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The Diverse Writers & Artists of Speculative Fiction

Strap in and enter worlds of wonder in Chosen Realities: Summer 2020. The Journal contains a dazzling array of short stories, scripts, interviews, and more! Stroll through fantastical universes, rocket through science fiction landscapes, and muse on poetry in this jam-packed introductory volume of the Journal of Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction. Entertainment and enlightenment await!

Read the Reviews!

This is an essential #ownvoices journal -- the first issue from the Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction (DWASF) -- which contains commentaries, essays, fiction, poetry, and more. This should be as widely available as possible, particularly in public, school, and academic libraries. The poetry in particular was heart-wrenching and heart-breaking. The poems had a huge impact on me from K Ceres Wright, John Edward Lawson (some of whose breathtaking photography is also featured within), Scott Key, in particular, but all of them were thought-provoking, challenging, and cut deep. LH Moore's commentary on what it is like to be a Black writer of speculative fiction was an illuminating and eye-opening read that deserves as wide of an audience as possible. L. Marie Wood's pieces, "Horror and Romance" and "All Stories are Horror Stories" were fascinating. For readers wanting to diversify their palettes, particularly with more AfroFuturism, this journal issue is an excellent place to start. The authors featured within have such evocative work -- everyone should buy a copy of this issue. ~ Eva, reader on

Chosen Realities, the Summer 2020 Journal of the Diverse Writers and Artists of Speculative Fiction, has something for every lover of speculative fiction. With immersive and imaginative short stories, impactful poetry, commentary on the genre, and peppered with interviews, this collection is a must read. ~ Kenesha Williams, Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Black Girl Magic Literary Magazine

Sectornauts by Mshindo9

You may be looking for some Afrofuturistic art for your project. Click the links to the artist and contact them on Deviant Art to collaborate!


Grist is a nonprofit online magazine that publishes news and commentary on the environment. Their solutions lab, Fix, posts stories about innovative ideas and solutions and facilitates networking among fixers. To that end, Grist is looking to change the narrative on climate change by working “toward a new framework rooted in environmental justice and equitable climate solutions, while amplifying voices that have and continue to be affected by systems of oppression, including structural racism and white supremacy, heteronormativity, xenophobia, misogyny, and ableism."

They are sponsoring a short story contest, which will launch January 2021.

Story length: 3,000 to 5,000 words

Submission period: January–April 2021

Judges: An interdisciplinary board of four literary experts and four Fix employees

Award date: July2021

Awards: First-, second-, and third-prize winners will be awarded $3,000; $2000; and $1,000, respectively. Nine finalists will receive a $300 honorarium. Winners and finalists will be published in a stunning, immersive digital collection on the new Fix website and will be celebrated in a public-facing virtual event.

Stay tuned for more information closer to the launch date!

The Realm by L. Marie Wood

You thought you were dead.

Waking up and looking all around you, you realize all you learned about The Afterlife was a fantasy. You don't know where you are, but you do know it's not a pleasant or suitable place. You need to run. Hard and fast.

Eventually, you meet others doomed to live in this terrifying Realm with you. Here are gathered the newly dead from all over the universe. A formidable race of giant beasts hunts them. The likes of which have never been seen by those in the living world. This place is like nothing you ever learned about in life - neither Heaven nor Hell, neither Purgatory nor Sheol.

You encounter clusters of people huddled together for safety. You're a lone wolf – they don't trust you, nor you them. Perhaps with good reason.

Patrick is key to the future of The Realm. He must right old wrongs and fight against all the terrors it has in store. He must fight to save his family and, most importantly, all of his descendants. His revelations will impact the living world, as well as what comes next.

Patrick is the future of humanity. Can he succeed?

Get your copy of The Realm here!

Top 20 Places to Submit Speculative Fiction

Looking for places to submit your science fiction, fantasy, or horror stories? We've got you covered. Check out this article:

Roswell Award: Short Fiction

The 6th Annual Roswell Award short science fiction writing competition is open for submissions. Deadline is December 15, 2020. Get the low down:

Featured Writer: P. Djéli Clark

Phenderson Djéli Clark is the award winning and Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and World Fantasy nominated author of the novellas The Black God’s Drums and The Haunting of Tram Car 015. His stories have appeared in online venues such as, Daily Science Fiction, Heroic Fantasy Quarterly, Apex, Lightspeed, Fireside Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and in print anthologies including, Griots, Hidden Youth and Clockwork Cairo. He is a founding member of FIYAH Literary Magazine and an infrequent reviewer at Strange Horizons.

