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.]
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
29 February 2016 — The Journal of Unlikely Observances — Unlikely Story
Nowadays, April Fools’ Day is a day of pranks and practical jokes, ranging from the harmless to the silly to the just plain weird (and sometimes to the not-quite-harmless). False news reports, silly Internet RFCs: we could write paragraphs simply enumerating the the genus and species of silliness this day engenders. But April Fools’ Day comes to us courtesy of a number of venerable traditions. Medieval Europe brings us the Feast of Fools, in which “the first shall be the last,” an inversion of roles and positions of power. Other festivals are loosely centered around the Vernal Equinox, celebrating the arrival of the new year, the revitalization of the earth, and transformation. The Roman festival of Hilaria, which featured masquerades in which anyone could imitate anyone else, no matter what their position. Hilaria was also associated with a death and resurrection myth, and a symbolic purification and washing. Songkran, a mid-April festival in Thailand and parts of India, is a water festival, celebrating transformation and the new year, which is celebrated by dousing each other with water, or water mixed with chalk and turmeric. This tradition is reflected in Easter celebrations in some eastern European communities. The Indian festival of Holi — the festival of colors — celebrates a doubly inverted trick with bonfires and painted bodies, and water fights with colored dyes. In ancient Egypt, the festival of Khoiak was held at the beginning of the growing season, tying the resurrection of Osiris the the replenishing of the earth.
For The Journal of Unlikely Observances mini-issue, we’re looking for short fiction of up to 2000 words (we’re willing to bend a little on that limit, but not a lot, for the right story), that incorporate AT LEAST THREE of the following:
== power/role inversion
== water fights
== resurrection, rebirth, renewal
== transformation, transsubstantiation
== body painting, body art
== practical jokes
== one of the festivals themselves
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR: Beautifully-written fiction, characters that grab us by the throats and refuse to let go, worlds that draw us in and demand to be explored. Genre isn’t particularly important to us—speculative, mainstream, slipstream, and the unclassifiable tales in between—we’ll read anything; all we ask is that the stories meet the requirement of the theme of the issue. For The Journal of Unlikely Entomology, this means bugs. For The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography, this means information technology and/or ciphers and codes. There are no barriers as to levels of profanity, gore, or sexuality allowed, but be sure to use them well if you do use them.
We want the stories we publish to reflect the full diversity of the world around us, and we’re particularly interested in being a place where typically underrepresented voices are heard. This includes, among other things, writers of all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, nationalities, classes, and abilities, as well as characters and settings that reflect these experiences.
WHAT WE’RE NOT LOOKING FOR: Stories that do not meet the requirements of the theme. Does your story not feature bugs in some meaningful way? Then please don’t send it to The Journal of Unlikely Entomology. It doesn’t matter if it’s the bestest story in the whole wide world ever. We will not publish it, and all you’re doing by sending it to us is wasting everyone’s time. Oh, you’re also telling us that you don’t respect us enough not to waste our time, which makes us less interested in considering your work in the future. We trust you are capable of drawing analogous conclusions for The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography, and every other themed issue we publish.
WORD LIMIT: We’ll consider stories up to 8000 words, but strongly prefer stories of 5000 words or less. We’re open to flash fiction and fiction in non-traditional formats, but we do not publish poetry or non-fiction.
PAY RATE: We pay 6¢ per word for original fiction. Payment is made upon publication.
RIGHTS: We buy first-printing world exclusive English-language rights for six months after publication, and non-exclusive electronic rights for twelve months after publication. We hope (but do not require) that you’ll allow us to post the story in our archives indefinitely, but you have the right to ask us to remove your story from the archives at any time after twelve months. We also buy the option to non-exclusive anthology rights related to the magazine, as collected issues and/or a best-of anthology. Should we choose to include your story in a print and/or ebook anthology, you will receive a copy of the anthology.
REPRINTS: Starting with Issue 11, we will no longer consider unsolicited reprints.
SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: No.
MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS: No.
SUBMISSION FORMAT: Please send us your story in something generally conforming to Standard Manuscript Format. We’re not slavish to receiving everything formatted exactly the same way, but it’s generally not a good plan to annoy the editors before they’ve even started reading. You can find specific guidelines on what constitutes Standard Manuscript Format online, but the basics that we care about are:
== 12 point courier, times new roman, or other reasonable font
== double spaced
== standard 1″ margins
== top left of first page: name, contact info, word count
== header: last name, title, page number
Please resist the temptation of creative formatting, fancy fonts, and butterfly clip art.
HOW TO SUBMIT: Electronic submissions only. Send your story as a .doc or .rtf attachment to email@example.com. The subject of the email should be:
“[ISSUE] SUBMISSION – [last-name] – [title].”
So for Jayne Smith submitting My Great Story to The Journal of Unlikely Entomology, it would look like “ENTOMOLOGY SUBMISSION — Smith — My Great Story,” but if it was going to the Cryptography issue, it would be “CRYPTOGRAPHY SUBMISSION — Smith — My Great Story.”
Please include a brief cover letter in the body of the email with your name, contact information, story title, and word count. Feel free to tell us other stuff if you want, but please don’t include a summary of your story.
RESPONSE TIMES: We will send an acknowledgement of receipt within 72 hours. If you do not receive this, please query. Average response time is fairly quick, but we’ll definitely get back to you within 4 weeks to let you know whether we wish to hold the story for further consideration or not. Final determinations are made after submission period closes. If you haven’t heard from us after 4 weeks, please send a brief query email with your name, title of your story, and the date your work was submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTHER STUFF: Proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar are a must. Don’t send us a revised version of a story we’ve already rejected unless we specifically request it. Keep an eye on our blog and our twitter and facebook feeds for news about the magazine, and submissions status updates.
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. [Campaign failed to fund.]
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.
15 March 2016 — Hyperpowers — Third Flatiron
Space opera and military fiction. Plato invented naval superpower Atlantis. Iain M. Banks imagined a future dominant galactic civilization in his Culture series. With all of space and time to choose from, this is your chance to show us your world-building chops. Likable characters optional.
Third Flatiron Publishing is based in Boulder, Colorado, and Ayr, Scotland. We are looking for submissions to our quarterly themed anthologies. Our focus is on science fiction and fantasy and anthropological fiction. We want tightly plotted tales in out-of-the-ordinary scenarios. Light horror is acceptable, provided it fits the theme.
Please send us short stories that revolve around age-old questions and have something illuminating to tell us as human beings. Fantastical situations and creatures, exciting dialog, irony, mild horror, and wry humor are all welcome. Stories should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Inquire if longer.
Role models for the type of fiction we want include Kurt Vonnegut, Arthur C. Clarke, Dan Simmons, Connie Willis, Vernor Vinge, and Ken Kesey. We want to showcase some of the best new shorts available today.
See the “Submissions” tab for preferred formats, etc.
For each anthology, we will also accept a few very short humor pieces on the order of the “Shouts and Murmurs” feature in The New Yorker Magazine (600 words or so). These can be written from a first-person perspective or can be mini-essays that tell people what they ought to do, how to do something better, or explain why something is like it is, humorously. An SF/Fantasy bent is preferred.
Your story must be original work, with the digital rights unencumbered. Accepted stories will be paid at the flat rate of 3 cents per word (U.S.), in return for the first publication rights to the story for six months after publication. All other rights will remain with the author. We no longer offer royalties. If your story is selected as the lead story, beginning July 1, 2014, we will pay a flat rate of 6 cents per word (SFWA professional rate), in return for the permission to podcast or give the story away as a free sample portion of the anthology. We also pay SFWA members 6 cents per word. You do not need to be a SFWA member to submit work. We welcome new writers.
