Taking Submissions: The First Line – Winter 2019

Deadline: November 1st, 2019
Payment: $25.00 – $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 – $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction

To celebrate twenty years of publication, we’re going to revisit the past. There are no new first lines for 2019. Each issue will be comprised of original works based on past first lines.

Were you inspired by the fall 2008 first line (Roy owned the only drive-thru funeral business in Maine.) but didn’t see the sentence until 2015? Or maybe you started writing a story for the spring 2005 issue (Life would be so much easier if I were a cartoon character.) but you never got around to submitting it. Or maybe you sent us a story that just missed the cut and you reworked it and want to try us again. Well, now is your chance to make up for missed opportunities.

The following is the schedule/list of first lines for the 2019 issues (click the season to see the entire list of first lines for each issue):

Spring 2019
All submissions must begin with one first line from Volume 1, Issue 1 to Volume 5, Issue 4.
Due date: February 1, 2019

Summer 2019
All submissions must begin with one first line from Volume 6, Issue 1 to Volume 10, Issue 4.
Due date: May 1, 2019

Fall 2019
All submissions must begin with one first line from Volume 11, Issue 1 to Volume 15, Issue 4.
Due date: August 1, 2019

Winter 2019
All submissions must begin with one first line from Volume 16, Issue 1 to Volume 20, Issue 4.
Due date: November 1, 2019

A few notes:

  1. Don’t just resubmit a story we’ve already rejected. We will know. We have every story submitted to us on file and why we rejected it.
  2. Also, we understand that writers may add our first line to a story they are currently working on or have already completed, and that’s cool. But please do not add our first line to a previously published story and submit it to us. We do not accept previously published stories, even if they have been repurposed for our first lines.
  3. However, if you used one of our past first lines for a story that was published in another journal or magazine, write and tell us about it.

Fiction: All stories must be written with the first line provided. The line cannot be altered in any way, unless otherwise noted by the editors. The story should be between 300 and 5,000 words (this is more like a guideline and not a hard-and-fast rule; going over or under the word count won’t get your story tossed from the slush pile).

Poetry: All poems must be written with the first line provided. The sentence can be broken across lines, but the punctuation cannot be altered or dropped. Poem length is up to the poet.

All Submissions: Writers should include a two- to three-sentence biography of themselves that will appear in the magazine should their story run.

Multiple Submissions: We don’t mind if you want to submit multiple stories or poems for the same issue.

Submissions: We prefer you send manuscripts via e-mail to submission (@) thefirstline (dot) com. We accept stories in MS Word or Word Perfect format (we prefer attachments). Please do not send pdf versions of your story or links to Google docs. Make sure you tell us what issue you are submitting to in the email Subject Line. Make sure your name and contact information, as well as your bio, are part of the attachment. Stories also can be sent to The First Line‘s post office box. No manuscripts will be returned without an accompanying SASE with sufficient return postage.

Notification: We don’t make decisions about stories until after each issue closes. We typically send notices out within three to four weeks after the issue’s deadline to everyone who submitted a story. You can also check the home page of the Web site as we will indicate each issue’s production status there.

Payment: We pay on publication: $25.00 – $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 – $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction (all U.S. dollars). We also send you a copy of the issue in which your piece appears. You’ll receive your money and issue at the same time.

Note to our international writers: Postage cost for sending author copies overseas is becoming outrageous, so we are reducing international author payment by the amount it would cost to send one author copy overseas. However, if you would like to receive an electronic version of the issue (PDF) instead of a hard copy, author payment will not change.

Via: The First Line.

Ongoing Submissions: Unreal Magazine

Payment: $.03/word for fiction. For nonfiction, we pay $.01/word. Reprints are paid at $.01/word.
Note: Reprints Welcome

We want stories that are well written, intelligent, and enjoyable to read. We are looking for stories with metaphors and emotional ambience and imaginative descriptive writing.

Unreal Magazine is looking for stories that define the rules of magic at this indefinite point in time.

Unfit Magazine is looking for stories that bend the rules of science at this indefinite point in time…unfitmag.com

After you finish the submission form, we will contact you if we’re interested in publishing your material. Due to the volume of submissions we receive, we are unable to respond unless a story is accepted for publication. If you have not heard from us in thirty days, assume your work didn’t fit with what we needed at the time.

For best results, send your story to as many publications as possible. Just remember, “Simultaneous submissions are your friend.”

We wish you the best in your endeavours as an author.


The Boss (and a few other clowns)


Submission Guidelines

Fiction: 500 to 5,000 words

Pay: We pay $.03/word for fiction. For nonfiction, we pay $.01/word. Reprints are paid at $.01/word. Payments are only made to your PayPal account. We only pay for what appears in print, not for online publication.