Born in New York and raised mostly in Houston, Texas, he spent the early formative years of his life in the homeland of his parents, Trinidad and Tobago. When not writing speculative fiction, P. Djèlí Clark works as an academic historian whose research spans comparative slavery and emancipation in the Atlantic World. He melds this interest in history and the social world with speculative fiction, and has written articles on issues ranging from racism and H.P. Lovecraft to critiques of George Schuyler’s Black Empire, and has been a panelist and lecturer at conventions, workshops and other genre events.

At current time, he resides in a small Edwardian castle in New England with his wife, infant daughters, and pet dragon (who suspiciously resembles a Boston Terrier). When so inclined he rambles on issues of speculative fiction, politics, and diversity at his aptly named blog The Disgruntled Haradrim.

Questions that Often Need Answering

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Pronunciation: Djéli, can be “Jel-ee” or “Jah-lee.” The D is silent.

Preferred Byline: P. Djéli Clark

You Can Call Me: Mr. Clark, Phenderson, or Phen.

Agent: I’m represented by Seth Fishman at The Gernert Company.

Who Shot First? Han.

7 Paying SFF Markets

by Avery Springwood

There are loads of paying science fiction and fantasy markets out there. You’ve probably heard of long-established giants like Asimov’s Science Fiction, Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&SF), Apex, Analog Science Fiction & Fact, and Clarkesworld, but here are seven more markets that pay SFWA professional rates of 8c/word, or more.

Happy speculative fiction writing everyone!

Cossmass Infinities is a SF and fantasy magazine, paying 8c/word for 2000-10000 word stories. They publish some stories online and some only in their ebook and print editions, and welcome stories from new writers and stories from Black, Asian, Latin, LGBTQ+ and other under-represented authors. The magazine has a regular submissions window which runs from the 1st to the 7th of every month (which opens/ closes at midnight UTC). Average response time: rejections = 25 days, acceptances = 66 days, but allow 3 months before querying.

Examples of accepted stories online are worth studying.

Full guidelines:

Daily Science Fiction pays 8c/word for speculative fiction stories of 100-1,500 words. They accept all sub-genres/styles of fantasy and SF. Every accepted story is available to read for free online, and you can also subscribe to receive a new story every weekday by email if you wish, also for free. Their accepted stories can be browsed, by topic, HERE.

Average response time: rejections = 21 days, acceptances = 63 days, but allow up to 3 months before querying.

Full guidelines:

Dark Matter Magazine is a SF market that aims to ‘bring you stories that explore the shadow side of reality.’ They welcome dark science fiction and darkly humorous science fiction stories (in a wide range of sub-genres) of 1000-5000 words, and pay 8c/ word on acceptance. Average response is 14 days, but allow 30 days before querying.

Full guidelines:

Escape Pod is an audio magazine that pays 8c/word for science fiction stories of 1,500-6,000 words. They are ‘fairly flexible on what counts as science’ and ‘want stories that center on science, technology, future projections, and/or alternate history, and how any or all of these things intersect with people’.

They are open to submissions annually for 9 months of the year, from Sep 1st – May 31st. Average response time: rejections = 12 days, acceptances = 86 days, but allow up to 3 months before querying.

Full guidelines:

Fantasy Magazine is a market that pays 8c/word for 1500-7500 word fantasy and dark fantasy stories. ‘No subject should be considered off-limits, and we encourage writers to take chances with their fiction and push the envelope. If you’re not sure whether your story is fantasy (vs. horror or science fiction) go ahead and submit and let the editors decide.’

The magazine has a regular submissions window which runs from the 1st to the 7th of every month. Average response time: rejections = 36 days, acceptances = 63 days, but allow up to 3 months before querying.

Full guidelines:

Podcastle is an audio magazine, that pays 8c/word for fantasy stories of up to 6,000 words, published by the same publishers as Escape Pod. They’re open to ‘open to all sub-genres of fantasy, from magical realism to urban fantasy to slipstream to high fantasy, and everything in between’, They are open to submissions four months of the year, in March, June, September, and December. Average response time: rejections = 28 days, acceptances = 84 days, but allow up to 3 months before querying.

