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Taking Submissions: Silver Blade August 2020 Issue

May 31, 2020

Deadline: May 31st, 2020
Payment: $15 for novellas, $3 for flash fiction, $8 for short stories, half that for reprints.
Theme: Cutting edge Science Fiction, Slipstream, Classic and Modern Fantasy
Note: Reprints Welcome
Note: My apologies for the short notice, that should be resolved for the next open window.


Welcome to the Silver Pen Writers Association group of publications. From this web page, you will have an opportunity to submit your work to Silver Blade Magazine.

General Guidelines

(Updated February 2020) Give us something unexpected and well written.  Technique, voice, characterization, and language will all play a part in our decision to publish.  Amaze us with your writing, use of language, sense of story, and memorable characters.  Give us a story readers will not be able to forget and will eagerly recommend to others.

The following are “hard sells” here:

  • Stories possessing several of the cliché elements listed here.
  • Fan Fiction or erotica
  • Anthropomorphism (talking cats, foxes, toasters or whatever)
  • Sloppy work–significant typographical, spelling, or grammatical errors (please proofread before you submit)
  • Publicly available items (seriously, why would we pay to publish something being given away on a blog, forum, social media, etc?)

Our editorial policies respect the artistic license of our authors.  However, there are occasions when changes are needed that go beyond basic spelling, grammar, and punctuation corrections. In any case, the author will be given the choice of final approval, prior to publication, over substantial edits made by our staff. We appreciate your willingness to work with us in this regard. Do not submit if you are not open to suggestions.


All submissions should…

  • Have 1 inch margins, 1 1/2 line spacing and double space between paragraphs.
  • NO fancy headers or footers, text effects, background colors or images.
  • Use a standard font (Arial, Calibri, Times Roman, Courier) in 12 point size.
  • Exceptions will be made ONLY for poetry submissions (see below).

Stories and Flash Fiction

Our fiction reading periods are as follows:

  • January and February (For the May Issue)
  • March (break / no reading)
  • April May (For the August issue)
  • June (break / no reading)
  • July August (For the November issue)
  • September (break / no reading)
  • October and November (for the February issue)
  • December (break / no reading)

Flash: 250 to 1,000 words Submit Now
Short Stories: 1,000 to 7,500 words   Submit Now
Novellas: 7,500 to 20,000 words   Submit Now

Writers of cutting edge Science Fiction, Slipstream, Classic and Modern Fantasy are invited to submit their works here. Romance might be accepted, provided it has a strong fantasy element to it. Wow us. We are looking for stories beyond great, we want amazing stories. We want fantastic creatures and impossible worlds. We want characters and stories readers will remember long afterward. Submit only one (1) story per file, and upload only one file at a time.

Accepted Document Types: pdf, doc, docx, rtf

Silver Blade Poetry

Poetry up to 1,000 words: Submit Now

Our poetry reading periods are as follows:

