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We discussed how essential self-promotion is, whether you love doing it or hate it. And how self-promotion is the face you put out there to your followers.

Now we are getting into what you can do to self-promote, like blogging.

Having a website is as important as blogging. It’s another tool in your promotion toolbox. Think of your website as the center of everything you. It gives you a homepage to send people to for various purposes.

As with everything, there’s no one right way to do a website, but some things are better than others.

Don’t be bloggy.

It’s an easy mistake, but avoid making your website look like a blog. I made this gaffe when I started trying to do this stuff years ago. I’ve also seen it on a lot of websites. You can incorporate your blog and website together in a one-stop package, import your blog with an RRS feed, or just have a running list of links to your most recent blog articles, depending on what your website platform is capable of.

Just be sure your website looks like a website and not a blog. The first page of your website should look like a homepage. Keep the blog feed on another page they can easily find and click on, or in a lesser profile side stream.

Don’t backburner your website. Prioritize it.

I’m guilty of this and working to put more focus on updating it. In being so busy with life, family, the job that pays the bills, volunteering, blogging, trying to self-promote, and trying to get writing and editing done, I tend to forget my web page even exists. Bad bad me.

If this is your one-stop spot for people to find everything, it needs to be up to date. It should also be very easy for them to find and click links for your books and other products.

Keep it current and relevant.

If your blog feels abandoned, like an old house, it will not invite visitors in.

Your website is your homepage for all things you.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

As I said above, your website is your homepage. It’s where you can feature your newest release or product, sales, events, promotions, anything you want to focus on. You want links to follow you on social media, and to any store pages you’re selling your books or products on.

It’s your central hub pointing to and organizing the maze of media all your self-promotion is on. This also makes it easy for it to turn into a confusing web of links and plugs.

Try to do all this and keep that homepage simple and uncluttered. Easier said than done.

Your branding starts here.

As your focal point for self-promotion, your branding starts with your website. All points lead both to it and away from it.

Branding, in short, is how you shape the you your followers see. It’s something recognizable that immediately identifies you. Once you establish a branding that works for you, you want to express it consistently across all of your media from your website to your blog to your Facebook and Twitter.

Landing page vs. homepage.

You might see a website homepage referenced as a landing page. I’ve seen website homepages that were a landing page. Here is the key difference between the two:

A landing page is singularly focused. It is a standalone web page for a specific marketing or advertising campaign. It will typically have a single call-to-action link button.

For example, this newsletter signup button on the sidebar of my blog brings you to a landing page.

This landing page’s singular call to action is to signup for the newsletter. It asks the visitor to enter their email address and click “Subscribe”:

A homepage page is the first page visitors to your website see and it sets the stage for your website. It’s opening the door and stepping into your front entrance with just a glimpse of the home within behind the doors, aka pages and links.

This is my L. V. Gaudet website at the moment, and my other alias (Vivian Munnoch) website. They are both a work in process. As with all things writing, I’m forever working to improve my websites too.

Give your website personality. Make it stand out as yours.

Whether you are using a template or building your website from scratch, you want to give it your own personality. Make it yours. Make it stand out as a piece of you. You want your website to be memorable. To scream, “THIS IS MY WEBSITE AND IT’S BETTER THAN THE REST!”

Multiple pen names means having multiple websites.

If you are published under multiple pen names, you ideally want to have a website for each pen name. You can have a quick link for visitors to jump to your other nom de plume website. It means double the work. I have a visit button on both of mine linking to the other. With Wix, because I didn’t pay for a special domain name, this means both sites’ addresses start with ‘lvgaudet’.

Alternatively, you could go the route of treating it like a dual-author shared website. But having separate sites means you can focus each more on the target audience for that pen name. This is especially ideal if they are different genres. In my case they are different age groups.

Choosing the right website platform is important.

Finding the right website platform can take some trial and error. The first one you try isn’t always the best and that’s okay. There is a range of them out there from free to pricey, many with for both free and paid services, with different options and ways they work. Finding the right one for you makes the difference between a struggle or making updating your website a breeze.

Creating your website is like writing your story. You plot and draft it out, outline, change, and rearrange it. You might even scrap the whole thing and start fresh with a new page on a new website platform. It’s all part of the creative and learning process.

My webpage is on Wix.com. It is free and, once you figure it out, not too hard to use. It has limitations, but they all do. You can only link one blog to it. It is designed to be more friendly to Blogger than other blogsites like WordPress.

I chose Wix because after reading through multiple website platform reviews, it was in the top of the list with a majority of the reviewers, and because it’s free.

One of the things I don’t like is having to choose between adding new material at the bottom of your pages or the long slow process of moving all those boxes down a few at a time to organize it from the newest to oldest going down the pages.

For example, my “News & Events” page. It doesn’t make sense to list it from the oldest a the top down to the most current at the bottom. Who wants to scroll down that far for the most recent news? Maybe there is an easier way to do it on Wix, but I haven’t found it yet.

It only takes a moment to search ‘best free website platforms’ and you will have a screenful of articles to sift through and pick out which sites have what is best for your needs.


Keep writing my friends, and don’t let the challenge overwhelm you. Building a website can be time consuming, but it’s worth it in the end.

Posts: SELF-PROMOTION IS A FOUR LETTER WORD:

How can you kill two birds with one stone? Simple. Follow that cliché! Blog.

Since most of us writers don’t make a whole lot from our writing, if you are among those that do sell any books, it doesn’t take much to put you in the red. Yes, there are ways to publish without spending a penny on it, but effective publishing, and promoting, costs money.

Blogging is one way to promote yourself and your work on any budget from, “Budget? What budget? I’m dead broke.” to “Budget? Haha, yeah, I don’t even think about what I spend. I don’t worry about money. I’ve got lots.”, and you don’t even have to blog about your work. You can make your blog about anything.

Photo by Daniel Thomas on Unsplash

Just because you write a particular genre or subject, doesn’t mean that’s what you have to focus your blog on. Maybe you’d rather discuss the plight of the Pacu Fish. If you don’t know, they have weirdly human-like teeth. Personally, I suspect this is the result of some hapless person who really angered someone big time, and was cursed that they and their generations to follow will forever live as fish.

Whatever your passion is, you can make that the subject of your blog. Write it enthusiastically. Write it well. And, the most important point, try to write it on schedule.

Consistency is magical. Stay reasonably on topic. If your passion is painting burned out skyscrapers and you grow a following blogging about those post-apocalyptic symbols, your readers likely won’t be interested in your post on tapioca pudding, unless it’s pudding found in a burnt skyscraper.

Posting occasionally and sporadically won’t grow much of a following. If you are going to do a monthly blog post, try to schedule it for the same day each month. People like consistency. They want you to be reliable.

Frequent blog posts can be a big challenge, especially with daily life and other things getting in the way. If you are going to commit, make it a schedule you can likely keep. Too frequently posting could set you up to fail, and if too frequent, is also spammy.

Don’t be spammy. Nobody likes having their email clogged with spam. If I’m getting multiple notifications a day every day on the same blogger posting, I’d stop following them pretty quickly. I find one a day every day from the same blogger too much. I don’t have the time to read that and would be just deleting the email notifications and probably killing that blog subscription.

Speaking of execution, how are you committing that murder of the second ‘bird’? Blogging serves a second purpose.

Blogging is writing practice. So, not only are you working to build a following that will hopefully result in some book sales, but you are also working at practicing and improving your writing skills.

Don’t wait. Start blogging before you publish.

While the writing practice and working to develop your writing voice is a bonus, the main purpose of your blogging is to put yourself out there and build a following. Your blog is a checkmark on your writing platform to do list.

Building a following is key to building your author platform. Any potential agent or publisher is going to be a whole lot more interested in the author with an extensive following than the one with a few dozen co-workers, family, friends, neighbors, and the odd random person they don’t know in real life.

Whether you are going traditional, with an Indie or small press, or self-publishing, that following is a pool of potential buyers of your book. The bigger that pool is when your book comes out, the better your odds are at generating sales through your blog.

You want to get your followers excited about your upcoming book if you can. Get them interested enough that they are sharing and spreading the news about your book. Only a small percentage of your followers will typically buy it, so the more reach you can get them to spread for you, the more potential buyers see it, and your list of followers can grow.

How do you start a blog?

Find yourself a blogging platform and start writing articles.

Simply put, a blog platform is a service or software for managing and publishing content on the internet in the form of a blog.

WordPress is one of the most popular platforms. It has both free and paid for themes that have a range of customization ability. There are plugins that let you do even more. You have to buy a subscription to use the plugins, but you can still do a pretty decent blog for absolutely free.

There are two variations of wordpress.

WordPress.org is a self-hosted open-source software. It’s free to use, but I’m sure there’s some catch in there for them to make money off you. Self-hosted = you need a domain name and web hosting. It lets you do more than the other WordPress, but a domain name and web hosting is not included in the “free” price tag of this software. You will need to find these and will have to pay for them. This also means that you or your web hosting service are responsible for doing all customizations, updates, and backups of your blog site.

WordPress.com is what I currently use. It is a hosting service created by Automattic, so it’s got the all-in-one on providing both the blog platform and hosting service. It has options ranging from free to crazy expensive. You are more limited in what you can do than with the .org, even more limited with the free version. You can get your own domain for a price. You have to have a paid subscription for that. They plug ads on your blog to make money off you, and you cannot plug your own ads to monetize. If you max out your storage space on the free plan, you have to upgrade to a paid subscription. When that happens, I’ll likely look into the costs of getting that domain name and web hosting to switch to the .org.

