Payment: $10 for each short story, flash fiction, installments of serial fiction, or book review. $5 for everything else, such as reprints, micro fiction, poetry, art and photography, or other creative works.
Note: Reprints Allowed
We accept unsolicited submissions year-round. Our very first Short StoryContest is open until August 28, 2016.
Please send us the following:
Other Forms of Creative Media
We are seeking beautifully-written, original short stories by writers with distinct voices, and a clear, sweeping vision. We want to read stories not only for the pleasure they give us but also for the way they dare to dream, to risk, to question and to speak to our ever shifting world, possessing both the courage and craft needed to execute on their ambitious intent: the melding of art with entertainment. Our favorite kinds of stories are those that are still emotionally haunting long after their plots have slipped from our memories, the fingerprints of their ghosts left behind on our day-to-day lives. To paraphrase Flannery O’Connor, the ending of a short story should be at once surprising and inevitable, gifting us with some kind of intangible – a deepening awareness of the fragile conditions of being human.
We are strong advocates for intoxicating language and pleasing sentences. That said, stories should also be clear and readable. Proper grammar and punctuation are vital to crafting a story which is fluid, artfully-written, and also easy to comprehend on a line-by-line level.
We welcome both traditional and experimental forms of literary fiction, as well as genre fiction provided we feel that the work shows some “literary” aesthetic. We highly encourage submitting intrepid stories that slip across borders, elusive to strict marketing conventions while staying in full control of their geography at all times. Genre-blending should have purpose and direction.
We’ll take any great story that can be classified under the umbrella of commercial or genre fiction (romance, mystery, crime, etc). What gets us excited is speculative fiction in all its guises (fantasy, science-fiction, magic realism, surrealism, slipstream, urban fantasy, horror, steampunk, silk punk, cyberpunk, etc). We are fans of humor, but our tendency is towards dry wit, satire, or absurdity treated with a flat acceptance, rather than anything slapstick or vulgar.
We do not accept anything that contains gratuitous sex, violence or unnecessarily graphic language. Nor do we read fan fiction.
Please only send us works between 500 to 10,000 words (preferably ~4000). We will not consider any story over 10,000 words unless we feel it’s absolutely outstanding and makes a valid case for the extra word count.
We define flash fiction as stories between 500 to 1000 words. Submitted stories that fall within these limits will automatically be classified as flash. Just like a great short story, a great piece of flash ought to impress us with finesse throughout its entirety, instead of hinging solely on an unexpected twist at the end.
For a bigger (or smaller) challenge, send us a work of micro fiction (less than 100 words). Be sure it still tells a “complete story” that has a beginning-middle-end with conflict and resolution. Micro fiction shares a lot of the same elements with prose poetry. We like to think the difference is an emphasis on character and character development rather than on an image.
We accept serial works, especially for fantasy, science fiction or other genre fiction. We will publish each installment weekly or in each new issue.
Please send us only (1) story per category per active submission. Please do not submit again until we have responded to your previous submission in a given category. For example, you may send us a short story submission and a flash fiction submission at the same time, but no multiple submissions, i.e. do not submit another short story or flash until we have responded to your previous short story or flash submission.
We allow simultaneous submissions but ask that you notify us as soon as your story has been accepted by another market.
Refer to the guidelines below on how to format and submit your manuscript.
We try our very best to keep our response time to under two weeks. Feel free to inquire about the status of your submission if you have not heard back after two weeks.
We want vibrant poetry that steals into our mind, hijacks our neurotransmitters and takes us for a joyride outside our comfort zone, towards a higher political, social, and cultural elevation.
We accept all types of original prose and spoken-word poems. Please submit a total of no more than (2)proseand/or spoken-word pieces to us at a given time. Please do not submit again until we have responded to your previous submission. Refer to the guidelines below on how to format and submit your poetry.
Art & Photography
We want sublime art and creative photography to pair with our stories and poems. We’re much more inclined accept works that complements the prose we’ve published (any story or poem that is not featuring an art sample), but we’re happy to consider standalone pieces as well.
You may submit up to a total of (3) pieces of art or photo in a single submission. Please do not submit again until we have responded to your previous submission. Refer to the guidelines below on how to format and submit your art or photography.
