporary setting (mainly because it lends itself to more humor). The rest is up to your imagination.
Audience: Preference for New Adult/Adult, though a thoroughly compelling YA is fine
Rights and compensation: Payment: $10 and a paperback copy of the anthology from World Weaver Press. We are looking for previously unpublished works in English. Seeking first world rights in English and nonexclusive right to continue to publish for the life of the anthology.
Open submission period: February 1, 2017 – March 31, 2017
Length: Under 15,000 words
Submission method: Send story as an attachment (.doc, .docx, or .rtf only) to thompson[at]worldweaverpress.com.
About the Anthologist:Trysh Thompson has written just about every form of non-fiction you can think of—everything from news, movie reviews, magazine columns, marketing hype, software manuals, and was even an editorial assistant on a gardening book no one has ever read (The 7-Minute Organic Garden—see, you’ve never heard of it, have you?). To keep from being slowly and torturously bored to death by her day job, she turned to fiction as means of escape—reading it, writing it, and editing it.
Imagine a war going so long that every last resource has been used up in the fight for survival, or a world that has taken extreme measures to end warfare and violence. In this anthology we want to explore what the idea “Last Shot Fired” means to you.
This could be about a spouse that has finally reached their breaking point and said that one thing that cascades the relationship into total chaos, or being against the wall against overwhelming odds with almost no resources or backup, what imagery is brought to your mind by this phrase?
We are looking for a wide variety of stories from almost every genre.
Limitations: Keep it PG-13. Not too much gore, nothing sexually explicit, and keep the cursing down.
Word count: 2,000-6,000 words
Due Date: 30 April, 2017
Payment: We will pay $10 for each story that is accepted, send you a free ebook copy, and you will receive a 40% discount code for paperbacks which you can sell at full price. You will also be invited to a private forum just for anthology members.
Contract Details: We are asking for Exclusive (for 6 months from publication) First Anthology Rights.
Formatting: Use a standard font (Times New Roman, Courier new), 12 point, double spaced. Indent the first line of each paragraph WITHOUT using tabs.
You will be expected to work with our editor to polish your story.
About the Author: Please include a short biography (1-2 paragraphs) about the author at the end of your story (after the words THE END). This biography will be used in the anthology if your story is accepted.
How to submit:
Email your story as a .doc or .docx to [email protected]. You WILL receive conformation of receipt within seven days.
Deadline: April 15th, 2017
Payment: 6 cents per word
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.
“Cat’s Breakfast” – Science fiction/satire. Now at the 10th anniversary of his death, Wikipedia says Kurt Vonnegut was famous for his “gallows humor.” E.E. King put it another way, citing his “sideways, humorous,
skeptical view.” We want this anthology to pay tribute to the imagination and inspiration of the ineffable Mr. Vonnegut. Note that we’d prefer you avoid using Vonnegut’s characters or settings explicitly; rather, we’d like you to “channel” his attitude into a speculative fiction piece of your own. (Image by Manfred Heyde, commons.wikimedia.org)
Reading Period: February 15 – April 15, 2017
Writer Deadline: April 15, 2017
Publication Date: June 15, 2017
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.
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.