What I dislike about WordPress.com is that the new editor automatically removes all extra line breaks and color in text when you copy/paste your post into it, and doesn’t allow for font type changes within the post. I write in Word, all prettily formatted, and copy/paste it into WordPress. Then I have to go through the entire post adding back in the line breaks and re-convert sub-headers back into sub-headers and re-colorized any text that I didn’t want black. Line breaks – those empty spaces – help make your post easier to read and breaks up bits that don’t necessarily go together.

Blogger is another common one. You may have heard it called “Blogspot”. They aren’t one and the same, but they do work together to provide you a blogging platform. Blogger is the publishing platform and BlogSpot is a domain service provider. Both are available for free. You can also pay to get a custom domain name.

Warning: some authors have reported having issues with Facebook flagging Blogger blogsites as violating their anti-spam rules. Apparently Facebook lately equates Blogger with spam. Hopefully they will fix this.

There are others, and also website platforms like Wix that let you do a blog in addition to the website.

Do your research before you start. Find out what blogging platform best suits your needs.

You will find that you can auto-feed many blogging platforms to cross-pollinate your articles onto other social media sites with your blog. Where they are capable of feeding to depends largely on who owns what and who set up their sites to work together. I was able to set Blogger to feed into Wix (a website platform), but had no success trying to get WordPress to feed into Wix. Blogger also fed posts into Google+ before Google shut down that platform.

This article says you can import WordPress blog posts into Wix (you have to log into Wix to read the article). I’ll give this a try later when I get around to updating and spiffing up my Wix page.

My WordPress.com blog auto-feeds posts to my author pages on Facebook and Amazon, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. It also has a new create a podcast episode feature that lets you convert your text blog to audio. I tried it out. Cons = it sounds like a robot, tends to skip words, and will mispronounce words including names and anything that is a heteronym (same spelling, different pronunciation). There is no way to fix those errors at this time. It’s new, so hopefully they fix that, but they probably won’t be able to get it to sound human.

Vlogs are another option.

Like audiobooks, they are also increasing in popularity. Why read a blog when you can listen to a video blog while you are doing other things like ignoring the other people in the room? Right?

Vlogs have their own group of hosting platforms. You could probably get away with creating the posts on your phone, but if you want a professional feel, you’re going to have to invest in equipment, find some sound and video editing software, learn sound and video editing, and find a quiet place to record. I’m probably making it sound harder than it is.

What else are these posts on YouTube, Tik Tok, and other social media and video sites where people are essentially blogging by video if not a form of vlogging? No, not the barrage of so-called challenges and other bizarre and mindless shares. I’m talking the posters who actually use these media sites as vlogs. There are other platforms out there designed specifically for vlogging.

You also have to be capable of speaking coherently while recording yourself. I’m still working on developing that talent.

One of the benefits of the blog is the side bars and pages.

In the side bars, you can have click to follow buttons, signups for your newsletter, and photo button plugs linking your readers to buy your books and products.

Pages give you the option to set up a click away page featuring any or all of your books and products.

Readers can come for the article and see your books down the side, buy them, learn more about them, and click to follow your other social media accounts.

Keep writing my friends, and good luck on those blogs.

SELF-PROMOTION IS A FOUR LETTER WORD Posts:

Sharpen your writing pencils. Here are a few markets whose deadlines are looming over us.

Photo by BSD on Unsplash

Darkness is Closing In. These Crime & Horror Submission Deadlines Are Imminent:

     
 





CRIME, MYSTERY, TRUE CRIME, & DARK FICTION CRIME MARKETS:

Sep – Nov 2021

Crimeucopia

Deadline: November 30, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Crime Fiction. Payment: Reprints – To a Maximum of – £7.00 at present – but negotiable. New Material – 1,000 – 5,000 – up to £10 .00 at present. New Material – 6.000 – 10,000 – up to £20.00 at present.

https://www.murderousinkpress.co.uk/submissions.html

(I Just) Died In Your Arms: Crime Fiction Inspired By One-Hit Wonders

Deadline: October 31, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Crime stories based on songs. Throughout the decades, so many musical artists have had just the one hit, and that’s a crime. So is murder. So what better way to celebrate both than by combining them into an anthology? Here’s your chance to be inspired by your favorite One-Hit Wonder and give a chance to breathe some new life into the greatest hits of our lives.Payment: Royalties.

https://www.untreedreads.com/i-just-died-in-your-arms-crime-fiction-inspired-by-one-hit-wonders/

The Best New True Crime Stories: Unsolved Crimes & Mysteries

Deadline: September 1, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Nonfiction, true crime accounts of unsolved criminal cases and mysteries that can take place anywhere in the world and be from any time period. Payment: $130.

https://mitziszereto.com/call-for-submissions/

Jun – Aug 2021

Crimeucopia

Deadline: August 31, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

Crime Fiction. Payment: Reprints – To a Maximum of – £7.00 at present – but negotiable. New Material – 1,000 – 5,000 – up to £10 .00 at present. New Material – 6.000 – 10,000 – up to £20.00 at present.

https://www.murderousinkpress.co.uk/submissions.html

The Astronaut Only Rings Twice

Deadline: August 31, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

Payment: $50.00 (CAD) per story. Theme: Hard boiled detectives, in space.

We are looking for stories that have the themes, characters and plot twists of noir crime fiction crossed with all the elements of science fiction. Let your inner Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Chabon or Adam Christopher out and file your story with us.

https://tychebooks.com/astronaut-rings-twice

Autumn Noir: A Crime, Mystery, Noir, Suspense & Thriller Anthology

(Unsettling Reads)

Deadline: July 11, 2021 (or until full)

(checked May 26/21)

Payment: $20. Stories (1,500 words and 7,500 words), poems, and/or artwork.

Theme: Stories about the other, moodier season of change from Summer to Fall

Announcing our FALL anthology!

The slide from Summer into Fall can sneak up on you, like footsteps keeping pace until they speed up and overtake you. Whether the mystery unfolds as gently as a wisp of chimney smoke or brings the heart-thumping thrills of an end-of-summer storm is up to you. Just make sure to bring your creations to life with language as vibrant as Fall foliage and dialogue as crisp as Autumn air.

https://unsettlingreads.squarespace.com/submissions

Hawkshaw Press

Deadline: June 30th, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

Full-length mysteries, thrillers. Payment: Royalties. You wrote a book… a book full of intrigue, crime, maybe a few people die, but that’s just the cost of doing business. You could call the cops, but why not call us instead? We’ll take your case, and we never close.

https://hawkshawpress.com/submissions/

Partners in Crime

Deadline: June 1, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Nonfiction, true crime accounts featuring lawbreaking couples who have joined forces to commit crime. Payment: $130. 

https://mitziszereto.com/call-for-submissions/

The Best New True Crime Stories

Deadline: June 1, 2021

(checked Jan 24/21)

Nonfiction, true crime accounts featuring lawbreaking couples who have joined forces to commit crime. These couples can be married, domestic partners, or lovers. 4,000-7,000 words. Payment: $130, and 2 print copies of the book. 

Important: Query first with a brief pitch.

https://mitziszereto.com/call-for-submissions/

HORROR MARKETS:

Dec 2021

Dose of Dread

Deadline: December 15, 2021; opens December 1, 2021 – SUBMISSIONS TEMPORARILY CLOSED

(checked May 30/21)

Submissions open monthly: 1st – 15th. Un-themed, general horror flash fiction. Preference to dread-inducing stories.. Length: 500 – 1,000 words. Payment: $10.

https://dreadstonepress.com/submissions/

Red Cape Anthologies: M is for Medical

Deadline: November 30, 2021; Opens October 1, 2021

(checked Jan 24/21)

Genre: Horror. 4,000-8,000 words. “Think surgery gone wrong, sadistic nurses, organ trafficking, creepy doctors etc.” Payment:  £10.  

https://redcapepublishing.com/submissions/

Dose of Dread

Deadline: November 15, 2021; opens November 1, 2021 – SUBMISSIONS TEMPORARILY CLOSED

(checked May 30/21)

Submissions open monthly: 1st – 15th. Un-themed, general horror flash fiction. Preference to dread-inducing stories.. Length: 500 – 1,000 words. Payment: $10.

https://dreadstonepress.com/submissions/

Lamplight

Deadline: November 15, 2021; opens September 15, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Dark fiction, both short stories and flash fiction. No specific sub-genres or themes, just good stories. For inspiration, we suggest “The Twilight Zone”, “The Outer Limits”, and LampLight, Vol1 Issue 1 which is free. We go for stories that are dark, literary; we are looking for the creepy, the weird and the unsettling. We do not accept stories with the following: vampires, zombies, werewolves, serial killers, hitmen, excessive gore or sex, excessive abuse against women, revenge fantasies, cannibals, high fantasy.Payment: Unpublished Fiction: 3¢ per word, $150.00 max. Reprints: 1¢ per word up to 7,000 words.

There are two submission periods for LampLight:

15 March – 15 May for the September and December Issues

15 September – 15 November for March and June Issues

Submissions sent outside of these periods will not be considered.

https://lamplightmagazine.com/submissions/

Oct 2021

Eerie River Publishing: It Calls from the the Veil

Deadline: October 31, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

“Give me your nightmares. These stories should take place in our reality with a supernatural twist. Think evil entities.” May have elements of Dark Fantasy, Dark Fiction and Cosmic horror. But must have the intention to scare the readers. Word count: 2000 – 8000. Payment: Up to 3000 words $10.00; Up to 5000 words $15.00; Above 5001 words $20.00.

https://www.eerieriverpublishing.com/open-submission

The Toilet Zone (Hellbound Books)

Deadline: October 31, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

Payment: $5. HellBound’s third outing to the smallest room…

And no, don’t panic, we’re still not looking for lavatory-themed tales of terror – although should your short story involve the smallest room in the house, we’d be more than delighted to read it!