30 March 2016 — The Beauty of Death — ed. Alessandro Manzetti; Independent Legions Publishing
Independent Legions Publishing is seeking original horror stories in English language for the new eBook Anthology The Beauty of Death, edited by Alessandro Manzetti, to be published in April, 2016. Special Guests: Ramsey Campbell, Peter Straub and Poppy Z. Brite.
All types of horror are welcome. Sex or violence in a story should be artistically justified; no excessive gore. We welcome all subgenres and forms of speculative fiction.
We do not accept multiple submissions. Submissions should generally follow standard manuscript format, Your manuscript may be submitted via email in .DOC format. We can only consider stories submitted through that form.
We don’t need to see a cover letter, but if you feel like providing one, feel free.
Word Count: We are open to stories of 4500-7500 words.
Deadline: March 30, 2016.
Pay Rate: We pay (via Paypal) 100 USD for each original story. We buy first exclusive English-language rights for two years,
Response time currently within three weeks. After that, if you haven’t heard from us, please query. We don’t send a message in response to every submission we receive.
31 March 2016 — All the King’s Men — ed. Shane W. Smith
All The King’s Men is a two-volume epic science fiction anthology edited by Shane W Smith, the author of The Lesser Evil, Peaceful Tomorrows, The Game, James Flamestar, and Undad.
All The King’s Men takes a look at the lives of those on the periphery, ordinary people struggling to make sense of their lives and dreams in a galaxy torn apart by civil war.
Each of them is fleeing something different, but they’ve all come to the same place. When their ship is marooned in deep space, they pass the time by sharing stories. Things that have happened to them, events they’ve witnessed, rumours they’ve heard…
The anthology is seeking contributions from writers. Contributions may be in the form of prose short stories or short comic scripts.
Comic scripts: $12.50 per page.
Prose stories: $0.04 per word.
[In Australian dollars.]
[Okay, there’s a LOT more here, so I’m just going to send you to the web site. Submission Guidelines Background Contributors/Pay Rates/FAQs Story Ideas]
31 March 2016 — Fairytales Slashed: Volume 7 — Less Than Three Press
FAIRYTALES SLASHED: VOLUME 7 — LGBTQIA Anthology Call — Nothing is as timeless or appealing as fairytales. From the light-hearted and sweet to the dark and twisted, from spins on classic favorites to tales brand new, everybody loves to know what happened Once upon a time…
Less Than Three Press invites you to submit your LGBTQIA fairytales to our longest running and most popular series.
== Deadline is March 31, 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 must be fairytales in nature, whether you write your own version of Snow White, etc. or come up with something completely original.
== 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 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.
Fairytales Slashed: Volume 7 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.
30 April 2016 — Let Us In — Time Alone Press
Let Us In will be the first horror anthology released by Time Alone Press.
Payment $.06 per word. PLUS Half of royalties distributed among the writers after the recovery of initial costs (paid twice per year).
Official acceptances will be announced on July 1st 2016. Join award-winning author Ray Garton on our table of contents! His new story “Shadow Children” has already been purchased to appear [UPDATE we have also accepted a story by another prominent Horror writer who is also a well known editor. Full announcement after the contract is official].
We are looking for stories of approx. 4000 wds (but, let the story decide). Poetry that keeps to the theme may have a chance, as well.
The theme of the anthology will be lightly shaped as we go, but here is the gist:
Write for us the horrors that we invite into our lives, whether willingly or with reluctance. These are horrors that need our permission to enter.
Why do we allow them into our lives?
Because they entice us?
Because we need to escape a current hell?
Because we are curious?
Because we want them to save us?
Because we want vengeance against someone else?
The Monsters here may be human or non-human.
Open your imagination to anything.
We’ll take traditional vampires or werewolves, demons, or forces from other dimensions. Give us abusive spouses, or “saviors” from outer space with tricks up their sleeves. Any of that, or anything else that I may have missed, anything that you think fits.
Style: Go wild. I don’t care how loud and nasty it gets or how quiet and deep. Just make it Good.
