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Taking Submissions: Grimdark Magazine #27 (Early Listing)

February 27, 2021

Deadline: January 25th 2021 to February 27th 2021
Payment: .07 AUD per word
Theme: Dark stories that span SFF and the horror genre with elements from eac

The horror and grimdark genres are like the two cousins who sneak away from parties to set fire to things. These genres often go hand in hand, such as in books like The Aching God by Mike Shel or The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle. These books have fantasy and horror elements that mash together to create grim stories that cant be classified in either genre. 

With that in mind, GdM is doing a horror / grimdark SFF crossover for our July 2021 issue. Already we have a commitment from horror master Paul Tremblay for an interview and will be adding in some great names in the next couple of months. 

I am looking forward to bringing this mashup to readers. 


For this submittal, we are looking for dark stories that span SFF and the horror genre with elements from each. Thus, this issue will be entirely horror grimdark content-focused. Anything not meeting expectations here will get an auto-rejection–please don’t send stories outside our ballpark.

Our definition of “grimdark” is simply a grim story told in a dark world by a morally grey protagonist. Anti-heroes, antagonists turned protagonists, doing wrong for the right reasons or right for the wrong reasons, showing that evil is a matter of perspective—this is what I’ll be after to sell to our readers. As an SFF publication, we also prefer either medieval fantasy settings or near-to-far future SF settings. Urban fantasy is generally a hard sell. For the horror aspects of the stories, any horror genre will be looked at save for splatterpunk horror. 

I encourage submissions from authors from the underrepresented parts of human society. Yours, after all, are some of the most unique stories out there.

Feedback will not be provided on the reasons for stories not being selected. This is to help GdM get through the submissions more efficiently than in previous years.


I hope to purchase between 1 – 2 original stories and 4 reprints. Stories that are purchased will likely be published specifically in the 1st July 2021 issue.

For more in-depth detail on rights and submission, please refer to our submissions page.

The submissions window will open at 00:01 AEST on the 25th January 2021 and close at 24:00 on 27th February 2021. All emails received before and after this time will be deleted without response or consideration.  

I can’t wait to see what you lot come up with. Let the grimdark horror begin!

Beth Tabler,

Guest Editor Issue #27


The people that run Grimdark Magazine are writers and readers. We believe in paying contributors for their work. We commit to the following:

  • No token payments.
  • No vague promises of one day being paid… maybe.
  • No promises of “exposure” instead of payment.
  • Clear and concise guidelines to take the stress out of submitting.
  • Transparency regarding our pay rates and upfront payment, in full, according to our rates shown below, for the privilege of using your fiction.
  • Clear contractual expectations and obligations.

Grimdark Magazine is a grimdark fantasy and sci-fi market for authors and artists. Working in a sub-genre means we are after a very specific style of story or image. We want dark settingsgrey charactersmorally ambiguous decisions, and plenty of grit. Joe Abercrombie, Anna Smith-Spark, George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Anna Stephens, Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch, Graham McNeill, Deborah A. Wolf, Dan Abnett, and R. Scott Bakker are our favourite authors. Buy a copy of our magazine to see exactly what we’re after.

All submitted works must be:

  • grimdark (for the love of the publishing gods, no “flavours” or “elements”–just grimdark AF)
  • in a medieval fantasy or sci-fi setting
  • of the highest possible quality
  • submitted electronically in .doc or .docx format.

These are our requirements, the rest is up to you.


  • Stories must be submitted in Standard Manuscript Format.
  • Previously unpublished stories at a strict maximum of four thousand (4,000) words.
  • Reprints at a maximum of ten thousand (10,000) words and not currently available for free online.

Anything outside of the above is not what we are currently after. Please don’t query, beg, or send beer (actually, send beer, please, just don’t expect a result from it). Just email in the works that fit into the above requirements.


Unpublished stories: AUD$0.07 per word. All payment amounts are in Australian dollars (AUD). If you are sending in work from a country currently handing our beautiful kangaroo-stamped dollar an absolute beating… that is unfortunate. Transferwise or PayPal payments only for international contributors. Option of Transferwise, PayPal, or EFT for Australian contributors.

Reprints: AUD$0.01 per word.


We are buying first world-exclusive rights from the date the contract is signed and paid for up until 1 year (12 months) after publication date. After this date, Grimdark Magazine will maintain non-exclusive rights to publication. Paid submissions must not use the intellectual property of any other author or company.

To be clear: your work will not appear, and will not have appeared, in any other available format (blogs and public forums included) until 1 year (12 months) after the release date of the story in Grimdark Magazine. After 1 year (12 months), we’ll retain ongoing non-exclusive distribution rights, but you can self-publish your work or try to on-sell your story to another paying market.

Reprint submissions must have passed the period of exclusivity with the previous market and not currently be available for free online. The submitter must provide the publication(s) and date(s) where the work has previously been published.


Now that you’ve got through all that and you understand exactly what we’re after, how much you’re being paid, and what to expect if you have been accepted – if you still want to publish your work with Grimdark Magazine you will:

Send your work to submissions (at) grimdarkmagazine (dot) com with one of the following in the subject line:

  • Short Fiction Submission: <Story Title>
  • Reprint Fiction Submission: <Story Title>

In the body of the email (address it to Adrian), tell us the following:

  • Story Title.
  • Word count.
  • A list of works published in any other paid markets (no self-published works, please).
  • A 1-2 sentence summary of yourself (include any social media and/or relevant web URLs).
  • If this is a reprint, details of the piece’s publication history.
  • Make sure to log your submission at either www.Duotrope.com or http://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/.


Not accepted.


Not accepted.


As a submitter, you will receive:

  1. An automatic response email acknowledging receipt of your work.
  2. A response which will either be (A) a template rejection if you are not shortlisted, or (B) a request for a hold period while we shortlist your story for potential publication.
  3. Once the editor has assessed your shortlisted work, a second email will be sent, which will either be (A) a rejection, or (B) an offer to buy your work after edits.
  4. You’ll work with the editor(s) to get the work completed. When we’re happy, a word count will be agreed upon and a contract provided.
  5. If you agree to the terms of contract, you and a witness will sign it, scan and send the entire document back to us.
  6. You’ll be paid Via Transferwise or PayPal. You will be paid before we publish your work.


Paid writing is a hard, brutal, unforgiving, and often unrewarding world – a bit grimdark, you might say. I wish you all the best.

Via: Grim Dark Magazine.


February 27, 2021