The theme for this anthology is short horror stories that will make an ideal sit-down read, just long enough for those extended stays at the convenience, and terrifying enough that they really are best read whilst over water….

http://www.hellboundbookspublishing.com/subs-anthologies.html

Dose of Dread

Deadline: October 15, 2021; opens October 1, 2021 – SUBMISSIONS TEMPORARILY CLOSED

(checked May 30/21)

Submissions open monthly: 1st – 15th. Un-themed, general horror flash fiction. Preference to dread-inducing stories.. Length: 500 – 1,000 words. Payment: $10.

https://dreadstonepress.com/submissions/

The Nightmurr Before Yiffmas

Deadline: October 1, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

Payment: $10 and a contributor’s copy Theme: Holiday monsters with a furry twist. The editor of 12 Days of Yiffmas is back with another holiday erotic anthology for furries, but this time, it’s horrific, too! Stories must be furry in nature. That means anthropomorphic animals that walk on two legs and can talk. Stories must be erotic in nature. Stories must be horror as well. And of course, stories must focus on Christmas, Yule, etc. The winter holiday!

https://weaselpress.submittable.com/submit

Red Cape Anthologies: L is for Lycanthropes

Deadline: September 30, 2021; Opens August 1, 2021

(checked Jan 24/21)

Genre: Horror. 4,000-8,000 words. “Where werewolves turn on a full moon, lycanthropes are not as restricted. This opens up to more possibilities as they may turn at the most awkward moment, leading to terrifying carnage.” Payment:  £10.  

https://redcapepublishing.com/submissions/

From the Yonder

Deadline: September 19, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

“The stories must be based upon a regional/cultural legend or tall-tale from any location or culture in the World. “Regional” can be a specific place (Loch Ness) or a larger region (Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest).” Payment: $5.

https://warmonkeypublications.com/submissions

Dose of Dread

Deadline: September 15, 2021; opens September 1, 2021 – SUBMISSIONS TEMPORARILY CLOSED

(checked Apt 23/20)

Submissions open monthly: 1st – 15th. Un-themed, general horror flash fiction. Preference to dread-inducing stories.. Length: 500 – 1,000 words. Payment: $10.

https://dreadstonepress.com/submissions/

Madame Gray’s Vault of Gore (Hellbound Books)

Deadline: September 1, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

Horror. Payment: $5. Madame Gray is back and looking for blood-drenched tales of terror to add to her Vault of Gore. The weird, the gruesome, and the downright shocking are welcome. A happy ending is not required, but a twist ending is a big plus. 2.5K – 8K word count.

http://www.hellboundbookspublishing.com/subs-anthologies.html

Aug 2021

Bloody Good Horror (HellBound Books)

Deadline: August 31st, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

No particular theme, no particular sub-genres, no specific word length – as the title suggests, all we want is some bloody good horror for this anthology!

So, send us along your very best horror stories, and see if you can scare our jaded team of readers! 2.5K-4K word count (although we are incredibly flexible for awesome stories!) Payment: $5.

http://www.hellboundbookspublishing.com/subs-anthologies.html

Chromophobia: A Strangehouse Anthology By Women In Horror

Deadline: August 31, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Horror written by women on theme of color. Payment:1 cent/word.

I’m looking for stories that use color in creative, unconventional ways. Terrify me with pastels. Use watercolors to invoke dread. Take a classic trope and redye it into something unique. I also welcome stories of chromophobia, stories with characters who have never seen color or who are color blind, or who deal with visual disabilities.

https://roosterrepublicpress.com/chromophobia-guidelines-submission-window-and-timeline/

Creature Publishing

Deadline: August 31, 2021; Opens April 1, 2021

(checked Jan 24/21)

Length: 20,000-60,000 words. Payment: Royalties

We accept both agented and un-agented submissions of fiction, nonfiction, or genre-defying prose.

Creature publishes up to four book-length works of feminist horror a year. We are looking for books that celebrate fluidity—the ability to cross boundaries and inhabit more than one category at once. While we acknowledge that categories have a certain utility, we refuse to separate horror, thriller, sci-fi, and fantasy from each other or the literary from the mainstream. Our definition of feminist horror is broad and inclusive, and we welcome writing that pushes boundaries.

We are interested in: unreliable narrators, unlikeable female characters, the monstrous, sharp critical essays and social commentary, swamp witches, your nightmares, dystopias, psychological suspense, unraveling minds, unraveling social constructs, possession, intersectionality, hybrid genres, metafiction, dark nights, and writing on sexuality/the body, gender, race, class, disability, technology, religion, and anything and everything that makes our spines tingle.

https://www.darkmarkets.com/2020/06/creature-publishing.html

Nightlight

Deadline: August 31, 2021

(checked Apt 23/20)

Restrictions: Open to Black writers. Genre: Horror. 10,000 words max. Audio format. Payment: $75 – $200 depending on length. $50 for reprints.

https://nightlightpod.com/submissions/

Dose of Dread

Deadline: August 15, 2021; opens August 1, 2021 – SUBMISSIONS TEMPORARILY CLOSED

(checked May 30/20)

Submissions open monthly: 1st – 15th. Un-themed, general horror flash fiction. Preference to dread-inducing stories.. Length: 500 – 1,000 words. Payment: $10.

https://dreadstonepress.com/submissions/

Found: An Anthology of Found Footage Horror Stories 

Deadline: August 8, 2021

(checked May 26/20)

Horror based on found footage. “We’re looking for your best, original, found footage tales. Stories can be written in first person, third person, as a transcript, journal, radio play, poetry, as a script. Play with the format. Do something you haven’t read before.” Length: 2,000 to 4,000 words. Payment: $0.03 per word. Questions / submissions: whatwasfound@gmail.com

https://twitter.com/andrewcull/status/1383737217953112074

The Dead Inside (Dark Dispatch)

Deadline: August 2, 2021

(checked May 25/20)

Poetry, fiction, nonfiction. Identity horror. “Explorations of what happens when our core identities are stripped, altered, suppressed, or denied to us, whether by choice or not.” Payment: Poetry: $25 per poem. Flash Fiction: $25 per story. Short Stories: $50 per story. NonFiction: $50 per piece for print and ebook rights.

https://darkdispatch.com/submissions/identity-horror-submission-guidelines/

Demonic Vacations: Go Home Already! (4 Horsemen Publications)

Deadline: August 1st, 2021

(checked May 25/20)

Payment Details: 2 contributor’s copies

Theme: Demonic Vacations – Humorous horror, thriller.

Our collection continues with dark humor, bizarre, and creepy vibes. We often need a vacation. Heck, sometimes you feel like you need a vacation from your vacation. We invite authors to submit 2,500-5,000 words of vacations from the cabin getaway, to Auntie’s house down south, to even that free cruise you won tickets from…. huh, I don’t remember entering anything? Make us laugh, make us do double takes, and make us regret spending our time on a “dream” vacation from hell.

https://4horsemenpublications.com/demonic-vacations/

Jul 2021

34 Orchard

Deadline: July 31, 2021, Opens July 1, 2021

(checked Apt 17/20)

We like dark, intense pieces that speak to a deeper truth. We’re not genre-specific; we just like scary, disturbing, unsettling, and sad. We like things we can’t put down and things that make us go “wow” when we’ve finished. But our main goal here at 34 Orchard is to publish the stuff we like to read, and you’re not in our heads. So don’t over think it. Just submit.

Short fiction from 1000 to 7500 words. Poetry any style or length. No reprints. Payment $50.

Reading periods:

  • Spring Issue is January 1-January 31.
  • Fall Issue is July 1-July 31.

https://34orchard.com/guidelines/?fbclid=IwAR2TYAMV6QUBES8KnAscatmqHZ6gn3GqiIWnk3pDtu3oxylpwPABWIrEVj8

Aurealis

Deadline July 31, 2021, Opens July 1/21

Due to a large number of submissions from outside Australia and New Zealand, the next window for non-Australian/NZ submissions to Aurealis will now be from 1 July 2021 to 31 July 2021.

(checked Jun 27/20)

Aurealis is an Australian Magazine that publishes compelling reads from both established and emerging writers. The magazine publishes horror, fantasy and science fiction. The magazine is partial to horror stories that are speculative rather than derivative. They are particularly strict about stories based on TV series and will not publish any superficial horror stories.

