Taking Submissions: Game On!

Deadline: December 31st, 2022
Payment: 0.08 USD / word plus royalties
Theme: Unique science fiction and fantasy takes on games, game playing, and games in culture.

Games played in fiction often symbolize more than winning and losing. Games represent risk and reward, wealth and class, strategy and blind fortune. In science fiction and fantasy, games can be matters of cosmic importance and of literal life and death—whether the idle pastimes of Star Trek’s 3D chess, the all-consuming TTRPG of the Gamearth trilogy, a frenetic quest as in Ready Player One, the lethal reality TV shows of The Hunger Games, or choosing a new interstellar emperor as in The Player of Games.

In GAME ON!, we’re looking for unique science fiction and fantasy takes on games, game playing, and games in culture. A game or games—real or imagined—should be central to the story in some fashion.

Please note anything considered a ‘sport’ (i.e.: baseball, soccer, rollerball, etc.) won’t be a fit for this anthology. Games used in stories must also not infringe on real-world trademarked names or third-party copyrights.

Edited by Stephen Kotowych & Tony Pi, GAME ON! will contain approximately fourteen stories with an average length of 6,000 words each. Anchor authors and their selected games include:

  • Eric Choi (video gambling),
  • Aliette de Bodard (mạt chược/Vietnamese mahjong),
  • James Alan Gardner (homebrew kids game compilation/solitaire),
  • Ed Greenwood (dragon social games),
  • Cat Rambo (Euchre),
  • Sean Williams (hide-and-seek), and
  • Melissa Yuan-Innes (haunted house game)

GAME ON!: Submission Guidelines

Zombies Need Brains LLC will accept submissions to its anthology, GAME ON!, from the moment the Kickstarter funds until December 31st, 2022. This is a one-time open call; there will be no follow-up open calls. Follow us on Twitter (@ZNBLLC) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/zombiesneedbrainsllc) to keep track of the Kickstarter and the open call. Stories must be submitted in electronic format through the submissions management system Moksha here: http://zombiesneedbrains.moksha.io.

  • Word count: up to 7500 words. No exceptions.
  • Pay rate: 0.08 USD / word (SFWA professional rate), plus royalties for anthologies (see below)
  • Simultaneous submissions: No.
  • Multiple submissions: Up to three per open call period; please submit each separately. You do not need to wait for one to be rejected before submitting another. “Bonus” submissions will be deleted unread.
  • Reprints: No.
  • If a story has been previously rejected by the online magazine ZNB Presents, it is permitted to submit that story to a ZNB Anthology call, like GAME ON! (if the story is on theme).
  • If a story has been previously rejected for one (or several) ZNB Anthologies, it is permitted to submit that story to GAME ON! (if the story is on theme).



Manuscripts should be in Modern Shunn format [https://www.shunn.net/format/story/], meaning: double-spaced, 12pt font, standard margins on top, bottom, and sides, and pages numbered. Please use Times New Roman font. The first page should include the Title of the story, Author’s name, email, word count, and byline, if different from the author’s name. Italics and bold should be in italics and bold.


GAME ON! is to feature science fiction, fantasy, or urban fantasy stories where the story revolves around some type of game–be it board game, video game, or RPG. We do NOT want sports-related stories. We would like a wide variety of genre settings for this anthology. In other words, we don’t want the entire anthology to be urban fantasy settings. As always, we are looking for a range of tones, from humorous all the way up to dark.



Decisions on stories will be made by the end of February 2023. You will receive a receipt email from Moksha and will be able to keep track of your submission through Moksha. Rejections and acceptances will be sent through Moksha no later than the end of March 2023. If you have not received notification of submission, please query after one week; if you have not received a rejection or acceptance notification, please query after March 2023. Send queries to [email protected].



If your story is selected, you should expect a revision letter, followed by a copy edit phase. A formal acceptance and contract will follow after completion of copy edits. Afterwards, there will be a page proof phrase. Advances would be immediately earned out upon publication of the anthology. Royalties on additional sales of the anthology (not including Kickstarter editions) will be 25% of ebook cover price and 10% of trade paperback cover price, both split evenly (not by word count) among the authors in and editors of the anthology.

A sample contract can be found at: https://www.patreon.com/posts/71710311

Stories will be published in the GAME ON! anthology by August 2023. Zombies Need Brains LLC is seeking exclusive world anthology rights (including electronic rights) in all languages for the duration of one year after publication of the anthology. Your story cannot appear elsewhere during that first year.

Questions regarding these submission guidelines should be sent to [email protected]. Thank you.

Via: Zombies Need Brains Moksha.

You may also like...