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Taking Submissions: Hearth Stories 2023 Fall Window

October 31, 2023

Deadline: October 31st, 2023
Payment: 1 cent per word for short stories, $10 for poems
Theme: Speculative fiction slice-of-life stories with a focus on connection, family, relationships, comfort, and the natural world.

We are open to submissions from:

  • February–April, for a June release
  • August–October, for a December release

What to send

Hearth Stories publishes speculative fiction slice-of-life stories with a focus on connection, family, relationships, comfort, and the natural world.

We accept works of up to novella length. However, the ideal length may be something in the 2,000-6,000 word range. We also accept poems that fit our themes.

Some things we like:

  • Quiet stories
  • Kindness, tenderness, hope, and support
  • Caregiving, parenting, and partnership
  • Stories that give us butterflies in our stomachs and/or make us smile
  • Works that border into nature writing or touch on ecological topics
  • Animal and non-human perspectives (but we like human stories, too)
  • Writing that evokes senses other than just sight and sound (things with a lot of smell, touch, and taste)
  • Stories involving food and cooking
  • Stories involving hermits, issolated places, or wandering in the woods
  • Bonus points for stories backed by vegan, anarchist, eco-conscious, and anti-capitalist themes (while still fitting the above)

There is some overlap between what we do and various genres, such as: slice of life, hopepunk, and solarpunk. Those genres often exist within or alongside fantasy, science fiction, and surrealism; though we are happy to read literary fiction that suits the above criteria as well. We accept translations and reprints. We also accept simultaneous submissions. Please wait to hear back regarding your submission before submitting another piece. There is no wait time or cool off period for submitting another story (whether your first story was passed on or accepted).

If some—but not all—of the above describes your work: send it. Definitely do not rule out your own submission before we get a chance to read it.

What not to send

Please review the what to send section, as it is a better guiding light for what we are looking for than a list of negatives. However, there are a few specific things we do not want:

  • Do not send AI generated content (the contract will include this stipulation)
  • Works featuring violence, war, or combat
  • Graphic sexual content. We accept sexual content up to a point, but we are not a publisher of erotica. If you think you are right on the line, send it and we’ll make the call
  • Pieces that we have already passed on, unless very significant rewrites have occured

Pay scale

Authors deserve to be paid for their work, even by a magazine that professes itself to be non-commercial. As such we offer 1¢ per word for acceptd stories (with a minimum of $20 regardless of length) and a flat $10 for accepted poems. We would love to be able to offer more, but we are not bringing in any money to offset the cost and the given amounts are what we, as individuals, can bear financially to support authors while continuing to release the magazine.

How to format your submission

We do not accept hard-copy manuscripts. As such, you will be sending a digital file. Here are our preferences in that regard:

  • Please include your e-mail address on the manuscript
  • Send the file as: txt, rtf, doc, docx, odt, or md
  • Use any font and font size you like (we will adjust to our preferences anyway)

We do not solicit images, but are happy to include them with stories when the rights issues can be worked out. Image formatting policies are as follows:

  • Images being submitted should be under 250kb in size (we can use higher resolution for the release if your work is featured)
  • Send the file as: jpg, png, or svg
  • Portrait orientation is preferred

Images will end up displayed as black & white or grayscale on most e-readers. Most e-readers are portrait oriented and have much more vertical space than horizontal. Your image will be scaled to fit the available width.

Where to send

Write to us at [email protected] with the subject “Submission”. Attach your work, formatted as described above, to the e-mail. We do not accept links to files, including but not limited to google docs. Nor do we accept pdf files. Feel free to include a short cover letter in the e-mail body if you like, though it is not required.

If your work has images or illustrations associated with it and you have the rights to those illustrations and want them featured, please send them along as an additional attachment.

If your story is a reprint or a translation, please mention it in the e-mail. We accept both, but we would prefer not to have a full issue featuring only reprints. If you are submitting a translation, please be sure you have the rights to translate and submit the given work and send a little bit about the original author and your relationship to the work in question.

What next?

As we read and respond to things, we will advance the queue of submissions. You will receive an e-mail once your submission has entered the queue; that e-mail will contain instructions on how to check your queue position. We try to respond to all submissions in as timely a manner as we can manage and will also e-mail you your status once your story has been read and at various increments during the reading process.

We do ask that you notify us if you have placed your submission elsewhere under a contract that would prevent it from being featured in Hearth Stories.

If your submission is deemed a good fit, an offer e-mail will be sent out. Then suggested edits may be worked through, contracts will be signed, and payments will be sent. Nice and simple. Then, at the appointed time, the issue containing your work will be released. Your name (as author of the work), the story, a copyright notice assigned to you (as author of the given work), and an author bio will all be included in the issue.

Via: Hearth Stories.


October 31, 2023


Hearth Stories
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Hearth Stories
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