Monday, October 10, 2011

Sub Ops Ten

Ten Things About Submission Opportunities

The Jim Baen Memorial Contest is now open for entries: "Write a short story of no more than 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration." What they'd like to see: "Moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, adventure." What they don't want to see: "Stories that show technology or space travel as evil or bad, Star Wars type galactic empires, paranormal elements, UFO abductions." Prizes: "The GRAND PRIZE winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and paid at the normal paying rates for professional story submittals. The author will also receive an engraved award, free entry into the 2012 International Space Development Conference, a year's membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise. - SECOND and THIRD place winners will receive a year's membership in the National Space Society and a prize package containing various Baen Books and National Space Society merchandise." No entry fee, no reprints, electronic submission only, see contest page for more details. Deadline: February 1, 2012.

Bull Spec is open to fiction submissions: "What I'm looking for: amazing speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, etc.) of any subgenre. What I'd like to see more of: (1) near or further future science fiction with a more optimistic voice and picture of our shared future; (2) well-written non-contemporary fantasy. Note: I'm unlikely to like your story if it has significant amounts of graphic violence or sex, trebly so if it's gratuitous." On length, the editor notes: "I'll read from about 1000 words (soft edges) to 8000 words (soft edges) but my sweet spot is in the 2000-4000 word range." On payment, Ralan notes: "Pay: 5¢/word advance (reprints: 1¢/word), 50% donation royalty" Reprints less than 10K okay but query on 10K or over, electronic submissions only, see guidelines for more details.

Cafe Doom is holding their seventh annual horror short story contest: "We're looking for the best in original horror fiction in 3000 words or less: classically-styled tales in the tradition of writers like Richard Mattheson, Stephen King and Robert Bloch, yet wholly original and modern. We're open to all themes and subgenres, as long as it's effectively written and, above all, scary." On prizes, the editor notes: "1st place - Pro rate of pay, plus publication by One Buck Horror. 2nd place - $100 Amazon voucher. 3rd place - $50 Amazon voucher. In addition to this I will give One Buck Horror anthologies to the authors of my three favourite stories." No reprints, electronic submissions only, see announcement for more details. Deadline: October 30, 2011

Carina Press has an open call for Holiday-themed SF novellas: "Carina is looking for science fiction novellas with a winter holiday theme, to be published digitally both individually and as a collection in December 2012. The novellas should be from 18,000 to 35,000 words and feature science fiction elements as integral to the novella. The stories do not need to be romance, or even have romance elements, but can be straight science fiction, or science fiction with romantic elements, and can also feature elements of mystery, thriller, horror or other sub-genres. Additionally, there is no set heat level for these stories, so they can have no sex, or be ultra-sexy, or anything in between." Payment, reprints: not specified. Electronic submission only, see blog announcement for more details. Deadline: March 15, 2012.

Daily Science Fiction is looking for submissions: "We need short short fiction, especially flash fiction. Among our featured stories, a shorter tale will get an extra nudge on the scale when weighed against a longer one. This is both for financial reasons and because it matches the preferences of a plurality of our readership. Not fair? Perhaps. Consider yourself forewarned. Of course, we want your stories to ooze originality, but a well-written story is a must. We are fond of character-driven fiction, and quite prosaic in our expectation that most stories we publish will in fact have a discernible plot. Wow us, make us care, create a conflict and resolve it. Note that this does not mean we will only publish character-driven masterworks with a plot that would make Tim Powers blush with envy. Our goal is to publish the best stories we can that will be interesting, worthwhile reads. Some stories, especially the shortest of the short short fiction, will succeed despite lack of plot, character, punctuation, what-have-you. We may purchase dark fantasy, but will not publish pure horror. We don't mind feeling the flush of arousal, but will not publish erotica. Guns a-blazing might make our day, but we don't suspect most military SF will win us over. Humor? We take it, It often works especially for short short fiction, but do keep in mind that one alien's funny bone is located near another species' sac of indifference. We're likely not your best market for longer funny tales. Don't be witless, but don't rely on a pun or a punchline to sell to DSF." Length: accepts 100 words to 10K with an emphasis on shorter stories, pays "...8 cents per word for first worldwide rights and for nonexclusive reprint rights. Additionally, we reserve the right to pay you more money for additional reprinting in themed Daily Science Fiction anthologies." No reprints, electronic submission by online form only, see guidelines for more details.

