Category Archives: Anthology

171231 | 8¢ | 1.5K-17.5K | Awakenings, Book Smugglers

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As of October 5, 2017 Book Smugglers Publishing is currently open for short stories submissions for publication in 2018.


We’re looking for original English language short stories from all around the world. Our goal is to publish at least four pieces of short fiction–short stories (at least 1,500 words) or novelettes (up to 17,500 words)–unified by a central theme. Each short story will be accompanied by one original piece of artwork, commissioned especially for the work.

For the publication period between May and August 2018, the theme is:


AWAKENINGS will be Book Smugglers Publishing’s FIFTH season of short stories, following Fairytale Retellings, First Contact, Superheroes, and Gods & Monsters.

When it comes to Awakenings, anything goes. You, the author, should feel free to take this general theme and interpret it in any way you see fit–from a story about an AI’s first hours of sentience, to magical alternate histories featuring characters discovering how to wield power for the first time, anything goes.

We encourage authors to subvert these sample themes, to expand upon what “awakenings” means, and adapt the prompt to other possible connotations and genres under the Speculative Fiction umbrella.


  • DIVERSITY. We want to read and publish short stories that reflect the diverse world we live in, about and from traditionally underrepresented perspectives–including but not limited to stories by and featuring LGBTQIA characters, people of color, and different gender identities. Following Fireside Fiction’s reports on underrepresented black writers, we especially welcome black writers to submit their stories.
  • Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult audience submissions are welcome.Good speculative fiction is ageless!
  • We are VERY keen on receiving Romance stories – or stories with strong romantic elements.
  • We are VERY keen on receiving Horror stories – or stories with strong horror elements.
  • Creativity & Subversion. We love subversive stories. We want you to challenge the status quo with your characters, story telling technique, and themes.

Guidelines for Submission:

  • We are looking for original speculative fiction, between 1,500 and 17,500 words in length.
  • These SFF offerings must be previously unpublished; we do not accept simultaneous submissions.
  • Profanity, sex, and other explicit situations are fine as long as they fit within the context of the story.
  • We welcome first-time and never-before-published authors, as well as seasoned veterans. ALL are welcome to submit.
  • Submissions are open now, and will be open through December 31 2017 11:59PM PST. Any submissions received after that date will not be considered.


Unlike previous years, this season of short stories is being funded by the generosity of our Kickstarter backers and as such we are happy to announce we have increased our pay rate for 2018! We will be paying $0.08 per word up to $800 (although we welcome stories from a minimum of 1,500 words and up to a maximum of 17,500 words long).

We plan on publishing these short stories for free in their entirety on We also plan on selling these stories in ebook (and possibly limited print editions) at a 50% net royalty, with potential inclusion in future anthologies (royalty to be negotiated). We ask for exclusive rights for one year, and non-exclusive rights following that.


Submissions should be emailed to with the subject line “AWAKENINGS Story Submission.” You may also use the contact form below.

Please attach your full story as a document (.doc, .docx, .rtf). Do not send your story as text in the body of an email; we will ignore any manuscripts that are not attachments.

A cover letter is highly recommended – tell us who you are! – as we would love to learn a little bit about you and the inspiration behind your work (or anything else you think is relevant to your story submission).

We are also including an optional self-identification field in the submissions form. If you would like to share a perspective you bring or experiences you’ve had related to a community you belong to, your sexual orientation or gender identity, or your family or cultural background please do so by filling out this field (or if you prefer to email, in your cover letter). This is completely voluntary and not a requirement.

We will reply to all authors who have submitted work with our decision by February 20, 2018.

We are happy to answer any of your questions! Leave a comment or email us (, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

And…that’s it! We hope to be reading your excellent short stories very soon.

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171215 | 3¢ | 8K | Black Cat Mystery Magazine

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Guidelines for Black Cat Mystery Magazine (epub/Kindle/pdf)



These guidelines were prepared 9/8/2017 and are valid through 2017.

You may also download these guidelines in ePub, Kindle (.mobi), and .pdf formats.



Black Cat Mystery Magazine is a new publication, debuting in September 2017, which showcases short mystery fiction. These guidelines are designed to help writers craft stories for publication in Black Cat Mystery Magazine.

