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Taking Submissions: The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia

November 1, 2014


Deadline: November 1, 2014
Payment: 6¢ per word

The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia:
For 2015′s April Fool’s Day, we want to screw with everyone’s head. And what better way than with clowns? Officially, Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns, but we don’t want to just just get rehashes of It. So the issue is open to anything involving clowns in some significant way. Think Stephen King’s Pennywise and Danny Kaye’s Jacamo in The Court Jester, think Sacred Clowns and Holy Fools. Horror, humor, existential angst, and tears of, we’re open to all that and more, in any combination. Heck, why not see how many different genres you can fit into a piece of flash fiction?
We’re looking for flash fiction (1000 words or less) for this issue, but just like a clown car, this issue’s flash fiction can fit more words than you’d expect. Specifically: 1038 words. Why 1038? Well, that’s your standard flash fic limit, plus the number of clowns that fit into a 1968 VW bug, plus the number of clowns that fit into an original Mini Cooper, plus the value of The Fool in the Major Arcana.

Unlikely Story Submissions Guidelines
What we’re doing:
Unlikely Story publishes three themed issues a year: The Journal of Unlikely Entomology, The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography, and The Journal of Whatever Tickles Our Fancy This Year. We reserve the right to put out an indeterminate number of further sub-themed mini-issues on an irregular basis, or not, depending on how we feel. See below for specific details regarding each issue.

What we’re looking for:
Beautifully-written fiction, characters that grab us by the throats and refuse to let go, worlds that draw us in and demand to be explored. Genre isn’t particularly important to us—speculative, mainstream, slipstream, and the unclassifiable tales in between—we’ll read anything; all we ask is that the stories meet the requirement of the theme of the issue. For The Journal of Unlikely Entomology, this means bugs. For The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography, this means information technology and/or ciphers and codes. There are no barriers as to levels of profanity, gore, or sexuality allowed, but be sure to use them well if you do use them.
We want the stories we publish to reflect the full diversity of the world around us, and we’re particularly interested in being a place where typically underrepresented voices are heard. This includes, among other things, writers of all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, nationalities, classes, and abilities, as well as characters and settings that reflect these experiences.

What we’re NOT looking for:
Stories that do not meet the requirements of the theme. Does your story not feature bugs in some meaningful way? Then please don’t send it to The Journal of Unlikely Entomology. It doesn’t matter if it’s the bestest story in the whole wide world ever. We will not publish it, and all you’re doing by sending it to us is wasting everyone’s time. Oh, you’re also telling us that you don’t respect us enough not to waste our time, which makes us less interested in considering your work in the future. We trust you are capable of drawing analogous conclusions for The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography, and every other themed issue we publish.

Mini-Issue #11.5: The Journal of Unlikely Coulrophobia
Reading Period: October 1 — November 1, 2014
Word count: up to 1038 words.
Publication Date: April 1, 2015

Word limit:
We’ll consider stories up to 8000 words, but strongly prefer stories of 5000 words or less. We’re open to flash fiction and fiction in non-traditional formats, but we do not publish poetry or non-fiction.

Pay rate:
We pay 6¢ per word for original fiction. Payment is made upon publication.

We buy first-printing world exclusive English-language rights for six months after publication, and non-exclusive electronic rights for twelve months after publication. We hope (but do not require) that you’ll allow us to post the story in our archives indefinitely, but you have the right to ask us to remove your story from the archives at any time after twelve months. We also buy the option to non-exclusive anthology rights related to the magazine, as collected issues and/or a best-of anthology. Should we choose to include your story in a print and/or ebook anthology, you will receive a copy of the anthology.

Starting with Issue 11, we will no longer consider unsolicited reprints. At this time, submissions for Issue 10 are closed, but we will consider reprints that were submitted before the deadline. Pay for reprints is $.01/word.

Simultaneous submissions:

Multiple submissions:

Submission Format:
Please send us your story in something generally conforming to Standard Manuscript Format. We’re not slavish to receiving everything formatted exactly the same way, but it’s generally not a good plan to annoy the editors before they’ve even started reading. You can find specific guidelines on what constitutes Standard Manuscript Format online, but the basics that we care about are:
12 point courier, times new roman, or other reasonable font
double spaced
standard 1″ margins
top left of first page: name, contact info, word count
header: last name, title, page number
Please resist the temptation of creative formatting, fancy fonts, and butterfly clip art.

How to Submit:
Electronic submissions only. Send your story as a .doc or .rtf attachment to [email protected]. The subject of the email should be:
“[ISSUE] SUBMISSION – [last-name] – [title].”
So for Jayne Smith submitting My Great Story to The Journal of Unlikely Entomology, it would look like “ENTOMOLOGY SUBMISSION — Smith — My Great Story,” but if it was going to the Cryptography issue, it would be “CRYPTOGRAPHY SUBMISSION — Smith — My Great Story.”
Please include a brief cover letter in the body of the email with your name, contact information, story title, and word count. Feel free to tell us other stuff if you want, but please don’t include a summary of your story.

Response Times:
We will send an acknowledgement of receipt within 72 hours. If you do not receive this, please query. Average response time is fairly quick, but we’ll definitely get back to you within 4 weeks to let you know whether we wish to hold the story for further consideration or not. Final determinations are made after submission period closes. If you haven’t heard from us after 4 weeks, please send a brief query email with your name, title of your story, and the date your work was submitted to [email protected].

Other Stuff:
Proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar are a must. Don’t send us a revised version of a story we’ve already rejected unless we specifically request it. Keep an eye on our blog and our twitter and facebook feeds for news about the magazine, and submissions status updates.

Via: Unlikely Story.


November 1, 2014