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Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Steamfunk, Sword & Soul, Horror, Commentary, Reviews, and more . . .

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

How Do You Build a World?

Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe. Developing an imaginary setting with coherent qualities such as a history, geography, and ecology is a key task for many science fiction or fantasy writers. Worldbuilding often involves the creation of maps, a backstory, and races, including social customs and, in some cases, an invented language for a world. (Wikipedia)

K. Ceres Wright discusses Worldbuilding with AFROFuturists LH Moore and William Jones who share their insights about realistic and entertaining stories for readers and writers.

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!

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:

SF/F Markets for November


38 Themed Calls for Submissions for November 2021

Written by S. Kalekar

Here is a list of 38 themed submission calls and contests for writers of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Some themes are: healers, midwives, and cunning folk; charm; extinction; tales of savagery and slaughter; teenagers; woodland terrors; pirating pups; and shattering the glass slipper. Also see this list for some upcoming themed deadlines.


Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine – Healers, Midwives, and Cunning Folk

They publish fairy tale themed fiction and poetry; both of these have to follow the specific theme, while nonfiction can be on any fairy tale subject. They’re open for 72 hours. The theme is ‘Healers, Midwives and Cunning Folk.’ Their guidelines say, “I’m looking for old fashioned herbal healers who served villages way back in the day, midwives also tended to help with a variety of ailments, and “cunning folk,” who used folk magic as well as potions, salves and poultices, etc. Think of regular herbalists, hedge witches, kitchen witches, regular midwives, etc. I am looking for folklore to merge into fairy tales here. What does that mean? It means you should submit works that have at least an element of the theme above. You may retell an existing fairy tale or use a story for a jumping off place for your poem or story. You can mashup two or more fairy tales. The theme may figure into your work in subtle or large ways.” The editor prefers stories that end happily, though that’s not essential. And please keep in mind the classic fairy tale form when writing stories. Reading period: 1-3 November 2021

Length: 750-1,000 words for prose; poetry of any length

Pay: $50

Details here.

If I Die Before I Wake: Tales of Savagery and Slaughter

This is a fiction anthology by Sinister Smiles Press, titled ‘Tales of Savagery and Slaughter’. “Submissions must contain elements of savagery and slaughter, conducted by a person, an animal, a being other than human, or an unknown/original type of perpetrator. We are very much interested in stories with extremely original plots and not the typical “person slaughters a bunch of other people” type stories. Bonus points if the setting of the story is unique.” Writers can send more than one story.

Deadline: 8 November 2021

Length: 4,000-12,000 words

Pay: $30-50

Details here.

Speculative City: Queer AND BIPOC writers

Speculative City “embraces the motivations of speculative fiction and integrates them into a focus of setting: the city.” Also, “We seek provocative fiction, poetry, and essays that are centered within the cityscape—cities are vital spaces of community that act as a welcome ground and place of exploration.” For the upcoming issue, they want submissions only from writers who identify as both, Queer AND BIPOC.

Deadline: 15 November 2021

Length: Up to 5,500 words

Pay: $20-55

Details here.

Apparition Lit: Charm

They accept speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, horror, literary) and poetry and they will open submissions for the ‘Charm’ theme later in November. They may have an extended reading period for BIPOC writers. (They also have a monthly themed flash fiction challenge, usually on various historical figures, which runs from the 1st to the 15th of every month, and pays $30.)

Reading period: 15-30 November 2021 for general submissions on Charm

Length: 1,000-5,000 words for fiction, up to five poems

Pay: $0.03/word for prose, $30/poem

Details here.

Cricket Media: MUSE Magazine – Islands; Extinction

This is Cricket Media’s science and nonfiction magazine for 9-14-year-olds, and they publish other magazines for children, too. They publish feature articles (800–2,000 words, including sidebars), profiles and interviews, particularly of underrepresented STEM professionals (500–800 words), activities and experiments (500–800 words), photo essays (100–300 words), science fiction or science-focused fiction (800–1,200 words), and infographics. They have some upcoming themed deadlines, including these:

— Islands: “Why big animals get small and small animals get big on islands. The fabulous birds of paradise—why living on an island gave them incredible plumage. How delicate are island ecosystems?—explore Hawaii’s struggle with invasive species. How does an island form? The disappearing island—why some islands can simply vanish. Life on an island—would be great if we could talk to a kid who lives on a small island. How do island communities get supplies, weather storms, etc. How to make an artificial island.” The pitch deadline is 15 November 2021.