We want to feature stories by a mix of new and established authors. We don’t care about race, gender, age, height, weight, sexual orientation, political attitudes, or much of anything else about our authors. We don’t care if this is you five hundredth story or your very first story. We care about writing quality. Period.


FREQUENCY: 2 issues the first year, 4 issues thereafter.
EDITORS: John Gregory Betancourt and Carla Coupe.
PUBLISHER: Wildside Press LLC.
SISTER PUBLICATION: Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine



We will open to submissions for Black Cat Mystery Magazine issues 2 and 3 between October 1, 2017 and December 15, 2017. We anticipate filling both issues in this timespan. Issues 3 and 4 will open for submissions in 2018 (dates to be announced after January 1, 2018).


We will do our best to respond within 1-2 weeks. Sometimes even sooner!


It is not necessary to query us about a story you’d like to submit. If it fits our content guidelines, just send it along during the open submission period. We do not want early or late submissions.


Contemporary and traditional mysteries, as well as thrillers and suspense stories. Private eye stories, cozy stories, and edgy, noir-tinged stories—all of which happen to contain a crime of some sort. (A crime is essential or it isn’t mystery fiction!)

We want stories with characters who feel real, in situations that are possible (and plausible), and of course great writing.


We do not want flash fiction.
We do not want poetry.
We do not want routine revenge stories.
We do not want stories that feature sadism for the sake of sadism.
We do not want stories that feature supernatural elements: no vampires (no matter how sparkly), werewolves, ghosts, or otherworldly monsters—unless thoroughly debunked by story’s end.
We especially do not want genre fantasy, horror, science fiction, romance, or westerns…unless they feature a crime. And even then it will be a very hard sell.


Best length is between 1,000 and 8,000 words. We will look at material up to 15,000 words in length—but it better blow us away to take up that much of an issue!


Our pay rate is three cents per word ($250 maximum) plus 2 copies of the magazine.



Email us the story as an electronic file. We prefer one of the following formats: .rtf, .doc, or .docx. We cannot look at .pdfs or hard copy submission, with very few exceptions. (Okay, if you’re an old pro like Bill Pronzini or Stephen King, we’ll make an exception!)

Be sure to include your byline under the story title—it’s amazing how many authors forget to do so!—and please include both your mailing address and email address on the first page. (Upper left-hand corner is standard.)




Stories should be sent via EMAIL to: carla.coupe (at sign)


1. Paragraphs should be double-spaced. Indent all paragraphs using either the tab key or an indented paragraph style. Do not leave extra line spaces between paragraphs.

2. Never underline, use italics.

3. Please, please, please—proofread your story before sending it. Yes, typos happen, but after the third or fourth one on a page, we tend to stop reading.

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171201 | 6¢ | 10K | Compelling Science Fiction

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Submit a Story

At Compelling Science Fiction, we have two main goals: to find, publish, and promote the best science fiction stories, and to support and encourage the authors who write them. We currently pay 6 cents/word for accepted stories (we are considered a SFWA Qualifying Market).

  • Pay rate: 6 cents/word (1 cent/word for reprints)
  • Length: 1,000-10,000 words per work
  • Rights: We purchase first world electronic print rights and audio rights (for podcasts). Our contract follows the lead of SFWA’s Model Magazine Contract.
  • Submission window: submissions are open from Oct 1 to Dec 1.

Fiction Guidelines

The stories we accept almost always:

  1. illustrate at least one interesting concept,
  2. are engaging, and
  3. clearly explain the science/technology in the story.

The ‘concept’ referenced in point (1) can be anything from new engineering ideas to novel social constructs to abstractions that help illustrate basic properties of reality. Point (2) is far more subjective, although as long as your story consistently moves forward it will probably be engaging. Point (3) is hard to attain without some knowledge of basic science/engineering; we encourage you to learn as much as you can about your subject matter. If your story is very strong in one of the above areas, we will sometimes accept weakness in the other two. Ultimately we are looking for science fiction that is entertaining, scientifically plausible, self-consistent, and technically detailed when appropriate. We have a preference for positive stories, to act as a counterweight to the currently popular post-apocalyptic genre. We certainly won’t dismiss a well-written dystopian future, but we have a bias toward stories that depict technological advancement rather than decay. We do not publish fantasy stories (although we enjoy them!). Finally, humor is always appreciated — I emphasize this because we receive so little of it. For more information about what we look for, please reference my plausible science fiction blog post.