You may send submissions through Submittable.
30 April 2016 — Dark Clouds — ed. Sue London; Graythorn Publishing
Graythorn Publishing is open for submissions of science fiction short stories for the DARK CLOUDS anthology to be published in June 2016.
Did you know that humans emit clouds of microbes? Over a million particles an hour. With that sort of chaos something is likely to go very, very wrong.
Send us your completed short story of 3,000 to 10,000 words.
Stories must relate strongly to the theme, and be primarily science fiction, although genre mashups with horror, romance, mystery, etc. will be accepted. Rights purchased for six months.
Please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pay: 3 cents/word
30 April 2016 — Unidentified Funny Objects 5 — ed. Alex Shvartsman
Unidentified Funny Objects is an annual anthology of humorous SF/F. UFO4 headliners included George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Esther Friesner, Piers Anthony, Mike Resnick, Karen Haber, Gini Koch, Tim Pratt, Jody Lynn Nye.
For UFO5 we’re seeking all style and sub-genres of speculative humor.
SUBMISSION WINDOW: April 1 – April 30, 2016
LENGTH: 500-5000 words.
Limit of 1 submission per author — even if you receive a response before the submission window closes please do not send more unless directly invited to do so.
PAYMENT: $0.07 per word + contributor copy. Payment will be made upon acceptance. Our preferred method of payment is via PayPal, but you may request image descriptiona check.
FORMAT: RTF or DOC. Standard Manuscript Format or something close to it (We won’t take points off if you prefer Courier over Times New Roman or some such).
SEND TO: Submissions link will be posted on April 1.
RIGHTS SOUGHT: First Worldwide print and electronic English Language rights. Exclusivity for 90 days from date of release. Non-exclusive rights to keep the anthology in print across different publishing platforms afterward. Preview sample contract.
POLICIES & RESPONSE TIME: No reprints, multiple or simultaneous submissions please. Do not send any stories we already considered for a previous UFO volume. You may query after 30 days. Please send only one submission per author unless directly invited to send more.
WHAT WE WANT: We’re looking for speculative stories with a strong humor element. Think Resnick and Sheckley, Fredric Brown and Douglas Adams. We welcome quality flash fiction and non-traditional narratives. Take chances, try something new, just make sure that your story is funny.
Puns and stories that are little more than vehicles for delivering a punch line at the end aren’t likely to win us over. The best way to learn what we like in general is to read a previous volume.
WHAT WE DON’T WANT: These are the tropes we see entirely too much of in the slush pile. You will improve your odds if you steer clear of these:
* Deals with the Devil / Djinn in a bottle variants
* Stereotypical aliens probing people, abducting cattle, and doing other stereotypical alien things.
[Click through for an About Us and a FAQ.]
1 May 2016 — Survivor — ed. JJ Pionke and Mary Anne Mohanraj; Lethe Press
In this SF/F anthology, we’re looking for stories of everyday trauma survival — from a barmaid on an intergalactic space station who was abandoned by her parents, to a farmer’s son bullied by his peers, who withstands and resists their abuse. We also welcome stories with a war setting, such as stories about veterans and refugees. The key component for all of these stories is how relatively ordinary characters survive and thrive, given the traumatic experiences they’ve had.
Note: we aren’t necessarily looking for happily ever after. Trauma survival rarely ends in happily ever after, though it can, and hopefully will, end in closure and a coming to terms.
We’re soliciting speculative fiction up to 10,000 words, though we prefer 4000 – 8000. Payment is 3 cents / word for print and electronic rights, to be published by Lethe Press. You need not be a trauma survivor yourself to submit. Simultaneous submissions are fine.
Send up to 3 submissions as attached files (.doc, .docx, or .rtf format) to email@example.com with the subject line: SURVIVOR SUB [title]. Questions should also go to JJ Pionke at that address. Submissions close May 1, 2016, but will be considered on a rolling basis.