Taking Submissions: Underground Writers Issue #28

Deadline: September 1st, 2019
Payment: AUD$50

Written submissions for Issue 28 are open from Sunday 11th August to Sunday 1st September.


Birthdays, weddings, baby showers, funerals. This is in an invitation to your life.
Gently peel open the envelope, what details shall be revealed? Is your life some great big hilarious theme, or in need of formal attire? Will it be something you throw away or keep framed in your home’s entry way?

Ashley burst through the front door and dumped her schoolbag in the entryway. She threw her keys into the bowl on the end of the kitchen counter and sprinted to the family room. There was no time to waste. Months of pining over Toby at school had led to this moment; the stolen glances, the giggling at his unfunny jokes… all of it. He had given her his MSN Messenger username.
“Message me after school,” he told her on the bus, with a cheeky wink. She nervously typed in his name, cursing as her shaking hands messed up the spelling a few times. And there he was, in all his floppy-haired, letterman-jacketed glory. And he was online! She took a deep breath and clicked add friend.
Toby’s computer pinged.
Ashley M has invited you to a private chat!

Tea, coffee, whiskey or wine?
Biscuits or pizza or cheese?
Laugh, cry, chat, unwind.
Door’s always open for friends in need.


The white rabbit didn’t actually say ‘Follow me’, but she could so she did. The cake said ‘Eat me’ and she shouldn’t but she ate it. The jug said ‘Drink me’ and it wasn’t a good idea but why wouldn’t she? The Queen of Hearts invited her to play croquet with flamingos, and she did, even though she didn’t want to. Carroll took us to a strange and wonderful place and we opened that book knowing what was inside (it’s been around a while – who hasn’t heard the story?), but it’s still nice to be beckoned into a world of offbeat imagination. We could go there so we did; will you join us?


That crisp white paper with your names linked through loops of a steady calligraphy pen sits on my fridge. The white and gold nestled amongst the baby blue and pink. The ticket stubs and vouchers crammed in a corner, the photos and scribbled drawings from an impatient 5-year-old in the middle, and the magnets of bright colours and durability scattered across the scratched silver. That date would’ve been our son’s 10th birthday.


Submission guidelines for writers

As much as we’d like to say, ‘let your creativity run free!’, we do have some rules and regulations to follow, but they’re pretty straightforward. If you’re unsure of any of the guidelines, feel free to contact us.

Please note

  • Whilst we do accept submissions from writers outside of Australia, priority will always be given to Australian writers
  • Please be aware that, as we are a publication for new and emerging authors, we give priority to authors with little or no publication history. If you have an extensive publication history and/or have authored and published several books, you are unlikely to be considered for publication and we suggest that you peruse our monthly Opportunities for Writers lists for more ideas of where to submit your work.
  • From issue 24 onward we will only be accepting one piece per author per issue. Please don’t send us more than one piece per issue as we will not accept your submission
    As the themes are quite loosely interpretive we will not reject your piece on lack of theme alone, but priority will be given to pieces that are at least obliquely to theme, and highest priority is given to pieces that are a creative interpretation of the theme; we want to see original and interesting works that take an idea and turn it into something wonderful
  • Priority will also be given to work that has not been accepted or published elsewhere – see note below about previously published work
  • Pieces with substantial spelling or grammatical errors will not be accepted. It is up to you to edit your submissions to a publishable standard – we will not do a thorough copy edit for you. Feedback provided is predominantly substantive
  • As this zine will be presented to the general public please be aware of the suitability of explicit content such as graphic violence, excessive coarse language, and triggering themes. If a piece is deemed to be offensive, triggering, or unnecessarily and excessively crude it will be rejected

Submission Formatting

  • We have a limit of 40 lines for poems, and 2000 words for short stories, flash fiction and reviews.
  • We only accept one piece of writing per author per issue. You may submit different or substantially edited work for consideration each new issue.
  • Please format your text in Calibri, Arial or Times New Roman size 10-12, with line spacing of 1.5.
  • Submissions must be written in English
  • Submissions should be in DOC (Microsoft Word) file or compatible format attached to your email. Please do not submit work in a PDF or image format. Do not submit your work in the body of the email.

How to Submit

  • Once you’ve read the above formatting guidelines you can submit your piece by email
  • In the body of your email please include a brief biography about yourself and your work, e.g. your writing career so far (even if this is your first submission anywhere ever!), where you live and where you found out about us (we’re always curious to know)
  • Please do not include your name anywhere in the submitted document – not the header or footer, the body text, or the file name. The file name should be the title of the piece. All submissions are critiqued blind – our editors do not know who has submitted what – so this step is essential
  • Attach your DOC file to your email. DO NOT submit your work in the body of the email
  • Send your submission to submissions[at]underground-writers.org

What Happens Next?