Terms: We don’t charge for submissions. Reprints are welcome. Simultaneous submissions are most certainly welcome. Multiple submissions are not welcome. (If you don’t hear anything, wait 30 days before trying again. Thanks!)

Rights: We are looking for one time non-exclusive rights.

Head to the page below to submit!

Via: Unreal Magazine.

5 Places To Get Paid To Write About Writing!

I’d LOVE to start out this list by saying that Horror Tree is your #1 spot to get paid to write about writing. Unfortunately, anyone who follows our Patreon knows that we’re not quite there yet. Still, we’re getting closer all the time! While we will happily take your guest posts on writing *cough*cough* there is likely more of a chance that putting pen to paper on the writing process is something that you’d like to get paid for.

Today, we’re hoping to help with that and have found five markets who accept non-fiction about the writing process and will throw some money your way if they accept your work! (Shameless self-plug: We’re totally interested in those of you who want to help support Horror Tree by donating guest posts on the art of writing, publishing, reviewing, etc.)

[Editor’s note: I have stabbed my left hand which is the one that keeps trying to get you to send in your work so the rest of the article WILL be safe from such requests.]

So, without further ado, here are the five markets we have for you to check out today.

Writers Weekly

Each year, all year long, we purchase articles for WritersWeekly.com. WritersWeekly is distributed to freelancers across the globe every Wednesday.

WritersWeekly.com focuses on “selling” the written word. We do not seek articles on how to write. Rather, we seek articles on how to make more money doing what you love….writing! We are also interested in other forms of home-based businesses and self-employment that may result from writing, such as self-publishing, corporate writing, ghostwriting, etc. All ideas that help writers support themselves performing the work they love are warmly welcomed.

Payment: $60 on acceptance via PayPal (preferred) or check for first rights only ($40 for reprints).

For full details please head over to Writer’s Weekly Submission Guidelines today!

Write Naked

At this time the publication is accepting original work that includes:

  • Interviews
    Want to connect with a literary agent? Offer to interview them here. Or interview a freelancer, author or editor. Any figure in publishing is a good interviewee to feature on Write Naked.
  • Publishing Trends
    Notice a particular genre of fiction is hot right now? Are two big publishing houses merging–how will this affect authors? Suggest a post on topics along these lines.
  • Day-in-the-Life of a Writer
    Feature a day in your life that illustrates how varied a writer’s life can be. View a sample here.
  • Writing Essentials
    Do you have insight on copyright you want to share? Did you traditionally publish and then self-publish, or did your article turn into a book? Were you called in for jury duty? Tell me.
  • Behind the Pen
    Did you self-publish and sell 5,000 copies or more of your book? Find a way to save time and bill more as a freelancer? Pitch a tip or three.

Payment is $75 per post.

Write Naked has reading schedules which you should absolutely check before sending in an article.

The full guidelines are found on Write Naked’s Submission Page!


Ongoing Submissions: Visibility Fiction


Payment: $10AUD per story
Reprints allowed but not preferred

Quick Guidelines:

  • Word count: 2000-5000 words
  • Genre: Any Young Adult fiction
  • Must have: Diverse protagonist/s
  • Payment: $10AUD per story.
  • Email: [email protected]

Submission Guidelines

At Visibility Fiction, we’re looking for short, young adult fiction with protagonists with diverse identities. We want to read stories of characters from typically underrepresented minorities including lesbian, bisexual, gay, transsexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual people, people from racial and ethnic minorities, neuro-diverse people and people with disability.

We want young adult fiction with characters who are interesting and diverse, but we are not looking for stories that are specifically about being different.

We want fun stories, with exciting plots and great characterisation.

We are interested in young adult fiction in any genre, from contemporary, to science fiction and fantasy. For us, young adult fiction means it’s aimed at a teen audience with a teen protagonist.

Stories should be between 2000 and 5000 words, in standard manuscript format. Stories should be submitted as doc or docx files. Please ensure that your name and story title are listed in your email subject and manuscript file title.

Email submissions to: [email protected]

Payment and Rights

Visibility Fiction is now a paying market, thanks to the donations of our wonderful readers – all of which go to paying our authors. We now offer $10AUD for all fiction stories, with payments made via PayPal. Note: Teen writers under 18 will be paid via a gift card of their choosing (such as Amazon), due to PayPal age restrictions.

Copyright remains with the author at all times. Visibility Fiction simply asks for the non-exclusive rights to publish your story on our website.

Bonus Points:

We do accept simultaneous submissions, but let us know as soon as possible if your work has been accepted elsewhere.

Original works are preferred, but we will consider reprints. If your work is a reprint, please include any reprint information in your submission email.