The online publication accepts submissions from Australian and New Zealand writers from 1 February – 30 September. Short horror stories should be between 2000 – 8000 words. Pay is between A$20 – A$60 for 1000 words and is only made after the publication of your story. Contributors also receive a free copy of the issue containing their story.

https://aurealis.com.au/

Ceci n’est pas une histoire d’horreur (This is Not a Horror Story)

Deadline: July 31, 2021. (Open until filled)

(checked Apr 23/20)

First and foremost, we are looking for the unusual and the provocative. We are seeking horror-focussed stories inspired and influenced by the transgressive fiction genre.. Payment: £15. 

https://nightterrornovels.wordpress.com/2021/03/13/announcement-our-debut-anthology-is-now-open-for-submissions/

Dragon Soul Press: All Dark Places

Deadline: July 31, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

Genre: Horror. “In a world where so many dark things go bump in the night, terror awaits around every corner as these authors take horror stories to the next level.” Word Count – 5,000-15,000. Payment:  Royalties.

https://dragonsoulpress.com/anthologies/

Monsters, Monsters, Monsters (HellBound Books)

Deadline: July 31st, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

We are looking for monsters, of course, be it werewolves, vampires, unspeakable creatures from the darkest depths of space or the innermost circles of hell, and any manner of earthly animals running amok. And, don’t forget the most heinous monster of them all, who just may be the sweet, unassuming neighbor who lives in the house next to yours… 4,000-10,000 words. Payment: $5

http://www.hellboundbookspublishing.com/subs-anthologies.html

Red Cape Anthologies: K is for Kidnap

Deadline: July 31, 2021; Opens June 1, 2021

(checked Jan 24/21)

Genre: Horror. 4,000-8,000 words. “Being kidnapped must be a pretty terrifying ordeal – we’re looking for stories that convey that feeling of terror but we’re also looking for diversity. Think about who is being taken and by whom, are the kidnappers even human?” Payment:  £10.  

https://redcapepublishing.com/submissions/

Tales from the Moonlit Path

Deadline: July 27, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Dark, eerie, speculative stories. Horror is not a necessary element, although fiction should contain some aspect of the weak, frail, changeable human condition. We are interested in character-driven stories more so than plot-driven, and we prefer dark fiction that makes us think, makes us feel, wraps us in its well-spun dream. Payment: $10.

http://talesmoonlitpath.com/submissions/

Dose of Dread

Deadline: July 15, 2021; opens July 1, 2021 – SUBMISSIONS TEMPORARILY CLOSED

(checked May 30/21)

Submissions open monthly: 1st – 15th. Un-themed, general horror flash fiction. Preference to dread-inducing stories.. Length: 500 – 1,000 words. Payment: $10.

https://dreadstonepress.com/submissions/

Fearful Fun (Thurston Howl Publications)

Deadline: July 15, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Payment: $10. Word count: 2,500-8,000.

Theme: Horror with a blend of fun themes

A carnival. A circus. An escape room. An amusement park. A haunted house attraction or corn maze. And each of these has its own history in horror. Movies like FREAKS, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, and ESCAPE ROOM. The Legend of McKamey Manor. Remember those times we were all scared of killer clowns? Or the urban legend of the person who actually killed someone in a haunted house attraction? Sometimes fun just isn’t so fun, huh? Sometimes, it’s more fearful fun. We will take preference with stories that are unique. Don’t just write another killer clown story or a basic demonic carnival story, UNLESS your story genuinely has a unique take on that trope.

https://weaselpress.submittable.com/submit/188636/thp-howlers-fearful-fun

Mythulu: Horror vs Hemophobia

Deadline: July 15, 2021. Pitches only.

(checked May 26/21)

Short stories, nonfiction, art, comics. “This issue explores the ethics of gore in literature. Bring your fighting words and debate either side.” Payment: 4-8 cents per word. 

https://mythulu.submittable.com/submit

The Cellar Door Issue #1: Woodland Terrors

Deadline: July 15, 2021; Opens July 1, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

2,000 – 7,500 words. Payment: $25.00 + digital copy. Theme: Horror/thriller stories that take place in or near the woods.

https://www.darkpeninsulapress.com/the-cellar-door-issue-1—woodland-terrors.html

Deadly Love (Dark Dispatch)

Deadline: July 9, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Payment: Two-Sentence Stories: $10, Flash Fiction: $25 per story (300 to 999 words), Short Stories: $50 per story (2,000 to 5,000 words).

Theme: Deadly Love

Note: Reprints welcome at a lower, undisclosed pay rate.

The second issue of Dark Dispatch will be a themed issue, featuring stories on Deadly Love. Let your mind wander to the dark places and share your horror love stories about relationships gone wrong.

https://darkdispatch.com/submissions/deadly-love-submission-guidelines/

Generation X-ed (Dark Ink Publishing)

Deadline: July 3, 2021; Opens June 20, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Theme: Any aspect of horror that contains element(s) specific to Generation X

Note: Open only to writers of Generation X (aka born 1965-1980. A year wiggle room is okay.)

Payment $0.01/word, eBook copy, and discounted pricing on print copies

Length: 3000-6000 words

Content should fall within horror genre parameters, any sub-genre, including splatter-punk, psychological, quiet, body, sci-fi terror, creature-feature, dark fable, or paranormal horror, etc, (though we’re not big fans of bizarro fiction or glittery vampires) AND contain element(s) specific to Generation X. This includes (but is not limited to).

https://aminkpublishing.com/open-calls

The Zodiac Killers Series (Black Ink Fiction)

Deadline: July 1, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

Thriller. Restrictions: Author Eligibility: Authors accepted into any unpaid BIF collection. Length: 5000-10,000 words, excluding title. Payment: Royalties.

https://www.blackinkfiction.com/submissions

Jun 2021

Angela’s Recurring Nightmares

(Great Lakes Association Of Horror Writers)

Deadline: June 30, 2021 

(checked May 25/21)

2,000 to 5,000 words. Payment: Contributor’s copy. Theme: Each story must contain a character named Angela and a penguin.

http://glahw.com/recurring-nightmares-submission-guidelines-annual/recurring-nightmares-guidelines/

Dates from Hell (Hellbound Books Publishing)

Deadline: June 30, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Horror. Payment: $5. We want your stories of dates gone horrifically wrong, seemingly innocent meetings that deliver death and terror instead of romance, of psychopathic stalkers who will stop at nothing to possess their love’s still-beating heart…

http://www.hellboundbookspublishing.com/subs-anthologies.html

Field Notes from a Nightmare

Deadline: June 30, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Ecological horror. Length: 1,000 – 4,000 words. Payment: 3 cents/word. Field Notes from a Nightmare will be a print and e-book anthology about environmental and ecological horrors.

https://dreadstonepress.com/submissions/#antho-jump

Gravelight Press 

Deadline: June 30th, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Seeking novel-length works: horror fiction for 2022-2023 publication. A small press that primarily publishes horror anthologies. Payment: Royalties. 

https://gravelightpress.com/submissions/

Merry Scary Christmas (Fedowar Press)

Deadline: June 30th, 2021

(checked May 25/21)

Payment: Shared royalty pool of 30% of sales revenue Theme: Creepy Christmas stories, your Hanukkah horrors, your New Year’s Eve Evils, with a dose of speculative fiction tossed in.

https://fedowarpress.com/submissions/merry-scary-christmas/

Nightlight

Deadline: June 30, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Restrictions: Open to Black writers. Genre: Horror. 10,000 words max. Audio format. Payment: $75 – $200 depending on length. $50 for reprints. 

https://nightlightpod.com/submissions/

Nightfire

Deadline: June 21, 2021; Opens June 15, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Horror novels and novellas. Payment: Advance and royalties.

The Nightfire team is looking for novels and novellas for adults across the breadth of the horror genre—from the cosmic and Lovecraftian to the beloved undead tropes of zombies, ghosts, and slashers and the more uncanny and internal terrors of isolation, lost love, and aging.

https://tornightfire.com/nightfire-slush-submission-guidelines/

Nightmare: An Anthology of Ecological Horror (Dreadstone Press)

Deadline: June 30, 2021; opens June 1, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

1,000 – 4,000 words. Payment: 3 cents/word Theme: Ecological Horror Field Notes from a Nightmare will be a print and e-book anthology about environmental and ecological horrors.

https://dreadstonepress.com/submissions/#antho-jump

Dose of Dread

Deadline: June 15, 2021; opens June 1, 2021 – SUBMISSIONS TEMPORARILY CLOSED

(checked May 30/21)

Submissions open monthly: 1st – 15th. Un-themed, general horror flash fiction. Preference to dread-inducing stories.. Length: 500 – 1,000 words. Payment: $10.

https://dreadstonepress.com/submissions/

The Other Stories (Audio)

Deadline: June 14, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Horror on theme of Doppelgängers. Payment: 15 GBT. 

https://theotherstories.net/submissions

If I Die Before I Wake volume 6

Deadline: June 9, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Horror. Payment: $40 per piece.

Submissions must fit the theme of the Dark Deep and should be centered around bodies of water and anything connected to them, such as sea creatures, mysterious disappearances, pirates, the Bermuda Triangle, etc, and must be written in the horror genre.

https://www.sinistersmilepress.com/submissions-v6

Bodies Full of Burning: An Anthology of Menopause-Themed Horror

Deadline: June 1, 2021 or until filled

(checked Apr 16/21)

Menopause-Themed Horror. Payment: 1 cent/word.  Menopause can be hell – so show us your demons, your darkest dreams, bloodiest crimes or scariest transformations. It’s called the change of life, but transitions can be deadly.

https://sliceduppress.com/submissions-2/

Cemetery Gates: Generation Dread

Deadline: June 1, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

Restrictions: Open to writers 15-19 years of age. Genre: Horror. 1500 to 3000 words. Payment: $100 scholarship. 

https://cemeterygatesmedia.com/2021/03/09/generation-dread-submissions/

The Zodiac Killers Series (Black Ink Fiction)

Deadline: June 1, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

Thriller. Restrictions: Author Eligibility: Authors accepted into any unpaid BIF collection. Length: 5000-10,000 words, excluding title. Payment: Royalties.

https://www.blackinkfiction.com/submissions

Sharpen your writing pencils. Here are a few markets whose deadlines are looming over us.

