In these troubled times, many people are looking for an escape. An escape to new fantastical or awe-inspiring worlds, or an escape to face horrors that make their everyday horrors seem more manageable and surmountable. Maybe they’re looking for an escape through time; whether to a history that never was, or to a future as yet undiscovered. Maybe they just need a short escape from this mundane world with all of its stresses and obligations so they can return to the fray rejuvenated, with a better understanding of their lives and place in the universe.
If you’re a writer of speculative fiction like me, this is a great time to be writing and submitting stories. As well as the many long-established science fiction, fantasy and horror markets, there are also magazines launched every few months, bringing new opportunities to be paid for using our imaginations as we, too, escape this world for a time.
Here are 5 lesser-known or brand new paying SF/ Fantasy & horror markets that I have discovered:
Tales from the Magician’s Skull is a new market for sword and sorcery stories. Open to submissions from January 22nd – April 1st, 2021. Pays $0.04/word for stories up to 10,000 words. In their own words: “Listen Well, Mortal Dogs! If you wish to submit a tale to The Magician’s Skull, you must pay heed, unless you wish to consign your story to rejection and immolation! My magazine is devoted to the greatest of all genres, sword-and-sorcery. If you don’t know what that term means, I am unlikely to appreciate your prose, but I am informed that you may find a definition of the genre by clicking here. If I find your tale worthy, my minions will purchase select rights so we may publish the story. You retain the copyright.” Guidelines: https://goodman-games.com/tftms/2020/10/20/announcing-open-call-for-sword-sorcery-fiction-for-tales-from-the-magicians-skull/
Translunar Travelers Lounge pays $0.03/word for fun science fiction and fantasy stories up to 5000 words. They are open to subs twice a year: March 15th – April 15th and September 15th – October 15th. “A fun story, at its core, is one that works on the premise that things aren’t all bad; that ultimately, good wins out. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your story has to be silly or lighthearted (though it certainly can be).” Guidelines: https://translunartravelerslounge.com/submissions/
Pseudopod is a horror audio mag that pays $0.08/word for 1500-6000 word stories. They’re looking for compelling horror stories/ dark weird fiction. Their stories “run the spectrum from grim realism or crime drama, to magic-realism, to blatantly supernatural dark fantasy.” They publish literary stories reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe, as well as vulgar shock-value pulp fiction. Guidelines: https://pseudopod.org/submissions/
Uncanny is a SF/ fantasy mag that pays $0.10/word for stories of 750-6000 words and $40 per poem. They want passionate, diverse, experimental SF/F, and stories and poems with “gorgeous prose, verve, and imagination that elicit strong emotions and challenge beliefs.” Guidelines: https://uncannymagazine.com/submissions/
Cast of Wonders is a speculative fiction audio magazine for young adults that pays $0.08/word for SF/ fantasy/ horror stories up to 6000 words. They want fast-paced, deeply emotional stories that ‘evoke a sense of wonder’. They don’t want condescending stories, or gratuitous or explicit sex, violence or pervasive obscene language. Think Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. Guidelines: https://www.castofwonders.org/submissions
Avery Springwood is a science fiction writer and photographer living in the UK. When she’s not working, she can be found spending time with her family and their beloved cockapoo, or trying to find time to read speculative fiction stories.
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