Deadline: December 30th, 2017!
Payment: 3 cents/word (CAD) and a contributor’s copy
Note: Canadian writers have preferred status but they aren’t only taking Canadian authors.
Edited by Kate Story and Derek Newman-Stille
To be published by Renaissance Press
Mary Shelley published Frankenstein in 1818, sparking the genres of horror and science fiction. On this, the 200th anniversary of its publication, the narrative is more relevant than ever. We live in an age where we need to ask critical questions about the limits of science. How do scientific pursuits relate to the body? Attention to issues of disability lead us to consider how identity relates to the body, and how the body can shift and change over time. Shelley’s bodily assemblage – a collective of parts given life – still shapes our ideas about ourselves, and about what we create to be our monsters. This anthology will gather together tales inspired by Shelley’s strange alchemy, lightning strikes of inspiration from Frankenstein. We are looking for a broad range of stories, from direct interactions with Shelley’s texts to explorations of the stitched, assembled body and narrative experiments in monstrous creations.
We Shall Be Monsters is a fiction collection that will feature explorations of disability through Frankenstein, queer and trans identity, ideas of race and colonialism. Shelley’s story provides a space for exploring a multitude of identities through the figure of the sympathetic outsider. Frankenstein’s “monster” is a figure of Otherness, and one that can tell stories of exclusion and social oppression.
Stories do not need to be JUST about Frankenstein or his monster. We hope to get stories that play with ideas around Frankenstein and inspired by the theme. Of course, we want some stories that deal with Mary Shelley’s text.
For this anniversary anthology, we are looking for short stories of 2000-7500 words in length, poetry up to 500 words in length, and graphic narratives (comics) up to 6 pages. We are only interested in previously unpublished works.
We are interested in new imaginings of the Frankenstein mythos. For example:
What if Mary Shelley was the scientist who created the Monster?
What if Frankenstein had finished making a mate for the Monster?
What if the Monster had reached the “New World”?
What if the Monster joined a circus?
What if Frankenstein’s monster met Dracula?
What if Dr. Frankenstein had created other monstrous assemblages before he created his “monster”
What is it like to be Dr. Frankenstein’s lab assistant?
What if Dr. Frankenstein had actually raised his creation?
What if the military decided to weaponize Frankenstein’s Monster?
We want your stories of science gone wrong, your tales of monstrous creations, your imaginings about bodily assemblages, and other creations that your minds can create.
Your submission can be in any genre that suits the theme of your story.
Length: 2000 to 7500 words for short fiction, but it will be easier to place shorter works
500 words maximum for poetry
6 pages for graphic fiction (comics)
Payment: 3 cents/word (CAD) for original fiction, and a contributor’s copy.
Canadian citizens (living in Canada and/or paying taxes in Canada) and permanent residents of Canada will receive preferred status.
We encourage authors from a wide range of diverse voices and interpretations, including writers of colour and of indigenous/Native heritage, Francophone writers, writers with disabilities, LGBTQ2IA+ (or QUILTBAG or Queer-identified) writers, and new generation writers (aged 18-30).
No multiple submissions. If you received a rejection before the deadline, you may submit a new work.
We are looking for original fiction only. No reprints, please.
Submit stories in standard manuscript format as a .doc, .docx, or RTF with indented paragraphs, italics in in italics, and bold in bold. Include full contact information and word count on the first page. Include a cover letter (name, story title, and word count, contact information, previous publications) in the body of the email.
Submissions in English only, although stories translated into English are also acceptable.
Rights purchased: First English-Language Rights & Non-exclusive Anthology Rights (Print and eBook).
Indicate in the subject line: Submission: Story Title, Last Name.
Deadline: March 30th, 2018
Payment: $.03 per word and 2 contributor’s copies
Corpus Press is now accepting submissions for a new Halloween-themed horror anthology. Submissions will be accepted according to our publishing needs, regardless of author publication history or status. Submissions should appeal to a wide audience (late teen to adult).
What we are looking for:
Not previously published short stories of 4,500-8,500 words that have a central theme associated with Halloween and can be characterized within the broad realm of “horror” fiction.
Successful submissions will be highly original, well written and cleanly edited.
Stories can be frightening, thought-provoking, atmospheric, humorous or satirical (or any combination thereof), but MUST contain a complete tale.
What we are NOT looking for:
Stories that have been hastily retrofitted with a coating of “Halloween” references to fit the submission guidelines. These are easily spotted and will be immediately rejected.