— Extinction: “Modern-day extinction wave. How many animals on the planet are threatened? How about plants? Danger zones for animals: why certain habitats are disappearing faster than others. Helping threatened animals that aren’t cute and cuddly (why pandas get the big bucks and blobfish don’t). The ugliest animals that need the most help. How does the current extinction wave compare with extinctions of the past? A success story in conservation. Possibly story of conservation that didn’t work, as well. The technology of conservation: how do you replicate delicate ecosystems? Why is cloning NOT the answer?” The pitch deadline is 15 December 2021.

Deadlines: 15 November for Islands; 15 December 2021 for Extinction

Length: Various (see above)

Pay: Unspecified

Details here (click on MUSE).

(Also see guidelines and themes for Cricket Media’s Cobblestone and Faces magazines; details for ASK Magazine are below, in this list.)

Dark Peninsula Press: Woodland Terrors

The Cellar Door is a biannual digest of dark, speculative fiction. They want horror/thriller stories that take place in or near the woods for their first issue; the theme is ‘Woodland Terrors’. “Creature feature, thriller/suspense, gothic/ghost story, serial killer, cult, cosmic horror. Not looking for fantasy stories, traditional “witch in the woods” stories, or modernized fairy tales.”

Deadline: 15 November 2021

Length: 2,000-7,500 words

Pay: $25

Details here.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Humorous Stories; Preteens; Teenagers

They publish nonfiction stories and poems, of up to 1,200 words, on specific themes. They have extensive guidelines on each theme, excerpts of which are below.

— Humorous Stories: “Share your funny stories about something that happened to you in your life – in your relationship with a partner or spouse, a parent or child, a family member or friend, at work or at home – that made you and the people around you laugh out loud. Did you mean for it to be funny? Did the other person mean to make you laugh? Did a situation just get out of control? Did a misunderstanding turn into a comedy of errors?” Some suggested themes are: Slips of the tongue; Misunderstandings that led to funny moments; Weird habits; COVID comedy/isolation incidents; Wedding mishaps; Holiday meltdowns; and DIY projects. The deadline is 20 November 2021.

— Preteens: This book is about preteen years (ages 9-12). “Scientific research has proven that being thankful improves your health, your cognitive functions, and your relationships. Young people who see the silver linings, count their blessings, and maintain a positive perspective weather the ups and downs of life much better than those who bemoan their fates and focus on the negative.

We’re looking for your uplifting true stories and poems about how you used the power of gratitude to change your own life while you navigated the preteen and teenage years. You’ll help readers through your examples and your personal tips on how to use thankfulness and appreciation.” They have several suggested topics, including: Learning that less can be more; Realizing that possessions are not as important as other things, like relationships and family; Doing for others – volunteer work, random acts of kindness; Appreciating your family members. The deadline is 20 December 2021.

— Teenagers: This book is about teenage years (ages 13-19). The premise is the same as for the Preteens book, above, except that this one talks about the teen experience. The deadline is 20 December 2021.

They also have other themes listed, with deadlines in 2022: Cats; Counting your blessings; Crazy, eccentric, wacky, lovable, fun families; Dogs; Miracles; Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s; and Messages from heaven.

Deadlines: 20 November for Humorous Stories; 20 December 2021 for both Preteens and Teenagers

Length: Up to 1,200 words

Pay: $200.

Details here (themes), here (guidelines), and here (submission portal).

Claw & Blossom: Glow

This is a quarterly online journal of poetry and short literary prose, that touches upon the natural world. They are reading work for issue 11, the December Solstice issue, and the theme is ‘Glow’. The work must contain elements of the natural world. Regarding poetry, they are partial to free verse, and aren’t keen on traditional forms. They can accept a limited number of fee-free submissions a month, after which there is a submission fee.

Deadline: 22 November 2021

Length: Up to 1,000 words for prose, one poem

Pay: $25

Details here.

