Contest: Deathscribe 2018, the 11th Annual Festival of Horror Radio Plays

Deadline: July 31st, 2018
Winner: $100 and the coveted Bloody Axe Award
Note: This only has 1 winner which we usually wouldn’t fit but these guys do a GREAT show.

The submission window for Deathscribe 2018, the 11th Annual Festival of Horror Radio Plays, is NOW OPEN. Submissions are accepted through our online submission form until July 31st.

Every year we seek 10-minute audio drama scripts that are genuinely scary, imaginative, chilling, intelligent, suspenseful, horrific or downright grotesque. Writers may submit up to two audio drama scripts to Deathscribe in any given year. Five scripts will be selected from all submissions. These five pieces will be performed on stage in front of a live audience. The writer of the winning piece, chosen by a celebrity panel of judges, will receive the coveted Bloody Axe Award, as well as a $100 cash prize.


PDF format is strongly preferred. If PDF is not possible, then only MS Word please.

All scripts must have a title page with all contact information, but NO identifying information should appear anywhere else in the document.

Scripts must be no more than TEN MINUTES in length, and should follow audio drama format. An example of proper audio drama format can be found here:

The Deathscribe experience includes performing the pieces on stage with Foley artists and a band creating the sound effects and music live. Therefore, scripts must be ready to produce, including direction for sound and music cues. Sorry, but submissions cannot include usage of copyrighted music.

Writers may submit up to two (2) scripts for Deathscribeconsideration in any year.

NO SCREENPLAYS. SCREENPLAYS WILL BE DISCARDED. WE KNOW THEM WHEN WE SEE THEM. (Nothing against screenplays. But this is a radio play festival.)

DO NOT submit full-length plays for consideration in Deathscribe. They will be discarded. If you wish to submit a full-length horror play to WildClaw, see our general submission guidelines.

Previous winners include:

2017: “Cavities” by Bill Daniel
2016: “The Quake” by Travis Williams
2015: “Earwigs” by Joseph Zettelmaier
2014: “Fracture Zone” by Christopher M. Walsh
2013: “We Apologize for the Inconvenience” by Chelsea Paice
2012: “Fish Story” by Joseph Zettelmaier
2011: “Alabama Mermaid” by Jessica Wright Buha
2010: “The Change in Buckett County” by David Schmidt
2009: “Remembrance” by Christopher Hainsworth
2008: “Dark & Stormy” by Albert Gerber

Check out the Deathscribe Archives to hear examples of previous finalists and winners.

Deathscribe selections are blind. The title page should include the title of the script, names of all authors, and the address, phone and email address of the author(s). The subsequent pages must include only the manuscript title and page number and NO identifying personal information (name, address, email, etc.) or it will be disqualified.

Please be aware that these scripts, if chosen, will be performed by no more than 6 actors, therefore scripts with more characters will require double casting by the director of the piece.

Questions? Email them to [email protected].

Via: Wild Claw Theatre.

Taking Submissions: Life After All

Deadline: July 31st, 2018
Payment: $150.00 and 2 contributor’s copies

Life After All — an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic/pastoral apocalyptic LGBTQIA+ anthology — The end of the world is a dark, bleak place. Life is full of grit, misery, and barely scraping by. But if humans excel at anything, it’s making the best of a bad situation, and the end of the world would be no different.

Less Than Three Press invites you to submit stories about life after the end of the world being far from bleak and hopeless. We want to see stories of hardened apocalypse survivors building new lives and homes with their found families; gentle robots terraforming the ruined remains of the Earth; your post-Earth space settlers slice-of-life.


  • Deadline is July 31, 2018.
  • Put SUBMISSIONS: TITLE (where TITLE is your title) in the subject line.
  • Stories should be at least 8000 words and should not exceed approx 15000 words in length.
  • Stories must be about a post-apocalyptic society.
  • Stories must have a happily ever after (HEA) or happy for now (HFN) end.
  • Any sub-genre is gladly accepted: sci-fi, mystery, contemporary, steampunk, etc.
  • LT3 always welcomes representation of all genders and nonbinary or agender characters.
  • All usual LT3 submission guidelines apply.