If you would like to submit art that fits the subject of our current or upcoming contests, please take a look at our Contest Page.
Formatting & Submitting
All fiction manuscripts should be in standard manuscript format. Most important: double-spaced, 12 pt standard font (e.g. Times, Arial, Courier), and page numbers.
Poetry can be formatted any way you want.
Include your work as either a separate Word (.DOC or .DOCX) or PDF (.PDF) attachment in an email. For spoken-word and other creative media pieces, include a link to your performance video in the body of your email (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) or attach a video file in a common video format (.AVI, .FLV, .MPEG, .WMV, .MOV) along with a transcript of the piece.
For art and photos, please send each piece as a separate attachment only as .PNG or .JPEG.
Please email all submissions to [email protected] and include in the subject field the type of piece, the genre, if appropriate, the name, andapproximate word count or number of lines of poetry. Examples: Flash Fiction – Fantasy – “The Girl Who Grew To Be 80 Ft. Tall” (6000) or Poetry – Spoken-Word – “Folding Origami With My Mother” (20). Please also mention how you heard about us in the body of the email. A cover letter isn’t necessary, but you’re welcome to include anything that you feel is important or interesting for us to know about the piece.
For contest submissions, please follow the instructions on our Contest Page.
We look forward to receiving your work!
Editing, Rights & Payment
If we accept your work, we may make line-edits for grammar, punctuation and clarity. You will have the opportunity to review and discuss all edits with us before the final version of your work is published.
For unpublished works (that have never appeared anywhere online or in print), we ask for First World Serial Rights, First World Electronic Rights and Exclusive Rights for 90 days. All rights revert back to the author after 90 days.
We accept reprints of published works. For reprints, we ask for Second Serial World (Reprint) Electronic Rights, which are non-exclusive.
For all stories and poems, whether original or reprint, we also ask for Non-exclusive Audio Rights, which gives us the right to publish an audio podcast of the work if we so choose.
We kindly request permission to archive your work on our website. We publish works on arolling basis, and all published works will automatically be archived unless you tell us not to.
For questions on your rights, first take a look here. If you have additional concerns, please let us know through our Contact Page. We’ll happily explain.
We pay $10 for each short story, flash fiction, installments of serial fiction, or book review.
We pay $5 for everything else, such as reprints, micro fiction, poetry, art and photography, or other creative works.
Payment will be made through PayPal (preferred), or mailed by check, upon publication.
It’s very important for us to support compensating authors and creative artists for their time and hard work. We hope to increase our rates as we grow. All published works will be credited with a byline, and contributors will be featured on our Contributors page.
If you would like donate to us, please take a look at our Patrons Page. We appreciate your support!
$.06/word, $100 flat rate for Short Fiction, and a $20 flat rate for Flash Fiction
Note: Reprints Allowed
Note: MAKE SURE to read the guidelines before submitting
Cast of Wonders is a young adult short fiction market, open to submission up to 6,000 words in length. One of our goals is to further the education of new writers of any age. With that in mind, these submission guidelines are both lengthy and extensive. They aim to explain what we’re looking for, what we’ll do with your story, and where you can find further information.
What We’re Looking For
As a young adult fiction podcast, we’re looking for stories that evoke a sense of wonder and have something unreal about them. We aim for a 12-17 age range: that means sophisticated, non-condescending stories with wide appeal, and without explicit sex, violence or pervasive obscene language. Think Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.
Stories are presented in audio format, which means our audience rarely skim past boring bits. We’re looking for fiction with strong pacing, well-defined characters, engaging dialogue, and clear action. We like a proper narrative structure and a unique prose style not laden with clichés and over-worn idioms. We like fiction that makes us think, but the main element should be thrilling entertainment and adventure.
We prefer high fantasy — elves, dragons, secondary worlds, and magic — to the more cerebral forms of fantasy you find in adult markets.
We like all forms of science fiction: far-future, near future, space opera, “hard” sci-fi — but it must be accessible to our target audience. This means a minimum of technical jargon.
We’re happy to read comedy, steampunk, horror, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, superheroes and many other genres. All that matters is adherence to our core concept and that critical spark of wonder.
