If you’ve just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. I do these posts every month, so if this post isn’t dated in the same month you’re in, click here to make sure you’re seeing the most recent one.
Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, “Until Filled” markets are at the bottom. There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.
[Note that Stiff Things has a deadline (1 March) but is also “Until Filled,” which means it might close earlier if the editors get a lot of good subs right away. Possibly a lot earlier. If you want to sub there, I suggest you not put it off.]
31 December 2015 — Upside Down — ed. Monica Valentinelli and Jaym Gates; Apex Publications
Announcing the open call for submissions for the upcoming Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling anthology. This collection is edited by Monica Valentinelli and Jaym Gates, and will be coming in 2016 from Apex Publications.
There have been quite a few discussions in science fiction and fantasy addressing the idea of tropes and cliches, from whether they’re good or bad to how they change over time. Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling is a collection of stories that aims to subvert many of the popular tropes and cliches to show them in a new light. Each story in our collection will be an author’s creative examination of a specific trope that is prevalent in science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Examples of tropes include some well-defined character tropes, but also storytelling tropes that lazily incorporate race, gender, religion, etc.
Writers who have already been accepted to the anthology include Alyssa Wong, Nisi Shawl, Sara M. Harvey, Maurice Broaddus, Kat Richardson, Nisi Shawl, Michael Underwood, and many more wonderful authors. Hugo, Chesley, and World Fantasy Award-nominated artist Galen Dara will be providing the art for our cover.
Tropes examined thus far include:
== Chainmaille Bikini
== The Magical Negro
== The Super Soldier
== Chosen One
== Guys Smash, Girls Shoot
== Love at First Sight
== Damsels in Distress
== Heroine Loves a Bad Man
== Yellow Peril
== The Black Man Dies First
== The Villain Had a Crappy Childhood
== The City Planet
== Prostitute with a Heart of Gold
== The Singularity will Cause the Apocalypse
To be considered for Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling we ask that authors
a) identify the trope and b) break, bend, twist, smash it in some creative, literary fashion.
Trope examinations may range from: poetry, short stories (up to 5000 words), flash fiction, interstitial fiction (e.g. fake interviews with public domain characters), song lyrics, and other written forms. Examples of additional tropes may be found in sites like http://tvtropes.org. Depending upon how you choose to address these tropes, we may decide to publish multiple stories based on the same trope, too.
What Monica is looking for: “I enjoy tight, lean, fearless stories from honest writers. If you’ve thought: “Maybe I shouldn’t write that…” I would probably love it. I also read a lot of diverse authors and works with an emphasis on deep characterization, cultural authenticity, dark fantasy, obscure folk tale re-tellings, and alternate history/futurism. I’m hoping to feature more voices and tropes, including envelope-pushing sex-and-gender based cliches, to give readers a collection with stories they might not have considered before. For example, maybe an exorcism that’s normally performed by a Catholic priest might incorporate voudon, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Mormonism, or Asatru beliefs. Or, alternatively, the fantasy trope related to virgin purity could be addressed through the eyes of a member of the Metis tribe or a povo de santo from Brazil. Should your story include details relating to characters like these, but fall flat on authenticity, then I’ll probably give it a pass.”
What Jaym is looking for: “Solid research, strong voice, and a clear understanding of your plot and setting. Think outside the box. Don’t worry about being the best out there, that’s what editors are for, just write the best you have in you. You’ll get extra points from me if your stories are relevant to current events.”
We plan to fund the cost of the stories, as well as cover art, layout, and production, via an Apex Publications Kickstarter campaign that we will launch early 2016. Our track record with Kickstarter, thus far, has been very successful and includes anthologies such as War Stories and Genius Loci.
Writers will receive $0.06 per word, to be paid out of the Kickstarter. As creators ourselves, we are planning on introducing stretch goals to further raise the word rate.
The submissions period opens now. It will close on December 31, 2015.
DIRECTIONS TO SUBMIT
Please send all submissions as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org with a cover letter that clearly identifies the title of your story, its word count, your name and contact information, and the trope you are examining. Your manuscript should be formatting using the standard manuscript guidelines as a *.doc or *.docx file. Please note that we will only accept unpublished works for consideration. Submissions that do not meet these requirements will be deleted unread.
1 January 2016 — Time Travel Anthology — ChappyFiction
ChappyFiction LLC is now accepting submissions to its new science fiction/fantasy anthology on Time Travel (title pending).
