“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: March 27, 2017
Payment: Up to 10 cents per word
Cicada YA/teen lit magazine seeks fiction, poetry, comics, and essays on the theme of Hauntings. A haunting is a remnant of something that never really left and refuses to be completely forgotten. A house might be haunted by the spirit of a previous owner, or a person might be constantly shadowed by past events. Maybe someone is always on your mind, or maybe you are constantly dwelling on what could have been. Show us what’s rattling chains in your dark corners.
CICADA is a YA lit/comics magazine fascinated with the lyric and strange and committed to work that speaks to teens’ truths. We publish poetry, realistic and genre fic, essay, and comics by adults and teens. (We are also inordinately fond of Viking jokes.) Our readers are smart and curious; submissions are invited but not required to engage young adult themes. CICADA does not distribute theme lists for upcoming issues.
Especially welcome: works by people of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQAI+ folks, genderqueer folks, and other marginalized peoples. Not welcome: cultural appropriation.
Fav writers, YA and otherwise: Sarah McCarry, Nnedi Okorafor, Sherman Alexie, David Levithan, Daniel Jose Older, Debbie Urbanski, Nalo Hopkinson, Kelly Link, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ntozake Shange, Anne Carson, Jacqueline Woodson, ZZ Packer, Angela Nissel, Sofia Samatar, Richard Siken, Malory Ortberg, Saeed Jones, Octavia Butler, Andrea Gibson,
Before submitting, be sure to familiarize yourself with our magazines. (Sample copies are available for viewing at the Cricket Media Store, or you can order a current issue by calling 800-821-0115.) Issues are also available at many local libraries.
Realism, SF/fantasy, historical fiction: Yes, yes, and yes
Length: flash fic to novellas; up to 9,000 words
Narrative nonfic (especially teen-written); essays on lit/culture/arts; hybrid forms
Length: up to 5,000 words
Length: no length limits. Send us yer epics!
Cicada seeks talented artists who are making thoughtful (or flippant), beautiful (or unsettling), exuberant (or quiet) comics, zines, visual poems, sequential graphic narratives, or any other work in image and/or text. We commission original stories from a brief pitch, and give developmental feedback through the production process.
If you are interested in submitting, please email a short pitch/sketch(es) and a link to your online portfolio to [email protected] COMIC SUBMISSION should be the subject line of the email. If you have more than one pitch, please include them in the same email. Please DO NOT send final art. Please allow up to 3–6 months response time.
We only accept online submissions, and the Submittable page you’re currently on is the only place we accept them. We do not accept hard-copy submissions or email submissions. Submittable accepts international submissions.
Please do not email submissions to editors or Customer Service.
Cricket Media’s literary magazines (BABYBUG, LADYBUG, SPIDER, CRICKET, and CICADA) will consider all manuscripts that are sent on speculation. We do not accept queries. Please submit a complete manuscript. (Manuscript should be submitted as a .doc, .docx, .txt, or .rtf file.) Fiction and nonfiction manuscripts should include an exact word count; poetry manuscripts should include an exact line count. Include full contact information: phone, email, and mailing address.
Please allow up to 3–6 months response time.
What Happens Next?
The Manuscript Review Process
After manuscripts are received, they are reviewed by first readers. First readers consider each submission’s literary potential and whether it might be a good fit for one of our magazines.
Promising submissions are then carefully reviewed by several editors, including the magazine’s editor.
The magazine editor makes a final decision on whether to reject or accept the manuscript. For manuscripts that show some promise but need further development, the editor may write the author to request revisions on speculation.
If we accept your manuscript, we will send you an acceptance letter detailing payment and rights information and any revisions we would like you to make (which acceptance shall only be binding upon your signing a final agreement that embodies agreed-upon rights and terms).
Once we’ve received your revisions, we carefully line edit the manuscript. The manuscript is then returned for your review. We work closely with our writers to bring out the best in each story, essay, and poem.
Once the manuscript is edited, it will be kept on file until it is assigned to an issue. Because we work 6–8 months ahead of each issue, it can be a year or more before a manuscript is placed.