Check out our Staff Picks page for more examples of favorites.
Does My Story Have To Be About Young Adults?
Absolutely not! A good story appeals to all ages. We define YA as the absence of the adult elements described above, not as stories featuring children or young adult characters.
Some good examples include “Cosmetic Procedures” by Desmond Warzel (a noir horror detective story) and “Gods of Stone” by Jeff Samson (the thoughts of a Gorgon victim).
What About Sex?
Sex is a universal constant, regardless of age, gender, orientation or even species. How an author deals with that reality is up to them and the characters of their stories, not us. We won’t reject a story simply because it includes sexual content, but it’s not the sole thing we look for in stories, either. In other words, just because it’s happening doesn’t mean we want it to take center stage.
Sadly, violence too is a reality of the everyday lives of many young people around the world. Like sex, we don’t require our stories to avoid the subject, but violent acts should never be the centrepiece of a tale.
We use the word “wondertales” as the generic description of speculative fiction stories based on classic and/or historical cultural narratives. Synomyms include fairy tales, folklore and mythology – all academic terms with their own meanings, origins, distinctions and historical connotations.
This is to help distinguish wondertales as a whole from the subset of stories based on Western European ancestry, which we assign the label “fairy tales”. Good examples include Hans Christian Andersen stories, or older Disney movies.
Fairy tales are popular as a genre of young adult fiction to the point where they cross the line into tropes. We receive a lot of them. Unless a story succinctly retells one of these narratives in a new and unique way, we generally decline. A good example of one we liked was “Piper” by Ian Rose – a flash piece retelling ‘The Pied Piper’ from one of the rat’s point of view.
Wondertales, on the the other hand, are under-represented in short fiction and we’d love to receive more of them. For an example of one we liked check out “The Dun Horse” by Edward Ahern – the retelling of a Pawnee legend.
We don’t accept media-based fiction (for example, stories set in the Harry Potter or Hunger Games universes) or any kind of fan fiction. We don’t have a problem with people reading or writing fan fiction or media-based fiction, we’re just not legally allowed to consider publishing it. Many popular properties allow others to use their settings, characters and plot lines for fanuse, but you’re submitting to a commercial market.
Anything In Particular You’re Looking For?
Our editor is always interested in receiving more short stories set in the worlds of existing novels. We refer to these as “off-cut” stories, and love to run them because our audience can immediately buy the author’s novel to enjoy more of the same. If you’re submitting an off-cut, please let us know so we can make sure your biography includes full purchase links to the related novels.
The same applies if you have a book coming out soon and want to publish a short story with us to coincide with its release. We’re always happy to delay our episode if the resulting timing is better for author promotion. And you can approach us about a sponsorship opportunity as well – just email our editor.
I’ve Got A Great Holiday Story, When Should I Submit It?
Holiday-themed stories (regardless of which holiday) are ideally submitted 4-5 months prior to the holiday in question. A short note in the submission cover letter helps too. Cast of Wonders runs themed episodes every year for Halloween, the Winter Holidays, and Banned Book Week (usually in September).
What We’re NOT Looking For
We’re a YA podcast. If you wouldn’t give your story to a teenager to read — or worse, the activity in question is unlawful — it doesn’t belong in our slush pile. Consider instead our recommended list of adult fiction Marketsand their submission guidelines. Stories which talk about or address these issues are fine, but graphical descriptions are not. We absolutely, positively do not want to receive:
Graphical depictions of rape or sexual assault
Non-consensual sexual activity (including necrophilia)
Non-consensual drug use. Drug use of any kind will be a very hard sell.
Graphical or explicit descriptions of animal abuse
The gratuitous brutalization of women, people of color, and people with disabilities
ANY sexual depictions of children whatsoever
The following subjects will be difficult to pass our slush readers but have appeared in stories in the past. Be prepared to address why these topics appear in your story and what purpose they serve. Our editor may challenge you to change them. Pervasive use is more likely to lead to rejection.