The anthology will contain new short stories centered around time travel. How does it affect our society, our humanity, or the characters? We want new stories. Create paradoxes. Make us laugh. Make us cry. If you have a killer reprint, query us first before submitting.
We prefer stories under 7,000 words. We will look at stories over that, but the longer the story is, the better it has to be. We want to include many authors, so shorter stories will have the edge.
We’re not picky. However, standard MS format will communicate to us that you’re professional. Pink text on a black background will make our eyes bleed. In a bad way. Send over a doc or docx attached to your email. In the body of your email, write a quick, short cover letter. List sales. Don’t summarize your story. Put the word count and your contact info somewhere in the cover letter. In the subject line put “Submission: (title of your story)”. Send email to chappyfiction at gmail.com. UPDATE: We will close the submission period on January 1st 2016. Our response times will vary but if you don’t hear anything by February of 2016, please query.
UPDATE! We accept simultaneous submissions.
6 cents a word. That’s pro rates! Word! Upon acceptance, you’ll receive an industry standard contract (6 months exclusivity, with the exception to year’s best anthologies).
What not to do:
Do not submit stories that don’t contain Time Travel! It’ll be a waste of your time and our time. And you’ll be black listed from future Chappy Fiction anthologies!
6 January 2016 — No Shit, There I Was — ed. Rachael Acks; Alliteration Ink
What: No Shit, There I Was, an anthology of short speculative fiction sharing one common thread: each story begins with that immortal line. Where they end will be up to the writer.
Why: The world is full of unbelievable, hilarious, and sometimes tragic no shit, there I was stories. Can speculative fiction writers rise to the challenge of creating something even more fantastical than the everyday product?
Who We Are: Alliteration Ink is run by Steven Saus (member SFWA/HWA), focusing on anthologies and single-author collections, with over a dozen titles across two imprints. Rachael Acks is a writer, geologist, and sharp-dressed sir. In addition to her steampunk novella series, she’s had short stories in Strange Horizons, Waylines, Daily Science Fiction, Penumbra, and more. She’s an active member of SFWA, the Northern Colorado Writer’s Workshop, and Codex.
Who: This will be an open call. All who read and follow the submission guidelines are welcome in the slush pile.
When: Rachael wants stories no later than 6 Jan 2016. No exceptions will be made. The Kickstarter will occur after the table of contents has been set.
What We Want From You:
== Stories 2,000-7,500 words long. Query for anything shorter or longer.
== All stories must begin with the line, No shit, there I was. It can be dialog or part of the regular prose.
== Stories must contain a discernible speculative element, either fantasy or science fiction, and the speculative element must be integral to the plot. Dependent upon submission quality, the intention is for a 50/50 split of fantasy and science fiction.
== The intention is to cover a wide range of subgenres to show the versatility of a single opening line — comedies, tragedies, and everything in between are welcome in the slush pile. That said, Rachael is not terribly interested in horror, and erotica is right out. Salty language is okay, gratuitous violence, gore, or sex is not. Feel free to query if you have questions.
== We are particularly interested in seeing stories from underrepresented populations (eg: people of color, people with disabilities, LGBT people).
== Original fiction strongly preferred; query first for reprints.
== Submitted stories must be in standard manuscript format and submitted in rtf, doc, or docx file format. Please make sure your name, email address, word count, and title of your story are on the first page of your manuscript.
== Stories that do not follow these guidelines may face summary rejection.
== Submissions should be sent to email@example.com
Payment: We intend to fund this project via Kickstarter. Authors are encouraged to provide backer rewards for the campaign, but that is definitely not required. The initial funding goal will provide for a flat $0.06/per word (US) for all stories. In the unlikely event a reprint is accepted, payment will be $0.03/per word (US). There will be no kill fees. Higher per word payment will be one of the stretch goals for the project.
While the table of contents will be mostly set prior to the Kickstarter for advertising purposes, contracts will not be sent out until the Kickstarter is completed. Should the project fail to fund, it will continue, though with a different payment structure to be determined. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Rights: Exclusive English world first print and digital rights for one year. Nonexclusive print, digital, and anthology rights for term of copyright. All other rights are reserved to the author.
Contact Information: Editorial decisions are to be handled by Rachael Acks and questions regarding them should be directed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contract, money, publicity, and business decisions will be handled by Alliteration Ink, and should be directed to email@example.com (or any other e-mail address you have for him – they all go to the same place).