Life After All is a general release anthology, which means authors will receive a flat payment of $150.00 once LT3 has a signed contract. Examples: Enchanted Soles, To the Victor. Authors will receive one copy each of the ebook formats LT3 produces and two copies of the paperback compilation.

Stories should be complete before submitting, and as edited as possible—do not submit a first draft. They can be submitted in any format (doc, docx, rtf, odt, etc) preferably single spaced in an easy to read font (Times, Calibri, Arial) with no special formatting (no elaborate section separation, special fonts, etc). Additional formatting guidelines can be found here.

Questions should be directed to the anthology editor, J., at [email protected] (or you can ping them on twitter @heykaunlay).

Via: Less Than Three Press.

Taking Submissions: Cemetery Dance Magazine

Deadline: July 5, 2018
Payment: 5 cents per word and 2 contributor’s copies

We will be accepting submissions from June 5, 2018 until July 5, 2018 from authors who have never sold a story to the magazine before. If you’ve already had a story accepted for publication in the magazine, please wait for the next reading period. Thank you for your understanding.

PLEASE only send your very best original work. No trunk stories, no rejects from theme anthologies, no reprints of any kind. ONE SUBMISSION PER AUTHOR—make it count!

Guidelines: Well written horror, dark mystery, and suspense short stories up to 5,000 words. Originals, no reprints. We want tales that are powerful and emotional—creepy, chilling, disturbing, and moody. Suspense/mystery/crime tales with a horror element are always welcome. Both supernatural and psychological stories are fine.

Most common reasons for rejection: Lack of power, lack of originality, slow pacing, poor writing, boring themes, all gore and no heart. Read the magazine, see what type of fiction we are publishing—please don’t submit with a blind eye!

Multiple Submissions? Please only send ONE story.

Payment: Professional rates, minimum of five cents per word, plus two contributor copies. Payable within 30 days of publication. Up to 5,000 words; maximum payment of $250.

Response Time: Up to four months.

Submission Window: June 5, 2018 until July 5, 2018

Via: Cemetery Dance’s Submittable.

Ongoing Submissions: 18thWall Productions Novels

18thWall Productions is always open to novel submissions.

Please send us your first 20,000 words, a full outline, and a cover letter (i.e. your email) where you tell us something about yourself (including previous credits) and what led you to write your novel. Don’t stress it. A mangled cover letter won’t kill your chances with us. Like with any first date, the best advice is this: just be yourself.

We prefer that your novel submission follow the William Shun format outline, except that you use Times New Roman. It’s easier on our poor, editorial eyes.

Your email header should be Novel Submission: Title, Author’s Name, Wordcount.

Email your submission packet to [email protected].

Please do not submit a manuscript with hyperlinks. If a link is required, we will discuss that upon acceptance.

We are not open to simultaneous submissions.

Via: 18th Wall Productions.

Trembling With Fear 06/10/2018

I was feeling a bit stuck for an editorial this week but a submission from an Australian author made me think I’d seen an increase in stories from down under in recent times. This got me to thinking about where in the world our writers come from so I did a quick study. Note all figures are taken from those who have been successful this year, ie those we hold contracts for. I have not included those currently going through the submission process or who may have been rejected, nor have I based it on the number of stories a writer may have had published. Figures are derived purely from the names currently held in the ‘Accepted’ Folder for 2018

So here we go:


United States – 57%

United Kingdom – 26%

Canada – 7%

Australia – 2%

Spain – 2%

Portugal – 2%

Sweden – 2%

Germany – 2% (although now living in Ireland)

Note: in the case of Spain, Portugal and Canada, these include ex—pat Brits.


Drabbles: Male v Female update

Women: 28%

Men: 72%


Short Stories

United States – 53%

United Kingdom – 20%

Canada – 15%

Australia – 3%

South Africa – 3%

Australia – 3%

Portugal – 3%

Republic of Ireland – 3%

Short Stories: Male v Female update

Women: 38%

Men: 62%

(The gap between men and women for both drabbles and short stories is purely down to how many submit in the first place and acceptances are based purely on the quality of the story but men definitely sub more than women.)

