Deadline: August 6th, 2021
Payment: $0.01 per word for each accepted short story, $10 for each accepted flash piece.
Theme: All forms of dark speculative fiction, see below
Starward Shadows Quarterly is an online dark speculative fiction magazine seeking stories between 500 and 8,000 words. We’re interested in exploring the wicked, strange places that walk the line between reality and nightmare—the alien, the absurd, and above all else, the weird.
Short fiction, flash, and artwork submissions are currently OPEN!
Genres We Accept:
Cosmic Horror, Sword and Sorcery, Sword and Planet, High/Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Lovecraftian/Cthulhu Mythos inspired tales, Gothic Horror, Space Opera, Dark Science Fiction, Science Fantasy, New Weird, Grimdark, Slipstream, and Cyberpunk. However, feel free to send us anything that falls under the incredibly broad umbrella of “speculative fiction.”
H. P. Lovecraft, Thomas Ligotti, Michael Moorcock, J. R. R. Tolkien, Christopher Ruocchio, Tamsyn Muir, Robert E. Howard
Things we love:
Monsters, vampires, aliens, psychological horror, first-person unreliable narrators, eloquence, themes of neurodivergence, angst done right (think “Interview with the Vampire), death cults, weird religious undertones, wraiths, trickster kings, black metal, stories where the bad guys win, character-driven narratives, and stories that take place somewhere strange and far away where humanity isn’t even mentioned at all.
Anything with a Dark Souls, Morrowind, or Oblivion vibe will have us foaming at the mouth. Also, one of the editors has also had a lifelong, questionable obsession with A Clockwork Orange and those old Johnny the Homicidal Maniac comics . . .
Things we hate:
Post-apocalyptic settings, dystopian fiction, parodies, rock-hard SF, zombies, mermaids, sirens, pandemic stories (we lived it and we’re sick of it), and political and/or moral soapboxes. If you’re going to send us anything falling into these categories, you’d better have completely and utterly reinvented it for it not to get auto-rejected.