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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 August


Havok. Genre: Flash fiction on Theme of EVERYMAN / JESTER. Payment: $10 via PayPal for each story published in an Anthology. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

The Ghastling. Genre: Psychological horror, folk horror, ghost stories and the macabre. Payment: £15 per story plus copy of magazine. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Moonflake Press. Genre: Short stories and poems on theme of Lush. Payment: £25 for each story/poem. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Constelación is a quarterly speculative fiction bilingual magazine, publishing stories in both Spanish and English. Writers can submit their stories in either language. Fifty percent of the stories we publish in every issue will be from authors from the Caribbean, Latin America, and their diaspora. Genre: Speculative fiction. Payment: 8 cents/word. Deadline: August 1, 2021. See themes.

Last Girls Club. Genre: Poetry, short stories, flash fiction, essays. Payment: $10 - $20. Deadline: August 1, 2021. See themes.

The First Line. Genres: Fiction, poetry, nonfiction using the first line provided. (See site.) Payment: $25.00 - $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 - $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

We'Moon Lunar Calendar. Restrictions: Open to women only. Genre: Art, poetry and prose, 350 words maximum. Payment: Small honorarium. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Best Indie Speculative Fiction. Genre: Previously published speculative fiction, between January 1 2019 and December 31st 2020. This project only considers previous-published stories that are either self-published or published with a small press. Length: Up to 20,000 words. Payment: $25. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

The Zodiac Killers Series. Genre: Thriller. Length: 5000-10,000 words, excluding title. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Ripe. Genre: Poetry, prose, art. Payment: $5. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Flame Tree Press: Asian Ghost Short Stories. Genre: Ghost stories written by writers of East, South or Southeast Asian heritage. Payment: 8 cents/6 pence per word for new stories and 6 cents/4 pence per word for reprints. Deadline: August 1, 2021. Reprints accepted.

Mudroom. Genre: Poetry, fiction, essays, and essays in translation. Payment: $15. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

The Suburban Review. Genre: Poetry, fiction, CNF, art, comics on theme of PUNCTURE. Payment: $75 - $150. Deadline: August 1, 2021.

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores. Genre: Speculative stories. Payment: 6 cents/word for original work. 2 cents/word for reprints. Deadline: August 2, 2021.

The Dead Inside. Genre: Poetry, fiction, nonfiction. Identity horror. "Explorations of what happens when our core identities are stripped, altered, suppressed, or denied to us, whether by choice or not." Payment: Poetry: $25 per poem. Flash Fiction: $25 per story. Short Stories: $50 per story. Non Fiction: $50 per piece for print and ebook rights. Deadline: August 2, 2021.

Third Flatiron. Genre: SF/Fantasy/Horror short stories on theme Things with Feathers: Stories of Hope. Payment: 8 cents per word. Deadline: August 2, 2021.

Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine. Genre: Fairy tales, and essays on theme of “Healers, Midwives and Cunning Folk.” Payment: $100. US dollars only. Essays: $50. Deadline: August 3, 2021.

Kate Bush Anthology. Genre: Short stories with elements of weird or dark fiction (horror, bizarro, and magical realism, etc). Original ideas must be drawn from the work of Kate Bush, though the end product need not closely resemble its inspiration. Payment: $15. Deadline: August 3, 2021.

Scum. Genre: Feminist-friendly work of any variety, but as a general rule your piece should be under 2000 words (50 lines for poetry, max. 3 poems) and able to be classified as “fiction”, “culture”, “memoir”, “column”, “poetry”, and/or “review”. Payment: $60 AUD. Deadline: August 7, 2021. Opens to submissions on August 1.

Fantasy Magazine. Genre: Fantasy short stories, flash fiction, poetry. Payment: 8 cents per word for original short stories and flash fiction. $40 per poem. Deadline: August 7, 2021. Opens to submissions on August 1.

Abyss and Apex. Genre: Speculative fiction and poetry. No horror. Payment: USD $.06/word (six cents a word) up to 1,250 words, and a flat payment of $75.00 for longer stories. Deadline: August 7, 2021.