As an avid follower of the ‘Walter Presents’ programmes which are shown on Channel 4 (I watch them via the ALL4 app on my tv) I would love to see more stories from writers in Europe. The programmes I’ve seen are often quite dark and come from Scandinavia, Belgium, Germany, France amongst others and are extremely good quality; their reach even extends to South America although I tend to go for the colder climes, it was my love of Scandi noir that led me to WP in the first place. If you’ve not heard of Walter Presents, I would highly recommend them. Go here or @WalterPresents, you don’t even realise you’re following subtitles after a while.

One of our regular authors has also been pursuing a collaboration with another writer in Africa and the result of their work is currently going through the review process.

So … even if you feel your English is not all it could be, please send it in. If I read it and like it then it is something I am usually happy to work on with an author; much as I do for relatively new writers. There are no borders at Horror Tree.

Stephanie Ellis

Editor, Trembling With Fear

The anthology is actually closing in to being ready. However, we’ve come across a major stumbling block for contracts that might hold things up. Figuring out the logistics of getting this resolved in a timely manner ASAP. Everyone involved in the 2017 one should be getting an e-mail relatively soon with a quick revision.

‘Trembling With Fear’ Is Horror Tree’s weekly inclusion of shorts and drabbles submitted for your entertainment by our readers! As long as the submissions are coming in, we’ll be posting every Sunday for your enjoyment.

Stuart Conover

Editor, Horror Tree

The Tram

That dreaded midnight hour on February 26, 2018 was almost upon him.

For the first time in his three-year career as a Hong Kong Tramways driver, it was Andy Chan’s first night shift on route #108 Happy Valley Eastbound on this day. Right across the Happy Valley racecourse was the Hong Kong Cemetery on the west side of Wong Nai Chung Road, where many taxi drivers had experienced the occasional customers paying with seemingly legitimate currency, which later turned out to be hell money. Well, at least tram drivers do not directly handle cash or any form of payment. He would rather not encounter any ghosts, thank you very much.


Stopping in a busy intersection in Wan Chai, Andy hung a tin bucket filled with water at the front of the tram.  Some people looked puzzled by his action, but the older locals knew. One street vendor even wished him good luck. He pressed a button to indicate Not In Service on the LED route display board instead of #108 Eastbound. As he started his route, the tram crawled slowly south on Wong Nai Chung Road in a speed just barely faster than jogging.

You have to slow for them if you see them coming, Sam Wong, a colleague, had advised him before he started tonight’s shift. But for Buddha’s sake never ever stop or get off the tram!

The tram just passed Queen’s Road East. Andy’s heart began to race. He glanced at the time on his watch, which was now midnight. He was starting to get gooseflesh, hard like the stubs on his five- year-old son’s Lego bricks. He closed his eyes momentarily after passing Dorsett hotel. The cemetery would come up on his right any second now.

(Why did I become a tram driver?)

An image of his father’s angry face suddenly surfaced in his memory. Angry he could take; but there was so much disappointment in his father’s eyes that Andy had to quit working for his old man. It wasn’t the charred barbecue duck. You’re just not reliable! His old man had said.

(Nobody’s perfect!)


He was still young–thirty-one when he first started driving trams–though initially he was only going to do it for a year. The pay was decent and the pension was not bad, though his father would rather have Andy take over the restaurant some day. Ironically, Andy was the one who gained a paunch after sitting in the driver’s seat all day (or night), while his father remained skinny, despite working with food fourteen hours a day, seven days a week.

(At least I still make more money than those college kids with degrees who are mopping floors at McDonald’s!)

When Andy opened his eyes again, he saw nothing; in fact, not a soul on either side of the road at this hour. A wave of relief washed over him. He even laughed aloud, albeit a little nervously. He never saw any ghosts in his life, and this yearly tradition was probably just like any other custom of a very superstitious society, nothing more. Not every driver even bothered to run this route on an empty tram anyway. He nearly resented listening to Sam Wong and the fearmongers at the hub, letting them scare him like this.