  • Within a week you will receive confirmation that we have received your submission. If you have not received a confirmation email after a week, check that you have met all the submission criteria above (i.e. you’ve attached your work in the correct format and included the correct information in the body of your email) and resend your submission.
  • Do not expect a reply regarding the state of your submission – included or not – until submissions have closed. This just means that we have not yet decided which pieces will be included in the zine.
  • Once the submission period closes your submission will be read by our editors. Only after they have read your work will they be given any details about who you are; such as whether your work has been published before or where you are based (as per note above).
  • Each one of our editors will read every submission. With all our different tastes and styles, we’ll then decide as a group which submissions we think will work best for the issue.
  • We will then send feedback on all submissions, whether we have accepted them for publication or not.
  • If we do accept your submission, you’ll then be paired with one of our editors and guided through the editorial and publication processes. The editorial process is to make any minor amendments that may be required before publication. This is the time when we check for spelling or grammar errors, or flow and syntax, or when we may have feedback that we think will make your story stronger that you may wish to incorporate.
  • If we do not accept your submission, you are free to substantially edit the piece and submit it next issue, but we retain the right to refuse to include a piece until the editors deem it suitable. Please do not submit the same piece twice – all submissions must be significantly different from each other for consideration and are much more favourably looked upon if they adhere to the theme, if even obliquely.

A few reminders

  • All work sent to us must be the original work of the author or the author must own the rights to have the work published
  • Submitting content to us may mean that your work is not available for publishing in other journals or in competitions. It’s best to do some research about this, and let us know if a piece is accepted somewhere else before we publish it.


  • All submissions published in the Underground Writers zine from Issue 17 onwards will be paid a flat rate of AUD$50 regardless of length, style, or previous publishing experience.
  • As we are a free, un-funded, not-for-profit, volunteer organisation we rely entirely on our fabulous Patreon supporters to pay our writers. The more money we make through Patreon the more writers we can afford to publish: it’s as simple and as difficult as that. So if you like what we do and want us to keep doing it please consider supporting us on Patreon. There are a number of rewards and all of our regular Patrons receive our original content first: all book reviews, TBR lists, interviews, blog posts, and of course our issue releases are delivered to our supporters before anyone else!

Submission guidelines for artists

As much as we’d like to say, ‘let your creativity run free!’, we do have some rules and regulations to follow, but they’re pretty straightforward. If you’re unsure of any of the guidelines, feel free to contact us.

Please note

  • All work sent to us must be the original work of the artist and the artist must own the rights to have the work published
  • You will also be asked to provide a personal bio and blurb for your art of up to 80 words which will be placed inside the cover.
  • You will be credited with the design of the cover both in the zine and through our media channels.
  • In submitting your idea for consideration you agree that your artwork may be used on our website and social media for promotion of the Issue and for Underground Writers

What We Need

  • Style: should be all black and white and we are open to interpretation of the theme
  • Size: The zine is A5 and the cover needs to be a wraparound so the entire artwork must be A4 landscape. It is your choice to make one image that works as a wraparound for the whole cover or to make one image for the front and one for the back or even an image for the front that can be flipped to be the back cover as well.
  • Space needs to be allowed for the words ‘Underground Writers’ and ‘Issue xx’ which will be in either black or white and will be overlaid on the artwork when the zine is put together.

How to Submit

  • Rather than submitting completed artwork, we ask that you submit your idea or concept in writing along with a sample of previous work that represents the style you would use for the piece.
  • Please note that we do not ask artists to submit a draft of their idea before we commit to commissioning as we do not support the practice of asking for work for free without guarantee of payment.
  • The editorial team will choose the idea or concept that we feel best matches our theme and aesthetic following the submission closing date.


  • Within one week after submissions have closed you will be notified whether or not your proposal has been chosen.
  • If you have been commissioned, we will require a draft of your design within 1 week and the completed work within 2 weeks.
  • Upon completion, your artwork will become the face of Underground Writers for the quarter until the next Issue is produced and will be shared across social media and our website with credit to you at all times. You will also be invited to share your artwork across your own platforms as long as it links back to the Underground Writers website or social media channels.