Prairie Fire: Uncharted Territory

This Canadian literary journal publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. They’re reading on the ‘Uncharted Territory’ theme. Their guidelines say, “Each person is essentially, a vast uncharted territory just waiting to be explored. Sometimes the changes we create, or are plunged into, are monumental, adventurous and exciting, at other times, they are grueling, painful, and require us to endure until we reach the other side.

Tell us about a time you (or a fictional character) either deliberately threw away the roadmap and set out on a new, uncharted course into the unfamiliar and unexpected, or a time when an external catalyst such as loss, illness, poverty, a social movement, a work of art, or a pandemic changed the way you think, or sent you in a new direction and changed the course of your life.”

Deadline: 24 November 2021

Length: Up to 5,000 words for fiction and nonfiction; up to 3 poems

Pay: $0.10/word for prose; $40/poem; varies for other formats

Details here and here.

Mythulu Magazine: Steam vs Substance

They want fiction and nonfiction for their next issue, as well as graphic stories/cartoon strips. Their guidelines say, “Come debate two sides of the world’s hottest-selling genre. How spicy can relationships get without taking clothes off? On the other hand, what gives erotica purpose?

Pick a side. Prove explicit moments can be both ethical and important… or demonstrate why platonic gestures demonstrate superior love.

On the business/non-fiction side, discuss how codependency impacts authors, especially the tug-of-war between personal expression and the need for acceptance. Consider the romance business, the genre’s relationship with censorship, or another related topic you’re passionate about.” This will be extremely competitive, as they are looking for three stories across the spectrum – one PG-level romance, one mass-appeal romance, and one erotic story (see guidelines).

Deadline: 28 November 2021

Length: 500 – 2,800 words for fiction; 200 – 1,200 words for nonfiction

Pay: $0.04/word for creative works, capped at $75; $0.08/word for nonfiction

Details here.

Pirating Pups anthology

This is an anthology about pirating dogs. The editor says, “I am looking for adventure-loving dogs, puns, water and fun. I’m looking for sailors, submariners, explorers, Vikings and more. Fun stories filled with excitement, drama, treasure-seeking, sword fights, discovering new worlds and dogs, dogs, dogs! … I’m a sucker for a great setting, three-dimensional characters and high stakes, and if your story elicits real emotion from me—laughter, tears or anything in between—you will have increased your chances of acceptance significantly.” Stories should have a strong plot and detailed characters.

Deadline: 30 November 2021

Length: Up to 7,500 words

Pay: CAD50

Details here.

Fly on the Wall Magazine: Power

They want fiction (including flash of up to 500 words), poetry, book reviews, and art. They are reading submissions on the ‘Power’ theme. “What comes to your mind when we say: ‘Power’?

Think internal/external, physical/emotional. Think relationships, power and governmental structures, influence, class. What empowers us/what oppresses us?

We want personal interpretations of power, from the light-hearted to pieces of art and writing which shout from the rooftops; from the physical to the abstract.”

Deadline: 30 November 2021

Length: Up to 4 poems; stories up to 2,000 words

Pay: £20

Details here.

Smoking Pen Press: Another Dimension anthology

This is a call for their Read on the Run anthology, and the theme is Another Dimension. “We’re looking for stories about time travel, multiverse/parallel universes, or both.” Contributors can opt for cash payment or a copy/copies of the anthology.

Deadline: 30 November 2021

Length: 1,200-7,000 words

Pay: $20

Details here.

Black Coffee & Vinyl: The City

Submissions are open for Black Coffee & Vinyl’s visual art and multimedia project that incorporates literature – fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, on ‘The City’ theme. “We are seeking art, words, and sounds that explore, critique, celebrate and interrogate the urban landscape, culture and environment. The city, a place, should play a central role in the work and should be a central character or focus. We are seeking a diverse range of city representation from large cities to small, from real to imagined.”

Deadline: 30 November 2021 (extended)

Length: Up to 2,000 words for prose; up to 3 poems

Pay: $50

Details here.