Drug use, especially if not critical to the story
Broad baseless assumptions (‘all gamers are overweight’ — ‘all athletic girls are gay’ — ‘boys don’t feel emotions’)
We are particularly interested in considering stories and content from younger writers. If you are under 18, please let us know your age when you submit your work and be aware that your parent or legal guardian will be required to sign and return your contract. If your submission is part of a school project, please let us know that as well and we’ll work with you to provide any documentation required by your teachers.
Our episodes are in English, but we accept and encourage translated stories from across the globe. Translation of non-English works of fiction is a growing and thriving new aspect of the market, and we want to help bring those works to audio fiction audiences.
Cast of Wonders welcomes and encourages submissions from writers of all backgrounds, and would like to see more submissions from people of backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented or excluded from traditional publishing. Some examples include people of color, LGBTQ or non-binary gender people, persons with disabilities, members of religious minorities, and people from outside the United States and Western Europe. We want to publish YA fiction that reflects the entire spectrum of the human experience, so we strongly encourage submissions from these and any other underrepresented groups. We are not interested in acquiring fiction that denigrates any culture or perpetuates stereotypes: stories should be well-researched, respectful, and conscientious.
Cast of Wonders is the broadest reaching Escape Artists podcast in terms of genre, but the tightest in terms of story requirement. As a result, we may occasionally refer a story from our slush pile to the editors of Pseudopod, Podcastle orEscapepod for consideration. All four shows operate on substantially the same pay scale.
If we decide to refer your story to another editor for consideration, we will contact you first and get your permission. If you are unwilling to have your story referred, please make a note of this in your cover letter.
Also, if you have been encouraged to submit to us from another source, please let us know so we can thank them!
We run both reprints and original stories, and have no strong preference between the two. We always fully attribute the original publication of a story in our episodes, and are happy to consider stories previously released on Patreon or under crowd-funding arrangements as reprints.
Cast of Wonders is open to submissions for stories of up to 6,000 words. We will reject unread any submissions exceeding the 6,000 word cap if you haven’t previously contacted us for permission.
Please note we have a strong preference for stories between 3000 and 4500 words in length: they best fit our target episode length of 20 to 30 minutes. Please do not submit single chapters of novel-length works; they rarely hold up as properly self-contained short stories.
Your story is mostly likely to run in its own episode, but may be serialized over multiple episodes or combined with other stories in a single episode, such as our Little Wonders themed flash fiction collections.
Our Submittable portal has options for Flash Fiction (under 1500 words) and Short Fiction (1500 to 6000 words).
Cast of Wonders uses a blind review process. This means allauthor information (including your name) MUST be removed from the manuscript text body, headers, and file name. It should be saved and uploaded in any standard word processing file type, such as Word, Google Docs or .RTF. PDFs are not accepted.
We have prepared a sample manuscript to show you exactly what we’re looking for. The sample is derived (with thanks) from the Shunn standard manuscript format and has undergone the ‘blinding’ process we require. It also contains some comments specific to submitting manuscripts to audio venues such as ours. We have no preference between American or British English, as long as you’re consistent.
Inappropriately formatted manuscripts, including those submitted containing identifying author information, will be rejected unread.
Our Submittable portal will request the story’s title, first publication (if any), and word count. There’s also a field for you to enter any of the items we’ve asked you to note in these submission guidelines. Please do NOT supply a full covering letter or summary of the story, either on the submission form or the manuscript. The text box on the submission form is minimal to help prevent this.
Once you’ve sent us your story, you will get an automated confirmation via email. Please query if you haven’t received this confirmation within 24 hours.
We aim to respond to all submissions within 8 weeks. After three months, if you haven’t received a response, feel free to query by email.
Multiple and Simultaneous Submissions
We do not accept multiple submissions from an author at the same time. If you submit multiple stories at once (and yes, we do check) we will reject all of them.
We don’t mind if you submit your story to us and other venues at the same time, as long as you withdraw the work if it’s accepted elsewhere (and congratulations!)
Payment and Rights
We pay $.06/word for original fiction of any length (yes, including flash!). Cast of Wonders intends to qualify as a SFWA Short Fiction market retroactively from January 1, 2016. We are currently in our one year probationary period.
For reprints, we offer a $100 flat rate for Short Fiction, and a $20 flat rate for Flash Fiction.