  • We pay $100 for the full cover design and the right to display your artwork across our social media, website and for use in promoting Underground Writers and the zine.
  • As we are a free, un-funded, not-for-profit, volunteer organisation we rely entirely on our fabulous Patreon supporters to pay our contributors. The more money we make through Patreon the more writers and artists we can afford to publish: it’s as simple and as difficult as that. So if you like what we do and want us to keep doing it please consider supporting us on Patreon. There are a number of rewards and all of our regular Patrons receive our original content first: all book reviews, TBR lists, interviews, blog posts, and of course our issue releases are delivered to our supporters before anyone else!

Via: Underground Writers.

Taking Submissions: A Dysfunctional Family Christmas!

Deadline: November 8th, 2019
Payment: $5 and a contributor’s copy

Your story should be between 1,000 and 3,500 words and edited to the best of your ability.

Stories must be about a dysfunctional family Christmas (or seasonal holiday)

Submissions are open now until 11:59 p.m. November 8, 2019 EST.

We will accept only one submission per author.

Simultaneous submissions will not be accepted.  Previously published submissions will not be accepted.  Submissions should not be available for viewing online during the submission/publication process or for 6 months after publication.

Submissions should only have mild, non-graphic violence, no explicitly sexual/erotic scenes, and “bad” language should not be used excessively but may be used in limited capacity.

All submitting authors will be notified of our decision within 2 weeks of closing date.  If your submission is chosen, you will receive a full publishing contract outlining the details of our agreement.  Upon signing, Stormy Island Publishing retains exclusive rights until six months after publication.

As payment, each author will receive a paperback copy of the anthology after publication.  Each author will also receive a $5 payment via Paypal only.

For details on how to submit, visit our SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Via: Stormy Island Publishing.

Taking Submissions: What Monsters Do For Love

Deadline: October 1st, 2019
Payment: Royalties

An anthology dedicated to both human and inhuman monsters, and the things – wonderful, monstrous, and everything in between – that they do for love.

Stories must be horror, they must be original, and they must fit the anthology theme.

Submissions close 1 October, 2019. Our target is 50 stories. There is no limit on the number of submissions per author, but we reserve the right to limit the number of accepted stories per author.

As payment, authors will receive royalties divided by word count.

We’re looking for stories between 500 – 7500 words. A few words under or over won’t necessarily disqualify a story, but please keep as close to the guidelines as possible.

Stories MUST fit within the horror genre.


First and foremast, all submissions must be horror. However, we recognize that horror is a very broad and often nuanced genre. To that end, we’ll read stories that fit into other genres (thriller, family drama, coming of age, science fiction, fantasy, comedy, romance, et cetera) as long as the story contains horror, and as long as horror is integral to the narrative.

ALL submissions must be within the horror genre, and MUST meet the following requirements:

Submit all documents as an attachment in .doc, .docx, or .pages format

12 point standard font (Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Courier, etc)


Submit via email to [email protected]

In the body of the email, include your name and contact information.

Unpublished stories are given preference, but we consider reprints on a case by case basis, as long as all rights have reverted to the author.

If your previously unpublished piece is accepted for publication in an anthology, we take First Print and Electronic Publishing Rights, with exclusivity for twelve months from the date of publication.

If we accept your reprint for publication in an anthology, we take nonexclusive reprint rights.

A copy of our publishing contract is available upon request.

Via: Soteira Press.

Taking Submissions: Enchanted Conversation – Spooky & Spinetingling Tales October Issue

Deadline: September 20th, 2019
Payment: $10

Submissions now OPEN
for the OCTOBER Issue
UNTIL September 20th
THEME – Spooky & Spellbinding Tales

Enchanted Conversation is looking for spooky and spellbinding fairy tales, folktales, or myths for the October issue. Check out last year’s issue HERE.

Work can either be re-tellings of established stories or use original characters as long as they are set within the fairy tale, folktale, or mythic templates.

Be bold, traditional, lyrical, or experimental in your storytelling, and enchant us with your original stories set in a variety of locations around the world and time periods from ancient to modern.




  • STORIES between 700-2000 words with our sweet spot being around 1,200 words.
  • PAYMENT FOR STORIES: $10.00 U.S. dollars only
  • The upper limit 2,000 word count is FIRM. Stories over 2,000 words will not be considered.
  • At the time of contract, authors will have the option of donating the token payment back to the magazine to help keep us running.
  • Absolutely none of the following: Sci-fi, dystopian, erotica, excessive horror or gore, high fantasy, excessive world building, time-travel, futuristic or space travel.
  • Also, DO NOT submit a story where the 1st person narrator dies at the end. That idea just doesn’t work for us. If your character must die, please make it a 3rd person account.
  • We’re accepting only previously unpublished work.
  • Only one work per writer per submission period.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine.
  • AUTHORS who were published in previous issues are asked to wait 4 months (from the date of their issue) before they submit again.