Stories that contain excessively explicit language, sexuality and violence, or that have a main goal of shocking the audience with poor taste (language, sexuality and violence is acceptable, however, if it is essential to the story and is handled in a tasteful manner). This IS NOT an “extreme horror” or “Splatterpunk” anthology.
Abstract mood pieces, vignettes, and highly experimental approaches to literature are discouraged.
Stories featuring exaggerated dialects, colloquialisms or excessive references to pop culture or current fads are discouraged.
We will not be accepting epistolary fiction for this anthology.
Document Requirements: Submissions must be in an editable format. No PDFs or scanned documents sent as image files will be accepted. Preference is for author name, email address and word count information to be placed at the end of the document to assist in blind review process.
Submission window: October 29, 2017 – March 30, 2018. No multiple submissions. Simultaneous submissions are okay, but please disclose this in your submission. Notifications of acceptance / rejection will be sent no later than May 31, 2018.
Pay Rate: $.03 per word. Two (2) free contributor copies (paperback) will be provided, with contributors having the option to buy additional quantities at cost post-publication. Payment on publication.
Anthology target length: 300-350 pages. Title TBD.
Terms: Corpus Press maintains exclusive paperback, hardcover and eBook publishing rights from date of publication until November 2019, at which time full republication rights revert back to the author. Author retains all audiobook rights. Publisher retains future publishing rights to maintain the submitted work in print as part of the published anthology. Final contract required to be signed upon acceptance which may contain additional terms and conditions.
(Please note: the terms of these submissions guidelines are for reference only, are subject to change without notice and do not constitute any legal agreement or offer to contract by Corpus Press or any of its operators. By submitting your work to Corpus Press for consideration, submitters agree not to hold Corpus Press or any of its operators liable for any damages, perceived or real, arising from their submission.)
Deadline: November 30th, 2017
Payment: $0.07 – $0.10 per word + contributor copy.
Holy C.O.W.! SF stories from the Center Of the World is an anthology of Speculative Fiction stories rooted in the ancient Fertile Crescent, Levant and the Middle East, but stretch into the near and distant future. Holy C.O.W.! is seeking all styles and sub-genre, including humorous speculative fiction. Addition consideration will also be given to artists who live or are from the region.
SUBMISSION WINDOW: November 1 – November 30, 2017
LENGTH: 500-6000 words.
PAYMENT: $0.07 – $0.10 per word + contributor copy. Payment will be made upon acceptance. Our preferred method of payment is via PayPal, but you may request a check.
FORMAT: ODT RTF or DOC. Standard Manuscript Format or some close approximation.
SEND TO: [Upload your stories via this submissions link.]
Limit of 1 submission per author — even if you receive a response before the submission window closes please do not send another story unless directly invited to do so.
Please do not respond to rejections. The email address associated with submissions is not monitored. If you wish to query for any reason, please use the contact form or e-mail us: editor at holycowpublishing dot com.
RIGHTS SOUGHT: First Worldwide print and electronic English Language rights. Exclusivity for 90 days from date of release. Non-exclusive print, e-book, and audio rights afterward.
POLICIES & RESPONSE TIME: No reprints, multiple or simultaneous submissions please. You may query after 30 days. Please send only one submission per author unless directly invited to send more.
WHAT WE WANT:
We’re looking for speculative stories rooted in the Fertile Crescent, Levant and the Middle East. The region should be an integral part of the story, and not simply a transplant. For ideal example think of how Mike Resnick’s story “Kirinyaga” relates to Africa culture and issues. We welcome quality flash fiction and non-traditional narratives. Authorized English translations of original stories, particularly from regional artists, are also welcomed and encouraged.
Deadline: March 1st, 2018
Payment: ½ cent per word for original works, $10 for reprints, and a contributor’s copy
Note: Reprints Allowed
Edited by Howard Rachen
Deadline: March 1st, 2018
The curse is as old as folklore itself. They are the malediction of gods and witches, protections of the pharoh’s tombs, the warnings for would-be thieves. Before the days of Hollywood, the werewolf was the victim of a curse. Today they linger with sports teams and in the theatre.
Armoured Fox Press is looking for all manner of horror stories related to curses. Bloodlines with a black mark, tainted objects, locations under a hex, and anything else cleverly twisted into a curse. Be creative, don’t just send us yet another unlucky penny, but something new that makes us hesitate to step on a crack or ignore that warning.
We will NOT accept:
Racism, sexism, or discrimination presented in a positive light.
