CLOSED: Gathering Storm Magazine

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Payment: $25

We are all addicted to conflict, which is what makes our hands turn the page.  We want you to start with a bang and end with the reader finally taking their next breath.  We want your submission to have an impact.  Take us away from the known world for a few minutes and make us forget what we are doing.

The central idea for every submission should focus solely on one of the themes for that issue.  Embrace the theme.  Love the theme.  Breathe the theme.

Short Story (Pay is 25.00 for each piece accepted for publication):

Gathering Storm Magazine (GSM) publishes fictional short stories of 2,000 words or less based on the themes for that issue, always an old saying, proverb, or maxim.  If your story takes you a little over the word count, then entangle us in a web of creativity.  If your story does not meet the theme for the respective issue, then it will be rejected.  Most genres welcome (fantasy, horror, science fiction, steampunk, weird, Lovecraftian, sword & sorcery, etc.), the only rule being that it is new, original, weird, fun, scary, exciting, or another emotion that invokes something out of the reader.

Art (Pay is 25.00 for each story/cover art; 25.00 for each piece accepted for publication):

Everyone likes to look at engaging art.  Submit it to us and let’s see if we get engaged by it too.  We want to see your portfolios too, so send us a link to that as well if you can.

Poetry (Pay is 10.00 for each piece accepted for publication):

Give us something good.  Tell a story.  Pull at our hearts.  Make me turn the light on.  Make us think.  Poetry is a tough sell, so sell it well.

Comics (Pay is 25.00 for each piece accepted for publication):

If you have something that is interesting, we will consider serializing it over multiple issues.

Other Tidbits & Masterpieces:

Everyone has something interesting hiding somewhere.  If it doesn’t match the guidelines above, but you still want the world to see it, we’d be happy to share it on our social media.  From time-to-time, we will publish something so out of the ordinary, it does not fit into any category but it’s certainly worth putting in our publication.  If you have something truly neat, let us take a look at it.  For example, any snippets of fun, like a fantasy recipe for a good meal that may be unknown to other universes.  On even rarer occasions, we will take non-fiction, such as reviews, essays, etc., but at the moment there is no pay for nonfiction.  We can certainly add a link to send some visitors your way, just provide us with your contact/portfolio/website.


Most submissions that are published will be adapted into an audio version based on the approved, final edits between GSM and the author.  The pieces may or may not include sound effects, musical accompaniments, etc., based solely on the imagination and creativity of the GSM editors.

Interactive Fiction:

Known in the old days as “choose your own adventure”, we are happy to accept one piece of interactive fiction each issue, but please remember the themes.  Please visit Inkle Studios (@inklestudios) below for more information and to use their free software to write your very own interactive fiction.  Inkle makes narrative games and interactive fiction.

It’s fun!  Just submit the story link in the appropriate category in Submittable rather than uploading a document.


  • First and foremost, have fun writing.  If you absolutely love what you wrote, then you have good chances.  If you trudged through it just to get it done, it may not be suitable for us either.

  • This is a themed publication, so make sure your story fits within the respective theme of your choice.  The theme must be written verbatim somewhere in the  submission and should not be the title.  It can be listed in anyway you deem is worthy (a thought, part of the dialogue, or even the name of a road sign).  Be creative.

  • If you haven’t got us in tears, sweating from excitement, fearing something dreadful, or laughing so hard we fell out of the chair by halfway through your story, then stop, revise, and submit when you’ve accomplished this.

  • Submit all writing in either .rtf or .doc/.docx (prefer Microsoft Word).

  • Submit all art/comics in an appropriately sized file format, prefer .jpeg/.jpg.

  • Follow a proper manuscript format. (Hint, hint)

  • Submit a cover letter with a small bio.  This same bio will be included in any advertising we use if your story is selected for publication.

  • Check spelling and grammar…three times.

  • Always send a cover letter and contact info for who you are and where readers can spend more time looking at your work.  We aren’t just about publishing original work; we want you to gain followers as well.

  • MIND THE DEADLINES as once they are closed, no more submissions will be accepted for those particular themes.


  • Above everything, don’t try to impress us with clever fonts, colors, flashes, or out-of-the-norm formatting.  If it doesn’t follow a very standard submission guideline, it probably will be immediately rejected.  We certainly encourage you to check out what formatting style is acceptable here.

  • Don’t send us something that has been previously published unless we specifically asked for it.  Don’t send us a revision of the submission that we previously rejected.

  • Don’t be overly vulgar, graphic, or gross.  If that needs to be defined any further, or if you are wondering if your piece might get through, then keep it.

  • Don’t send your submission via email, fax, postal service, UPS, FedEx, etc.  Use our Submittable only.

  • Don’t query why a submission was rejected as we do not have the time to answer these requests.


We will read everything as long as you follow the above guidelines.  With this in mind, it takes time because we get a lot of submissions.  Responses can generally take 30 days and we aim to give you a response by then.  Unfortunately, we are unable to give personal responses due to the volume that we receive, unless your submission was super special, then we will write you a personal rejection note.

Payment (USD only):

Paypal is our payment method for everything (see above sections for payment rates).  You can expect payment within 30 days of GSM receiving the edited and approved version, signing the contract, and publishing your submission.

What We Buy:

Everything we publish will be line-edited for grammar, punctuation, and clarity.  The author will be contacted for a final review of the edits before publication.  Upon the author’s acceptance of the edits, payment will be made per the contract.

For payment of your submission, we purchase the following rights:

First World Serial Rights
First World Electronic Rights
Non-Exclusive World Audio Rights
An Option to buy Non-Exclusive World Anthology Rights

In other words, we buy the rights to publish your story on our website, in our eBooks/PDF’s/other forms of digital copies, and to publish an audio podcast version of your final, edited submission (if we choose to use it in our podcasts) for a period of 180 days from the date of publication.  In the case your submission is selected for reprinting in a future anthology or collected works by us, which will be detailed by the original contract you signed, to be published anywhere in the world.  With this in mind, you can’t publish your submission as a new, original, or “first-run” story anywhere in the world, it can’t appear in print, online, or in any audio form, within 180 days of publication date.  After the 180 days, it can be submitted wherever you’d like as a reprint, non-exclusive version.

By submitting to us, you also agree to sign up for our newsletter.  Don’t worry, you can always remove yourself from it at anytime.

Submit At Submittable.

Via: Gathering Storm Magazine.

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