Perennial Press: Arthropoda. Genre: Speculative fiction and poetry about insects, crustaceans, arachnids, or myriapods. Payment: $20. Deadline: August 7, 2021. Accepts reprints.

Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer Growth. Genre: Queer speculative fiction on the theme of plants and growth. Payment: 8 cents/word. Deadline: August 7, 2021.

Lucent Dreaming. Restrictions: New/emerging writers (someone who has been published in 10 or fewer publications in the past 5 years, and has not published a book or full collection). You must be a Lucent Dreaming subscriber, or have read a recent issue to submit work to the magazine. Genre: Speculative and surreal fiction. Word Limit: 1500-3,999 words. Payment: £100 and a free contributor copy. Deadline: August 8, 2021.

Found: An Anthology of Found Footage Horror Stories. Genre: Horror based on found footage. "We’re looking for your best, original, found footage tales. Stories can be written in first person, third person, as a transcript, journal, radio play, poetry, as a script. Play with the format. Do something you haven’t read before." Length: 2,000 to 4,000 words. Payment: $0.03 per word. Questions / submissions: Deadline: August 8, 2021.

ongoing. Genre: Prose in any genre up to 1000 words based on musical prompt. Payment: 30CAD. Deadline: August 10, 2021.

Songs of Eretz. Genre: Poetry, cover art on theme of Religion. Payment: $5. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Planet Scumm. Genre: Hard sci-fi, soft sci-fi, horror, speculative fiction, weird fiction, slipstream on theme of Winter Horror. Payment: 3 cents/word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Kaleidoscoped. Genre: Poetry, prose, media. "We are particularly interested in experimental and hybrid work across all mediums: send us your fragments, your experiments, your photographs, your drawn, your multi, your undefinable, your sound, your memory, your written, your stuff of resistance." Payment: "Small sum." Deadline: August 15, 2021.

CRICKET: Ancient Worlds (ages 9–14) Genre: Historical fiction, nonfiction, myths and legends, and poetry about ancient cultures, including ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, India, China, Africa, the Americas, Pacific Islands, and more. Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

CRICKET: Game On! (ages 9–14) Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry featuring a competition, game, rivalry, or challenge. Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Spider Magazine: Legendary Kids (ages 6 - 9). Genre: Fresh retellings of folktales, fairytales, tall tales, and myths that cast a child—not an adult—as the clever problem-solver. Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Spider Magazine: Outside of the Box (ages 6 - 9). Genre: "We love contemporary stories and poems, but we are excited to read more material that falls outside these popular categories. This might be plays, science fiction, or historical fiction and nonfiction. It might be simple, but inventive, activities like recipes, games, crafts, magic tricks, science experiments, or silly quizzes." Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Ladybug: Exploring Our World (ages 3 - 6). Genre: Compelling explorations of our world written for young children. "We’re looking for narrative nonfiction (to 800 words), nonfiction and nature writing (to 400 words), and poetry (to 20 lines)." Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Ladybug: I Can Help (ages 3 - 6). Genre: Short stories, rebus stories, poems, action rhymes, riddles, and songs about young children learning how to think through problems and help themselves and others. Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Babybug: Let's Play (for babies and toddlers). Genre: Poems, stories, finger plays, and action rhymes about little ones’ favorite games. Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Babybug: Fantastic Fall (for babies and toddlers). Genre: Poetry, action rhymes, finger plays, and very short stories that celebrate autumn. Payment: Stories and articles: up to 25¢ per word. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Ruminate. Genre: Fiction under 5, 500 words. Payment: $20 per 400 words. Deadline: August 15, 2021. Note: Ruminate also accepts short fiction on a rolling basis.

Dose of Dread. Genre: General horror flash fiction. Preference for dread-inducing stories. Length: 500 - 1,000 words. Payment: $10. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Cast of Wonders. Genre: YA Speculative fiction by young adults. Podcast. Payment: $.08/word for original fiction of any length (yes, including flash!). For reprints, a $100 flat rate for Short Fiction, and a $20 flat rate for Flash Fiction. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Yellow Arrow. Restrictions: Open to writers who identify as women. Genre: Poetry Chapbook. Payment: Royalties (?) Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Luna Station Quarterly. Genre: Speculative fiction by woman. Payment: $5. Deadline: August 15, 2021. Accepts reprints.