28 February 2016 — Less Than Dead — Less Than Three Press
LGBTQIA Anthology Call — There’s nothing quite so terrifying as a corpse that moves, a creature that even death can’t stop. Sometimes they’re a minor nuisance, other times they’re a nigh-unstoppable terror. On rare occasions they turn out not to be a nightmare at all, but an expected ally.
Less Than Three Press invites you to submit tales of zombies, be they the enemy, the ally, or something else entirely.
== Deadline is February 28, 2016 (give or take, we won’t kill you for sending it off the following morning).
== Stories should be at least 10,000 words and should not exceed approx 20,000 words in length.
== Stories may be any pairing except cisgender heterosexual M/F (trans* M/F, M/M, F/F, poly, ace/aro, and all permutations thereof are acceptable).
== Stories must adhere to the theme of zombies.
== 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.
== All usual LT3 submission guidelines apply.
Less Than Dead is a general release anthology, which means authors will receive a flat payment of $200.00 once LT3 has a signed contract. 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 here.
Questions should be directed to the Editor in Chief, Samantha M. Derr, at firstname.lastname@example.org (or you can ping her on twitter @rykaine). Submissions should be sent to email@example.com.
29 February 2016 — Triangulation: Beneath the Surface — Parsec Ink
Theme: Beneath the Surface
Word Count: We will consider fiction up to 6,000 words. There is no minimum word count.
Genre: We are a speculative fiction market. We accept science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories. Please do not send stories without any speculative element.
Compensation: We pay 2 cents per word. Authors will also receive an e-book and print version of the anthology and wholesale pricing for additional printed copies (typically 50% of cover price).
Rights: We purchase North American Serial Rights, and Electronic Rights for downloadable version(s). All subsidiary rights released upon publication.
Submissions: We do not accept reprints, multiple submissions, or simultaneous submissions. If we reject a story before the end of the reading period, feel free to send another.
We love creative interpretations of our themes, but we do require that stories fit the current theme.
We will run mature content if we like the story and if the mature content is integral to the story.
We will not accept fanfic, even if it’s of a fictional universe that has passed into public domain.
How To Submit: Electronic submissions make our lives easier. Please upload your story via Submittable. If this is your first time submitting to a publication that utilizes Submittable, you will need to create an account with them. It’s free.
Manuscript Format: Please use industry standard manuscript format. We’re not testing you to see if you can follow each and every niggling detail, we just want a manuscript that is easy for us to read.
We accept manuscripts in the following formats:
== .doc or .docx (MS Word)
== .rtf (Rich Text Format — generic document format that most word processors can create)
Editorial Process: We will aim to read submissions as they are received. If a story doesn’t work for us, we’ll reject it. If we think the story has great potential but isn’t quite there yet, we might do a rewrite request. If we love it, we’ll accept it. If we can’t make up our minds, we will request to hold onto it for a while for further consideration. If we send you a hold request and you have something else that would fit the theme, feel free to submit it. After a story is accepted, the only changes that we will make will be minor line edits and formatting fixes.
Response: We aim to make final decisions by March 31st.
Eligibility: All writers, including those who are known or even related to the editorial staff, are permitted to submit to the Triangulation anthology. That doesn’t mean we’ll automatically publish them; just that we’re willing to look at their work.
29 February 2016 — Lazarus Risen — ed. Michael Rimar and Hayden Trenholm; Bundoran Press
Science Fiction is our conversation with the future. But what if that conversation went on forever? Bundoran Press Publishing House will open for submissions from December 21st, 2015 to February 29th, 2016 for a new anthology of science fiction stories to be edited by Michael Rimar and Hayden Trenholm. Publication is planned for October 2016.
Lazarus Risen will seek SF (no fantasy or horror, please) short stories that explore the economic, political, social and psychological consequences of life extension, human cloning, the hard upload and other forms of the biological singularity. Dreams of immortality and eternal youth are almost as old as human culture itself. But what would the world look like if everyone could live and be young forever? What would it look like if only some of us had that privilege? These are only some of the questions your story might try to answer. Surprise us, shock us, illuminate us but most of all tell us a great story.
Payment for first world English rights (print and digital) will be $0.04 a word to a maximum payment of $300.00 (all figures Canadian dollars). Our preferred length is 3500 to 6500 words. We will accept stories of any length to 10,000 words (longer than 10,000 WILL NOT BE READ) but the maximum payment will remain $300.00. Stories will be accepted from around the world but we are not interested in reprints. Payment on publication.
