Tough is a crime fiction journal publishing short stories and self-contained novel excerpts of between 1500 words and 7500 words, and occasional book reviews of 1500 words or fewer. We are particularly interested in stories with rural settings and stories that intersect with the weird or occult. To clarify: think H.P. Lovecraft modernized, without the racist baggage. Think Fatale, by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips. Think Hellblazer. We are not interested in science fiction or fantasy, except for stories in which those elements accentuate or play a major role in a crime. We are a crime journal. Our book reviews will reflect these interests.
Tough publishes four or five times per month on Mondays, for which we pay a flat rate of $25 per story or book review–we don’t take reprints, poems, or essays–in exchange for first world serial rights to publish the submission on the website and as of 2018, in a periodically produced print issue, the first of which is due in July 2018. Payment comes via check mailed on publication or via Paypal by special arrangement. Query for details or to pitch reviews.
Queries and submissions should be formatted in .doc, .odt or .rtf and sent to [email protected] MOBI or PDF book review copies–our preferred methods–can be sent to the same address. Otherwise, review copies can be sent to: Tough, 119 Bradstreet Avenue, Revere, MA 02151.
Via: Tough Crime.
Payment: $20 for each original story over 1000 words accepted, or $10 per flash piece (up to 1000 words)
The Future Fire welcomes submissions of speculative fiction with progressive, inclusive and socially aware disposition. We are particularly interested in feminist, queer, postcolonial and ecological themes, and we actively seek out submissions by under-represented voices, including but not limited to women, people of color, LGBTQ+, people with disabilities and writers from outside the English-speaking world.
If you are thinking of submitting a piece of writing for consideration by The Future Fire, please read some recent issues to get a feel for the sorts of speculative fiction we are looking for. When submitting, read the following guidelines carefully:
- We are reasonably flexible with regard to format and length, but are extremely unlikely to publish any story over 10 000 words. (We have in the past occasionally taken longer stories, up to 20 000 words, to be serialised; this will probably be less likely in the future, and obviously would require a story to be of better than excellent quality and value. We must in any case have the whole story before we make any decision.)
- All submissions are read anonymously and judged on their merits and fit to TFF‘s goals. We actively encourage the submission of stories by women, people of colour, LGBTQ+, differently abled/neuroatypical, and other groups under-represented in genre fiction.
- Please send your story to the fiction editor () as an attachment. We prefer .doc, .docx, .rtf or .odt files (query first for any other format). Please use a common, easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman/Palatino and use no other formatting than italics. Do not include your name anywhere in the document. We read and make all decisions based upon anonymised submissions.
- Use the email subject line: TFF submission: Surname, ‘Title’ (word count). Give your prefered name or pen name/byline in full in the accompanying email. Please do not send us your full address or other contact details.
- No multiple submissions: please only submit one story at a time. No simultaneous submissions: please do not send work that is under consideration elsewhere. If you need to withdraw a story for whatever reason, please do so as early as possible.
- We prefer to publish original material. Previously published stories are not out of the question, but you must let us know if a story has appeared elsewhere when you submit. This includes stories posted to blogs, open access writing groups or other public fora, even if they are no longer available there. We are more likely to reprint a story if its previous appearance was in a venue not readily accessible to our main audience, either because of medium, date, genre, or other factors.
- A decision is usually made within one month but sometimes life gets in the way of efficiency, for which we apologise. Important: emails sometimes go astray, so please do query if you feel we are taking an unreasonable time to get back to you.
- The Future Fire is offering payment of $20 for each original story over 1000 words accepted, or $10 per flash piece (up to 1000 words) (to be paid via Paypal on publication).
- Upon acceptance of a story, we shall ask authors to agree to this electronic contract: “
You [LEGAL NAME*] of [ADDRESS] grant us, The Future Fire, the non-exclusive right to publish your work [TITLE] by [PEN NAME BYLINE OR PSEUDONYM] on the pages of our website and in the downloadable e-book versions; all other rights to this work belong to you. We shall upon publication make payment of [$20/$10] ([twenty/ten] US dollars) by Paypal to the account [EMAIL ADDRESS]. If we have not published your story within one calendar year of this contract, all rights shall revert to you. You guarantee that this work is your own and that you have the right to grant us the use of it, and that the work contains nothing that breaks copyright or other laws. Any actions breaking such laws will be your sole responsibility. We will print a copyright notice in your name, but we will not register the work with any copyright office on your behalf. You may reprint or adapt the work anywhere in the world, but we would ask as a courtesy that you wait three months after publication and credit us for first appearance.” (*For the contract we shall need a legal name and mailing address, even if you wish your work to be published under a pseudonym. If for safety or other reasons you have a name you are commonly known by that can be used to identify you in official contexts, please feel free to give us this rather than a “dead” name or other sensitive information. We will in any case never ever share this information with anyone else.)
It is the intention of The Future Fire to keep an indefinite archive of stories published in HTML; if an author has a pressing (e.g. legal) need to have a story removed, however, we shall of course help them to comply. We may not be able to remove the story from the copy of the PDF issue that is deposited with national libraries, archived by the Internet Archive, and other places outside of our control (just as a paper periodical archived in a national library would remain available permanently).
Via: The Future Fire.
18thWall Productions is always open to novel submissions.