Photo by Aryan Dhiman on Unsplash

Warm up the keyboard, these submission deadlines are closing fast – mixed/multi genre markets:

Aug 2021

Apparition Lit

Deadline: August 31, 2021. Opens August 15, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

Genre: Speculative fiction and poetry on theme of Wonder. Payment: $30. 

We publish poems and stories between 1k-5k words in January, April, July, and October. We also hold monthly flash fiction contests between the 1st and 15th of each month. Flash stories must be under a 1000 words and be inspired or based on the chosen theme. Full details for submission guidelines are below.

https://apparitionlit.com/submissions/

Black Coffee & Vinyl Presents

Deadline: August 31, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, art, music. The theme is “The City.” We are seeking art, words, and sounds that explore, critique, celebrate and interrogate the urban landscape, culture and environment. The city, a place, should play a central role in the work and should be a central character or focus. We are seeking a diverse range of city representation from large cities to small, from real to imagined. Payment: $50.

https://www.blackcoffeevinyl.com/submit

HWP Seeks Fiction/Poetry/Flash for Paid Print Publication/Awards

Deadline: August 31, 2021

(checked May 29/21)

Haunted Waters Press seeking submissions for consideration in the 2nd edition of our fiction anthology Tin Can Literary Review—$250 per published story. Also seeking works of fiction, poetry, flash, and Penny Fiction for paid print publication in the 19th issue of our literary journal From the Depths. Works appearing online in SPLASH! are eligible for future offers of paid publication. All submissions considered for 2021 HWP Awards. Your words and endeavors are important to us! Custom artwork, author interviews, and the HWP Contributor Showcase are just a few of the ways we show our appreciation. Visit us today! www.hauntedwaterspress.com

https://www.hauntedwaterspress.com/?utm_source=newpages&utm_medium=classified&utm_campaign=2021_cfs&utm_content=haunted_waters_press

Kaleidotrope

Deadline: August 31st, 2021, opens August 1, 2021

Speculative fiction and poetry—science fiction, fantasy, and horror, but also compelling work that blurs the lines between these and falls outside of neat genre categories.    Payment: For fiction, $0.01/word (1 cent a word) USD. For poetry, a flat rate of $5 USD per accepted piece. For artwork, a flat rat of $60 for cover art.

https://kaleidotrope.net/guidelines/

Split Lip Magazine

Deadline: August 31, 2021. Note: Submit early in the month.

(checked May 30/21)

Fiction (flash and short stories), memoirs, and poetry. with a pop-culture twist. Payment: $50 per author (via PayPal) for our web issues. Payment for print is $5 per page, minimum of $20, plus 2 contributor copies and a 1-year subscription. FREE SUBMISSIONS: January, March, May, August, September, November.

https://splitlipthemag.com/submit

Night Shift Radio

Deadline: August 28, 2021; opens August 21, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

Fiction, non-fiction, memoir – 7,000-10,000 words. Payment: $50 or $25. 

https://nightshiftradio.com/submissions

Abyss and Apex

Deadline: August 7, 2021, opens August 1, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

Speculative fiction and poetry. No horror. Payment: USD $.06/word (six cents a word) up to 1,250 words, and a flat payment of $75.00 for longer stories. 

https://www.abyssapexzine.com/submissions/

Scum

Deadline: August 7, 2021; opens to submissions on August 1, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

Feminist-friendly work of any variety, but as a general rule your piece should be under 2000 words (50 lines for poetry, max. 3 poems) and able to be classified as “fiction”, “culture”, “memoir”, “column”, “poetry”, and/or “review”. Payment: $60 AUD.

Submissions to Scum are open the first week (from the 1st to the 7th) of every month. The rest of the month, submissions are closed.

https://www.scum-mag.com/submit-to-scum/

Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine

Deadline: August 3, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

Fairy tales, and essays on theme of “Healers, Midwives and Cunning Folk.” Payment: $100. US dollars only. Essays: $50.

https://enchantedconversationmag.blogspot.com/p/submissions.html

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores

Deadline: August 2, 2021 (Submissions window: 1st and second day each month)

(checked May 30/21)

*Allows reprints

Speculative stories. Payment: 6 cents/word for original work, 2 cents/word for reprints, 2-6 cents/word for new fact-based work, 1-4 cents/word for reprinted fact articles, $1/line for new poetry, 50 cents/line for poetry reprints (poetry up to 40 lines).

https://cosmicrootsandeldritchshores.com/submissions/

The First Line

Deadline: August 1, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Genres: Fiction, poetry, nonfiction using the first line provided. (See site.)   Payment: $25.00 – $50.00 for fiction, $5.00 – $10.00 for poetry, and $25.00 for nonfiction. 

http://www.thefirstline.com/submission.htm

Volney Road Review

Deadline: August 1, 2021; Opens May 1, 2021 – SUBMISSIONS CLOSED / MOVING TO NEW PLATFORM

(checked May 31/21)

Genres: Fiction, poetry, CNF, art. Payment: $10. 

http://volneyroadreview.com/submit/

We’Moon Lunar Calendar

Deadline: August 1, 202

(checked May 27/21)

Restrictions: Open to women only. Genre: Art, poetry and prose, 350 words maximum. Payment: Small honorarium. 1

https://wemoon.ws/pages/copy-of-submitting-art-writing#write

Jul 2021

FIYAH

Deadline: July 31, 2021. See themes

(checked May 27/21)

Genre: Speculative fiction, art, and poetry about African Diaspora. Length: Short fiction 2,000 – 7,000 words and novelettes up to 15,000 words. Payment: $150 per story. $50 per poem. $300 per novelette. 

http://www.fiyahlitmag.com/submissions/

Hiraeth Books: parABnormal Magazine

Deadline: July 31, 2021, opens June 1, 2021

(checked May 27/21)

Stories, poetry, nonfiction about the paranormal. Payment: $25 for fiction, $20 for articles, $7 for reviews, $6 per poem. Submissions are accepted Feb 1 – Mar 31, Jun 1 – Jul 31, Oct 1 – Nov 30.

https://www.hiraethsffh.com/parabnormal-magazine-guidelines

Nonbinary Review

Deadline: July 31, 2021

(checked May 27/21)

Poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and flash, up to 3000 words on theme of Prohibition. Payment: For prose, 1¢ US per word, and $10 US per poem.

https://www.zoeticpress.com/new-page

The Rumpus

Deadline: July 31, 2021, opens July 1, 2021

(checked May 27/21)

Fiction, poetry. reviews. “We strive to be a platform for marginalized voices and writing that might not find a home elsewhere, and to lift up new voices alongside those of more established writers we love. We work to shine a light on stories that build bridges, tear down walls, and speak truth to power.” Payment: $300 divided among all contributors.

https://therumpus.submittable.com/submit

khōréō

Deadline: July 30, 2021

(checked May 27/21)

Restrictions: Open to writers who identify as an immigrant or member of a diaspora in the broadest definitions of the terms. “This includes, but is not limited to, first- and second-generation immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented migrants, persons who identify with one or more diaspora communities, persons who have been displaced or whose heritage has been erased due to colonialism/imperialism, transnational/transracial adoptees, and anyone whose heritage and history includes ‘here and elsewhere’. We especially encourage BIPOC creators who identify as the above to submit their work.” Genre: stories, essays, and art: fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and any genre in between or around it, as long as there’s a speculative element. Payment: 0.08/word for fiction, $100 for nonfiction, and  $40-300 for art.

Submissions

Jaggery

Deadline: July 15, 2021

(checked May 27/21)

DesiLit arts and literature journal, “connects South Asian diasporic writers and homeland writers; we also welcome non-South Asians with a deep and thoughtful connection to South Asian countries, who bring their own intersecting perspectives to the conversation. (By South Asia we mean Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, The Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.” Genre: Fiction, CNF, poetry, art, reviews. Payment: $100 for fiction, $25 for nonfiction/poetry/art/reviews.

https://jaggery.submittable.com/submit

Lupercalia

Deadline: July 15, 2021

(checked May 27/21)

Lupercalia press will showcase art and writing by trans and queer creators that focuses on themes of transgender and queer sex/sexuality/excess/celebration. “We do not have any strict definition of how trans or queer manifests in your personal identity, nor do we want to be gatekeepers. If you say you are trans or queer, we believe and accept that in you.” Genre: Fiction, poetry, chapbooks, visual art. Payment: Not specified.

https://www.lupercaliapress.com/submit

Writer Shed Press: Second Thoughts

Deadline: July 15, 2021

(checked May 27/21)

Fiction, creative nonfiction, personal essays, and poetry on the theme of Second Thoughts. Payment: $20.

https://writershedpress.com/submissions/

Epoch Press

Deadline: July 8, 2021

(checked May 27/21)

Poetry, art, CNF. Theme: Transition. Payment: Not specified.

https://epochpress.org/submission-guidelines/

Fairy Tale Review – The Lilac Issue

Deadline: July 7, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Payment: $50

Theme: Sleep and dreams: the forgotten language of fairy tales.

This category is for prose submissions to our eighteen print issue, The Lilac Issue, which will be published by Wayne State University Press in March 2022.

For prose: Writers may submit a single piece up to 1,000 words. We welcome short fiction, essays, lyric nonfiction, and scholarship.

https://fairytalereview.submittable.com/submit/51049/the-lilac-issue-prose

Scum

Deadline: July 7, 2021; opens to submissions on July 1, 2021

(checked Feb 21/21)

Feminist-friendly work of any variety, but as a general rule your piece should be under 2000 words (50 lines for poetry, max. 3 poems) and able to be classified as “fiction”, “culture”, “memoir”, “column”, “poetry”, and/or “review”. Payment: $60 AUD.