He turned on the radio. A monotonous male voice came on and reported the day’s news in Cantonese:

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the catastrophic fire that claimed close to 600 lives at the Happy Valley Racecourse. It all started when a roof collapsed, knocking over portable gas stoves food vendors were using. The fire spread fast and caused a stampede–people trampled over each other trying to escape. Charred remains of more than 590 bodies were eventually recovered, though more were believed to have perished. Buddhist monks were called in to perform a ritual after the dead were reportedly seen around the area after the fire, apparently begging for water…

Andy switched off the radio hastily, nearly knocking it off the panel close to his steering wheel. Why was the tram so slow all of a sudden? He stepped on the gas, but it was still crawling. He kicked the pedal in a moment of frustration–something he regretted instantly–for the tram suddenly stopped dead between the entrance to the racecourse on one side and the cemetery on the other.

The cold night air suddenly turned very hot and smelled like smoke. Andy looked to his left at the racecourse but there was nothing there. No one would be burning incense at this hour at the cemetery (it was closed), and just for confirmation, he looked at the sprawling cemetery but there was no smoke anywhere. In a place like Hong Kong, one would rarely have this opportunity to be completely alone, yet Andy felt like he was the only living soul in the area. He tried to find a logical explanation. Was the smell coming from the engine? If so, what an unfortunate time for it to happen, of all times, of all places!

But for Buddha’s sake don’t ever stop or get off the tram! Sam Wong’s words came to Andy’s mind for the second time tonight.

(What should I do now?)


Andy took out his cell phone, but despite the 5G broadband (among the first in the world, no less), he had no signal. The air brought in by the heat exchange smelled like that day he left five barbecue ducks in the oven half an hour too long in his father’s restaurant, an infamy in his family’s history. Then he heard footfalls–lots and lots of them. Every hair on his arms stood on its end, even though he was wearing a down jacket. He was a sitting duck (he thought of the charred barbecue duck again) and not even a single car had passed by. He could hear moaning, wailing, whimpering and screaming all around him, and yet, he still did not see anything. He pushed the button to make sure all the windows were shut and the doors were locked, just in case. In case they…

And then they came.

A teeming crowd–charred and melting–suddenly appeared out of nowhere and swarmed his tram. They flailed their burning arms and bemoaned the heat. They came for the bucket of water. He heard the bucket hit the tram and watched as the water spilled all over. The horde kept coming–some were banging on the glass of his front windows begging for more water. He feared the impact would eventually break the glass, so he did another thing he would regret in a few seconds–he honked the horn to scare them off.

The sound of the horn pierced the ruckus. But instead of inciting fear, it spurred the horde even more. He was completely surrounded and trapped inside the tram. The tram was shaking from side to side like the seats in a 3D ride at amusement parks. Andy had to hold onto his steering wheel to steady himself. He frantically looked at his phone again, but still, no signal. While he prided himself on being a manly man who had never shed a tear, a few drops had started to pool at the corner of his eyes, threatening to trigger a flood. He thought of his wife, his son, and even the angry face of his father, and feared he would not see them again.

(Please go away I gave you water already what more do you want please just leave me alone)

In a moment of panic, he hit the gas pedal again. To his immense relief, the tram jolted and started moving. The charred faces in front of him screamed, some fell as the tram ran them over. Andy shrieked–he would remember the sensation of his tram going over bodies for the rest of his life, and with each thump his tears fell a bit more freely. There was a lot of caterwauling from the dead, as the tram made its trip around the racecourse, passing Wong Nai Chung Road Crescent Garden and going north.

Once he passed the Happy Valley Recreation Ground, he could no longer see the racecourse. The air no longer smelled adust. He looked back in the side and rear-view mirrors and did not see the dead anymore. He wiped his tears and snot off his face with the sleeve of his jacket, erasing any evidence that he wasn’t such a manly man after all.


At the end of his route, Andy parked his tram at the hub and left the key for the next driver without a word. It was the last time he clocked out at Hong Kong Tramways.





Judith Baron

Judith Baron loves to base her stories on actual events and folklore, especially from her homeland Hong Kong. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Western Ontario and currently lives near Toronto, Canada with her husband and child.

