Taking Submissions: The Deadlands February 2023 Window

Submission Window: February 1st-28th, 2023
Payment: 10 cents per word, Reprints at 1 cent per word
Theme: Stories that deal with death and what comes from death (see below)

The Deadlands exists in liminal spaces between life, death, and elsewhere. We are looking for fiction that concerns itself with death—but also everything death may involve.

A ghost in a shadowed wood. An afterlife discovered through a rusted door. An abandoned house in the middle of a haunted field. A skeletal figure moving with intent toward something unseen. Death personified. Burials in troubled lands. A raised scythe against a clouded sky. Memento mori. The rivers of the dead. The sprawling underworlds beneath our feet. The Deadlands would love to see stories from a worldwide perspective, different cultures, different approaches to death. We welcome stories from everyone, everywhere. We are particularly interested in works by writers from historically marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds.

Stories that feature characters impacted by someone passing away and processing the event of death are fair game, but will likely be a hard sell unless they also do something else. Stories about related subjects—zombies, demons, vampires, apocalypses, and the various undead—are not for us. An apocalypse may be your setting, but it isn’t your story. We are absolutely not interested in seeing weird West stories, steampunk tales, or military fiction. We are not interested in stories involving Lovecraft’s mythos. Humor will be a harder sell than heartbreaking. If your story begins with someone waking up, it is not for us.

Explore some influences we’re drawing from.

The Deadlands accepts stories up to 5000 words. There is no minimum length. Stories should be original and unpublished (this includes your blog, your website, your newsletter, your Patreon). The sweet spot for length is probably around 3-4k.

Please do not submit reprints and originals at the same time. No multiple submissions or simultaneous submissions. If a story is on submission somewhere else, please wait before sending it to us. The Deadlands pays 10¢/word for original fiction.

Average Response Time: Two weeks; if longer, your story may be in a second-round hold pile. We love standard manuscript formatting, but don’t require your address on your manuscript. We will need your address if we’re buying your story.

Fiction Reprints

The Deadlands will consider reprints, up to 5000 words, 1¢/word. Please note that the story is a reprint when submitting, and please list the market where it originally appeared. Stories that originally appeared on your Patreon would be considered reprints. We are much more interested in older stories, rather than those that have appeared in recent years.

Via: The Deadlands.

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