Submissions to Scum are open the first week (from the 1st to the 7th) of every month. The rest of the month, submissions are closed.

https://www.scum-mag.com/submit-to-scum/

Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine

Deadline: July 3, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Fairy tales, and essays on theme of “Healers, Midwives and Cunning Folk.” Payment: $100. US dollars only. Essays: $50. 

New Fairy Tales: Fairy tales that are almost or entirely new or are just new takes on old tales are all welcome. Mashups of existing fairy tales are welcome as well. Submissions must follow the theme below to be considered.

https://enchantedconversationmag.blogspot.com/p/submissions.html

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores

Deadline: July 2, 2021 (Submissions window: 1st and second day each month)

(checked Feb 21/21)

*Allows reprints

Speculative stories. Payment: 6 cents/word for original work, 2 cents/word for reprints, 2-6 cents/word for new fact-based work, 1-4 cents/word for reprinted fact articles, $1/line for new poetry, 50 cents/line for poetry reprints (poetry up to 40 lines).

https://cosmicrootsandeldritchshores.com/submissions/

Curiouser

Deadline: July 1, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Poetry and short fiction up to 5,000 words. “Stories that excite, that break the boundary between real and unreal. Experimentation and surreal ways of looking at the world we live in will be looked upon fondly. Horror, magic realism, speculative fiction and streams of consciousness are welcome.” Payment: $25-40 per poem, and from $50-140 for short prose (all dollar amounts are Australian). International authors get reduced payment.

https://curiousermag.com/submissions/

The Moderate Review

Deadline: July 1, 2021

(checked Apr 27/21)

The Moderate Review is a newly established online journal showcasing both established and emerging literary talents. We invite your words and voices to the ongoing creative discussion.

The Moderate accepts creative text (fiction, poetry, screenplays), zeitgeisty essays, reviews, and interviews as well as visual art such as painting, sculpture, and photography. We especially seek work that interfaces with the current moment.

We are currently accepting submissions for our second issue, with a tentative deadline of July 1.

Submissions should be sent as a word attachment to moderatereview@gmail.com with “Issue 2” in the subject line. There are no word limits, guidelines, or restrictions. However, all submissions must be original work and not previously published.

https://www.themoderatereview.org/submit

Thema: Watch the Birdie!

Deadline: July 1, 2021.  Accepts reprints.

(checked Apr 16/21)

Fiction, poetry, and art on theme: Watch the Birdie!  Payment:  $10-$25 for short fiction and artwork, $10 for poetry. 

http://themaliterarysociety.com/submissions.html

Jun 2021

Black Telephone

Deadline: June 30, 2021, opens June 1, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Fiction, essays. Payment: $25. Communication with each other, with the dead, travel between states of mind & dimensions & places in time. The darkness between the patches of light in the known world. I want strange fictions dripping in nostalgia, poetry that is timeless & plays with form. I am looking for voices that haunt me & make me feel alive again at a different molecular vibration. Words that speak to the core. Stories & poetry that emerge from the collective unconscious & the Id. I want to see you double dipped literary confections in all hybrid genres. I want essays that are raw, real & lyrical. They can be on any subject matter. They can be about life or literary deep dives into your favorite books/authors. Think of Black Telephone Magazine as the astral phone booth where you deliver your dark transmissions into the ether.

https://www.clashbooks.com/submission-guidelines

Chestnut Review (Essays, Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Visual Media)

Deadline: June 30, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Poetry, flash fiction, short fiction, creative nonfiction, essays, visual media (art/photography). Payment: $100. Submit early in the month to avoid submission fee. Appears four times per year online and once per year in print in our annual anthology. 

https://chestnutreview.com/submissions/

Fat Coyote

Deadline: June 30th, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Restrictions: Writers must be neurodivergent. Genre: Poetry, fiction, CNF, Art, Photography, Comics. Payment: 3 cents/word for prose. $1 line for poetry. $30 – $40 for art. 

https://thefatcoyote.com/blog/submission-guidelines/

Kikwetu

Deadline: June 30, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

East African literature. “We welcome fiction pieces in English and Swahili up to 3,000 words from African writers on the continent and in the diaspora.” Payment: $30. 

https://www.kikwetujournal.com/submissions.html

Tamarind

Deadline: June 30, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Fiction and nonfiction about science and scientists. Payment: Royalties. Allows reprints.

We  accept simultaneous and multiple submissions (max. 3 per author) and don’t require first or exclusive rights to your work. This means it may have been previously published elsewhere and you may, in the future, publish it elsewhere. However, if your work has been previously  published we will need evidence that you have the rights to re-publish the work.

https://www.tamarindlit.co.uk/submissions

The Rumpus: Enough

Deadline: June 30, 2021 – currently on hiatus

(checked May 31/21)

Essays, poetry, fiction, comics, and artwork by women and non-binary people that engage with rape culture, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Payment: $300 divided among all contributors. 

https://therumpus.submittable.com/submit

Willowherb

Deadline: June 30, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Restrictions: Open to writers of color. Genre: Previously unpublished non-fiction, fiction and poetry on nature, place, and environment. Payment: £250 for prose, £100 for poetry.

https://www.thewillowherbreview.com/submissions

The Puritan: Summer Issue

Deadline: June 25, 2021; Opens Mar 26, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Fiction, nonfiction, poetry. Payment: $100 per nonfiction piece, $50 fiction, $15 per poem. 

The Puritan seeks submissions all year round, from anywhere in the world.

Submissions received between Dec. 26 and Mar. 25 are considered for the spring issue, published in early May. Those received between Mar. 26 and June 25 are considered for the summer issue, published in late early Aug. Those received between June 26 and Sept. 25 are considered for the fall issue, published in Nov. Those received between Sept. 26 and Dec. 25 are considered for the winter issue, published in Feb.

http://puritan-magazine.com/submissions/

Understorey Magazine

Deadline: June 21, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Restrictions: Open to Canadian women writers only. Genre: Poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, spoken word, and visual art about Rural and Remote Living. Payment: $50 – $100. 

https://understoreymagazine.ca/submissions/

Channel

Deadline: June 15, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Fiction, art, creative non-fiction, and poetry that engages with the natural world, and have a particular interest in work which encourages reflection on human interaction with plant and animal life, landscape and the self. Payment: €40/poem, and €40/page of prose up to €120.

https://channelmag.org/submissions-channel/

White Enso

Deadline: June 18, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Original, unpublished short fiction, essays, creative non-fiction and artwork that encapsulates the Japan experience. Payment: between 1000 and 1500 yen (US$10-$15).

https://www.whiteenso.com/submission-guidelines.html

The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts

Deadline: June 15, 2021; Opens March 15, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, mixed media, visual arts, “and even kitchen sinks, if they are compressed in some way.” Payment: $50. 

https://matter.submittable.com/submit

Mslexia

Deadline: June 7, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Fiction, poetry. “ROOTS: Our Issue 91 theme is about hidden depths and ancestry, about what nourishes and anchors plants and humans alike.” Payment: £25. 

https://mslexia.co.uk/nonfiction/

Scum

Deadline: June 7, 2021; opens to submissions on June 1, 2021

(checked Feb 21/21)

Feminist-friendly work of any variety, but as a general rule your piece should be under 2000 words (50 lines for poetry, max. 3 poems) and able to be classified as “fiction”, “culture”, “memoir”, “column”, “poetry”, and/or “review”. Payment: $60 AUD.

Submissions to Scum are open the first week (from the 1st to the 7th) of every month. The rest of the month, submissions are closed.

https://www.scum-mag.com/submit-to-scum/

Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine

Deadline: June 3, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Fairy tales, and essays on theme of “Healers, Midwives and Cunning Folk.” Payment: $100. US dollars only. Essays: $50.

https://enchantedconversationmag.blogspot.com/p/submissions.html

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores

Deadline: June 2, 2021 (Submissions window: 1st and second day each month)

(checked May 26/21)

*Allows reprints

Speculative stories. Payment: 6 cents/word for original work, 2 cents/word for reprints, 2-6 cents/word for new fact-based work, 1-4 cents/word for reprinted fact articles, $1/line for new poetry, 50 cents/line for poetry reprints (poetry up to 40 lines).

https://cosmicrootsandeldritchshores.com/submissions/

Gold Man Review

Deadline: June 2, 2021

(checked Mar 29/21)

Gold Man Review, a West Coast Journal, is currently looking for submissions in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for Issue 11. We are open to all topics and themes and love writing that pushes boundaries. If your work is on the unusual side, then we’re probably the journal for you. If you’re interested in submitting to Gold Man Review, please see our website for full submission guidelines. Please also note that we only accept submissions from writers in Oregon, Alaska, Hawaii, California, and Washington.

https://www.goldmanpublishing.com/?utm_source=newpages&utm_medium=classified&utm_campaign=issue_11_cfs&utm_content=gold_man_review

Bethlehem Writers Roundtable

Deadline: June 1, 2021

(checked Jan 24/21)

Genre: Short stories and poetry. See themes. Payment: 20.00 USD for featured authors, or $10.00 USD for stories published on their &More page and $5.00 USD for poems. 

https://bwgwritersroundtable.com/submissions-contacts/

Contrary

Deadline: June 1, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Poetry, fiction, CNF. Payment: $20.

http://contrarymagazine.com/submissions/

Eternal Haunted Summer

Deadline: June 1, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

Poetry, short fiction, essays about The Written Word. Payment: $5.