While they've been closed to submissions for a while, I thought it was worthy to note that Paula Guran will no longer be editing Pocket's Juno Books; some details here.

Megazanthus Press has an open call for their classical-music themed horror antho: "DF Lewis is intending to publish a Horror anthology book with the above title in 2012. (Horror stories, Weird Literature or Ghost Fiction.) Each story must feature in some way Classical Music, i.e. from Bach to Britten." Length: 2K-10K, Payment: "1p (£0.01) per word", no reprints, electronic submission only, see guidelines for more details. Deadline: May 30, 2012.

Stone Telling webzine has opened a reading period from September 23 - November 27 for science fiction poetry, and they're looking for: ". . . literary speculative poems with a strong emotional core. We focus on fantasy, science fiction, surrealism, and slipstream, but would consider outstanding science poetry and non-speculative poetry that fits the flavor of the magazine. Please note that we are not a mainstream literary poetry market, and non-speculative poetry will be an extremely hard sell. While we are open to all speculative poetry, we are especially interested in seeing work that is multi-cultural and boundary-crossing, work that deals with othering and Others, work that considers race, gender, sexuality, identity, and disability issues in nontrivial and evocative ways. We’d love to see multilingual poetry, though that can sometimes be tricky. Try us! There are no style limitations, but rhymed poetry will be a hard sell. Please try us with visual poetry, prose poetry, and other genre-bending forms. We will consider experimental poetry, but please remember that not all experimental poems are easy to represent in an e-zine format." Payment" $5, query on reprints, electronic submission only, see guidelines for more details.

Strange Horizons is once again open to submissions; in fiction they're looking for: ". . . good speculative fiction. If your story doesn't have a clear fantasy or science fiction element, or at least strong speculative-fiction sensibilities, it's probably not for us. We'd like to help make the field of speculative fiction more inclusive, more welcoming to both authors and readers from traditionally underrepresented groups, so we're interested in seeing stories from diverse perspectives and backgrounds. We want stories that have some literary depth but aren't boring; styles that are unusual yet readable; structures that balance inventiveness with traditional narrative. We like characters we can care about. We like settings and cultures that we don't see all the time in speculative fiction, as long as they're well-researched and not exoticized. We like stories that address political issues in complex and nuanced ways. However, we don't like heavy-handed or preachy or simplistic approaches." Length: 5-9K; prefers 5K or less, Payment: 7¢(US)/word, with a minimum payment of $50, no reprints, electronic submission via online form only, see guidelines for more details.

Withersin Press has opened a special reading period for fiction novella submissions from December 2011-April 2012: "Please send innovative ideas. We love razor wire fiction. We enjoy experimental fiction. We get gooey eyed over a well crafted, blood curdling plot line. Science fiction that pushes our buttons and considers new paradigms (and aliens!) will be well received. Don’t send stories about unicorns and fairy princes. Or bimbos who fall for vampires. In fact, unless we specifically call for vampire stories, we don’t want ‘em. Challenge yourself. Stay away from clich├ęd plot lines. And don’t send stories belittling our military. We are proud of our servicemen and women. Write well, write often, and write for the love of it!" Length: 15K-35K, payment: 10% of retail, no reprints, electronic submissions only, see guidelines for more details.

Most of the above sub ops came from the always marvelous market listings at


  1. Thanks, Lynn! Your sub ops leads have panned out for me more than once. I think you're my good luck charm. :-)

  2. Wow! Lots of subbing opportunities there. Thanks for sharing the information Lynn!


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