Author: Stuart Conover

Taking Submissions: Elegant Literature February Call – Beyond The Veil

Deadline: February 28th 2022
Payment: 10 cents per word
Theme: Beyond the Veil
NOTE: The magazine also runs a monthly contest with a $3000 prize, though the contest is only open to members who pay the $10/month fee

How do you feel as you lift the wedding veil? As you lay the burial shroud? When you stand at life’s final doorway, will you look back and say you tried to reveal truth, or to conceal it?

Veils obscure what’s right in front of our eyes. The great wizard is only a man behind the curtain. It’s smoke and mirrors—and there’s always another secret. Try to read between the lines and glean the truth wrapped in lies. Disguises, double-meanings, and false trails. Even the sun hides behind the moon. Be wary of peering too closely at the darkness, where unseen creatures shift in the night. But light blinds as easily as shadows, so hold your lantern high and hope the lighthouse pierces the fog. Still, veils keep us safe. Sane. Just ask anyone who’s glimpsed the future and seen their death. Is reality that brittle? But hush now, the masked performers are waiting backstage. The curtain rises, our story begins.


Taking Submissions: Shadows Over Main Street Volume 3 (Limited Window)

Submission Window: February 17th – 19th, 2023
Payment: contributors copy and 5 cents per word
Theme: Small-town Lovecraftian horror

This a very short window for a limited number of story slots available in the forthcoming Shadows Over Main Street Volume 3 anthology of small-town Lovecraftian horror. The ideal length for submissions is 1,500 – 4,000 words. No reprints, please. One-time payment for your story is 5 cents per word. Includes contributor copies and author-discounted copies upon request. Standard (Shunn) or similar formatting on all submissions, submitted as a Word or RTF file.

Send your email submission to [email protected] NO SOONER than February 17 and NO LATER than February 19. Submissions received outside of this two-day window will be deleted unread

The Shadows Over Main Street anthology series features stories inspired by the idea of small-town America (or elsewhere) pitted against unfathomable cosmic horrors from beyond time and space. We especially welcome stories that challenge Lovecraft’s insular and racist worldview rather than traffic in it or celebrate it. If it smacks of antiquated, discriminatory propaganda, the story will be rejected immediately… no further discussion on the matter. Volume 3 is to be the final book in the series, so extra points for stories that are apocalyptic in theme.

See the book’s description below:

Taking Submissions: The First Line – Summer 2023

Deadline: May 1st, 2023
Payment: $25.00 – $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 – $10.00 for poetry
Theme: Story must begin with: “All the lawns on Mentone Avenue are mowed on Wednesdays.”

We love 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 four 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. And, just to be clear, we do not accept simultaneous submissions.

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 website, as well as in the prior issue. Note: We are open to all genres. We try to make TFL as eclectic as possible.

Poetry: We do accept poetry, though rarely. We have no restrictions on form or line count, but all poems must begin with the first line provided. The line cannot be altered in any way.

Non-Fiction: 500-800 word critical essays about your favorite first line from a literary work.


Taking Submissions: Madame Gray’s Graveyard of Blood

Deadline: August 1st, 2023
Payment: $5
Theme: Graveyard-themed Horror

Madame Gray is excited to announce a call for graveyard-themed submissions for her new anthology, Madame Gray’s Graveyard of Blood!

Open to all subgenres of horror, as long as the story takes place in, or is connected in some way to a cemetery. The more ghoulish, the better! The scarier, the merrier! And a bit of gallows humor is always welcome, but not required.

Well-written tales that are off the beaten path with a twist ending stand the best chance of getting accepted.

Compiled and edited by Gerri R. Gray (Madame Gray’s Poe-Pourri of Terror, Toilet Zone 2 & 3) and published by Hellbound Books, this anthology (the fourth in the popular Madame Gray series) is open to undiscovered writers and established voices alike.

Stories must be original and previously unpublished. Multiple and simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know straight away if your story is accepted elsewhere. No poetry or flash fiction, please. Payment is $5.00 plus a free contributors copy (ebook).


Taking Submissions: Fanatical Issue 3

Deadline: March 31st, 2023
Payment: £20
Theme: Stories should be inspired by/based on tabletop games – roleplaying games, board games, miniature wargames.

Fanatical is currently OPEN for submissions.
We are looking for unpublished sci-fi, fantasy and horror stories of between 2,000 and 6,000 words.
Please only submit one story at a time and don’t submit if it’s already submitted somewhere else.
All stories should be self-contained, no “to be continued”.
Recurring characters across multiple stories will be considered, as long as each story is a solid read in its own right.
If you’ve already been published in an issue of Fanatical you are free to submit again, but we may hold your submission over so as not to publish the same author in back to back issues.
Fanatical will pay £20 per accepted story, paid upon publication. We pay via Paypal.
Upon acceptance, authors retain rights to the story but we ask they don’t publish/submit it anywhere else before it is published in Fanatical.


PsychoToxin Press is Open To Novellas!

Payment: Royalties are a 70/30 split in the author’s favor.
Theme: Horror of all types!

The time hath come, fellow scribes of the night! In our search for terrifying Gospels of fear and insanity, we have decided that, to do so, we must embrace new tomes of terror from you all. Starting February, the freaks and ghouls of PsychoToxin Press are opening the floor for Horror Novellas from you all.


Planet Bizarro Is Open To Novels & Novellas

Deadline: March 31st, 2023
Payment: 50% share of book royalties and 5 author copies
Theme: Bizarro

Novel & Novella Submissions

January 1st – March 1st

See Theme: Bizarro

We want to publish your exciting, well written bizarro stories. For those unfamiliar with the genre, think of the weirdest story you’ve ever read, then times that by potato.

Novellas – 20,000 to 40,000 wordcount

Novels – 40,000 to 80,000

Short story collections may also be considered.


Taking Submissions: Solarpunk Magazine March 2023 Window (Early)

Submission Window: March 1st – 14th, 2023
Payment: Fiction: 1500-7500 words ($.08 per word, $100 minimum), Poetry: up to 5 poems or 5 pages of poems, whichever is shorter. ($40 per poem), Nonfiction: 1000-2000 words ($75 per essay or article), Cover Art: $100 for reprints, $200 for original unpublished, Interior Art: $50 for reprints, $100 for original unpublished

Theme: Colorful Roots: works that stir readers with themes of defiance, change, and achievement
Note: BIPOC authors only

The Basics:

If your work is accepted, please wait two full submission windows before submitting again. For example, if a story you receive word in April that your story is accepted, please do not submit during the May and July open windows, but feel free to do so once the September window opens.

Simultaneous submissions: Yes, but please let us know immediately if your submission gets accepted elsewhere before you hear from us.

Unsolicited reprints: No

Translations: Yes

Multiple Submissions: No, not within each category. But you can enter one submission per category per submission period. For example, you can submit one short story, poetry, and a nonfiction article all in the same submission window using each individual submission portal.