Cricket Media: ASK Magazine – Wild in the City; Facing Fear

This is a science and nonfiction magazine from Cricket Media, and they run other children’s magazines as well. They welcome queries for articles, for ASK Magazine. They publish feature articles (400–1200 words, with sidebars); photo essays (400–800 words); humor pieces (200–400 words); profiles/interviews of scientists, inventors, engineers, artists (200–1000 words); theme-appropriate experiments; science panel cartoons (2–6 pages). They have some upcoming pitch deadlines, including for:

— Wild in the City: Their guidelines say, “Can wild plants and animals survive in a city?

Wild animals adapting to urban places; what makes a survivor; problem neighbors.” The pitch deadline is 30 November 2021.

— Facing Fear: Their guidelines say, What are you scared of? And why?

What is fear and what is it good for? Why do people fear different things? And how can we tame it?” The pitch deadline is 30 January 2022.

Deadlines: 30 November 2021 for Wild in the City; 30 January 2022 for Facing Fear

Length: Various (see above)

Pay: Unspecified

Details here (click on ASK).

Parabola: Wonder

This is a quarterly journal that explores the quest for meaning as it is expressed in the world’s myths, symbols, and religious traditions, with particular emphasis on the relationship between this store of wisdom and our modern life. They accept original essays and translations. Their guidelines say, “We look for lively, penetrating material unencumbered by jargon or academic argument. We prefer well-researched, objective, and unsentimental pieces that are grounded in one or more religious or cultural tradition; articles that focus on dreams, visions, or other very personal experiences are unlikely to be accepted.” They publish articles (1,000-3,000 words), book reviews (500 words), retellings of traditional stories (500-1,500 words), forum contributions (up to 500 words), and poetry (up to 5 poems). They have a call a Wonder-themed issue.

Deadline: 1 December 2021.

Length: Various; see above

Pay: Unspecified

Details here.

The Antihumanist: Anti-human narratives

This magazine publishes anti-human work. For fiction, “We want fiction that challenges human centred narratives, that forces us to confront our place in the universe, that makes us question: Who are we? Why are we here? Is there a purpose? Historically, weird fiction has best captured this goal. However, we are willing to accept submissions from speculative, horror, and literary writers that meet the above criteria.” They also publish translations. They want nonfiction and letters on the anti-human theme, as well.

Deadline: 1 December 2021

Length: Up to 1,000 words for fiction, 750-1,500 words for essays, up to 350 words for letters

Pay: $0.05/word

Details here.

Scary Dairy Press: Bloody Rock anthology

This is a horror fiction anthology that combines a rock song theme and creepy horror. It draws inspiration from the terrifying tunes of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Stories must not use the original song lyrics, however the song inspiring the tale should be clear. “We are looking for stories that channel deathly waves on the air! Bonus points if tales champion animals or animal rights …, focus on human rights, climate change, gender issues, and other important social issues.”

Deadline: 1 December 2021

Length: 2,000-5,000 words

Pay: $0.03/word

Details here.

The Quiet Ones: True Love Never Dies

The Quiet Ones is a tri-annual e-zine that centers LGBTQIAP+ and women’s voices in the subgenres of quiet horror and intimate dystopian fiction, both for YA and Adult audiences; they accept submissions from all writers. For the ‘True Love Never Dies’ issue, they want fiction, micro-fiction, and poetry on the theme.

Deadline: 1 December 2021

Length: Up to 3,000 words

Pay: $25

Details here and here.

Archive of the Odd

“Archive of the Odd is a zine of uncanny occurrences, told in even stranger ways.” They want speculative fiction, with horror being preferred. They’d like a variety of time periods. Stories can be in any format, except traditional prose. Some of the suggested formats are: forum messages; police blotters; academic papers; technical writing; medication warning sheets; sales papers; newspaper articles; recipes; knitting/crochet/weaving/what-have-you guides; care guides (plant, animal, rock garden, etc); or any other unusual format. Submissions do not have to be entirely in text (see guidelines). They are reading now for their first issue.

Deadline: 1 December 2021

Length: 500-5,000 words

Pay: $15-25

Details here.

Three Time Travelers Walk Into…

This is a fiction anthology. Their guidelines say, “Take any three famous people from history, toss them together, and have an adventure.