Hungry Zine. Restrictions: Open to writers located in Canada. Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, art, poetry about food. Payment: $50. Deadline: August 15, 2021.

Parabola. Genre: Original essays and translations, poetry, reviews. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: August 15, 2021. See themes.

Westerly. Genre: Short stories, poetry, memoir and creative non-fiction, essays and literary criticism. Payment: Poems: $120 for one poem or $150 for two or more poems; Stories: $180; Articles: $180; Visual art/Intro essay: $120; Reviews: $100; Online Publication: $100. "We expect our contributors to be subscribers of the Magazine. While we will accept submissions from non-subscribers, should your work be accepted for publication in this instance, you will be asked to accept a subscription to the Magazine as part payment for your work." Deadline: August 16, 2021.

Life Beyond Us. Genre: Science fiction short stories exploring the unknown: life forms we’re not familiar with on Earth (from extreme environments, to those right beneath our noses) and beyond our planet; strange life’s discovery, peculiarities, and the ethical questions arising from these. Payment: 8 cents/word. Deadline: August 20, 2021.

Flash Fiction Online. Genre: Speculative (science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and horror) and literary fiction. Payment: $80. Deadline: August 21, 2021.

Typehouse. Genre: Fiction, poetry, art, and nonfiction. Payment: $21. Deadline: August 22, 2021.

Claw & Blossom Equinox Issue. Genre: Prose and poems that touch upon the natural world. Theme is Strange. Payment: $25. Deadline: August 22, 2021.

Night Shift Radio. Genre: Fiction, non-fiction, memoir - 7,000-10,000 words. Payment: $50 or $25. Deadline: August 28, 2021. Opens August 21.

Dedalus Press - Local Wonders. Restrictions: Irish poets or poets currently living in Ireland, north or south. Genre: Poetry. Payment: Not specified. Deadline: August 30, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Humorous Stories. Genre: True stories and poems. "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?" Payment: $200. Deadline: August 30, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven. Genre: True stories and poems. "We want to hear from you if you have experienced communication from the other side or received a sign or signal from a loved one who has passed. Has someone who has died come to you in a dream? Given you counsel or comfort? Have you gone beyond, but returned to life with new knowledge, insight, or awareness? Have you intuitively known the moment someone died?" Payment: $200. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Lackington’s: Botanicals. Genre: Speculative fiction, art on theme of Botanicals. Payment: 1 cent/word (CAD). Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Griffith Review 75: Learning Curves. Genre: Essays and creative non-fiction, reportage, fiction, poetry, memoir and picture stories. "This edition of Griffith Review explores the breadth of our educational experiences – from preschool to postgrad, from private to public, and from sandstone to the school of life." Payment: Negotiated. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Madness Heart Press: Nafallen University – College Catalog. Genre: This is a call for a new anthology chapbook from John Baltisberger and Matthew Henshaw. The conceit is that the chapbook is a course catalog for a strange and horrible university in North Texas, (think Miskatonic of the south). Submissions should follow the example on the site, with a department heading followed by course descriptions. Each description can be anywhere from 1-200 words long. They may be written to be funny, bizarre, or horrifying. They will take as many courses from submissions as we feel are a good fit. Payment: $0.01/word. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Prospectus. Restrictions: To qualify to be published in Prospectus, you must NOT have done EITHER of the following, no matter what category you are submitting to: Have had a collection of poems published that is longer than 48 pages; Have had a collection of short stories, a novella, or a novel published longer than 150 pages. Genre: Poetry, fiction, reviews, art. Payment: $25. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles. Genre: True stories and poems. "We want your true stories, both religious and non-religious, that will awe us with examples of amazing events. Inspirational stories to remind us that each day stunning miracles do happen and that a miracle can happen at any time." Payment: $200. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Kindness. Genre: True stories and poems. "Has someone performed an act of kindness for you? How did it feel? Did you pay it forward and do something kind for someone else? Did that person know it was you doing that kind thing? Did you do something kind for a stranger knowing you would not be paid back? How did that feel?" Payment: $200. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving, Loss and Recovery. Genre: True stories and poems. "This collection of emotional and inspirational stories will provide comfort, support, and peace to those who have lost someone close to them. What helped you the most when you were grieving? Who were the people who helped you and what did they do? When did you know that you had finally “turned the corner” and were on the road to recovery? When and how did you realize there was light at the end of the tunnel? What are you doing to support others?" Payment: $200. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dogs. Genre: True stories and poems. "We want your true funny stories, your heartwarming stories, and your mindboggling stories about all the simply amazing things that your dog does. What have you learned from your dog? How does your dog improve your life? What crazy things does your dog do? Has your dog ever done anything heroic? How does your dog warm your heart and make you smile? We want to hear all about the absurd antics, funny habits and insightful behavior of your dog. Stories can be serious or humorous." Payment: $200. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Crazy Family. Genre: True stories and poems. "We all have that certain someone in our own family who, while lovable, sweet, and caring, is also nutty or weird. We love that person but, at the same time, that family member makes us crazy! A parent or grandparent, an in-law, a brother or sister, an aunt, uncle or cousin. We all have them and you know who they are! We are looking for true stories and poems about those family members. We would like your stories to be silly, outrageous, hilarious, and make us laugh, but they should also show the kindness and caring of your family member too." Payment: $200. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Dragon Soul Press: Timeless 2. Genre: Fairytale. "Anything involving a twist on old fairy tales, whether it be the classics or lesser known ones.Note: As long as you keep to the theme and use a fairytale, originality is fully appreciated. Cliff-hangers are more than welcome." Word Count – 5,000-15,000. Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Broken Sleep Books. Genre: Non-fiction pamphlets (up to 70 pages). Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents. Genre: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, music. The theme is “The City.” Payment: $50. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