We ask for 4 months exclusivity for text and audio for original stories, and 4 months audio exclusivity for reprints. We happily accept stories that have been podcast previously; this means we ask you don’t re-sell the story to another audio market for 4 months after publication with Cast of Wonders.
Cast of Wonders buys nonexclusive audio and print rights to distribute the audio file under a Creative Commons license. Specifically, we use the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license. As we say every week in our outro, this means the entire world has permission to distribute the audio files for free, provided they give credit for it, don’t try to make money off of it, and don’t change it in any way. Transcribing it, extracting portions from it that exceed fair use, and mashing it up are all prohibited.
This license applies only to our audio performance of your work, for which we’ve contracted and paid you. It does not apply to your story itself. Authors retain their copyright and all rights to any other use of the story.
You can find samples of our contracts at the links below. Note these are for informational purposes only, and upon acceptance all the relevant information will be completed:
If you have concerns about these rights, please let us know. We are happy to discuss tailoring the contract if you have particular requirements (such as estates).
Any personal information we collect (name, address, email, social medial links, secret identity, etc.) is held in strict confidence and not shared with anyone unless we are compelled by law or in the event threats are made against our staff.
If a third party contacts us expressing interest in an author’s work, we will contact the author for permission before sharing any contact details.
By sending us your story you understand and agree that:
You are the original creator of the work submitted to us;
You are the copyright holder of the work;
You are not prohibited by any prior agreement from the transfer of non-exclusive electronic and audio rights to the work;
All information in the submission form is accurate and truthful; and
You accept sole responsibility for any false statements or encumbrances upon rights not disclosed to us.
How To Submit
Once you’ve read all the above, click the link below!
Don’t self-reject. If in doubt, submit. Every submission is another step in the learning process. We take pride in giving the most constructive and helpful rejections time allows.
Email the editor, Marguerite Kenner. You can expect a response within a few days, but feel free to query if you’ve received no response in over a week.
Thank you for reading all the way through to the end, and we look forward to receiving your stories!
Payment: Deadman’s Tome offers published authors pay calculated by the amount of views, likes, and comments that pertains to published work featured on the site. As of the rate in which payment is calculated is .10 cents per view, like, and comment for a year. Payments are sent via PayPal.
Note: Reprints Allowed
2016 Submission policy.
All Submissions should meet this criteria:
Medium: Short stories and Flash Fiction
Genre: Horror, Dark fiction, Dark Erotica
Format: Attach the .RTF, .DOC, or .DOCX in the email, we do not like the body to be flooded with text.
Make sure length is reasonable, no more than 7000 words.
Multiple Submissions okay. Deadman’s Tome offers published authors pay calculated by the amount of views, likes, and comments that pertains to published work featured on the site. As of the rate in which payment is calculated is .10 cents per view, like, and comment for a year. Payments are sent via PayPal.
Submit a brief bio, we don’t care if you have no work history, give us a brief bio of yourself.
Those that get published will also be featured in our Author Shrine.
Submit to Editor.
Authors of any accepted and published submission will receive payment in the amount agreed between Deadman’s Tome and Author. The original creator, being the credited name on the work or within the submission of the work, agrees to give Deadman’s Tome the right to publish, edit, modify, and/or republish submitted published work. If the original owner wishes to cease publication they must inform us before publication date, if it is after publication the owner then has 15 days to notify us so that we can pull the respected item*. Any compensation for redacted published material must be refunded before such a request can be fulfilled. By granting us the right to publish, whether for compensation or not, it will lose First Publishing Rights and would be considered a reprint for future publications, in which case the value would be negatively affected.
*Any time table, unless otherwise noted, is subjected to a reasonable grace period that may change based on situation.
Black Denim Lit welcomes thoughtful writers, new and established. We are open to Genre fiction but favor “General“, “Sci-Fi” and “Fantasy“… It’s possible that we might alsopublish:
Mystery, Crime, Horror, Suspense or Thriller
…but not erotica
We strongly favor “literary” style. Most “subjects” are OK, but avoid the over-used.
This all should be:
Prose (not poetry)
Short story (under 7,500 words)
Fiction (not letters, essays, journals or other non-fiction)
Finished work (not writing exercise or workshop detritus or proposals)
Without entering into a debate as to what qualifies as “literary,” we are looking for stories that have unique and lasting artistic merit.