How they got together is up to you – you could do an origin story of how they first met or you could write the story as if they had been adventuring for years. You can use a time machine or a rip in space/time or quantum magic or whatever. You could have some sort of universal translator or you can have the language barrier be part of your plotline.

And these three people should be really separate if possible, from different cultures and times. “ Also, “I’m looking for real people or people who are so ingrained in mythology that they could be real (Robin Hood, King Arthur, Mulan, etc.). Obviously, do not use any copyrighted characters or clearly fictional characters even if they are in the public domain”.

Deadline: 9 December 2021

Length: Prefers up to 4,000, can accept up to 5,000 words

Pay: $0.05/word

Details here.

Zombies Need Brains: Three anthologies

They are reading submissions for three science fiction and fantasy anthologies – Noir, Shattering the Glass Slipper, and Brave New Worlds. They want a range of stories, from humorous to dark.

— Noir “is to feature science fiction, fantasy, or urban fantasy stories with a detective/private investigator set-up and a noir atmosphere. We would like a wide variety of genre settings for this anthology, specifically SF and second world fantasy settings.”

— Shattering the Glass Slipper “is to feature stories of known fairy tales that have been upended, gender-bent, or twisted around in some way. Stories featuring less famous fairy tales, especially those from non-European cultures, will have a better chance of catching our eye.” See guidelines for which stories the anchor authors will use; they’re unlikely to use two stories featuring the same fairy tale.

— Brave New Worlds “is to feature science fiction stories set along the pathway of us leaving Earth for the stars. Stories can be set during our departure from Earth, on the long journey to reach a new planet, or upon arrival at said planet. Generation ship or colony ship stories are allowed, as well as terraforming stories once the new planet is reached. Stories featuring the human element to these types of journeys will receive more attention than strictly plot-based stories.”

Deadline: 31 December 2021

Length: Up to 7,500 words

Pay: At least $0.08/word + royalties

Details here.

Cast of Wonders: CatsCast

They want submissions of speculative cat stories, to publish on their website in electronic and audio format. “CatsCast is looking for fun speculative cat stories! A CatsCast story should leave cat-loving listeners a little happier after listening than they were before.

Specifically, we’re looking for speculative fiction stories about cats. “Cats” in this context are, well, cats — but since this is a speculative fiction podcast, they don’t have to be exactly the same species as the housecats we have here on Earth. The stories should have happy, or at least hopeful, endings for all featured cats. Humor is strongly encouraged but not required.” They also accept reprints.

Deadline: 1 February 2022

Length: Up to 6,000 words

Pay: $0.08/word

Details here.

(Two magazines from the Cast of Wonders suite will be open during November; PodCastle is open for general fantasy fiction submissions during 1-30 November; and Cast of Wonders will be open during 15 November-20 December 2021, according to this schedule. Both of these pay $0.08/word.)

New York Times: Solver Stories

These are nonfiction pieces for the Solver Stories column of New York Times – personal essays about your relationship with puzzles. Their guidelines say, “Solver Stories, a feature of Wordplay, welcomes submissions of personal essays on a variety of topics, such as: An issue the writer has faced in life, and how solving puzzles (of any kind) has helped them resolve that issue; A feel-good story or good news from the worlds of puzzles and games…; How solving puzzles has affected a relationship in the writer’s life; How puzzles, games or use of language have been agents of cultural change.

The most important thing is that the writing be emotionally honest and for the story to be freshly and compellingly told.” They have examples of Solver Stories essays within the guidelines.

Deadline: Ongoing

Length: 800-1.300 words

Pay: $200

Details here.


The Rain Short Story Contest: Ghosts of the Past

Their website says, “The Rain is an atmospheric podcast that aims to realize the vision of the lesser-known authors and writers in the world by creating a one-of-a-kind audio experience to fully immerse listeners in the world of the fiction.” This is the inaugural short fiction contest for their podcast. Their guidelines say, “Submit a short story about a character who is re-confronted with an artifact from a past that they thought was long gone—buried, forgotten, outgrown—that requires them to face a past that they never thought they would have to face again. Maybe they are running from a terrible secret, or hiding from an old fear, but just as they were beginning to feel as though they had escaped their past, it shows up again at their doorstep. How does being confronted by a past they thought dead-and-gone change their present, and how will they face it?” Send stories of 1,800-2,200 words.

