Storyville: Ten Places to Send Your Fiction in 2015
This column, I’d like to talk about some of the best places to send your stories in 2015—new markets that are just getting started, newer publications that are doing well, and classic magazines that are always a great idea.
Looking for primarily science fiction stories, Terraform wants near-future tales, but only up to 2,000 words, and publishes online only. The good news is that they’re paying a whopping 20 cents per word, which is quadruple the standard pro rate of 5 cents per word. This magazine is a product of Vice Magazine, and is under the Motherboard umbrella and website. From what I’ve seen, this market looks amazing—great art, and fiction.
The gist of Sixpenny is they are looking to place illustrated work alongside flash fiction, stories up to 1,250 words. The title comes from illustrated chapbooks that used to cost sixpence. It looks like they are seeking literary fiction, but with crime and speculative notes. Paying pro rates, they were created out of a Kickstarter, which always makes me nervous, so get in while you can—as who knows how many future issues there will be. But for now, it will launch in February 2015, and the art has been amazing, from what I’ve seen.
3. Shades of Terror
While the art and design isn’t blowing me away, Shades of Terror is looking to pay pro rates for horror stories, and that’s always a good thing. They call themselves a horror quarterly, so that means four times a year, online as well. Length is 1,500-7,500 words, so if you have longer horror stories (over 5,000 words) then this is a great place for you. They say they want horror stories in the tradition of Weird Tales and The Twilight Zone, and those are excellent examples, in my opinion—tension over gore. They also don’t want excessive graphic sex, violence, gore, or language. They do mention a possible print magazine. DEAD MARKET. HA. It happens.
NEWER, GOING STRONG
Billed as a bi-annual, but only paying 1 cent per word, what Aghast has going for it is the excellent design and artwork of George Cotronis, who runs Kraken Press. Yes, they published my short story collection, Staring Into the Abyss, but really, I’d love what they were doing even if I didn’t have a connection with them. With writing by Tim Waggoner, Jonathan Maberry, Gemma Files and Jeff Strand, you may want to send them something. If nothing else, you’ll be in great company, and surrounded by excellent artwork, which really means a lot. Up to 7,000 words. They Kickstarted the first issue, so I hope they keep it going.
Looking for fantasy, science fiction, crime and horror, Lamplight is going strong, with ten issues out now. They are looking for stories up to 7,000 words, and this quarterly digital magazine is paying a flat rate of $150 for short stories and $50 for flash (under 1,000 words). They’re also inspired by The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits and have published work by some amazing authors: Gary Braunbeck, Kealan Patrick Burke, Bracken MacLeod, Nick Mamatas, William Meikle, Norman Prentiss, Lucy Snyder, and Mercedes Yardley, to name a few. Expect a three month wait for a response.
6. Pantheon Magazine
Even though they only pay 1 cent per word, what I love about Pantheon is that they have excellent art and graphic design, and each issue is set around a mythological god or creature—some recent issues including Hades, Persephone, Ares, and Aphrodite, for example. Open prompts right now include Nyx and Typhon. I’ve seen all kinds of interpretations, everything from reality-based crime and horror to supernatural science fiction and fantasy—and anything in-between. I should mention that I’ve published with them three times now, because they are professional, the company is great, and the illustrations and designs are amazing. Up to 7,500 words, and they want poetry as well.
7. Buzzy Magazine
I know, I know—the name is silly—Buzzy Mag. But consider that they have almost 7,000 likes on Facebook and a pay rate of ten cents per word, and maybe you’ll stop laughing long enough to submit. They are looking for fantasy, science fiction and horror, and I’ve read a lot of great stories at their website. They’ve only been around since 2012, but they’re an online market that I’ve kept an eye on, and have sent several stories (no luck so far). With an acceptance rate of UNDER one percent, they’re a tough nut to crack for sure.
8. Black Static
Amazing art, and fantastic dark fiction, Black Static is one of my favorite magazines out there. I believe that they pay 3 cents per word, but couldn’t find the exact rate anywhere for this British magazine. What’s new and exciting about them is that they are finally taking submissions via Submittable, so you don’t have to mail stories overseas. This takes forever and things tend to get lost (happened to me a few times). They’re publishing work by some of my favorite authors, emerging voices (and many good friends) such as Sarah Read, Usman T. Malik and Alyssa Wong. They’re definitely one of my white whales. (Also check out Interzone [science fiction] and Crimewave [crime], also at TTA Press, and I do believe both of them now take Submittable submissions as well.) Up to 10,000 words.
9. Nightmare Magazine
With 28 issues under their belt, Nightmare is one of the best places to submit, having shown that they can stand the test of time. Edited by John Joseph Adams, one of the toughest and most established visionaries out there today, they are looking for dark fantasy and horror between 1,500-7,500 words. And they’re MONTHLY, which I don’t think I have to tell you is hard to pull off—but great for writers since they’re almost always reading. And the artwork—it’s always amazing, the covers and interiors as well. They recently did a women destroy horror issue that was just fantastic. This white whale is as white as they come. They pay 6 cents per word. (I’ve been rejected 6 times, but will continue to submit—the nice thing is the really fast response time, typically only a few days. So even though they have a no simultaneous submission policy, you’re bound to get a response quickly.)
My biggest complaint about Tor.com, a premiere online destination for fantasy, science fiction and horror, is that there are no simultaneous submissions and they take an average of four months to respond. But with Ann VanderMeer and Ellen Datlow in charge, they are a really important market, one of the best. They can really help to get your name out there, establish you as a legitimate voice. What else—how about TWENTY-FIVE CENTS PER WORD? That is not a typographical error. It’s for the first 5,000 words, and then it declines, but never less than ten cents, and for stories up to 17,500 words—for those of you writing novellas. On their website they say that they are working on the response time, keeping most to 90 days, which isn’t terrible, but they really are one of the top paying speculative markets out there. So, maybe send them something, and then get to work on something new.
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