Hot Head

He tanned until his white skin turned a burned russet, his shameless smile full of white teeth and reddened eyes providing the only change of hue. More walking potato skin than human, his epidermis shimmered, oiled in a way he no doubt thought was bronzed, with a sure shot at the gold.
Coming in second-to-last didn’t exactly make him happy. Returning to his favored salon, he blamed them for his failure, demanding free sessions, extra oiling and massage. The managers exchanged a nod.
Once he lay inside the tanning bed, they tied the handles, sipping margaritas as he screamed, burning.

Kevin Holton

Kevin Holton is a cyborg and fitness junkie from coastal New Jersey. He’s the author of At the Hands of Madness (Severed Press), as well as the forthcoming novels The Nightmare King (Siren’s Call Publications) and These Walls Don’t Talk, They Scream (HellBound Books). He also co-wrote the short film Human Report 85616, and his short work has appeared with Sci-Phi Journal, The Literary Hatchet, Radiant Crown Press, Pleiades, Rain Taxi, Mighty Quill Books, and Thunderdome Press, among others. He can also be found acting, blogging with The Bold Mom, or talking about Batman.

You can find more of his work on his website, Patreon, Amazon, or just follow him on Twitter .


Love To Love You Baby

It’s said there’s someone for everyone and I have always hoped that this was true.
Despite all the challenges, my belief in love never once waivered; my faith in Aphrodite was unshakeable.
This then, was my reward.
A perfect partner. My soulmate.
So, after proposing, and receiving a furious headshake for an answer, it could be said I took the refusal… badly.
They declined my hand in marriage. But I still took theirs.
And their tongue.
Then toes.
Then eyes.
It’s also said that there’s plenty more fish in the sea.
I hope so.
I’m already angling for another catch.

Steven Holding

Steven Holding lives with his family in Northamptonshire in the United Kingdom. His work has been short listed in several contests and his story “UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD” was selected as the winning entry in the WRITING MAGAZINE 2016 annual short story competition. One of his monologues was chosen to be performed at Northampton’s Royal Theatre, while his adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland” was produced at Northampton’s Derngate Theatre in 2017.


You can visit his website at

Night Terrors

Your eyes burst open, as though pulled. It is ink dark. Your thundering heart thumps in your temples. Your eyes adjust to dim light, your ears to night’s near silence.
A vision blooms in your mind.
A fragment…
Of a dream?
What is that sound? A scuffing, like the stagger of one who emptied their fifth drink long ago and returned for more. A shadow looms, darker somehow than the darkness around it. It lumbers awkwardly, closing the distance to your bedside. You stare up to face it, mouth gaping, only… there is no face to face.
Only a dream?

Kev Harrison

Kev Harrison is a writer of dark fiction and English language teacher from the UK, living and working in Lisbon, Portugal. His nomadic lifestyle has previously taken him to various cities in the United Kingdom, as well as to Turkey and Poland. He has an unquenchable thirst for travel and is passionate about food, photography, and music, as well as fiction. He is a staff writer for This is Horror and has had short fiction published in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including Below the Stairs: Tales From The Cellar from Things in the Well, Mummy Knows Best from Terror Tree Books and, most recently The Pale Leaves website of gothic and weird fiction and The Other Stories podcast. He has more stories scheduled for publishing in 2018 and is currently editing his first supernatural horror novella.

Ongoing Submissions: Bourbon Penn

Payment: 1¢ / word

We are looking for highly imaginative stories with a healthy dose of the odd.  Odd characters, odd experiences, odd realities. We’re looking for genre / speculative stories and are quite partial to slipstream, cross-genre, magic realism, absurdist, and the surreal.

We want character.  For us, stories live and die by their characters.  We’re looking for fully drawn characters who surprise us with their honesty, complexity, and contradictions.

We want mysterious.  We’re looking for stories that grab the reader, make them ask, “what the hell is going on?” and then deliver on the tease.

We want ideas and we want action.  We love exploring big, philosophical ideas, but we revel in suspenseful plotting.  If you’re adept at blending these elements, we can’t wait to read your work.