Full guidelines:

Strange Horizons is a speculative fiction magazine that pays 10c/ word for stories up to 10,000 words (they prefer stories under 5000 words). They favor literary science fiction and fantasy stories, and are open to submissions once a week, between Monday 1600 UTC and Tuesday 1600 UTC.

Average response time: rejections = 51 days, acceptances = 66 days, but allow up to 3 months before querying.

Full guidelines:

Original article:

6 Common Publishing Myths

by Emily Harstone

As a writer who receives multiple emails each week about publishing, there are a number of myths about publishing that I encounter repeatedly. Different writers tell them to me as if they are fact. Some myths are ones I believed when I was starting out. Some contain truth. Many are entirely false.

Believing in one or more of these myths could seriously hurt your chances of having a book published by the right publisher.

You need a literary agent. Literary agents are great. Many authors rely on them. However, they are hard to find and they can’t always find a publisher for your book. I know several authors who got their book published with a good publisher after their agent failed to get that same book published.

In fact a lot of smaller publishers, including most established and respected ones, accept unsolicited manuscripts directly from authors. Not only that but most larger traditional publishers have at least one imprint or digital first branch that is open to unsolicited submissions.

When I wrote fiction I used to think it was about finding the right agent, now I know that I would submit my work to a few of my favorite publishers directly before trying to find an agent, even though my work would end up in the slush pile.

The second myth, big six or bust, is actually related to the first myth. Many believe that one of the big six publishers (which is now actually only five) need to accept their book in order for the book to sell well, so that the book can find its rightful place in brick and mortar bookstores and libraries.

This is not true. This is why knowing who your publisher’s distributor is, is so important. In fact many smaller publishers have the same distributors as the big five publishers.

Most publishing companies that have a good distributor are very upfront about it. If you go into a book store or a library regularly you will probably have a good idea of which publishers have good distribution, because you see them on the shelves.

An incomplete manuscript can be accepted is only a myth when it comes to fiction. Many nonfiction research based books are accepted before completion. When it comes to fiction, all successful legitimate publishers that I know of require that the manuscript is complete on submission. So even if they request just the first three chapters, the rest of your book should already be finished.

Having a legitimate publisher means that you don’t have to self- promote. This might have been true at one point, but it has not been true for a long time. Ten years ago I took a class with a New York Times bestselling author. He told me the best thing he did for his first book was independently hire a publicist, even though his book was published by a major (big five) publisher.

Most publishers that you can submit to directly want to know your marketing plan (or your author platform) before accepting your book for publication. They want to know that you are committed to promoting your work. That you know who your potential audience is and you are willing to connect with them. This does not mean the publisher is less legitimate or that they won’t help with marketing. They just need to know that you are serious about supporting your own book.

You have to pay a traditional publisher. If you have a traditional publisher, you do not pay them anything. They pay you. However, over the past few years many traditional and established publishing houses such Harlequin, Thomas Nelson, and Hay House have partnered with companies such as Authors Solutions Inc. to create self-publishing branches associated with these presses. Sometimes if the traditional branches of these presses have contests, the contests are even redirected to the self-publishing branch. This can confuse a lot of people.

For example in India, Penguin/Random House, one of the big five and one of the best known publishers in the world, runs a company called Partridge. However, Partridge is purely a vanity publisher. They charge all their writers.

It is no wonder that myth is becoming more substantial, not less.

Self-publishing is easy. There is truth to this myth. With a little time and minimal effort, any person can publish their book with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). However, that does not mean that anyone will buy or read that book. The majority of self-published books sell under 10 copies. Like traditional publishing, self-publishing requires a lot of work if you want to be successful, it is just a different kind of work.

Original article:

27 Horror Publishers Currently Open to Novels/Novella Submissions

by M. Jennings

BHC Press Seeks manuscripts in a variety of genres, including horror.

Black Bed Sheet Books The site states, “We’re accepting submissions for 2020 releases and beyond– full-length novels, novellas, short story collections, horror genre-related but will look at Science Fiction/Fantasy, Urban Fantasy and the like. We are also accepting submissions for our EBOOK-ONLY line of titles. Our Ebook-only line generally consists of content too short to publish in print.”

Black Hare Press Black Hare Press is looking for Deep Underground horror themed novellas of 20-40k words. Check the very bottom of the page for those particular guidelines as they seem to have a number of anthologies planned as well.