If you have an article about teens and literature, visibility in literature, the importance of inclusive culture, etc., we would love to read it and share it on our blog. Equally, if you have a personal story about your own experiences surrounding inclusive culture or lack of visibility in culture, we would love to read and share that too.

We also love sharing relevant reviews of inclusive YA novels or related texts. In the case of reviews, we are happy to publish those reblogged from your own blog or Goodreads.

Pieces for the blog should be between 500 and 1500 words and submitted as doc or docx files. Please ensure that your name and article title are listed in your email subject and manuscript file title.

We are not currently offering payment for non-fiction blog posts. However, as is the case for fiction and artwork, we do offer exposure and provide authors/artists with a profile page, which can include a photo, bio, and links to personal sites and social media.

Email submissions to: [email protected]


We love reading diverse YA fiction. If you’re an author with a book you’d like reviewed, send us the blurb and relevant links and we’ll let you know if we would be interested in a review copy.

You can contact us at [email protected]

Via: Visibility Fiction.

Ongoing Submissions: Crimson Streets


Payment: 1 cent per word of final, edited length

What is Pulp?

According to Wikipedia, the pulp “magazines were best known for their lurid and exploitative stories and sensational cover art. Modern superhero comic books are sometimes considered descendants of ‘hero pulps’; pulp magazines often featured illustrated novel-length stories of heroic characters, such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Phantom Detective.”

Pulp magazines, and the self-named pulp fiction which appeared in them was often seen as low quality, run of the mill literature. Literature for the masses.

In the context of Crimson Streets, Pulp is not a genre.  It is not to be confused with Hard Boiled Detective fiction or Noir Fiction, although these themselves may be considered pulp.


Crimson Streets is looking for fiction with a focus on action and atmosphere over characterization. Stores can fall into the adventure, aviation, detective/mystery, fantasy, hard-boiled, gangster, horror/occult, masked vigilante, noir, railroad, romance/spicy, and war genres.  We publish everything that could fall under the banner of pulp with the exception of Science Fiction and Westerns.  Science Fiction and Westerns are special cases and deserve their own homes.  That’s not to say that stories from other genres couldn’t have Science Fiction or Western elements, after all where would Dick Tracy be without his wrist radio or a mad scientist be without his planet destroying device?

The central conceit of Crimson Streets, is that it is being published not in today’s world, but in a darker, grittier version of the 1930s or 40s.  Where possible, language should reflect the time period.

We are looking for stories from 800 to 6,000 words.  We are not interested in poetry, fan-fiction, or stories that fall outside of the broad umbrella of pulp.  (If you think your fiction could win an award or be taught in an English class, then it’s probably not suited forCrimson Streets.)  A work of fiction should be a quick read.  While publishers of a more literary bent intend to be the “art house cinema” of the short fiction world, we intend to be the “action movie at the cineplex.”

We may be interested in serializing longer works such as novellas, but these only accepted if complete, and then broken down for publication.


In addition to fiction, Crimson Streets will also publish a limited number of articles on topics related to the pulps.  Ideas that come immediately to mind are on “Law Enforcement in the Pulp Story” or  “A Guide to 1930s and 40s Slang”.  Any article that would help an aspiring author of pulp stories may be of interest to us.

Submission Format

We do not accept print submissions.   Every submission should be accompanied by query letter in which you briefly describe your submission in one or two paragraphs. Be sure to provide your address, phone number, and email address.  Please send your submission in either a Microsoft Word (.doc) file in Rich Text Format (.rtf).


Crimson Streets is a web now/print later publication.  When stories and articles are accepted, they first appear on the web site atwww.crimsonstreets.com in the new fiction feed.  From time to time anthology editions of Crimson Streets will be printed that collect the stories and articles from the web site.

Our standard rate is 1 cent per word of final, edited length to be paid on posting to the new fiction feed.  Payments are made by PayPal where possible.  Payment is made within 30 days of acceptance and delivery of final copy.


Art, with the exception of one-shot cartoons and covers, is commissioned specifically for each article. We maintain a file of portfolios from artists who are interested in working with us. We refer to the file when we have an article that requires illustration. The goal is to match the article with the artist whose style is best suited to the task.

We do our best to make illustrating Crimson Streets an interesting job for the artist. Rather than dictate specific illustrations, we try to provide several possible scenes from which the illustrator can choose. We also welcome illustration suggestions from the artist. Our belief is that a work you wish to create is going to be much better than one you are ordered to create.

Art should be delivered electronically via email, DropBox, Google Drive, or like service.