Value: $50

Deadline: 7 November 2021

Open for: All writers

Details here.

Washington College: Patrick Henry Writing Fellowship

This is a full-time residential writing fellowship, for writing on American history and culture. Applicants should have a book currently in progress. Their guidelines say, “The project should address the history and/or legacy – broadly defined – of the American Revolution and the nation’s founding ideas. It might focus on the founding era itself, or on the myriad ways the questions that preoccupied the nation’s founders have shaped America’s later history. Work that contributes to ongoing national conversations about America’s past and present, with the potential to reach a wide public, is particularly sought.”

Value: $45,000, other allowances, residency

Deadline: 15 November 2021

Open for: Published writers

Details here.

Weird Christmas Flash Fiction Contest

This is an annual contest, and the theme is ‘Weird Christmas’; there are also three prompts the writers can choose. Stories have to be about Christmas, and have to be weird in some way. Writers can send multiple entries. Stories have to be up to 350 words.

Value: $75, $50; and $5 for honourable mentions

Deadline: 15 November 2021

Open for: All writers

Details here.

Apex Magazine: Holiday Horrors Flash Fiction Contest

They want stories of 250 words or less, The theme is Halloween. “Tell us tales of trick-or-treating gone wrong, monsters lurking in the darkness to grab kiddies on their way home, or teens who accidentally raise the dead.

Halloween is the scariest holiday of them all, so finding a way to twist it into something new and exciting will be a trick, and will definitely give us all a treat!”

Value: $25 and $10

Deadline: 15 November 2021

Open for: All writers

Details here.

(General speculative fiction submissions are also open for Apex Magazine – pay is $0.08/word for stories up to 7,500 words.)

Dappled Things: The J. F. Powers Prize for Short Fiction

Dappled Things is a space for emerging writers to engage the literary world from a Catholic perspective. For this contest, they want stories of up to 8,000 words “with vivid characters who encounter grace in everyday settings—we want to see who, in the age we live in, might have one foot in this world and one in the next.”

Value: $500, $250

Deadline: 30 November 2021

Open for: All writers

Details here.

Better than Starbucks Sonnet Contest

This contest accepts metrical sonnets. Their guidelines say, “Your sonnet can be shakespearean, petrarchan, spenserian, rhymed, or slant-rhymed. Blank verse is fine, as long as the sonnet form is clearly identifiable. We’ll consider tetrameter, hexameter, etc. as well as pentameter. Some metrical variation is fine, but don’t forget the volta!” They do accept previously published work, as long as the poet holds the rights (see guidelines). Submit up to two sonnets. The first prize is higher this year because of a donation.

Value: $500, $100, $50

Deadline: 30 November 2021

Open for: All poets

Details here.

(Submissions are also open for the Treehouse Climate Action Prize, for poets in the US – the deadline is 15 November 2021, and the first prize is $1,000.)

Poets for Human Rights: Two contests

They have two contests, one for adults and another for poets who are 17 years or younger.

— The 2021 Anita McAndrews Award Poetry Contest: For this contest, the theme is Human Rights. Familiarity with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is recommended. Submit up to three poems in any poetic style or form; multilingual poems are welcome (include translation in English).

Value: $250, $100, $50

Deadline: 30 November 2021

Open for: All poets

Details here (scroll down).

— Renee Duke Youth Award poetry contest: This is for poets 17 years or younger. Send up to three poems. The theme is Universal Declaration of Human Rights or any of the 30 articles of the UDHR. Poems can be in any poetic style or form, and multilingual poems are welcome (include translation in English).

Value: $200, $75, $25

Deadline: 30 November 2021

Open for: Poets ages 17 years or younger

Details here (scroll down).

A couple of contests with later deadlines are:

The Tratt Fiction Award for US-based writers, for a debut short story manuscript – it must be the writer’s first collection of short fiction; the prize is $1,000, and the deadline is 31 December 2021.

Submissions are also open for the Steinbeck Fellows Program of San José State University – it awards writers of any age and background a $15,000 fellowship to finish a significant writing project, and residency. Fellowships are currently offered in Creative Writing (excluding poetry) and Steinbeck Studies; Fellows may be appointed in many fields, including literary scholarship, fiction, drama, education, science and the media, and the deadline is 3 January 2022.