  • December and January (For the February Issue)
  • February (break / no reading)
  • March and April (For the May issue)
  • May  (break / no reading)
  • June and July (For the August issue)
  • August (break / no reading)
  • September and October (for the November issue)
  • November (break / no reading)
Our Poetry Editor usually makes selections by the beginning of our publication months, February, May, August and November. If you have not made your submission by January, April, July or October, please defer your submission until after the forthcoming issue has been released. This will give you a chance to read the most recent selections and assess our aesthetics and editorial focus.
Submit 2 to 5 unpublished poems in a single Word file (doc or docx) via our online submission manager (linked above). We publish literary poetry with speculative elements. We prefer free verse poetry between 10-100 lines with a keen eye on line breaks, prose poems (Robert Bly school) or flash poetry under 500 words, but all of which should strive for impeccable rhythm.  However, we will consider a limited amount of traditional form poetry (like sestinas, Pantoums, villanelles, sonnets, including all subverted variations), experimental poetry, found poetry (with proper citations and any accompanying word-art) and a constellation of themed Haiku (or titled linked Haiku) consisting of three or more pieces, as well as bilingual submissions (including, but not limited to speculative poetry in translation*).
Include a cover letter with all contact information, a lit bio, along with all the poems (each beginning on its own page) in the same Word file. PLEASE DO NOT CAPITALIZE YOUR TITLES.
Before submitting, it is highly recommended you read several recent issues and comments on our editorial focus (see the 2018 article “Hearing the Literary Voice in Speculative Poetry,” 2014 interview in Poetry Pacific2011 interview in Six Questions For… ).
* We always seek previously unpublished English translations of literary quality poems with speculative elements that have been previously published in any language except English. We prefer original works from poets other than the translator (but in some cases we will consider poems written and translated by a single author).
Include (1) a PDF or image file for each poem in its native language to ensure proper accents and characters are preserved. Be sure the poems contain a speculative element, (2) biographies of the original poet and the translator, (3) as well as your translation notes (no length requirement, and whether long or short, it should be substantial), (4) a statement asserting that the poem is out of copyright or if in copyright, that you have obtained permission to publish both the poem in the both original language, as well as your English translation. Documentation will be required before publication. (If accepted, mp3 audio recordings n both English and in the native language would be most welcomed.)

Rights and Royalties

(revised January 27, 2014)

For previously unpublished works, Silver Pen pays a flat fee of $15 for novellas, $3 for flash fiction, $8 for short stories, $8 for single poems and $15 for Featured Poets (by invitation only). Silver Pen will pay half of these rates for previously published works. A $2 bonus will be added for authors who accept payment via PayPal (which shall be the assumed payment method unless you specifically state otherwise). Note: Only authors in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom have the option of receiving a mailed, hand written check. Everyone else MUST use PayPal or forfeit payment.

For previously unpublished WORK, Silver Pen (PUBLISHER) requires you (AUTHOR) to:

  • grant First Global Electronic Rights to the PUBLISHER.
  • grant First Global Serial Rights to the PUBLISHER.
  • grant Archival Rights to the PUBLISHER
  • refer to Silver Blade as first place of publication if the WORK is subsequently reprinted

For previously published WORK, PUBLISHER requires the AUTHOR to:

  • grant Second Global Electronic Rights to the PUBLISHER.
  • grant Second Global Serial Rights to the PUBLISHER.
  • grant Archival Rights to the PUBLISHER

Common requirements for all WORKS:

  • AUTHOR assures PUBLISHER that submitted work is not currently published in electronic form elsewhere (including freely accessibly “public” Internet sites);
  • AUTHOR warrants that the work is original, and no other entity has reserved the rights required by Silver Pen for publication;
  • AUTHOR warrants that the work does not contain libelous material or material copyrighted by another party.
  • If, after six months, the author manages a sale of the work that requires electronic exclusivity, we will take reasonable steps to accommodate them.

The exclusive period for First Rights is 12 months. Afterward, the rights granted by the AUTHOR to the PUBLISHER for previously unpublished WORK become non-exclusive. This means the AUTHOR is free to shop the WORK around after 12 months, and the PUBLISHER retains the right to use the WORK. In addition, the AUTHOR retains Print Anthology rights immediately after publication of the WORK.

Other Important Points

  • Pieces posted for critique on a controlled-access website (user ID and password required to access) do not count as “published.”
  • submissions –at— silverpen.org is used solely for author communication and inquiries. Writers are strongly encouraged to add it to their trusted sender email address list.
  • All submissions must be submitted through our Submittable web links above. Works sent to submissions –at— silverpen.org will be deleted without reading them.
  • We allow simultaneous submissions, but please let us know immediately if your work has been accepted elsewhere. We are an all-volunteer organization and our time is limited.
  • Multiple submissions are welcome, but we will not publish more than one piece by an author in any single issue (exception: Poetry submissions to SB).
  • If you use Duotrope, please remember to report your responses. It helps keep us honest.

Via: Silver Blade.


May 31, 2020