Three-Lobed Burning Eye

Payment: Each issue features six stories. Payment to writers is 3¢ per word up to US$35 maximum, plus one contributor’s copy of the annual.

Our Needs
We are looking for quality speculative fiction. We tend toward horror and dark fantasy, and what you might call magical realism or “slipstream” or “cross-genre.” We might consider an occasional science fiction, suspense or even western tale, though the story must contain some speculative element. We want stories that expand genre by placing value on originality in character, narrative and plot. We want only your best fiction, distinct and remarkable tales that the reader cannot forget. We encourage multi-cultural points of view. Please read a few issues before submitting.

Fiction only.
Short stories: 7,000 words maximum
Flash fiction: 500–1000 words, (less often, ~1–2 per issue)

We do not publish: poetry or reviews, franchise tie-in fiction (Star Trek, Buffy, D&D), serial stories or novel excerpts. We do not publish erotica. These are a hard sell: sword & sorcery, space opera.

For legal reasons, writers must be 18 years of age.

Yes, 3LBE does take its name from a line in an H.P. Lovecraft story, but it is not an anthology of Cthulhu mythos tributes. Take note of this trend in our published stories.

We are not currently considering artwork. We do not show advertisements.

How to Submit
We only accept electronic submissions. Please use the online submission form (linked below). Do not submit via email. If after 90 days you do not hear from us, feel free to query.

No simultaneous submissions or multiple submissions.
We do not publish reprints, including any piece previously appearing online.

Proper spelling, grammar and punctuation are assumed characteristics of a professional manuscript.

If you receive a rejection, please wait seven (7) days before submitting again. We encourage you to send us your best first. Please do not resubmit revisions of stories that have been rejected unless specifically asked to do so.

Formatting: Please turn off smart curly quotation marks ” “ and replace them with straight quotes ” ” in your word processing software before cutting and pasting into our online form. This includes single quote marks and apostrophes. Also replace em-dashes(—) with double hyphens(–). Tabs will be preserved, extra spaces between paragraphs are unnecessary.

Submissions not following these guidelines will be deleted unread.

If the story appears later in another venue, please credit 3LBE as the first publication.

We prefer that 3LBE contributors wait two issues before submitting again.

Read some issues of 3LBE to understand what we publish. Write something better. Be original. We want only your best fiction.

Read and know good fiction in the SF/F/H fields before you write it. Be aware of the clichés, the hackneyed plots and language, the cheap thrills. There is nothing inherently wrong with genre tropes like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, serial killers, faeries, and aliens; but 3LBE is only interested in new explorations of these ideas.

Know what is gratuitous, and do not go there with topics such as sex, violence, gore, racism, or sexism. Extremity belongs in a story only if it is relevant to the narrative.

Beware cleverness. Writers such as O. Henry, Richard Matheson and Robert Bloch were masters of the twist ending. Such structures are difficult to do well, and we are not interested in instant gratification stories whose brief and empty narrative serves as a ramp to a final trick. We are not interested in glaring devices. We are looking for depth, texture, and imagination.

We don’t have our own list of plot clichés, but if you’re curious as to what kinds of stories too many people are writing, see these:

We expect professional behavior from our contributors. This includes following submission guidelines.

[via: Three-Lobed Burning Eye.]

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About Stuart Conover

Stuart Conover is a father, husband, published author, blogger, geek, entrepreneur, horror fanatic, and runs a few websites including Horror Tree!

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