Please send us your first 20,000 words, a full outline, and a cover letter (i.e. your email) where you tell us something about yourself (including previous credits) and what led you to write your novel. Don’t stress it. A mangled cover letter won’t kill your chances with us. Like with any first date, the best advice is this: just be yourself.
We prefer that your novel submission follow the William Shun format outline, except that you use Times New Roman. It’s easier on our poor, editorial eyes.
Your email header should be Novel Submission: Title, Author’s Name, Wordcount.
Email your submission packet to [email protected].
Please do not submit a manuscript with hyperlinks. If a link is required, we will discuss that upon acceptance.
We are not open to simultaneous submissions.
Via: 18th Wall Productions.
Payment: 1¢ / word
We are looking for highly imaginative stories with a healthy dose of the odd. Odd characters, odd experiences, odd realities. We’re looking for genre / speculative stories and are quite partial to slipstream, cross-genre, magic realism, absurdist, and the surreal.
We want character. For us, stories live and die by their characters. We’re looking for fully drawn characters who surprise us with their honesty, complexity, and contradictions.
We want mysterious. We’re looking for stories that grab the reader, make them ask, “what the hell is going on?” and then deliver on the tease.
We want ideas and we want action. We love exploring big, philosophical ideas, but we revel in suspenseful plotting. If you’re adept at blending these elements, we can’t wait to read your work.
We want fresh voices and exciting prose. We want to be surprised. We want to be inspired. We want to find stories that we can’t wait to publish, promote, and evangelize.
Check out J.J. Abrams’ TEDTalk, Mystery Box. If you find that the sensibilities he describes in this video shape your own work, we want to see your stories. But watch the video. We’re not looking for J.J. Abrams imitators. Don’t “rip off the wrong stuff.”
Some books we love:
Payment: 1¢ / word
Length: 2000 – 7500 words
Email formatted submissions as an attached .doc, docx, or .rtf file to [email protected]. Use the body of the email for your cover letter.
Response time is between one and three months. We are not considering reprints or excerpts at this time.
We do not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions.
Author’s rights: Use of the author’s work by Bourbon Penn entails the assignment of first world English rights, for publication in the English language anywhere in the world. Bourbon Penn may use the author’s work only in the above-mentioned publication—paperback, web, and electronic editions—and re-printings of it.
Via: Bourbon Press.
SmokeLong publishes flash fiction up to 1000 words. We do not consider poetry or non-fiction.
Include a print-ready, third-person bio with your cover letter.
Please include no identifying information on your story’s document.
Please send ONE previously unpublished story at a time and wait until you hear our decision before sending another.
Please allow us up to six weeks to inform you if we have accepted your work for publication. You will usually hear from us much sooner.
Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please inform us immediately if your work has been accepted somewhere else for publication.
We pay $25/story, upon publication in the quarterly issue. Payment will be issued via PayPal, and the writer may be responsible for any associated fees if applicable.
Info to Help Increase Your Chances of Publication
The SLQ aesthetic remains an ever-changing, ever-elusive set of principles, but it most likely has to do with these kinds of things:
- language that surprises
- narratives that strive toward something other than a final punch line or twist
- pieces that add up to something, oftentimes (but not necessarily always) meaning or emotional resonance
- honest work that feels as if it has far more purpose than a writer wanting to write a story
We are not interested in works previously published in online magazines. We do not consider pieces published only on your personal web site or blog to have been previously published, so we will consider those, but inform us of this in your cover letter and know we may ask you to temporarily take the story down if we accept it. We are interested in pieces that have only previously appeared in print, but only by solicitation.
We have a special place in our hearts, more often than not, for narratives we haven’t seen before. For the more familiar stories—such as relationship break-ups, bar scenarios, terminal illnesses—we tend to need something original and urgent in the writer’s presentation.
We are all writers at SLQ, and we try to be sensitive to the nature of submitting your work—which we realize is often your very private and important selves—to strangers. We so appreciate your entrusting us with your submissions, and although author names and bios are available to us, the staff rarely, if ever, accesses this information before reading each piece.
We want what all readers want from you—something sincerely and uniquely yours, something that stands up to rereading and lingers in our consciousness long after.
Our intent is to respond as quickly as possible. (Note: Our emails sometimes get caught by spam filters, so please add “smokelong.com” to your allow list. We also can’t respond to any third-party spam filter programs, so please don’t submit to us with an email address that has that kind of security set up.)
Online Rights: If we publish your work, we require exclusive electronic rights to it for 3 months and non-exclusive rights indefinitely so we can include it in our online archives.
Print Rights: We require non-exclusive print rights, for potential annual anthologies and promotional materials. All other rights remain yours.
About Our Guest Editing Process
We publish one story each week as a SmokeLong Weekly, chosen by guest editors. We also publish spring, summer, fall and winter quarterly issues. The quarterly issue includes the weekly stories as well as bonus stories and interviews.
Even though our weekly stories are chosen by different editors, you may NOT submit the same story with each new week. Our staff does manage the submission process, and we will — unfortunately — have to disqualify these stories from consideration.
Our staff reviews all stories, including those not chosen by the guest editor of the week. We try to respond with personal comments as time permits and especially if the story and/or writer show promise or advanced far into our reading process, but even if you receive a form rejection from us (or several!) know that we value your time and work and are cheering you on for success.
Via: SmokeLong Quarterly.