Anything Over 7,500 Words, including Novels
We consider novelettes up to 17,500 words on a case by case basis, if submitted in their entirety. Novelettes could either be serialized in the magazine or published as a separate title. Over 17,500 words would be published as a stand-alone volume.
For an idea of the art we’re looking for please visit our Pinterest Art Page. Unfortunately we cannot pay for art at this time. Email us directly if you are interested.
We prefer Manuscript format. See a guide to Manuscript Format. Keep in mind that we favor material that can be read aloud (think Audio Book), so we’re not interested in unique presentations that depend on particular white space or fonts. Highlights of this format include:
Double space lines.
No extra lines between paragraphs.
Single space between sentences.
Straight quotes (” “), not curly (“ ”).
Half inch indents in paragraphs.
three periods (…), not an ellipsis (…).
Speech quotes and tags. “For example,” he said, “this is fine.”
For a full list of guidelines see the descriptive guide to Manuscript Format. This is the exact format of how the print edition works. The web edition will be altered slightly, and your help is needed to make the formatting tasks on your piece quick and easy. Requiring the Manuscript Format is simply one way to place all material on equal footing in readability.
Before you Submit
SIM SUBS: Submitting to us while at the same time submitting the same story to another venue is fine. Please notify us immediately if it’s accepted elsewhere by withdrawing the submission from Submittable.
MULTIPLE SUBS: We do not accept multiple submissions. Wait a week after a rejection and wait a month after being published (let a monthly issue come out without you in it).
REPRINTS: We do not accept reprints.
FREQUENCY: We “print publish” once a year and “electronically publish” monthly.
Make sure you check the Things to Avoid page for factors that cause quick rejections.
Submission and Reply Process
Response times are around 67 days, as of September 21, 2015.
Your submission and reply process starts by using the Submittable website to create an electronic submission, where you will attach a file containing your work. Submissions through mail or email are not accepted. The automatic confirmation comes from Submittable and includes a link to the status of your submission. Acceptances and rejections are always personalized and will discuss the impressions of your submitted work.
Payment Is Semi-Pro (1 Cent Per Word)
Black Denim Lit offers a semi-pro payment for each piece published online at www.bdlit.com:
$0.01 per word
Payment is through PayPal (you are responsible for currency conversation cost)
If a piece is selected for the annual anthology, the contributor will also receive a free print copy of the edition containing their work.
We’re open for Flash Fiction submissions through Submittable. We will accept longer submissions on January, 2016.
Payment: $0.25/line for poetry up to 50 lines and $0.06/word for prose up to 1000 words
Note: Limited reprints allowed, query first!
recompose is a magazine of interstitial short works – both prose and poetry. We are looking for flash fiction and poems that walk the line between one of the “speculative” genres —science fiction, fantasy, and horror— and the literary genre. There’s a lot of space in those cracks, but there must be both a discernible integral speculative element and a literary element. While horror is a speculative genre, we ask that you be cautious with the use of graphic sex or sexual assault and avoid gratutitous use of either.
Original work strongly preferred; query first for reprints.
No more than three poems OR one fiction per e-mail.
We are particularly interested in seeing stories from underrepresented populations (eg: people of color, people with disabilities, LGBT people).
We are looking for poetry and short prose works. We are paying professional rates: $0.25/line for poetry up to 50 lines and $0.06/word for prose up to 1000 words. You may submit works that slightly exceed those limits; just be aware of the pay limits. You can see a sample contract for Alliteration Ink at http://bit.ly/ainkmagazinecontract. As per that template, for original works we will be asking for one-year exclusive print and digital rights (with exceptions), and five year non-exclusive print and digital rights. All other rights reside with the author.
Submitted stories must be in standard manuscript format (see William Shunn’s excellent guide) and submitted in rtf, doc, or docx file format. Please make sure your name, email address, word or line count, and title of your story are on the first page of your manuscript. Do include a short bio of less than 50 words.
The subject line of your email should follow this format: Poem: Title of Poem(s) or Prose: Title of Story
Stories that do not follow these guidelines may face summary rejection.