  • Enchanted Conversation is buying first electronic rights with the possibility of using the work in a future print compilation. Authors will be informed if their work is chosen, and authors will always retain the right to decline being in the print compilation if they so choose.
  • Authors also grant EC the nonexclusive right to archive their story on our website in perpetuity or until such time as we choose to remove it.
  • EC reserves the right to edit accepted stories for clarity. In other words, EC will correct simple misspellings, typos, and occasionally break up a run-on sentence. If the issue is a matter of style or opinion, EC will contact you to discuss changes for your approval before it goes live.
  • Once the story is published on the site, authors are free to shop it elsewhere.
  • Copyright will always remain with the author.
  • You are agreeing to these terms when you submit a story.


  • Email all submissions to [email protected]
  • Subject line of the email should be: OCTOBER ISSUE 2019 – your last name – title of your work. Example: OCTOBER ISSUE 2019 – Jones – “Story Title”
  • A brief cover letter with the approximate word count of the story.
  • Also provide a short (100 word max) author’s bio in third person and up to three links to the website or social media accounts that you would like to promote professionally if your story is chosen. These links are used to promote you as a writer via our website. We do not check out the accounts as part of the decision making process for the issue.
  • Do not summarize your story in the cover letter.
  • A PAYPAL ADDRESS must be included in the email. Without one, work will not be considered.
  • Paste all submissions into the body of your email. ATTACHMENTS WILL NOT BE OPENED. We’re not kidding. Your email will be DELETED, UNREAD, if there is an attachment.
  • Formatting for all stories: Single spacing. No indents on paragraphs. Double space between paragraphs. Use Arial as the font. Try to use American English word forms and punctuation.
  • You will get a confirmation email that your work has been received.
  • No editorial feedback will be given on submissions.


  • Due to the extremely high volume of submissions, and our limited resources, non-acceptance emails will not be sent out.
  • The names of the authors whose works are chosen will be posted on the Enchanted Conversation website on SEPTEMBER 28, 2019 for the October Issue.

Via: Enchanted Conversation.

Taking Submissions: The Nightscape Press Charity Collection Line Short Story Collections

Deadline: August 31st, 2019
Payment: Royalties

Nightscape Press will open to short fiction collection submissions on May 17th and will close to submissions at the close of that month. This call has been postponed and will instead open on August 16th through the end of August. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Payment and Requirements

Payment will include an advance and royalties to both the author and a charity of their choice. Short story collections must be 40,000 words or more and include at least two to three previously unpublished works.


Standard Shunn formatting is just fine, but we’re finding more and more that we prefer single spaced manuscripts as we read submissions on our devices. And italics should preferably be italicized and not underlined. Single spaces between sentences is also a huge help when final formatting comes around. That said, we will not reject collections if the formatting isn’t perfect. First and foremost make it readable. And where stories require odd formatting for effect, certainly don’t change that on our account.

Via: Nightscape Press</a..

Taking Submissions: Speculative City

Deadline: September 6th, 2019
Payment: $20-$75 according to the category and length

Submissions are open from July 08 – September 06

Speculative City publishes provocative works that are centered within a cityscape. Although all are welcome to submit, special consideration is given to creators and characters often underrepresented in speculative fiction, such as people of color, queer people, working-class people, and people with disabilities (this list is not exhaustive and acts as an example of the types of voices we wish to hear and show).

We are looking for fiction, poetry, and essays within the theme of the magazine’s upcoming issue (industry, see below). Writers published will be paid $20-$75 according to the category and length of their submission. We would be hard-pressed to include submissions with a length exceeding 5500 words.

Editors’ note: We are most interested in seeing how industry impacts communities and individuals.

– All submissions should be the original, unpublished work of the submitter.
– We will accept simultaneous submissions, but please inform us if the submission has been accepted by another publication.
– We do not accept multiple submissions for fiction or essays.
– Please submit word (.doc, .docx) or rich text format (.rtf) files and format your submission according to our format guide (http://www.speculativecity.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/SubmissionFormatGuide.rtf).
– Please send all inquiries to info @ speculativecity.com.
– We try to respond to all submissions, but as a team of two, we may not always be able to.

Before submitting work, please also be familiar with our contract (http://www.speculativecity.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/SpeculativeCityContract.pdf).

noun| ‘in də strē

Definition of INDUSTRY

– the systematic profiteering of a people or community to yield product
– the management of capital, individuals, and/or a commercial enterprise that produces goods or services

Via: Speculative City.

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