Pedophilia or sex with characters under the age of 18.
Rape, torture, dubious consent, forced seduction.
If you are in doubt, ASK. Better to ask then to get a straight up rejection!
And remember, this is a non-erotic anthology, so please, no sex on screen. (this line can be changed)
Furry (as this is not a furry anthology)
Length: Max 7,500 words. .
Payment: ½ cent per word for original works, $10 for reprints. Authors will receive a contributor copy.
No simultaneous submissions please (Don’t also send your story elsewhere at the same time), and no more than one submission.
Original stories and reprints welcome. (see Payment)
We purchase exclusive publication rights in print and electronic formats for the period of one year from date of publication for the stories and non-exclusive rights in perpetuity thereafter. Submissions must not contain any copyrighted characters which the author does not hold the copyright on. Reprints will not be subject to this. Please state when you submit if the story is a reprint or not. Having the story posted online counts as ‘published’ and will be treated as a reprint.
Response time: Please expect responses within six weeks of the deadline, but please do not query until eight weeks have passed at the request of the editor.
Deadline: December 31st, 2017
Payment: Contributor’s Copy
George A. Romero was an inspiration to many people, and the Godfather of the modern zombie sub-genre. As a tribute to him, and his work, we’re putting together a charity anthology, provisionally called WORDS OF THE DEAD, to honour the man who scared us witless when we were younger and inspired us when we got older. The guidelines are:
– We’re looking for zombie stories only.
– Stories must be either set within the films, or based on the canon he created. So, no runners, but remember that Romero used tool-wielding zombies in Night/Dawn/Day and Land, and the vampire/un-dead crossover in the comic series Empire of the Dead.
– One simple rule: as long as he used it, so can you. Show us something different from the films, or wow us with an original story set within one of the time frames or the modern day.
– Maximum word count of 6k; standard manuscript formatting.
– You’ll get a digital and physical contributor’s copy as a thank you.
– This will be published through EyeCue Productions, with Duncan P. Bradshaw, David Owain Hughes, and Jonathan Edward Ondrashek as editors.
– No reprints, please. We’re looking for new stories, keen for fresh bodies to feast on.
– ALL proceeds will be going to charity; we’re working towards getting that sorted at the moment.
– Rights are your own, but we respectfully ask for a six-month period of exclusivity to the anthology from the release date (to be determined).
Deadline: May 31st, 2018
Payment: $50 and a contributor’s copy
Anthologies are a great way to get your stories noticed. Caffeinated Press sponsors an annual house anthology titled “Brewed Awakenings,” with a new volume released every autumn.
The first volume, released on March 2, 2015, contains the work of eight invited authors from West Michigan who penned stories under the loose theme of “all goes dark.” The second volume shipped in September 2016; subsequent volumes will follow each October. The anthology ships in print format (vol. 1); print and ebook (vol. 2); print, ebook and audio book (vol. 3 and subsequent).
We are currently in the reading window for vol. 4. The window closes 5/31/18.
We recommend that you read the Q&A that follows, then visit our Query page to read our formal house editorial guidelines. The submission form for proposed Brewed Awakenings content is at the bottom of the Query page. It will be to your advantage to read both of these documents in their entirety before you consider whether you should submit to us.
[Revision 36, 06 August 2017]
When can I submit stories? What’s the deadline?
We accept stories year-round. The cutoff for each autumn’s volume is May 31. Submit before then, you’re in consideration for that year’s copy; submit after that, and you’re in the pile for the following year. You obtain neither benefit nor disability from submitting well in advance of the cutoff, but technical errors in the submission are more likely to be redirected to you for correction (instead of resulting in your manuscript being summarily excluded) if we have time to spot-check it before May 31.
How much does it cost to submit?
Nothing, silly. Reading fees are The Devil. Never, ever accept the premise that you must fork over some greenbacks to get a fair review of your manuscript.
Who can submit?
Anyone who is authorized to work in the United States may submit to Caffeinated Press, provided that the submitter retains full rights to the work intended for our consideration and that the work itself is complete and not published anywhere else. In other words: You must own what you’re pitching, and what you pitch must be a finished product, not just an idea or work-in-progress. If your work contains copyrighted material within it that you do not own, you must prove that you have appropriate permission for us to reprint that material.
Our mission is to connect readers and writers in the West Michigan community. We do not bar non-local submissions that present compelling content with literary grace, but local submissions will always receive preference. We define “local” as including residents, former residents, students, or frequent visitors to the area roughly west of US-127 between The Bridge and the Indiana/Ohio state line.