CHROMOPHOBIA: A Strangehouse Anthology by Women in Horror. Genre: Horror written by women on theme of color. Payment:1 cent/word. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Academia Lunare. Genre: Speculative non-fiction in theme "Not the Fellowship. Dragons Welcome." Payment: £30. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Reliquiae. Genre: Poetry and Prose. "Reliquiae is a journal of landscape, nature and mythology. Your work must engage with these themes." Payment: "small payment" Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Bloody Good Horror. Genre: Horror. Payment: $5. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Spartan. Genre: Literary prose, 1500 words max. Payment: $20. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Kaleidotrope. Genre: Speculative fiction and poetry—science fiction, fantasy, and horror, but also compelling work that blurs the lines between these and falls outside of neat genre categories. Payment: For fiction, $0.01/word (1 cent a word) USD. For poetry, a flat rate of $5 USD per accepted piece. For artwork, a flat rat of $60 for cover art. Deadline: August 31st, 2021.

Nightlight. Restrictions: Open to Black writers. Genre: Horror. 10,000 words max. Audio format. Payment: $75 - $200 depending on length. $50 for reprints. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Split Lip Magazine. Genre: Fiction (flash and short stories), memoirs, and poetry. with a pop-culture twist. Payment: $50 per author (via PayPal) for our web issues. Payment for print is $5 per page, minimum of $20, plus 2 contributor copies and a 1-year subscription. Deadline: August 31, 2021. Note: Submit early in the month.

Apparition Lit. Genre: Speculative fiction and poetry on theme of Wonder. Payment: $30. Deadline: August 31, 2021. Opens August 15.

The Astronaut Only Rings Twice. Genre: Hard-boiled detective and science fiction mashups. Payment: $50.00 (CAD). Deadline: August 31, 2021.

Camden Park Press: Holiday Hijinks! Genre: Short stories centered around holidays. (Three anthologies) Payment: Royalties. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

The New Gothic Review. Genre: Gothic fiction. Eerie atmosphere is key. Payment: $50. Deadline: August 31, 2021.

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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