Ongoing Submissions: The Cosmic Background

Payment: 8 cents per word, 3 cents per word for reprints
Theme: Slipstream fiction

We want the single best piece of flash fiction you have that comes from the places in-between. We are primarily a slipstream publication — that means we like your stories that don’t make a ton of sense. We want your giant talking frogs. We want your people with unexplained, never commented-upon eyes in their fingertips. We enjoy character-focused writing, with an emphasis on voice. We love Kelly Link, George Saunders, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Sarah Pinsker, Shingai Njeri-Kagunda, Christopher Rowe, and Kate Folk. 

Flash Fiction

We define Flash Fiction as anything under 1000 words. That’s what we want. For every word over 1000 you reduce your chances of acceptance.

 However that doesn’t mean we absolutely definitely won’t accept longer stories. If you send us 1500 literally perfect words, we will buy them from you. We might suggest you send them to a different magazine first, but we’re not turning down the next Kurt Vonnegut because your story’s too long. 

We pay $0.08 a word. We’d love to pay more than that, but for now, that’s where we’re at. 



We take reprints, but at $0.03 a word instead of the $0.08 a word we pay for original fiction. They’re also going to be a harder sell than original work. Please let us know if you’re sending us a reprint. 


Guest Editors

Over the space of our first 9-months, we will have 3 guest editors. L.P. Kindred has gracefully agreed to be our first guest-editor, in the month of June. The absurdly talented Chelsea Sutton will be taking over for the month of October. Our final guest-editor will be chosen from applications from the community. (Have you ever wanted to guest-edit a magazine? Would you like your first time doing so to be super low-effort and involve only choosing a single story? We should talk). 


AI Writing Tools, ChatGPT, etc

While we love robots (obviously) we will not be considering submissions written or assisted by these tools in any fashion, under any circumstance. After receiving several works written using these tools during our first two submissions windows, I’d like to make this abundantly clear: If you send us AI assisted fiction we will no longer accept submissions from you — and we will tell every other editor we know that you’re a hack. We’re not fucking around. Be an artist. 


What We Don’t Want

I’m going to be explicit, and upfront here. We don’t want any work with a conservative bent. We don’t want fiction in which the primary plot-driver is an act of violence against a woman. We do not want your transphobic TERFY bullshit. We don’t want your racism, your anti-immigrant rhetoric, or your homophobia. Take all of that shit, and submit it somewhere else (like your garbage can).


Is currently the best place for our updates, editorial musings, and other info about current submission windows. See here.

Via: The Cosmic Background.

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