Monday, September 10, 2012

Sub Ops Ten

Ten Things About Submission Opportunities

Just a heads-up for you regular SF story mag subbers, Stanley Schmidt, the long time editor of Analog magazine, has at last retired; the new editor's name is Trevor Quachri.  Mr. Schmidt doesn't know it but he inadvertantly helped me sell three of the StarDoc novels and get the series back into print, so I'm happy to wish him the best of luck with his retirement.

Black Chicken Studios, Inc., wants to find skilled writers to draft text for Devil's Advocate, an upcoming supernatural crime-romance game:  "Writers must be able to write efficient, colorful prose based in a supernatural romance scenario (think the situations of Angel, the wit and verve of Ocean's 11 and the quirky law of Ally McBeal). The game is set in modern day Las Vegas, so consider the time and place when you phrase your writing.  The target audience for the game is teens and adults, so the writing must be accessible. However, writers are encouraged to write in their own voice, as long as their style remains reasonably acceptable considering the era the game-world is set in (edgy, experimental text would be out of character, for example)."  Length:  "Writing assignments will involve Scenes to be featured in the game. Each Scene will consist of 10-20 paragraphs of text, with each paragraph being no more than three lines (NB: Lines, not sentences. We're hoping to keep things tight!) The goal is to keep the prose snappy and engaging."  Payment:  "The pay is $10 per assignment, with each assignment consisting of the creation of 20 events (NB: Not $10 per item written, $10 per assignment of 20 total items)."  For more details and links, see the market listing over at's market forum here
Captive Unicorn Publications is looking for submissions of erotic romance and classic erotica in various lengths to become part of an erotica library/new venture with what sounds like a manufacturer of sexual aid products :  "Works must have a clearly defined plot which results in character development either in a sexual or emotional context, or preferably, both; Sex must be prominent and explicit, with rich descriptions of the characters’ mental and physical experiences; A romantic relationship between the primary characters is high encouraged, but not required; Characters may be married or single and of any sexual orientation; Submissions may not contains: pedophilia, incest, bestiality or necrophilia; Consensual sex only (references to non-consensual sex must be used for character development only and not in the context of the current action); Integration of Liberator™ branded products is acceptable, but not required; when included, usage must enhance the pleasure of the characters and be specifically related to the plot or character journey. References must be subtle, not blatant."  See guidelines for more details, and as I'm not clear on what these products are, do check this one out thoroughly before you submit anything.

The, ah, somewhat grumpy folks at Crowded magazine are looking for spec fic [and please note that my comments are in the square brackets]:  "Science fiction, fantasy, horror, whatever. If you aren't sure what speculative fiction is, google it. Then submit your story elsewhere. This is Crowded Magazine, not Clueless Magazine."  [I love the hostility, don't you?  It practically sparkles.]  Also:  "Most magazines have guidelines describing the fiction they want to see. These guidelines invariably include plenty of editorial chestnuts as to what makes a good story. To be honest, we really don't know what makes a good story."  [Comforting, that.]  "We know what we like when we see it. But we're willing to offer a few nuggets of wisdom that will help propel your fiction through the slush pile and into the magazine:  Speculative fiction is, arguably, a populist art."  [Dude, no one is going to argue with you.  Like ever.]  "We're not looking for the next Faulkner. We're looking for stuff that people would read for entertainment. And, anyway, the slush reading is crowdsourced, so you're better off gunning for the unwashed masses as opposed to a specific editor's fetishes for gender bending or melodrama."  [Editors have fetishes?  Okay, now I want more details.]  "No purple midgets, gay pirates, or unicorns. Actually, that's a lie. If you have a great story about a unicorn-riding purple midget battling a fleet of gay pirates, drop it in the queue. Really. We don't see enough of that kind of thing."  [Now I think he's just toying with us.  Ah, well, maybe that's his fetish.]  "In theory there are no restrictions on profanity, gore, sex, violence, and so on, but in our opinion stories that rely on profanity, gore, sex, etc for their whole effect are unlikely to be any good."  [Right, so no Fifty Shades of Spec Fic.]  "The story must have a speculative fiction element. Note that purple midgets may or may not be considered speculative fiction, but unicorns probably are. Do not submit fan fiction."  [Gotta wonder if the magazine is ever going to be as entertaining as these guidelines for it.]  Length:  20K or less.  Payment: "5¢/word."  No reprints, electronic submission only, see guidelines for more details and chuckles. has an open call for their special The Journal of Unlikely Architecture publication:  " This will be a single issue of fiction published under the Unlikely Story umbrella in which designing buildings, building buildings, and/or exploring, inhabiting, utilizing or dismantling the buildings themselves feature prominently.  What we’re looking for:  Beautifully-written fiction, characters that grab us by the throats and refuse to let go, worlds that draw us in and demand to be explored…and buildings. Genre isn’t particularly important to us—speculative, mainstream, slipstream, and the unclassifiable tales in between—we’ll read anything; all we ask is that something pertaining to buildings is integral or significant in your story. The building element can be literal or metaphorical, hallucinatory or behavioral or metaphysical, or any combination thereof. Your story may focus on a single building, or a city, but the constructed environment must be crucial to the narrative. Not quite sure what we’re talking about? Think of Gormanghast, Being John Malkovich, House of Discarded Dreams, Talking Heads' Don't Worry About the Government, The Architecture of Desire, Dark City, Fall of the House of Usher, Inception, and Monty Python's Crimson Permanent Assurance. In case it is unclear, we're happy to consider stories involving all manner of purposeful structural elements, such as bridges, dams, tunnels, and tombs of sufficient scope.  There are no barriers as to levels of profanity, gore, or sexuality allowed, but be sure to use them well if you do use them. There is no requirements for bugs in your story for the Journal of Unlikely Architecture; neither is there a prohibition against them."  Length:  "We’ll consider stories up to 8000 words, but prefer stories of 5000 words or less. We’re open to flash fiction and fiction in non-traditional formats, but we do not publish poetry or non-fiction."  Payment:  "We pay 1¢ per word for stories between 1000—5000 words. Stories over 5000 words receive a flat fee of $50. Stories under 1000 words receive a flat fee of $10."  Original fiction preferred over reprints, electronic submission only, see guidelines for more details.  Deadline:  When filled.