We want fresh voices and exciting prose.  We want to be surprised.  We want to be inspired.  We want to find stories that we can’t wait to publish, promote, and evangelize.

Check out J.J. Abrams’ TEDTalk, Mystery Box. If you find that the sensibilities he describes in this video shape your own work, we want to see your stories. But watch the video. We’re not looking for J.J. Abrams imitators. Don’t “rip off the wrong stuff.”

Some books we love:

Payment: 1¢ / word
Length: 2000 – 7500 words

Email formatted submissions as an attached .doc, docx, or .rtf file to [email protected]. Use the body of the email for your cover letter.

Response time is between one and three months. We are not considering reprints or excerpts at this time.

We do not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions.

Author’s rights: Use of the author’s work by Bourbon Penn entails the assignment of first world English rights, for publication in the English language anywhere in the world. Bourbon Penn may use the author’s work only in the above-mentioned publication—paperback, web, and electronic editions—and re-printings of it.

Via: Bourbon Press.

Taking Submissions: Weird City Vol. 3: “Coexistence”

Deadline: June 30th, 2018
Payment: Varies, 1 cent per word for the first 2000-3000 words and changes above that (see below.)

Submissions for Issue No.3, the “Coexistence” issue, are NOW OPEN through June 30th, 2018!

What We’re Looking For

WCP is looking for stories to publish in Issue No.3 (theme: “Coexistence”) of its magazine, Weird City. These stories should:

  1. Fit the Issue No.3 theme of “Coexistence”. Click here for theme details.
  2. Be well-written and carefully proofread. Stories with obvious or gratuitous typos or grammatical errors will be disregarded.
  3. Be formatted according to the William Shunn Manuscript Format, including the following:
    1. Font: Courier New or Courier, 12pt.
    2. Spacing: Double-spaced.
    3. Margins: At least 1″ on each side.
    4. Italicized Words: Underline italicized words and remove italics.
    5. File Format: *.doc, *.docx, or equivalent format.
  4. Be original works — no copied works, fanfics, or reinterpretations. We also discourage incorporating distinct elements from other works into yours (e.g. We don’t want to see Cthulhu stories).
  5. Be self-contained, standalone stories. No chapter excerpts please.
  6. Be between 2000 and 10000 words.

In case you’re wondering: YES, we do accept simultaneous submissions.

What We’re NOT Looking For

  1. Multiple submissions. Submit one story at a time, please.
  2. Reprints. We’re buying first publication rights only.
  3. First drafts. Rough stories or those with obvious or gratuitous typos or grammatical errors will be disregarded.
  4. Cliches. We agree that it’s all been done, but we are not looking for stories that rely on cliches or tropes.
  5. Smut. We at WCP have nothing against erotica, smut, or dirty writing, but we’re not looking to publish it.
  6. Offensive material. That includes everything you think it does: racism, bigotry, sexism, etc. Yes, a character in a story may be a racist (for example) but know the difference between this and ideology pushing.
  7. That one story you just couldn’t get published anywhere else. Don’t make us your safety school.

Rates & Rights

At this time, WCP is using a progressive payment scale (listed below) for accepted submissions. This payment is for first publication, English language rights under a limited contract. The scale is as follows:

  • For the first 2000 – 3000 words: 1 cent per word, for a total payment between $20 – $30.
  • For the next 2500 words (word 3001 to 5500): 1.25 cents per word, for a total payment between $30.02 – $61.25.
  • For the next 2000 words (word 5501 to 7500): 1 cent per word, for a total payment between $61.26 – $81.25.
  • For words above 7500 (up to 10000): 0.25 cent per word, for a total payment between: $81.26 to $87.50.

