Ongoing Submissions: Three-Lobed Burning Eye

Payment: $100 for short fiction, $30 for flash fiction; + 1 print annual
Theme: Original speculative fiction.

Three-lobed Burning Eye (3LBE) is a speculative fiction magazine published online twice per year (Spring and Fall) and print anthology (every other year). Each issue features six original stories, some with audio readings. 3LBE was founded by editor Andrew S. Fuller in 1999.

Please read the magazine and guidelines before submitting.

Fiction Guidelines

What We Publish: Original speculative fiction.
Word Count: Short fiction 1000–7500 words, Flash fiction <1000 words, (2000–5000 preferred)
Simultaneous or Multiple Submissions: No
Reprints: No (this includes stories posted online, audio, or via Patreon)
Language: English (translations welcome from around the world)
Pay Rate: $100 for short fiction, $30 for flash fiction; + 1 print annual
Rights: We purchase first world electronic rights, with non-exclusive archival rights, optional first audio rights, and non-exclusive anthology rights for the annual printed later. Payment is made within 30 days of publication via PayPal.
Response Time: within 90 days

Submission Status: We are currently open to submissions. All submissions through March 5, 2020 have been read and responded to. Please query if you haven’t heard back.

Our Needs

What We’re Looking For

Original speculative fiction: horror, fantasy, and science fiction. We’re looking for short stories from across the big classifications and those shadowy places between: magical realism, fantastique, slipstream, interstitial, and the Weird. We will consider suspense or western, though we prefer it contain some speculative element. We like voices that are full of feeling, from literary to pulpy, with styles unique and flowing, but not too experimental. All labels aside, we want tales that expand genre, that value imagination in character, narrative, and plot. We want to see something new and different.

We encourage diverse authors, characters, and points of view; inclusive of all races, cultures, creeds, genders, orientations, expressions, status, and abilities.

Our issues include audio readings. If your story is accepted, you will have the opportunity to record your story, have a colleague do so, or one of our narrators.

We prefer that contributors wait two issues before submitting again. If your 3LBE story is later reprinted in another publication, we appreciate a mention.

What We’re NOT Looking For

We are not interested in fan fiction, novel excerpts, or memoir. We do not publish poetry or non-fiction (reviews, essays, interviews). We are not currently considering reprints or outside artwork.

We do not publish erotica per se, but we don’t mind some hotness in context of the story.

We are not looking for extreme horror. Please avoid excessive descriptions of violence or gore.

Though 3LBE’s title echoes a line from an H. P. Lovecraft story, our publication is not a Cthulhu Mythos-themed venue. We’re open to the occasional “Lovecraftian” short or cosmic horror tale, though we prefer that you make the story your own.

For legal reasons, writers must be at least 18 years old.

How to Submit

We only accept electronic submissions via our online form (linked below). Please do not email submissions. If after 90 days you do not hear from us, feel free to query.

If you receive a rejection, please wait a minimum of seven (7) days before submitting again. Please do not respond to rejections, even to say thank you, or resubmit revisions of rejected stories. We regret that we are unable to offer feedback. Also, please limit your submissions to a few in a calendar year.

Cover Letter

Brief cover letters are appreciated, no more than a single paragraph, please. Include your top three or four publishing credits and any experience relevant to the story. Please refrain from summarizing your story.


Please format italics with surrounding _underscores_. Indicate section breaks with three ### symbols. Do not add extra manual line breaks. Single- or double-line spacing does not matter, since the submission form transmits text. Proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation are characteristics of a professional manuscript.


Read a few issues of 3LBE to see what we publish. Write something better. Explore, challenge, be original. We want only your best.

Read widley in the science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, and other genres. Beware clichés, overused language, hackneyed plots, cheap thrills, thin characters, and wish fulfillment. There is nothing wrong with tropes and trends like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, serial killers, faeries, superheroes, or aliens; but we are interested in new explorations of ideas. Don’t rely on cleverness and twists. Strive for depth, texture, and imagination.

Please feel free to report our submission response times to:

Duotrope’s Digest

Critter’s Black Hole tracker
The Grinder

Recommended Reading

American Fantastic Tales ed. Peter Straub
The Book of Fantasy ed. Jorge Luis Borges
Dangerous Visions ed. Harlan Ellison
The New Weird ed. Ann & Jeff Vandermeer
Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror ed. Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling et al
Year’s Best Weird Fiction ed. Michael Kelly et al.
The Best Horror of the Year ed. Ellen Datlow
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White

Writers whose work we enjoy: Robert Aickman, J. G. Ballard, Clive Barker, Algernon Blackwood, Ray Bradbury, Octavia E. Butler, Italio Calvino, Ted Chiang, Michael Cisco, Julio Cortázar, John Crowley, Harlan Ellison, Jeffrey Ford, Shirley Jackson, M. R. James, Stephen Graham Jones, Franz Kafka, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Kathe Koja, Ursula K. Le Guin, Kelly Link, Arthur Machen, Richard Matheson, China Miéville, Flannery O’Connor, Nnedi Okorafor, Lucius Shepherd, John Shirley, Isaac Bashevis Singer, James Tiptree Jr., Jeff VanderMeer, Gene Wolfe … to name a few.

Via: Three-Lobed Burning Eye.

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1 Response

  1. sennestra says:

    I Adore Horror and love to write it!