Innsmouth Free Press wants fiction submissions:  "We have a special interest in stories inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, but the Weird in general is our territory. We showcase 5 to 7 stories during February, June and October.  Some stories are solicited. We also hold open reading periods."  Also from their guidelines page:  "We have no restrictions on settings or time periods. Henry VIII’s court, Peru, Imperial China, 1920′s Innsmouth, or modern New York are all fine with us. In fact, we like unusual times and settings. Creative is good.  We accept a variety of genres as long as the story is Weird: historical, SF, horror, satire, dark fantasy, etc. We don’t mind some humor to go with your grim. A little light makes the shadows darker. No erotica please, specially if it involves our friend Cthulhu.  We like reading stuff from and about women and minorities. We have also published stories from many international writers. Submissions in English, French and Spanish are accepted."  Length:  "1,300 to 5,000 words."  Payment:  "Short stories from 1,300 to 5,000 words will be paid 1 cent per word (CAD)."  Note on reprints:  "We will consider reprints, but give high priority to those stories that have not been published on the Internet. When submitting a reprint, please state this, as well the work’s publishing history and confirmation that you retain rights to publish it. Reprints will be paid $25 CAD via PayPal."  Electronic submissions only, see guidelines for more details.

Kazka Press has an open call for their At Year’s End: SFF Holiday Stories antho, and is looking for:  "... stories set against year-end holidays (Yule, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Samhain, Bodhi Day, New Year, Chinese New Year, Watch Night, Pancha Ganapati, Saturnalia, The Invincible Sun, etc.); Science Fiction / Fantasy (SFF) themed; Avoid cultural appropriation; Invest us in the story immediately. Five-hundred words is not a lot. Don’t waste 395 words meandering. Get right to the heart of the thing; Remember: these stories don’t need to be about the holiday. They just need to be set against a holiday. We’re much more interested in an engaging story that occurs on Thanksgiving or Chinese New Year rather than a story about those holidays. Just make sure the holiday forms a clear, present backdrop."  Length:  "500 word (or less)" (firm).  Payment: "5 cents a word + 1 contributors copy of each format."  Query on reprints, electronic submission only, see guidelines for more details.  Deadline:  November 2, 2012.

Perihelion SF would like to see fiction submissions:   "We are looking for well-written, original science fiction, that is, “hard” science fiction. No fantasy. No horror. No fan fiction. No poetry. Stories do not necessarily have to restrict themselves to robots, rocket ships, and extraterrestrials. However, the science and/or technology must be integral to the story. If you remove the science, the story falls apart, or disappears altogether. If the plot can be easily reconstituted as a western, a swashbuckler, or a bodice-ripper, it is probably not for us, either." [ Ouch; someone doesn't like romance.]  Also from their guidelines page:  "We aren't fixated on political correctness. We don't object to explicit language, violence, or  sexual situations, as long as it is necessary to the plot. We like humor and satire. We really don't care if you are a minority, transgendered, or purple; the story is the focus and not the author."  [Purple authors, you have been duly warned.  Makes me wonder, though, what about the pink ones?  Or the brown ones?  And then there are all those yellow, red, freckled and mixed tone writers, too.  Maybe there's an in for us, but sorry, you purple authors are definitely OUT of the picture.]  Length:  " Stories should be anywhere from 1,000 words to around 7,000 words in length. Those limits are firm, so please do not send us your latest novel. We don't publish installments, so please do not send us Part 1 as a story."  Payment:  "Currently we are paying one cent per word, up to a maximum of $75 per story, on acceptance. This rate will undoubtedly grow as we do."  No reprints, electronic submissions only, see guidelines for more details.

Shimmer e-zine is looking for fiction submissions:  "Unusual and beautifully-written speculative fiction stories with full plots and strong characters. The best way to understand what we are looking for is to read an issue of the magazine. We’re most drawn to contemporary fantasy, and seek out stories with a strong emotional core. We like unusual stories with a fluid and distinctive voice, with specific and original images. Send us your odd unclassifiable stories–though we prefer traditional storytelling mechanics to experimental approaches.  We’re less likely to be interested in sword and sorcery, hard SF, space opera, paranormal romance, and slasher horror, but really, we’ll read anything."  Length: "We like our fiction short – under 5000 words. If your story is longer than 5000 words (and yes, 5100 words is longer than 5000 words) but you believe we would love it, please send us a query briefly describing the story along with the first page of the story."  Payment:  "5 cent per word, minimum $10. You’ll also receive two copies of the issue in which your story appears."  No reprints, electronic submission only, see guidelines for more details.

Eggplant Productions is looking for submissions for their Spellbound ezine, a publication aimed toward 8 to 12 year-olds:  "We’re looking for stories involving magic, myth, legend and adventure in a fantasy setting. We’re especially interested in young protagonists and showing girls in a “heroic” role are welcome."  Length:  2.5K or less.  Payment:  "2½¢/word".  Query on reprints, electronic submission only, see guidelines for more details.

Most of these ops were found among the many wonderful market listings at


  1. um... wow. Kinda interested one of those... guess which. ;)

  2. I'm forwarding this to my boyfriend. He could totally rock that unicorn-riding purple midget battling a fleet of gay pirates. Seriously.


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