How To Submit A Story

If you have a story that meets our guidelines above that you would like to submit for consideration in Weird City Issue No.3, please follow these instructions:

  1. Draft an email to [email protected].
  2. Set your subject line to: [WCNO3] (Your Story Title) by (Your Name)
    • For example, if your story is called “Buttons” and your name is Johnny Smith, your subject line would be: [WCNO3] Buttons by Johnny Smith
  3. Please include a brief note that mentions:
    1. A 1-2 line summary of your story.
    2. Your story’s word count.
    3. Why you would like your story to be considered for Weird City.
    4. Any accolades or publishing credits you wish to share.
  4. Attach your story as a *.doc, *.docx or equivalent format making sure you have followed the formatting guidelines above.

Via: Weird City Press.

Ongoing Submissions: SmokeLong Quarterly

Deadline: $25

SmokeLong publishes flash fiction up to 1000 words. We do not consider poetry or non-fiction.

Include a print-ready, third-person bio with your cover letter.

Please include no identifying information on your story’s document.

Please send ONE previously unpublished story at a time and wait until you hear our decision before sending another.

Please allow us up to six weeks to inform you if we have accepted your work for publication. You will usually hear from us much sooner.

Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please inform us immediately if your work has been accepted somewhere else for publication.

We pay $25/story, upon publication in the quarterly issue. Payment will be issued via PayPal, and the writer may be responsible for any associated fees if applicable.

Info to Help Increase Your Chances of Publication

The SLQ aesthetic remains an ever-changing, ever-elusive set of principles, but it most likely has to do with these kinds of things:

  • language that surprises
  • narratives that strive toward something other than a final punch line or twist
  • pieces that add up to something, oftentimes (but not necessarily always) meaning or emotional resonance
  • honest work that feels as if it has far more purpose than a writer wanting to write a story

We are not interested in works previously published in online magazines. We do not consider pieces published only on your personal web site or blog to have been previously published, so we will consider those, but inform us of this in your cover letter and know we may ask you to temporarily take the story down if we accept it. We are interested in pieces that have only previously appeared in print, but only by solicitation.

We have a special place in our hearts, more often than not, for narratives we haven’t seen before. For the more familiar stories—such as relationship break-ups, bar scenarios, terminal illnesses—we tend to need something original and urgent in the writer’s presentation.

We are all writers at SLQ, and we try to be sensitive to the nature of submitting your work—which we realize is often your very private and important selves—to strangers. We so appreciate your entrusting us with your submissions, and although author names and bios are available to us, the staff rarely, if ever, accesses this information before reading each piece.

We want what all readers want from you—something sincerely and uniquely yours, something that stands up to rereading and lingers in our consciousness long after.

Our intent is to respond as quickly as possible. (Note: Our emails sometimes get caught by spam filters, so please add “” to your allow list. We also can’t respond to any third-party spam filter programs, so please don’t submit to us with an email address that has that kind of security set up.)

Online Rights: If we publish your work, we require exclusive electronic rights to it for 3 months and non-exclusive rights indefinitely so we can include it in our online archives.

Print Rights: We require non-exclusive print rights, for potential annual anthologies and promotional materials. All other rights remain yours.

About Our Guest Editing Process

We publish one story each week as a SmokeLong Weekly, chosen by guest editors. We also publish spring, summer, fall and winter quarterly issues. The quarterly issue includes the weekly stories as well as bonus stories and interviews.

Even though our weekly stories are chosen by different editors, you may NOT submit the same story with each new week. Our staff does manage the submission process, and we will — unfortunately — have to disqualify these stories from consideration.

Our staff reviews all stories, including those not chosen by the guest editor of the week. We try to respond with personal comments as time permits and especially if the story and/or writer show promise or advanced far into our reading process, but even if you receive a form rejection from us (or several!) know that we value your time and work and are cheering you on for success.

Via: SmokeLong Quarterly.

Taking Submissions: The Rabbit Dies First

Deadline: June 30th, 2018
Payment: 1 cent/word and a contributor copy

The Rabbit Dies First

FurPlanet is pleased to invite writers of anthropomorphic fiction to submit to its upcoming anthology, The Rabbit Dies First. We are looking for stories of all genres: scifi, fantasy, horror, mystery, crime, romance, or slice of life — to name a few — all centered around two concepts: the rabbit is going to die, and someone else is next.