And submissions are still open for César Egido Serrano Foundation’s microfiction contest, open to writers over 14 years of age – they have extended an earlier deadline. Their rules say that they will close the contest within five days of announcing a new closing date. Entries have to be up to 100 words, and the prize is $20,000.

Bio: S. Kalekar is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to this magazine. She is the author of 182 Short Fiction Publishers. She can be reached here.

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:

Journals Seeking Very Short Prose and Poetry

By Zebulon Huset

“For Sale: Baby Shoes, never worn.” This is one of the most widely known microfiction pieces, often attributed to Ernest Hemingway, though that attribution is tenuous. William Carlos Williams’ poem “The Red Wheelbarrow” would be an example of one of the best known very short poems clocking in at a debatable 17 words. And while these masterpieces are quite settled in the zeitgeist, minimalist writing in general doesn’t have an easy time finding a place amongst more expansive and fleshed out works that inhabit most literary magazines. Sure you’ll find one or two short prose poems or maybe some linked haiku in your average journal, but a six word story or five-lined poem won’t as often be found just anywhere.

Following are a number of journals that are either dedicated to minimalist works, or who dedicate a fair amount of the space in their journal to the pursuit of the iceberg, the gem—writing that is small in word count but large in impact.

Air/Light, Not exclusively minimalistic, Air/Light has featured numerous short poems in their limited history, especially their first issue. A Los Angeles-based journal that “approaches the literary arts from a Southern California perspective” and is looking for “new and innovative works of literary arts across all mediums and genres.” They read all year.

Blue River Review, An eclectic electronic journal from Creighton University. They certainly don’t only publish short work but their prose tops out at 2000 words maximum, and they frequently publish poems that are shorter than ten lines. They read all year.

Bluepepper, Bluepepper publishes a couple pieces a week at their online blog-style magazine. Not exclusively for short work, their prose limit is 1500 words and they frequently feature poetry that is under ten lines.

Brazenhead Review, Featuring a unique design, Brazenhead Review is an online journal of new writing that emphasizes that seeks “open dialogues on a myriad of topics” and “especially those texts that are uncategorizable, boundary-breaking, and multiplicitous.” They read all year.

Dead Fern Press, Dead Fern Press is a relatively new online journal, they publish a wide variety of work with their prose limited to 3000 words and under, and their newest issue features a number of very short poems and a 400 word story. They read most of the year, closing for April, August and December.

elsewhere, A self-styled ‘journal of prose poetry’, elsewhere is looking for short prose pieces that “that cross, blur, and/or mutilate genre”. Published roughly biannually in both print and online versions, and while their limit is 1000 words, in the newest issue six of the nine pieces were under 300 words. They read all year. (no submission guidelines page, clicking submit takes you to their Submittable page)

Eunoia Review, Eunoia Review publishes new writing every day from one or sometimes two writers at their blog-style magazine. Eclectic, they publish very short and very long work (15,000 word maximum for prose). They DO NOT read simultaneous submissions. They read all year.

Glintmoon, Focused on poetry under ten lines, however Glintmoon is “not partial to traditional forms, such as the haiku or the tanka, nor do we particularly enjoy rhymed or metred work”. They read all year.

Hoot, A ‘postcard review of {mini} poetry’, they publish poems under 10 lines and prose under 150 words monthly, one piece in print and 1-4 online. They read on a rolling basis.

Impossible Task, The online journal of short works from Chicago press Another New Calligraphy, they want “connected in its exploration of conflict, a term open to interpretation though ever present in these increasingly challenging times.” They read all year.

Microfiction Monday, Publishing only stories under 100 words on the first Monday of every month, Microfiction Monday believes in the possibilities of tiny texts saying “If done right, microfiction can pack a big punch in a small space, allowing the busy reader the ability to absorb a fantastic story in under a minute.” They read submissions all year.