EHS is an ezine dedicated to 1) original poetry and 2) short fiction about the Gods and Goddesses and heroes of the world’s many Pagan traditions. We feature 3) reviews of books, graphic novels, academic journals, magazines, movies, plays, and so forth which have a Pagan focus, or which otherwise might interest our Pagan readership. And 4) interviews with established and new Pagan authors, or authors of texts that interest a Pagan audience. And finally, 5) essays concerning the Gods, Goddesses, heroes, myths and folklore of the world.

https://eternalhauntedsummer.com/about/

Parabola: Theme of Fire

Deadline: June 1, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

Retellings of traditional stories: 500-1500 words, original essays and translations, poetry, reviews. Parabola is a quarterly journal devoted to the exploration of the quest for meaning as it is expressed in the world’s myths, symbols, and religious traditions, with particular emphasis on the relationship between this store of wisdom and our modern life.

Payment: Not specified. 

https://parabola.org/submissions/


Grins and giggles. Here are a few markets sneaking up on us.

Photo by Carl Jorgensen on Unsplash

Loose the fuzzy creatures, these submission deadlines are ready to play – children’s markets:

     
 

PoArtMo Anthology: 13-16 Year-Old Artists Edition – Auroras & Blossoms

Deadline: December 31, 2021

(checked Apr 28/21)

A Winnipeg publication.

Topics / Themes: Anything that is positive, uplifting and inspirational in nature, with the exception of erotica and politics. Also, coronavirus-related pieces that do not contain strongly positive / uplifting / inspirational elements will be automatically rejected.

What we are looking for:

Positive art. Positive as in stimulating, optimistic, confident, uplifting, inspirational.

No matter what topic you choose to tackle (e.g., death, disease, mental illness, suicide, depression…), the pieces you send us should answer three basic questions:

– “How do they help others?”

– “How do they open their minds?”

– “Do they bring a better understanding of the situations or stories I am describing?”

https://abpoetryjournal.com/13-16-year-old-artists/

Cast of Wonders – General Submissions

General Submissions for 2021 publication:

Opens: November 1, 2021 [tentative]; Deadline: November 30, 2021 [tentative]

(checked Jan 24/21)

Cast of Wonders is a young adult short fiction market, open to stories up to 6,000 words in length.

Stories that evoke a sense of wonder, have deep emotional resonance, and have something unreal about them. We aim for a 12-17 age range: that means sophisticated, non-condescending stories with wide appeal, and without gratuitous or explicit sex, violence or pervasive obscene language. Think Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.

https://www.castofwonders.org/submissions/

When Night Falls (TBC)

Deadline: August 31, 2021; Open June 1, 2021

(checked May 25/21)

Genre: Dark Fantasy. Age Range: YA – 14 to 18 years. Word Count: 4k – 8k 10% wiggle room over.

Info: I will be looking for stories that fall into that fantasy realm of elves, faeries, orcs, goblins, wizards and the like. Battles for kingdoms and the exploration of lost worlds.

I am NOT looking for tales of vampires, werewolves etc. for this one.

Inspirations: Lord of the Rings, The Dark Crystal, Game of Thrones, Legend etc. Payment: £10 per story selected plus digital copy and discounted author copies.

https://www.ravenanddrakepublishing.co.uk/royaltycalls

Cast of Wonders – Limited Demographic: Young Author submissions

General Submissions for 2021 publication:

Opens: July 15, 2021 [tentative]; Deadline: August 15, 2021 [tentative]

(checked May 31/21)

Cast of Wonders is a young adult short fiction market, open to stories up to 6,000 words in length.

Stories that evoke a sense of wonder, have deep emotional resonance, and have something unreal about them. We aim for a 12-17 age range: that means sophisticated, non-condescending stories with wide appeal, and without gratuitous or explicit sex, violence or pervasive obscene language. Think Harry Potter or The Hunger Games.

https://www.castofwonders.org/submissions/


Sharpen your writing pencils. Here are a few markets whose deadlines are looming over us.

Dust the writing cogs, these submission deadlines are coming up – nonfiction markets:

     
 


Aug 2021

Academia Lunare

Deadline: August 31, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Speculative non-fiction in theme “Not the Fellowship. Dragons Welcome.” Writers are invited to engage with a fictional character of choice from any of Tolkien’s works who is not part of The Lord of the Rings’ Fellowship. Though they can be characters of LOTR. Payment: £30. 

https://www.lunapresspublishing.com/academialunare

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Messages from Heaven

Deadline: August 31st, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

True stories and poems. “We want to hear from you if you have experienced communication from the other side or received a sign or signal from a loved one who has passed. Has someone who has died come to you in a dream? Given you counsel or comfort? Have you gone beyond, but returned to life with new knowledge, insight, or awareness? Have you intuitively known the moment someone died?” Payment: $200.

https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles

Deadline: August 31st, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

True stories and poems. “We want your true stories, both religious and non-religious, that will awe us with examples of amazing events. Inspirational stories to remind us that each day stunning miracles do happen and that a miracle can happen at any time.” Payment: $200. 

https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Kindness

Deadline: August 31st, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

True stories and poems. “Has someone performed an act of kindness for you? How did it feel? Did you pay it forward and do something kind for someone else? Did that person know it was you doing that kind thing? Did you do something kind for a stranger knowing you would not be paid back? How did that feel?” Payment: $200.

https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grieving, Loss and Recovery

Deadline: August 31st, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

True stories and poems. “This collection of emotional and inspirational stories will provide comfort, support, and peace to those who have lost someone close to them. What helped you the most when you were grieving? Who were the people who helped you and what did they do? When did you know that you had finally “turned the corner” and were on the road to recovery? When and how did you realize there was light at the end of the tunnel? What are you doing to support others?” Payment: $200. 

https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dogs

Deadline: August 31st, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

True stories and poems. “We want your true funny stories, your heartwarming stories, and your mindboggling stories about all the simply amazing things that your dog does. What have you learned from your dog? How does your dog improve your life? What crazy things does your dog do? Has your dog ever done anything heroic? How does your dog warm your heart and make you smile? We want to hear all about the absurd antics, funny habits and insightful behavior of your dog. Stories can be serious or humorous.” Payment: $200. 

https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Crazy Family

Deadline: August 31st, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

True stories and poems. “We all have that certain someone in our own family who, while lovable, sweet, and caring, is also nutty or weird. We love that person but, at the same time, that family member makes us crazy! A parent or grandparent, an in-law, a brother or sister, an aunt, uncle or cousin. We all have them and you know who they are! We are looking for true stories and poems about those family members. We would like your stories to be silly, outrageous, hilarious, and make us laugh, but they should also show the kindness and caring of your family member too.” Payment: $200.

https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Humorous Stories

Deadline: August 30, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

True stories and poems. “Share your funny stories about something that happened to you in your life – in your relationship with a partner or spouse, a parent or child, a family member or friend, at work or at home – that made you and the people around you laugh out loud. Did you mean for it to be funny? Did the other person mean to make you laugh? Did a situation just get out of control? Did a misunderstanding turn into a comedy of errors?” Payment: $200.

https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Birth Stories 2021 Writing Contest (Doula Support Org.)

Deadline: August 1, 2021; Opens June 1, 2021

(checked May 28/21)

What we are looking for:

We are welcoming many different voices and perspectives which are representative of the population of Canada. We wish to be able to share all kinds of births, in different settings with different health care providers and support teams in different eras. We welcome stories written by partners too (with permission of the birther).

Up to 2000 words.

Who can participate? All those residing in Canada (irrespective of visa status), novice or experienced writers, who want to share a birth story.

The 15 English and 10 French honorable mention stories will be published on the DSF website.

The intention is to publish a book with the winning stories in English and in French of the 2021 winners of the contest. We will translate the stories, so we can publish one book in French and one in English with all the stories.

https://www.doulasupport.org/birth-story-contest-2021

Jun 2021

Ruminate

Deadline: June 16, 2021. Note: Ruminate also accepts short fiction on a rolling basis.

(checked Mar 30/21)

Creative nonfiction under 5, 500 words. Payment: $20 per 400 words. 

https://ruminatemagazine.submittable.com/submit/8428/2021-nonfiction-general-submissions

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels

Deadline: June 1, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

True stories and poems. “We are looking for true personal stories about how an angel has touched your life – stories of true wonder and awe from people who have directly encountered or received help from angels. We’re looking for amazing stories that will make people say “wow” or give our readers chills. Have you experienced something otherworldly or celestial? Or had a personal experience with an angel or divine being? How did your angel manifest himself or herself to you? Were you the only person who saw your angel? How did your angel protect or guide you?” Payment: $200. 

https://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics

Sharpen your writing pencils. Here are a few markets whose deadlines are looming over us.

Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

Time to wax poetic. These Poetry Submission Deadlines Are Coming Upon Us:

    


Sep 2021

Savor: Poems for the Tongue

Deadline: September 30th, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Poetry about food. Payment: Small honorarium.

https://www.friendlycitybooks.com/savor

Working Titles

Deadline: September 30th, 2021; opens May 1, 2021. USPS submissions only.

(checked Jan 24/21)

Genre: Prose written for the digital page, which may incorporate unique visual, aural, or interactive elements. Payment: $250. 