Please submit stories via our submission form. The submission system accepts .docx files only. Please omit any identifying information from your story file (names, addresses, etc.).

If you have a story that doesn’t fit these guidelines, please visit for a wonderfully curated list of other professional markets that may fit your story better!

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171207 | 2¢ | 6K | Broken Metropolis Anthology

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Stories should be in standard manuscript format, i.e. double spaced, in a reasonable 12-point font. The editor has a fondness for Georgia. The story title, word count, and contact information should appear on the first page, and your last name, story title, and page number should appear in the header information of all other pages.

We will be reviewing submissions on a rolling basis until the anthology is filled. Acceptances will be notified within 60 days. Feel free to query after that.


We’re looking for stories under 6,000 words. 3-4,000 words is probably the sweet spot. For flash, no more than 1000 words.


We will not be accepting previously published work for this anthology.


Metropolitan tales of city-focused fantasy with queer perspectives. Squalid flats, glittering spires, and alchemical trolleys. Manipulative heirs, handsome swordswomen and noble automatons. Write us something built with borrowed Bordertown DNA, purloined echoes of House Tremontaine society and stolen grit from the dark of London Below. Be inspired by Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany, China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station, or “The City Born Great” by N.K. Jemisin.


We are looking for stories that explore the edges of urban fantasy through queer stories. While the city these stories are set in should be vast and unnamed, highly specific neighborhoods and landmarks are encouraged and sought after. We welcome a broad interpretation of the genre that is inclusive of postmodern folk tales, future/ancient noir, and stories that happen both behind closed doors and in plain sight. Throughout, we’re looking for rich, varied and nuanced understandings of gender, family and ethnicity.

Please remember not to self-reject!


Please no werewolf/vampire/dragon/elf stories unless you’ve really deconstructed the genre tropes. No spandex. We’re not interested in unexamined bigotry or sexual violence; pieces that include such should really be looking at the post-event experience of the survivors. Other genre elements from horror, science fiction or erotica are welcome in reasonable doses.


We are seeking twelve months of exclusive worldwide print and electronic distribution rights and non-exclusive worldwide print and electronic distribution rights in perpetuity. Exceptions can be made for published stories that are then chosen for a “best of the year” anthology, etc.


Accepted stories earn $.02/word plus a contributor’s copy for the original terms of the contract. Payment is within 90 days of publication.


We expect to publish this anthology in late July 2018.

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171201 | 2¢ | 8K | Music, Parsec Ink

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Submission Guidelines

Triangulation will be accepting submissions as of December first 2017. This year’s theme: “Music”. We are Parsec Ink’s speculative fiction annual, now in our 13th year. We’re looking for outstanding fantasy, science fiction, and horror–from new and established writers. Take the theme and run with it. Tell us a story we won’t forget.

Theme:  “Music”

Submissions Open: December 1, 2017

Submissions Close: February 28, 2018

Word Count: We consider fiction up to 5,000 words, but the sweet spot is 3,000. There is no minimum word count.

Genre: We accept science fiction, fantasy, and horror–and enjoy intelligent blends of the three. Stories without a speculative element will not be considered.

Compensation: Pay is semi-pro: 2 cents a word. Authors will receive an e-book and one print copy of the anthology, plus wholesale pricing for additional print copies (typically 50% off the cover price).

Rights: We purchase North American serial rights, and electronic rights for the downloadable version(s). All subsidiary rights released upon publication.

Submissions: We are a meritocracy. New authors are as welcome as those with a laundry list of accomplishments. But it’s going to be the story that wins us over. Grab us by the lapels, drag us onto that plane, take us for the ride of our lives… but get us back on the ground safely and home in time for dinner.

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 the stories to be a solid fit.

We run mature content only if we like the story and find the mature content to be integral to it.

We do not accept fanfic, even if it’s based in a fictional universe that has passed into the public domain.


How To Submit: Electronic submissions make our lives easier. Please upload your story via Submittable. If this is your first time using Submittable, you will need to create an account with them. Don’t worry: it’s free.