As mentioned, one-shot cartoons are the only work that we purchase straight from submissions. We pay the stunning rate of $10  for single panel cartoons under the same terms as articles and stories. Cartoons can deal with any subject linked to noir, hardboiled detective, masked vigilante, pulp adventure,  or associated genres.


Admittedly, the cover is the glamour spot for artists. Covers are contracted a little differently than interior illustrations. Let us know if you are interested in being considered for cover work. Usually, we will ask to see some samples of your work and perhaps a rough sketch or two.  Covers should be provocative, at least by the standards of the 1930s and 40s with a cover-much but hide-little aesthetic.


For black and white illustrations, our standard rate is $40 for full page, $20 for half-page and $10 for spot illustrations. Rates for color work are negotiable. We usually pay around $100 for cover art.


Please do not send us original work unless you already have a contract with us. Your portfolio should contain a representative sampling of your style or styles. The majority of the illustrations inCrimson Streets are black and white, but we do also use limited color work. Please include samples of both, though you may wish to emphasize the monochromatic pieces. We look not only for overall quality in a portfolio, but also consistency.


By sending your submission to Crimson Streets you are offering us the right to first publication of the work in any format; perpetual rights to publish the work thereafter across multiple editions, formats, and media either singularly or in combination with other works; and exclusive rights to the work for eighteen (18) months from date of first publication.

Contacting Us

The best avenue to reach us is [email protected]

Snail Mail:

Crimson Streets
℅ Roger & Janet Carden
7120 Apple Mill Road
Efland, NC 27243

Thank you

Again, we would like to thank you for your interest. For us, working with our contributors is one of the greatest rewards of publishing a magazine. We look forward to seeing your work soon.


Ongoing Submissions: Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores

Payment: 6¢ per word for new fiction, and 2¢ per word for reprints and fact-based work.
Reprints Allowed

Writers Guidelines

We accept new work as well as reprints, anywhere from 1000 word flash fiction on up, but as we are just starting, shorter pieces will be favored. We have tough standards but only care about the quality of the writing, characters, plot, and ideas, not whether you’re new or established.  Only submit finished work you are proud of.  Commensurate with the time available, if we don’t accept your submission we’ll explain why.

We are following the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) guidelines; after one year of meeting their criteria they will retroactively qualify us as a pro site and new work printed during that year will count towards a writer’s SWFA qualifications.  We pay 6¢ per word for new fiction, and 2¢ per word for reprints and fact-based work.


We are looking for well written original stories in science fiction, fantasy, myth, legend, fairy tales, and eldritch, in written, podcast, video, and/or graphic story form, and from around the world.  We’re accept both serious and humorous work. We like science fiction in all its states of matter, from solid to gaseous to plasma, i.e., from hard as steel to as insubstantial as interstellar space.  If you use real existing science, please get it right.

We’re not looking for angsty romance, fanfics*, horror, hate, blood & guts, excessive violence, sex, axe-grinding, or stories that leave readers feeling they’ve had the energy and joy sucked out of them.


We are looking for fact-based articles, interesting information, reviews, and humor in any discipline that relates to the type of stories we publish or might provide inspiration and information for writers and artists.

Artwork and Other Imagery

We’re looking for storytelling through images.  We want to see skillful composition, use of color, rendering of form, character, and emotions.   For photo manipulations or photography using models, etc., all stock and resources used must be credited and used according to the stock provider’s rules.

We are not presently commissioning any work.  We are looking only for already existing work for use on site pages or for illustrating stories.  We pay $10 for the non-exclusive right to use each image, for as long as the site is online.  If we publish a print collection we will pay a pro-rata share for each image used.

Just as for written works, we’re not looking for romance, fan art*, hate, horror, blood & guts, excessive violence, sex, nudity, copies of photographs, propaganda, or work that leave readers feeling they’ve had the energy and joy sucked out of them.  We do not accept work using materials that required the death or mistreatment of animals.

*If the original work is still in copyright and was not commissioned or sanctioned by the creator or owner we will not accept it.  Some fan art is accepted or encouraged by the copyright owners — e.g., cosplay, and these works we welcome.
An illustration of a fairy tale, myth, legend, old classic, or any work no longer in copyright would not be counted as fan art.

No simultaneous submissions, and no multiple submissions to the same genre.  Please include title, medium, size, and any remarks relevant to the work’s creation.

Submit text in .doc and images as a jpg or through a link.  Provide links to all stock used.  For video, if possible send links, and have it available in both MP4 and WEBM formats for compatibility across all browsers.

On the submissions page, remember to check that you agree with the terms of our guidelines before you submit.

Interstellar submitters please use standard Earth formats or query in advance for other arrangements.  We’d love to be the first to publish your work here on Earth!

After reading our guidelines you can enter the submissions page here

Via: Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores.

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