If you have no connection to West Michigan whatsoever and you’ve never been published before, we ask you to think carefully about whether it’s appropriate for you to submit to us. We encourage aspiring, unpublished authors to look to presses within their home community to get a feel for the publishing process, before reaching out to non-local markets.
Can I submit to more than just you? Or more than one thing at a time? What about reprints?
You can submit anywhere you like, and as much as you like — but we only accept new material that has not already been published somewhere else (including through self-publishing channels or through online serialization).
If you submit your material to several different publishers, it’ll be exclusive to us only at the point we sign a contract. Until that point, we don’t care if you’ve submitted to just us, or to every publisher in Writer’s Market or Duotrope. If you later elect to remove your material from our consideration, please let us know by using the Contact Us page to send us a note. And if you want to pepper us with a salvo of your work — go for it.
How much will I get paid, and when, and what rights do I surrender?
Our anthology content is considered normal artistic work product. We’ll pay you a one-time fee for a time-limited exclusive license to print, distribute and sell paper, audio and e-book copies of the anthology, in English, in any country where our wholesale partners and distributors operate. The license expires when the volume goes out of print — about 14 months after it’s released. Such date is stipulated in the contract. The terms of our rights license are not negotiable, because we must operate under the same contract terms for every participating contributor.
We’re contractually obligated pay in the first week of the next calendar quarter after the anthology is released to market, although we often pay earlier just on principle and to avoid “bunching” of accounts-payable liabilities.
As of 9/1/15, we’ve established the following price points for Volume 3 (the October 2017 edition) and Volume 4 (the October 2018 edition), offered with the caveat that the final printed version’s word count governs, not the count at the initial submission:
Novels (40,001 words or longer) — not accepted for the anthology
Novella (17,501 to 40,000 words) — $150 + two print courtesy copies
Novelette (7,501 to 17,500 words) — $100+ two print courtesy copies
Short Story (2,501 to 7,500 words) — $50 + one courtesy copy
Poetry (one or more poems; 100 lines total) — $25 + one courtesy copy; additional $25 for each 100 lines
Micro Story (less than 2,500 words) — $10 + one courtesy copy
Essays and narrative non-fiction pay at the same word-count lengths as fiction work.
These rates are slightly higher than what we paid for Volume 2; these rates are unlikely to be what we’ll pay for Volume 5.
What’s the required genre, theme or word count?
Our anthology neither requires nor recommends a specific theme or genre. We intend to balance material within each volume to provide a rich diversity of content for our readers. We do not accept stories of more than 40,000 words for the anthology, and both exceptionally short and exceptionally long pieces may face stricter scrutiny given our two-pronged desire to target the overall volume size to a reasonable page count and to ensure stories of appropriate substance.
Wait. You didn’t answer the word-count question.
The Goldilocks Principle governs — we want the story to be “just right,” not too long and not too short. Specifying an arbitrary word count usually diminishes a story in favor of an artificial criterion that brings no obvious benefit to the reader. You tell your story, we’ll read your story. If it’s good, it’s in; if it’s not, it’s not. Length isn’t really germane unless you write like either you’re tweeting or you’re Dostoyevsky.
That said, we aim for volumes that make for a satisfying experience for our audience. We’ll probably include more standard-length short stories than novellettes or flash fiction. Given the complexities of contracting and editing and managing a pool of authors for a story collection, the quality bar for stories shorter than 2,000 words or so, or longer than 20,000 words, will be correspondingly higher — from our perspective, the return-on-investment for flash fiction and novellas isn’t all that high. You may find that pitching flash stuff to our literary journal makes more sense. (Hint, hint.)
Can I submit poetry or personal essays?
We accept collections of poetry, and fictionalized biographical or autobiographical essays that share a compelling story.
Anything you don’t accept?
Nothing is categorically prohibited. However, we are less likely to accept for publication within this anthology any material that’s straight nonfiction (how-to stuff, journalistic pieces), unsourced opinion commentary, religious testimony, partisan rants or conspiracy-theory-tinged “thought experiments.” Stories with a clear didactic bent on subjects rancorously debated in the public square are unlikely to be considered for Brewed Awakenings. This anthology is intended for the entertainment of a broad audience; The 3288 Reviewliterary journal offers a more appropriate venue for controversial subjects.