(Submissions open December 1st)

Manuscript Format: Please use industry standard manuscript format. We’re not testing you or trying to make you jump through hoops, but we do 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 aim to read submissions as they are received. If a story doesn’t work for us, we reject it. If we think the story has great potential but isn’t quite there yet, we request a rewrite. The ones we love the most, we hold on to for further consideration, but we won’t keep you guessing: you’ll get an email. Next, the stories fight it out amongst themselves until we have our final lineup. At which time, final acceptances are sent out. It’s sort of like Enter the Dragon, but without the nunchucks. When a story is accepted, the changes we suggest will typically be minor and/or cosmetic.

Response: Final decisions are made by March 31st.

Eligibility: All writers, including those who are known or related to the editorial staff, can submit to Triangulation. That doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily get in, but we are happy to consider their work.

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171201 | $250 | 5K | Slice Magazine

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SLICE magazine welcomes submissions for short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. We’re looking for anyone with a fresh voice and a compelling story to share—basically any work that really knocks our socks off. We’re not drawn to experimental or heavy-handed genre fiction. The best way to get a sense of Slice’s content is to read the magazine. You can subscribe here. At the core, Slice aims to bridge the gap between emerging and established authors by offering a space where both are published side-by-side. In each issue, a specific cultural theme becomes the catalyst for articles, interviews, stories, and poetry from renowned writers and lesser known voices alike. We offer all contributors of Slice a monetary award for their work ($250 for stories and essays and $75 for poems).


Our reading period is currently open and runs from October 1 – December 1, 2017. All submissions during that time will be considered for Issue 23, which will be released fall 2018. The theme for that issue is “Flight.”

Click here to submit via Submittable, an online submissions manager.

Please note, we are unable to accept any submissions sent to us via email or post. The maximum word count for submissions is 5,000 words. Simultaneous submissions are acceptable as long as we’re notified immediately if the work is selected for publication elsewhere. All work should be previously unpublished. Please allow up to three months for us to reply to your submission.


If you’d like to contribute art to Slice, please drop us a line at art at slicemagazine dot org and include either a link to your online portfolio or a PDF of recent work.

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171130 | $250/$1000 | 4K/15K | LitMag

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What We Publish


Short stories, novellas

Creative nonfiction; essays on literature, art, culture, and music; biography, memoir

No restrictions on style or form


Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry
Up to 4,000 words.


LitMag‘s Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction 
First Prize: $3,500, publication, and agency review by Sobel Weber Associates (clients include: Viet Thanh Nguyen, Richard Russo, Laura Lee Smith). Enter now. Go to Submittable for full contest guidelines.


What We Look For 
Work that moves and amazes us.
We are drawn to big minds, large hearts, sharp pens

Word Count Limits
Print: 15,000 words
Online: 4,000 words

What to Send
One story or essay at a time, up to five poems.
Please wait until you have heard back from us before submitting again.

Previously Unpublished
We do not consider work that has previously been published either in print or online (including personal blogs etc.)

What We Pay
LitMag Print: Upon acceptance, we pay $1,000 for fiction or nonfiction; $250 for a poem (or the rare short short)

LitMag Online: Upon acceptance, we pay $250

What We Acquire
LitMag acquires First North American Serial Rights.
Copyright reverts to the author upon publication.

When to Submit
Regular submissions:

Fiction is open: 10/1/17 to 11/30/17; 2/1/18 to 7/31/18
Poetry is open:  9/1/17 to 11/30/17; 3/1/18 to 7/31/18
Nonfiction is open: 8/1/17 to 11/30/17; 1/1/18 to 5/31/18
LitMag Online is open: 9/1/17 to 11/30/17; 2/1/18 to 6/30/18

Contest Deadlines:

LitMag’s Virginia Woolf Award for Short Fiction. Deadline is 12/15/17

How to Submit
Online. We use Submittable. (Saves trees, prevents paper cuts.) We do not consider emails with attachments or snail mail.

Multiple Submissions
Please submit only once in each category and wait until you receive our response before submitting again.

Simultaneous Submissions
Yes, of course. But please withdraw your submission immediately via Submittable if another publication beats us to your work.

Response time
We try to respond to submissions as quickly as possible and strive to send a decision within two months, but please understand that the volume of submissions may require us to take longer.


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