Monkeybicycle While the journal reads stories up to 2000 words for their website, they also have a ‘One-sentence stories’ category where they publish, well, stories that are only one sentence. They read all year. (clicking submit takes you to their Submittable page)

Nailpolish Stories, A ‘Tiny and Colorful Literary Journal’, publishing only stories that are exactly 25 words, Nailpolish Stories expects “emotional impact, wants to be knocked off kilter momentarily by your work, and to enjoy the language along the way.”

Nanoism, A weekly publishing journal of ‘twitter-length fiction’ which is under 140 characters including spaces, with no titles. They encourage short, funky bios, and they read submissions all year.

One Sentence Poems, They discourage semicolons but want your one- sentence poems to have at least one line break and be a grammatically correct sentence—but just one! They read all year.

Press Pause Press, Published online in issues, and averse to social media, Press Pause Press publishes all types of writing, but their newest issue features many short poems and flash/micro fiction pieces. They read all year.

Red Eft Review, This is a blog-style (individual pieces published as opposed to issues) an online publication dedicated to accessible poetry. They DO NOT read simultaneous submissions but they do read all year.

Sassafras Literary Magazine, Dubbing themselves “the littlest litmag in the world”, Sassafras Literary Magazine publishes monthly online issues of minimalist writing. Under 20 lines for poetry and 1000 words for prose, and they read all year.

Shot Glass Journal, In the Muse Pie Press family, Shot Glass Journal is an online journal that publishes issues of poetry under 16 lines. They read all year.

Spartan, An online quarterly journal of minimalist prose, Spartan is closed one month every quarter and while their word limit is 1500, much of what they publish is far lower.

Star 82 Review, While Star 82 Review allows pieces up to 750 words for fiction, the average word count of fiction in their newest issue was 227, and that’s with a 600+ word piece throwing the curve. They publish poems as well in their ‘hidden gems’ section. They read all year.

Tiny Molecules, An online quarterly of flash prose, their word limit is 1000, but many of the pieces they publish are under 300 words. They say “We love flash, we love experimental, we love saying something big in a small space” and read on a rolling basis.

Trouvaille Review, Publishing individual poems frequently in the blog-style journal, Trouvaille Review frequently features poems under ten lines. They also almost always respond in under 24 hours and read all year.

Unbroken, A quarterly online journal of prose poetry and poetic prose (“the block, the paragraph, the unlineated prose”), they aren’t looking for ‘ordinary’, indicating “We want dark and disquieting, we want fanciful and funny, we want surreal and surprising.” They read for six weeks and then take a six-week break, with their current deadline being March 20, 2021.

Versification, A journal of punk microworks, Versification publishes poetry under 5 lines and fiction under 100 words. They aren’t looking for pretty flowers, “we want the grit under your nails. We want to hear about your struggles, your dark, your haunting, or your disturbed.”

Visitant, A blog-style online literary journal with “the goal of nurturing experimental writing and art”, Visitant has a maximum word count of 1500 words but they do publish a fair share of very short work as well. They read submissions all year.

Currently Closed

Alba, A semi-annual journal dedicated to poetry (mostly) under 12 lines mostly free verse, but also forms like cinquain, tanka, haiku and others. They only read submissions during June or December.

Frost Meadow Review, This print journal out of the upper north east region publishes all sorts of writing, but that includes a good amount of short poetry. Their preferred themes include “natural world relationships, New England living, small farms, coastal communities, ecology and hope through darkness”. They read just in January.

Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Publishing “micro fiction, flash fiction, prose poetry, compressed poetry & visual arts, and whatever other forms compression might take.” Their reading periods are 3/15-6/15 and 9/15-12/15.

Molecule, Their word limit including title is 50 words. Molecule is an online journal publishing poetry, prose, plays, interviews, reviews, and visual art of tiny things twice annually. They read submissions from December 1st through January 15th.

50 Word Stories, Publishing one 50-word story every day and then featuring one of those stories as a ‘Story of the month’, 50 Word Stories is for exactly what it says—no more and no less. 51 words, thou shalt not write, and 52 is right out. They read from the first through the fifteen of every month.

Sonic Boom, Publishing three times a year as digital issues, Sonic Boom is looking for “Japanese short-forms of poetry, avant-garde, conceptual, and postmodern works of culture and art.” Their next reading period will be in October, limiting general poetry submissions to under 25 lines and prose under 500 words.

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