Because our target market is, in many ways, culturally conservative, content that may inflame indignation by the locals, without any redeeming literary merit to offset the ire, will evaluated with a more discerning eye.
What format should I submit in? What about internal document formatting?
Our home-grown submission tool requires the pasting of a plain-text version of the file into a box in your Web browser. If your submission includes a lot of italics or other formatting, we ask that you render it in Markdown before you paste it. Tools like the free Word to Markdown Converter are easy to use. We are not responsible for de-italicizing stuff you wanted italicized unless you performed the Markdown conversion first.
Apart from a PDF’d cover letter, we do not accept attachments. You must use the online form to paste your cleaned-up content in the box. If we can’t read what’s in the box, or it’s a pile of formatting gibberish with run-together paragraphs and goofy tabs, we will reject the submission. We realize it’s a bit of a pain to have to submit plain-text copy this way, but we ask you to do it because we have quite a few editors reviewing submissions and we need to maintain contributors’ anonymity. This procedure streamlines submissions and reduces rework for us. We recognize that it’s a bit of a pain for you — but on the bright side, we don’t charge reading fees!
The parts of your submission related to the synopsis and sample should not include any identifiable information on it — no names, no addresses, no email addresses, etc. Just de-identified copy.
We prefer online submissions but also welcome pitches by snail mail. See our Query page for the online form and for our postal address. If you submit a paper query, please also answer the questions asked on the online form within your package; they’re an important part of our evaluation process.
Please avoid structuring your story to rely heavily on typographic or spacing conventions. It’s the text, not the formatting, that needs to do the heavy lifting. We may pass on stories (excluding poetry) that rely too heavily on subheads, italics, hard paragraph breaks, font changes, etc., because such content is a pain in the buttocks to lay out in our InDesign-focused copy flow.
And speaking of poetry: Heavily structured poems almost surely will not fit within the margins of our anthology (you might have an 8.5×11 canvas to play with, but we don’t). If we can’t fit the content, we will reject the poem(s) without further review. So if you want us to consider poems with irregular line structures, you must send a plain-text Markdown file using spaces instead of tabs to effect the poem’s structure. No exceptions.
How will my submission be evaluated?
By angry robots.
NO, really. How will my submission be evaluated?
All submissions follow our standard Query process that includes a cover letter, synopsis and writing sample. For the anthology, please give us the full story, not just a sample, even if your story is a novelette. Carefully follow our rules about de-identification. Let us repeat: DO NOT INCLUDE PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION ANYWHERE IN YOUR SYNOPSIS OR SAMPLE. Content with author identifiers will be immediately excluded from consideration.
The anthology series editor reviews all inbound queries to ensure compliance with our minimal technical requirements. Unless the query is obviously junk — e.g., spam — the de-identified sample and synopsis are presented to the members of the Caffeinated Press editorial committee who participate in the anthology project, whereupon they are reviewed by each editor and voted upon. Each editor brings his or her own criteria into the mix. Some look at the quality of the story, others look at the quality of the prose. Usually, a consensus about each piece results; however, the series editor retains the final right to accept or reject any given submission.
Our first and highest value is literary merit. A compelling, well-written story trumps, no matter its length or the author’s ZIP code. But ceteris paribus, the work of local authors takes precedence over non-locals, and standard-length short stories will probably take precedence over very long or very short stories.
When will I hear whether I’ve been accepted?
We will acknowledge receipt of your submission within a few days; the submission form briefly flashes its acceptance, but if you don’t get a confirmation from us within a week, it’s fair to follow up through our Contact Us form. However, because we review the entire pile of anthology submissions in one go-around, you won’t get a definitive answer until the mid-to-late June, regardless of when you sent it. Remember, too, our May 31 cutoff-date for each year’s volume. For example, if you submit on May 15, you’ll be notified roughly four weeks later; if you submit on June 15, you’ll hear from us in 52 weeks. We do not send status updates.
We may provisionally accept some stories as a backup in case some authors cannot commit to our schedule. These stories aren’t second-place finishers; they’re worthy stories that we’re interested in, but may not have fit the overall “feel” we aimed for relative to the totality of the volume. Those provisionally accepted stories — if not included in the volume — may be re-tasked for other purposes, including (paid) appearance in our quarterly literary journal, in consultation with the author.
We reserve the right to occasionally review the pile of pending manuscripts to offer authors the chance to re-direct the submission from the anthology to the journal. The author, of course, has the right to refuse; such refusal in no way diminishes the odds of acceptance into the next anthology volume.
