Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Taking Submissions: Diabolical Plots

December 31, 2014


Deadline: December 31st, 2014
Payment: 6 cents per word

Diabolical Plots has been a publisher of non-fiction on the subject of speculative fiction since 2008. In 2013, Diabolical Plots launched the writer’s tool The Submission Grinder. In 2015, Diabolical Plots will begin publishing fiction. We will be open for fictions for the first time for the month of December 2014. We’ll only take one submission per author. Make it count.

We plan to buy enough stories in the December submission window to publish one story per month for a year.



Genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror (everything must have speculative element, even horror)
Word count: 2000 words or less
Pay rate: 6 cents per word (the professional rate as deemed by SFWA)
Multiple submissions: No. And only one story per author in the submission window.
Simultaneous submissions: No.
Reprint submissions: No.
Estimated Response Time: 30 days after end of submission window.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We read submissions blind, with no author name. Be sure to remove all mentions of your name from the manuscript before submitting.

What are we looking for?
Speculative fiction. Everything should have a speculative element–that includes horror. Feel free to mix in other genres at will–a fantasy mystery or a science fiction romance.

Things that we tend to really like:
Weird ideas or combinations of ideas we haven’t seen before
Sense of wonder
Strong character and plot arcs
Relatable protagonists (not necessarily likeable, not necessarily reliable)
Strong worldbuilding, hinting at more to see around the edges of the story
Philosophical food-for-thought
Straightforward, easily readable style

We want to see stories from any and all demographics of people and about any and all demographics of people. Women or men or transgender or genderqueer, people of color or Caucasian, straight or gay or bisexual or asexual, disabled or abled or superabled, aliens or robots or fey or talking animals (maybe even humans!). We’re sure there are some we’ve neglected to mention, but that was not meant as a slight if it’s the case. The world is made of all kinds of people, and we want to hear from all of them.

What are we NOT looking for?
No erotica (there’s nothing wrong with erotica, but we don’t want to publish it).
No torture (i.e. things that remind us of the Saw series, Human Centipede).
Stay away from the well-trodden. Slushpiles are full of serial killer stories, stories about crazy people killing their spouses or children, zombies, vampire romances, chasing whatever the latest YA craze is. You’ve only got one shot in the submission period. Make it good. We expect to have a lot of stories to read–stuff like this is going to make it easy to put your story down.

What are the terms of the contract?
We’re drafting up a contract and can provide a sample when it’s ready. But we’re intending for it to be a straightforward and author-friendly simple contract. We’re looking for First Publication Rights in English exclusive for one year (can make exceptions for Best of the Year anthologies and special cases like that) for publication here on the Diabolical Plots website. We want to keep the stories on the website for a minimum of one year, but after that you can ask in writing for it to be taken down. Six cents per word, paid on publication. All rights will revert to author 18 months after contract is countersigned if publication rights aren’t exercised. The author retains copyright throughout.

We are aiming to meet the standards that SFWA sets for professional markets in every way we can directly control. The main thing out of our direct control is the number of readers–we’re hoping that our long history of publishing non-fiction and providing the stories for free will help with that. If you like what we’re doing, please help spread the word however you can. By SFWA’s rules, a market can’t be qualified as pro until it has lasted at least a year, but if that year meets SFWA’s criteria, then the stories published in that year are grandfathered in as SFWA sales.

How do I send in my submission?
We will fill in these guidelines with details on how to submit when the submission period approaches. It will be done via web form, cutting and pasting the body of the story into a text box.

Track your submissions
We have made a listing for Diabolical Plots on our tool The Submission Grinder which you can use to track your submissions or find out from anonymized user data what our response times are like. We encourage you to sign up for a free account for both your own use and to contribute your data for others to see our response times.

Via: Diabolical Plots.


December 31, 2014