But I don’t want to kill a rabbit!
Then don’t! Maybe the rabbit knows the rabbit is supposed to die first. Maybe everyone only expects the rabbit to die. Maybe death isn’t what it seems. We encourage you to play with the concept, rebel against it, or adhere to it–whatever makes a great story.

Seriously, what genre? Is erotic fiction okay?
Erotic fiction is okay as long as it contributes to a good story. We’re looking for a balanced anthology with many different genre types, so give us the type of story you love to write the most, or take this opportunity to try a genre you’ve always wanted to write in. We want to put out a book full of stories that are fun, gripping, heartbreaking, suspenseful, sweet, sexy, terrifying, and any combination. Want to write a prison drama or a high seas adventure? Send it to us! Just remember: The Rabbit Dies First.

Is there anything you don’t want?
Glad you asked! We’re not looking for stories including gratuitous descriptions of extreme violence (torture porn), bestiality, or non-consensual sexual situations. We’re not interested in publishing stories that give a voice to racist or sexist ideologies. We also do not want stories with only humans and no anthropomorphic animals. We do welcome and will be looking for diverse voices.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions should be in standard manuscript format and attached in .doc, .docx., or .rtf format in an email to [email protected] with the subject STORY SUBMISSION: [Story Title Goes Here]

In the message body, please include a brief cover letter introducing yourself and your story.

Word Length: 2000-12000 words
Payment: 1 cent/word + contributor copy
Submission Deadline: June 30, 2018
Multiple Submissions: Maximum 2
Reprints: No
Simultaneous Submissions: No

The Rabbit Dies First is a FurPlanet Production. The editor is Ryan Campbell.

Via: Fur Planet.

Taking Submissions: Overdue – Tales of Mystery and Adventure

Deadline: September 15th, 2018
Payment: 5% of the gross profit will be paid for each accepted story.


Throughout history, great books have been lost. Books with forgotten knowledge; books with information that could rewrite history as we know it; or simply books that could make someone a pretty penny.

Many of these works, are, no doubt, gone for good.

Some, however, may still survive as lone copies hidden in musty archives, quirky bookshops, jealously guarded private collections, dismal castles, or remote caverns.

A global effort has been launched to find them. These are the stories from behind the scenes.


Overdue is a shared-universe anthology joining together M.H. Norris’s All the Petty Myths and Jon Black’s Bel Nemeton.

Bring us stories about questing for lost books. The books may come from actual history, myth, literature (remember to check copyright status), or your imagination. Among the genres we will consider are Adventure, Gothic, Horror, Pulp, Mystery, Magical Realism, Thriller, Urban Fantasy, and Weird Fiction.

More important than the genre are meeting the five criteria below:

1) Feature innovative storytelling and excellent writing.

2) Revolve around the search for a lost book (see “The Set-Up” and “Sample Books” below).

3) Fit into the parameters of the Shared Universe (see “Defining the Shared Universe” below).

4) As part of the Shared Universe parameters, the main action must occur in the present day. Flashbacks and vignettes exploring the history of a book, however, are perfectly acceptable.

5) Also as part of the Shared Universe parameters, stories must take place in our world (Sorry, no alt-history, steampunk, stories set on other planets, etc.).


Over the millennia, many books have been lost.

The Booker Foundation (see Notable Bits of Worldbuilding below) is paying handsomely for any of these missing treasures that can be returned to the light for humanity’s benefit (at least that’s the foundation’s official story). To aid in the retrieval of especially desirable works, the Foundation may even pony up some cash or equipment in advance.

While the Booker Foundation is fronting the cash, the project is co-chaired by Dr. Vivian Cuinnsey, Professor of Linguistics, and Dr. Rosella Tassoni, pioneer of Forensic Mythology.

The call has been put out to respected archaeologists, historians, linguists, anthropologists, antiquarians, and book scouts. But the foundation is not fussy (indeed, the Booker Foundation’s founder has a shady reputation of his own). It is equally willing to work with mercenaries, morally ambiguous archaeologists, treasure hunters,  gentleman and gentlewoman rogues, warlords, and even the street kid who got lucky (or unlucky) and snatched the right backpack.


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