Please submit in .rtf, .doc or .docx format. In the title line of e-mail put: SUBMISSION LR:”Title of your story.” Include a brief cover letter in the body of your e-mail giving us the title and word length of your story and any writing credits you wish to share with us. Do not summarize your story.
Email your attached document to: firstname.lastname@example.org
1 March 2016 (or until filled) — Stiff Things — Comet Press
Comet Press is seeking short stories for an erotic horror anthology to be published in the summer of 2016. We are looking for the most gruesome, twisted, sick, disturbing, dark and extreme stories that push the boundaries of sex and horror and we don’t have any content restrictions (except for kiddie porn, of course).
Science fiction and dark fantasy will be considered but must be very dark with a strong element of horror.
Reading period: From September 28, 2015–March 1, 2016 (or until filled).
Word length: up to 9,000 words.
Multiple submissions: Up to two stories per author can be submitted. Please send as separate emails.
Payment is 3 cents a word. We have a campaign up on Indiegogo to help fund this anthology, so depending on the funds raised we may raise this pay.
Reprints: No reprints.
Response Time: 3–4 weeks. Rejections will be sent as soon as possible. Stories that make the first cut will be kept until the end of the reading period. Authors will be notified right away if their story makes the first cut, then the final stories will be selected at the end of the reading period.
We will send a confirmation that we received your story within 2 days. If you do not get this confirmation, please feel free to inquire or resubmit.
What to send:
In the body of the email please include:
== your name, pen name if any, address and email address, and bio.
== Include a brief blurb summing up the story and word count.
== Attach the story in a standard formatted .rtf or word document
== Put “STIFF THNGS SUBMISSION: TITLE OF YOUR STORY” in the subject of the email.
Email address: submissions [at] cometpress [dot] us
1 March 2016 — Ghosts on Drugs — ed. Hy Bender and Will Paoletto
Bestselling author Hy Bender (BookProposal.net; 16 books including 5 Dummies books, a Complete Idiot’s Guide, and The Sandman Companion; The New York Times, Mad Magazine) and book developer Will Paoletto (Enterprise Cometh; My Bad Parent) are putting together a short story fiction anthology titled Ghosts on Drugs.
And we’re inviting you to send us a story so great that we can’t resist saying “yes” to it.
The only rule is that a tale include some version of at least one ghost who’s on some version of at least one drug.
And both key terms are broadly defined—e.g., a ghostwriter hooked on cough syrup could fit, and a dead ancient god with an inhumanly intense craving to be worshipped again could too.
Also, a story can run anywhere from 2 pages to 30 pages, so a short-short tale that’s a solid fit for the collection will definitely be considered.
We expect many of the stories will be a mix of comedy and fantasy. However, the book is also open to horror, SF, adventure, drama, etc., as well as any combination of genres. Whatever the category, we’re seeking stories that are extremely entertaining, appeal to a wide-ranging audience (high concepts are especially appreciated), and provide an emotionally satisfying ending (smartly crafted character arcs/transformations are especially appreciated).
We’re aiming to include some of the world’s top comedians, a bunch of superb writers, and one or two celebrities who happen to be drug fans.
Some of the advantages of being in this anthology:
== Getting a credit for a book that’s likely to receive substantial attention because of its cool high concept, wildly inventive range of ideas, and exceptionally fine writing.
== Having your name alongside other impressive celebrity talents (if you’re a star) or taking a helpful step on your career path (if you’re not a star yet).
== Receiving payment on our acceptance—15 cents a word for the first 2,500 words and 6 cents a word after that (to encourage tight writing).
== Receiving a share of the royalties (based on word count).
== Working with Hy—a world-class editor—to make your story the very best it can be.
If the above sounds appealing, then please feel highly encouraged to submit material. The initial deadline is March 1st, 2016. (This might get extended, or not, depending on what comes in.)
For the sake of saving you time and effort, we recommend running an idea by Hy first to ensure it isn’t redundant with something we’ve already purchased for the collection. However, if you prefer to just write and send us a complete story, that’s great too.
Please send anything related to the anthology to Hy Bender at email@example.com.
Looking forward to your playful, inventive, genius (or so-stupid-it’s-genius) ideas and wonderful writing.