What should I expect if I’ve been accepted?
Accepted manuscripts will include at least one developmental edit offered by our in-house editors. You will receive those edits by mid to late July, or be notified that your work does not require substantial revision. From there, you will have until the end of August to review the requested edits and to prepare your revised draft. During that window, we will sign a contract that confirms payment, licenses rights and sets the official calendar for that year. We require a completed IRS Form W-9 or equivalent, as well as some method of verifying your identity to us. That method can vary — e.g., you can have your contract witnessed by a notary, or visit us in our office, or connect with the series editor on LinkedIn, or Tweet to us from a verified Twitter account, or send us email from your own long-established custom domain — but our legal counsel advises that we must make appropriate due diligence to verify that you are who you say you are. Some authors chafe at being asked to verify their identity; if you fall into that camp, please refrain from submitting to us.
Over the months of August and September, we’ll perform final line edits and prepare the manuscript for printing and distribution. We reserve the right to make relevant edits to style, diction, punctuation and grammar without review or approval by the author. However, changes to the content of the story will always be effected in partnership with the author. When each author’s final production file is complete, a PDF proof will be transmitted for final review.
While we proofread, you will work with our marketing team to obtain a professional headshot, an author bio and a basic online platform, if you don’t already have those things. We expect that by September 1, you will be prepared with a headshot and 250-word bio, as well as a one-sentence and 125-word teaser for your story.
A note about contracts: Because we need everyone to be on the same contract language, we cannot allow for negotiations to terms or provisions within our standard contract.
We intend to release the book in print and ebook form in early-to-mid October. Authors local to West Michigan are encouraged to be present for certain launch events to sign copies, meet readers and perform readings.
The anthology compresses a great deal of work into a very narrow window of time. As such, we will not grant deadline extensions for any reason, including illness or deaths in the family. Missed deadlines will result in immediate discontinuation of your manuscript’s consideration, without appeal and without compensation to you. However, we reserve the right to adjust deadlines in light of the company’s overall editorial calendar and production requirements.
To whom should I address my cover letter?
The series editor for the anthology is Jason Gillikin. He’s also the chairman and CEO of Caffeinated Press, and he delights in receiving appropriate cover letters.
Gillikin is ably assisted by deputy managing editor Murphy d’Cat, who occasionally sits in judgment over the quality of query packages.
What should I do if I have questions?
You’ll find it useful to register for our community discussion forums to ask your question. Please avoid disclosing the title of the work you’re pitching, to protect our blinded review process.
You may also use our Contact form to register general-interest questions. We welcome these questions if you use the form. We do not recommend calling or emailing, because you’ll wait a very, very, very long time before you receive a response by phone or email, and you may just get a response asking you to file an inquiry using the Contact form.
Do you have any general advice for authors interested in submitting to Brewed Awakenings?
Brilliant question! You saved the best for last, you sly dog, you.
First, aim for compelling content. Make us laugh, or cry, or sigh. Invite us into your world and make us care about your characters. Give us something to think about. The difference between a great story and a mediocre story is that the latter reads like the Cliff’s Notes version of the former.
Second, consider the audience. We’re compiling a general-interest anthology for a community based in West Michigan. Certain subjects and fusion genres may not work as well in our market as they might in San Francisco, Manhattan or Topeka. Viability matters! Such concern is one reason we favor local authors: They know the audience.
Third, find a beta reader or five. Many a good story has died for lack of a good proofread before submission. Although we at Caffeinated Press are more tolerant of linguistic slips than most other publishers, even we have our limits. Under no circumstances whatsoever should you think it acceptable to send us your first draft — doing so is effectively a slap in the face to our editors. Instead, when you think you’ve nailed your story, give it to three to five friends who will tear it to pieces. Then review their feedback and adjust as indicated. We writers are often blind to our own weaknesses; sometimes we need the prod of someone else’s comments to help us hone our craft. (Incidentally, one of the biggest drawbacks of flash fiction is that it’s so short that most authors don’t give it the edit they need, which is why so much flash is so mind-numbingly awful. No story is too short to benefit from beta readers!)
Fourth, honor the spirit of our editorial process. We de-identify manuscripts for a reason, so if you widely trumpet your story in a way that may cross the paths of even one member of our editorial team, then your story will be removed from consideration. We once rejected a piece for which the author shared the submission title on Twitter, @mentioning us. You poke the bear, you get mauled.
Thank you for considering Caffeinated Press for your next short-story submission.