Bloodshot Books The site itself doesn’t seem to have been updated since last year, but Bloodshot Books owner, Pete Kahle, regularly posts Bloodshot release-related info. on social media.

Bold Strokes Books A LGBTQ+ publisher that emphasizes they’re committed to “diversifying (their) authorship.” They publish a variety of genres, including horror.

By Light Unseen Media Serious vampire fiction, no tropes (That means no garlic and sparkles, kids)

Chaosium Fiction Seeks fiction centered around Cthulhu mythos.

CLASH Books Publishes unique voices in any genre. Author’s note: Editor-in-chief, Leza Cantoral, does fantastic work with her authors. I hope to write something at some point that will suit CLASH.

Curiosity Quills Press Seeks paranormal, speculative, and/or dark fantasy horror.

Dark Hall Press. They state they are “a boutique publisher of superior Horror and SciFi literature.” There’s a place on the page where you may query Dark Hall Press about manuscript submissions.

Darkstroke Publishing Darkstroke’s page states, “We’re looking for excellent writing in the fiction and non-fiction areas of crime, thriller, dystopian, sci-fi, horror, mystery and psychological.” Author’s note: Darkstroke’s submissions page indicates the authors are in charge of their marketing and promotion This isn’t anything particularly new due to small press budget issues. However, there should be some effort of some sort on behalf of the publisher. The small presses I’ve personally been in contact with all work exceptionally hard to create an interactive social media presence for their press; have a dealers’ table at conventions and charity events; set up interviews for their authors, and so on.

Ellysian Press Seeks character-driven horror, paranormal, and paranormal romance as well as science fiction and fantasy.

Flame Tree Press Seeks SF, fantasy, horror, and crime fiction.

Grinning Skull Press Open to all horror but has a particular preference for “creature features.” Author’s Note:There’s an emphasis on no simultaneous submissions (which means you’re expected not to submit that particular work elsewhere until they get back to you). For whatever press you’re interested in querying, ask yourself if you really want to put everything on hold with your submission while you wait for a publisher to respond? Sometimes, the wait can be ridiculously long.

Jolly Fish Press Seeks manuscripts in a variety of genres, including horror.

Mocha Memoirs Seeks “science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.” Mocha Memoirs emphasizes that they’re particularly looking for “diverse people as protagonists.”

Odyssey Books Based in Australia, Odyssey Books seeks manuscripts in a variety of genres, including horror.

Off Limits Press A horror publisher. The next open submissions call is Nov. 15-30th. Author’s Note: Horror author, editor, filmmaker and WIHFF co-chair Samantha Kolesnik’s new endeavor, Off Limits Press, is doing quite well in its first year. I can attest that she’s an all-around lovely person and a consummate professional to work with (I’ve had stories in two of her publications), so if you wind up having a novel accepted by Off Limits, you’ll have a good experience working with her.

Panther Publishing (UK) Seeks mystery, crime, horror, thriller and paranormal. They add, “We don’t mind if you’ve got romantic elements. We don’t mind if you’ve got a YA feel. Just as long as they fit those genres.”

Polis Books Seeks submissions in a number of genres, including horror.

Quirk Books Seeks genre writing (including horror) with a unique spin. (Grady Hendrix is one of their popular horror authors, if that gives you an idea.)

Sands Press Canadian publisher taking submissions in “most genres.”

Severed Press Seeks apocalyptic, killer sea creatures, kaiju monster, dinosaur/lost world adventures, LitRPG, and LitFPS horror.

Silver Shamrock Publishing Seeking submissions in traditional horror (no torture porn, zombies, or serial killers). Author’s note: They seem to be quite prolific and have a good reputation. Wouldn’t hurt to give them a try!

Stitched Smile Publications Their submission page states they “publish stories with dark undertones. This includes, but is not limited to: horror, science fiction, fantasy, grimdark, poetry, paranormal, creature fiction, southern gothic, and anything else with dark themes.” Author’s Note: A very nice group. I think they’ll take good care of your work if you’ve a submission that’s accepted.

Talos Press Seeks science fiction, fantasy and horror. They ask for a somewhat detailed book proposal package instead of a query and/or sample chapters, which is something I’ve not heard of for fiction submissions. See the guidelines for more info.

Tartarus Press Seeks novels and story collections on “literary strange/supernatural” adult fiction (but no high fantasy, violent horror, or YA).

Original article:

Wild Seed

Black Empire

Black God's Drum


30-Second Book Reviews!