Submissions to our Speculative Mystery Anthology is closed.
What we want
Six original, previously unpublished short stories between 2000 to 7000 words for the first issue of our Speculative Mystery Anthology (closed as of May 31, 2017). We’re seeking spellbinding and gripping fiction that combines speculative elements and genres such as steampunk or urban fantasy with a mystery plot. We’re looking for literary stories that weaves together strong characters, beautiful language, and unique world-building into a fantastical mystery adventure. Our main condition is that the speculative aspect of the story be integral to the central mystery, in some shape or form.
We’re open to combinations of most sub-genres of fantasy, including magic realism and surrealism, as well as most sub-genres of mystery. We will consider cyberpunk and certain contemporary/near-future science fiction as speculative, but otherwise would not want any hard science-fiction. We’re a picky audience when it comes to horror; we prefer stories to inspire bone-chilling terror, rather than simply disgust or revulsion, though we are keen on the presence of inventive monsters. We also less inclined toward hard-boiled or crime fiction that reads too pulpy, and ask that graphic sex and violence do no go beyond the levels of an R-rated movie. Frequent use of explicit language may not be well received by our ears.
Along with the manuscript, we request that you send in a short paragraph or two of commentary, reflection, or insight regarding the piece. Should your work be accepted, we will publish the commentary along with the story in the anthology. Our readers will be curious to hear you address questions such as how you came up with the vision of story that blends fantasy and mystery? What appealed to you most about the way the story took form? What are your thoughts on specific character(s) and their actions. What concepts were you most interested in exploring with the piece? Or anything else that is significant to you as an author.
We will be accepting submissions until May 31, 2017, or whenever the anthology is filled.
Response Time, Simultaneous, & Multiple Submissions
We will do our best to respond to your submission within one month. Please follow-up with us if you have not heard back from us after four weeks.
We allow simultaneous submissions but ask that you notify us as soon as your story has been accepted by another market.
We do not accept multiple submissions. You are welcome to query again with a new work as soon as you like after we have responded to your previous submission.
Editing, Rights, & Payment
If we accept your work, we may request minor line-edits for grammar, punctuation and clarity. You will have the opportunity to review and discuss all edits with us before the final version of your work is published.
We are buying First World Serial Rights, First World Electronic Rights and Exclusive Rights for three months from the date of first publication. In addition, we reserve a three month worldwide license from the date of first publication to continue to publish your work as part of the same anthology in different electronic formats (PDF, e-book), as well as on its own as a standalone piece that will available only on our website and archive.
The author retains copyright and ownership of the work. All rights revert back to the author after three months.
Payment is $30. Payment will be made through PayPal (preferred), or mailed by check, upon publication. We will also email you a digital copy (PDF) of the final anthology.
All published works will be credited with a byline, and contributors will be featured on our Contributors Page.
Formatting & Submitting
All fiction manuscripts should be in standard manuscript format. Most important: double-spaced, 12 pt standard font (e.g. Times, Arial, Courier), and page numbers.
Include your work as a separate Word (.DOCX) attachment in an email. Your commentary to go with the story can be provided as a separate attachment or in the body of the email.
Please email all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org and include in the subject field the name of the piece, and approximate word count. Example: “The Case of the Ginger Tree Spirit” (6000). Please also mention how you heard about us in the body of the email. A cover letter isn’t necessary, but you’re welcome to send us one. We ask that you also include the PayPal email address used to pay the submission fee or the transaction id in the body of your email.
There is no submission fee!
Previously we had charged a $5 fee only to help us cover the cost of compensating authors. We had offered payment of 5 cents per word. However, in consideration of the costs associated for authors, especially new writers, to submit their works in general, we decided to eliminate the fee altogether. Unfortunately, this means we have to also lower our compensation, but we hope and believe that this is a more favorable practice for us and our authors in the long run!
We look forward to receiving your work!