Stories and poems previously unpublished: Rights vary.
Stories and poems previously published: CICADA purchases second publication rights. Fees vary, but are generally less than fees for first publication rights.
Fiction: up to 10¢ per word
Nonfiction: up to 25¢ per word
Poems: up to $3.00 per line; $25.00 minimum
Art Submissions Guidelines
We’re always looking for new artists! If you’re interested in sharing your portfolio with us, email [email protected] Use ONLINE PORTFOLIO SAMPLE as the subject line if you are emailing a link to an online portfolio. Use PORTFOLIO SAMPLES as the subject line if you are emailing attachments. Please limit any emailed file to a maximum attachment size of 50 KB.
Because of the volume of portfolios we receive, we cannot reply to individual submissions. We will be in touch if we have a project for you!
Deadline: March 1st, 2017
Payment: Unlisted but “will always meet or exceed SFWA minimum compensation guidelines”
Retro Future Open Submissions
Retro Future is a bi-monthly pulp magazine that searches for diverse, surprising, and progressive science fiction in art, prose, essay, and comics.
Issue #3: “Games” – March 1, 2017
Issue #3: Video games, gaming, and competition.
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.
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.
Deadline: February 28th, 2017.
Payment: 1 cent per word and $25 for reprints
NOTE: There is a PDF linked to down below with a lot of details you should really read before submitting.
Welcome to Occult Detective Quarterly (or ODQ, as the hip kids call it), where the doomed meddlers lurk. This page and other entries will keep you up to speed on what’s happening with ODQ – submission openings, new writers joining us, progress on each issue and what’s going on in general.
Occult Detective Quarterly is a quarterly magazine with fiction, articles, reviews and art. Print is our first priority, but e-formats will be available as we go along.
Don’t be fooled. This is no ordinary foray into the world of occult detectives. We are looking for great stories of psychic investigators, worn-out private eyes, supernatural sleuths and doomed meddlers of every kind in every setting. We want protagonists and antagonists who challenge us, who set old standards on their heads as well.
We still offer a home for the amateur sleuth in his tweeds, creeping through the cursed house, but next to him we want his counterparts:
the cynical socialite in thirties Berlin with a luger in her bag;
the gay French police detective daring to enter the catacombs of Paris in the sixties;
the black investigator learning the true history of her brother and the Chicago slaughterhouses;
the Hindu priest facing weirdness amongst the remains of British forts in India;
the South American bruja who finds that Montevideo has a heart of darkness.
We welcome weird explorations of what it might mean to face the unnatural, including what many call ‘literary’ horror. At the same time we have room for classic adventure, folk-horror and out-and-out ghosts. Anything, in fact, which has an occult investigation in some form at its core!
The latest submission guidelines can be downloaded as a pdf here:
Arsenika is looking for previously unpublished original fiction and poetry up to 1,000 words long. Payment is 1¢ USD per word (including audio rights) with a $5 minimum.
Please email your submissions to [email protected]. Submit no more than two flash fiction pieces and five poems at a time. Send each piece as a separate email unless the pieces are meant to be read together (e.g. a triptych of poems). Make sure to put Submission: Titlein the subject line.
All work should be in Standard Manuscript Format (fiction format | poetry format). Format poetry exactly as you would like to see it online—use italics for italics, underlines for underlines, boldface for boldface, etc. Send only RTF, DOC, and DOCX files.
Please include a cover letter that contains the title of the piece, its length, a short third-person biography (at most 100 words), and any information relevant to the submission. For example, if your poem is about disability, and you yourself are disabled, you may mention that in your cover letter. Please do not summarize your story in your cover letter.
Please do not send simultaneous submissions (pieces that are submitted to Arsenika and another market at the same time). Multiple submissions are accepted, but please have no more than two flash fiction pieces and five poems in the submissions queue at a time.
We try to respond to all submissions within 14 days. If you haven’t heard from us in 30 days, please send us a query at [email protected].
Remember: Don’t self-reject.
Arsenika does not accept unsolicited reprints. Payment is $5 upon acceptance.