*Electronic submissions outside this period: $3.00 fee to submit electronically per reading period. Make sure you are submitting on the Working Title page.

https://www.massreview.org/submission-guidelines/working-titles-guidelines

The Southampton Review

Deadline: September 1, 2021, opens August 1, 2021. Submit early in the month to avoid fees

(checked May 31/21)

Poetry, prose, art. Payment: Prose: $100+, Poetry: $75 per poem. Illustration: $100 per page. Art Portfolios: $200 for up to 12 images.

https://www.thesouthamptonreview.com/submit/

Reliquiae (Corbel Stone Press)

Deadline: August 31st, 2021; opens June 1, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Poetry and Prose. “Reliquiae is a journal of landscape, nature and mythology. Your work must engage with these themes.” Payment: “small payment”.

https://www.corbelstonepress.com/reliquiae

Spartan

Deadline: August 31st, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Literary prose, 1500 words max. Payment: $20. 

https://spartanlit.com/submissions

Songs of Eretz

Deadline: August 15, 2021; opens August 1, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Poetry, cover art on theme of Religion. Payment: $5.

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review Themes & Submission Schedules for 2021:

Month Theme Submission Period Lead Editor

March Circles February 1 – 15 Cummings

June Love May 1 – 15 Gordon

September Religion August 1 – 15 Cummings

December Place November 1 – 15 Gordon

http://www.songsoferetz.com/p/guidelines.html

We’Moon Lunar Calendar

Deadline: August 1, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Restrictions: Open to women only. Genre: Art, poetry and prose, 350 words maximum. Payment: Small honorarium.

https://wemoon.ws/pages/copy-of-submitting-art-writing#write

Jul 2021

Arc Poetry Magazine

Deadline: July 31, 2021, Opens April 1, 2021

(checked Jan 24/21)

Genre: Poetry. Payment: $50 per page. 

Arc has two reading periods:

  • submissions received from April 1 to July 31 will be read for the Winter issue
  • submissions received from September 1 to December 31 will be read for the Summer issue

https://arcpoetry.ca/submit/

ABLE MUSE: A Review of Poetry, Prose & Art

Deadline: July 15, 2021

(checked Mar 30/21)

Able Muse is now accepting submissions for our forthcoming issue, Winter 2021/2022. Submit poetry, fiction, essays, book reviews, art, and photography. Submission opens yearly January 1 and closes July 15. Read our guidelines and submit at www.ablemuse.com/submit/.

Inclusive Future Magazine

Deadline: July 15, 2021

(checked May 26/27)

Restrictions: Open to trans, nonbinary, and genderqueer artists and writers. Genre: Speculative prose, poetry, and art in the guise of a pop culture  magazine from the future. While your submission does not have to be about gender, it definitely needs to contain elements that make it gender-inclusive. Payment: Prose: 8¢ (USD) a word with a minimum payment of $25 per contributor for previously unpublished prose and 4¢ a word with a minimum payment of $10 per contributor for reprints. Poetry: $1 (USD) a line for previously unpublished poems and 50¢ per line for a reprint, with a minimum payment of $25. 

https://www.inclusivefuturemag.com/content-subs

Thuya Poetry Review

Deadline: July 15, 2021

(checked May 26/27)

Poetry. Payment: “Nominal.”

https://thuyapoetryreview.submittable.com/submit

Eye to the Telescope

Deadline: June 15, 2021

(checked May 26/27)

Restrictions: Open to Indigenous writers worldwide. Genre: Speculative poetry. Theme: Indigenous Futurisms. Payment: US 3¢/word rounded up to nearest dollar; minimum US $3, maximum $25.

https://eyetothetelescope.com/submit.html

Sharpen your writing pencils. Here are a few markets whose deadlines are looming over us.

Here are a few fast approaching submission deadlines for you – general fiction:

    

PoArtMo Anthology: 13-16 Year-Old Artists Edition – Auroras & Blossoms

Deadline: December 31, 2021

(checked Apr 28/21)

A Winnipeg publication.

Topics / Themes: Anything that is positive, uplifting and inspirational in nature, with the exception of erotica and politics. Also, coronavirus-related pieces that do not contain strongly positive / uplifting / inspirational elements will be automatically rejected.

What we are looking for:

Positive art. Positive as in stimulating, optimistic, confident, uplifting, inspirational.

No matter what topic you choose to tackle (e.g., death, disease, mental illness, suicide, depression…), the pieces you send us should answer three basic questions:

– “How do they help others?”

– “How do they open their minds?”

– “Do they bring a better understanding of the situations or stories I am describing?”

https://abpoetryjournal.com/13-16-year-old-artists/

Aug 2021

Dragon Soul Press: Timeless 2

Deadline: August 31, 2021

(checked Aug 28/20)

Fairytale. “Anything involving a twist on old fairy tales, whether it be the classics or lesser known ones.Note: As long as you keep to the theme and use a fairytale, originality is fully appreciated. Cliff-hangers are more than welcome.” Word Count – 5,000-15,000. Payment:  Royalties.

https://dragonsoulpress.com/anthologies/

Gindstone Short Story Prize

Deadline: Final closing August 31, 2021; Regular Submission: £10.00

Deadline: Early bird closing May 1, 2021; Early Bird: £8.00

(checked Jan 24/21)

The Grindstone Short Story Prize returns this year, seeking out the best short fiction writers from around the world. Writers are asked to submit a piece of short fiction between 1,000 and 3,000 words, of any genre, aimed at adult readers. Grand Prize – £500. Runner Up – £200. Four Shortlisters – £50. The top 20 entries will be curated into our yearly anthology and published in print.

https://www.grindstoneliterary.com/short-story-prize

Spartan

Deadline: August 31, 2021; Opens July 1, 2021

(checked Jan 24/21)

Genre: Literary prose, 1500 words max. Payment: $20.

We have four submission windows each year. Any pieces submitted outside of the submission windows will be deleted unread. The submission windows are:

     Fall: October through November

     Winter: January through February

     Spring: April through May

     Summer: July through August

https://spartanlit.com/submissions

Shoreline of Infinity

Deadline: August 30, 2021; Opens June 14, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Flash fiction competition (theme to be decided). Science fiction, fantasy. Payment: £10/1000 words. We are looking for an engaging science fiction or fantasy story, something that gives reality a tweak on the nose – an idea that makes us stop and think.

https://www.shorelineofinfinity.com/submissions/

Flash Fiction Online

Deadline: August 21, 2021; opens August 1, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Speculative (science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and horror) and literary fiction. Payment: $80. We are looking for complete 500- to 1000-word stories with crisp prose, well-developed characters, compelling plots, and satisfying resolutions. We want stories that engage our minds and emotions. 

Beginning in January 2021, our submission portal for original stories will be open from the 1st to 21st of each month. Reprint submissions will remain CLOSED until April 1, 2021.

https://ffo.submittable.com/submit

Cast of Wonders

Deadline: August 15, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

YA Speculative fiction by young adults. Podcast. Payment: $.08/word for original fiction of any length (yes, including flash!). For reprints, a $100 flat rate for Short Fiction, and a $20 flat rate for Flash Fiction.

https://www.castofwonders.org/submissions/

Luna Station Quarterly

Deadline: August 15, 2021; Opens June 15, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Genre: Speculative fiction by woman-identified writers. Payment: $5. Accepts reprints.

Luna Station Quarterly publishes speculative fiction written by women-identified authors. We think women write awesome characters and really cool stories and we want to show it to the world. We will consider stories submitted by any woman writer, regardless of experience or writing resume. If you consider yourself on the woman end of the gender spectrum in any significant capacity, you’re welcome here!

Publication Date Submission Dates

March 1st September 15th – November 15th

June 1st December 15th – February 15th

September 1st March 15th – May 15th

December 1st June 15th – August 15th

http://lunastationquarterly.com/submissions/

Ruminate

Deadline: August 15, 2021. Note: Ruminate also accepts short fiction on a rolling basis.

(checked May 31/21)

We welcome submissions from both emerging and established writers and are looking for fiction that engages the contemplative spirit of our journal and embraces curiosity and discovery rather than resolution.Fiction under 5, 500 words. Payment: $20 per 400 words. 

https://ruminatemagazine.submittable.com/submit/8428/2021-nonfiction-general-submissions

Lucent Dreaming

Deadline: August 8, 2021; opens June 1 , 2021

(checked May 31/21)

New/emerging writers (someone who has been published in 10 or fewer publications in the past 5 years, and has not published a book or full collection). You must be a Lucent Dreaming subscriber, or have read a recent issue to submit work to the magazine. Genre: Speculative and surreal fiction. Word Limit: 1500-3,999 words. Payment: £100 and a free contributor copy.

https://lucentdreaming.com/submit/

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores

Deadline: August 2, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Speculative stories. Payment: 6 cents/word for original work. 2 cents/word for reprints.

https://cosmicrootsandeldritchshores.com/submissions/

Best Indie Speculative Fiction

Deadline: August 1, 2021

(checked May 31/21)

Previously published speculative fiction, between January 1 2019 and December 31st 2020. This project only considers previous-published stories that are either self-published or published with a small press. Length: Up to 20,000 words. Payment: $25.

https://www.bardsandsages.com/contact_us/fiction_submission_guidelines

Havok: Everyman/Jester Theme

Deadline: August 1, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

Flash fiction 300 – 1,000 words on theme of everyman / jester. Payment: Pays for anthologies only.  See accepted genres.

https://gohavok.com/submission-guidelines/upcoming-themes/

Jul 2021

Aurealis

Deadline: July 31st, 2021; Opens July 1, 2021

(checked Jan 24/21)

Genre: Science fiction, fantasy or horror short stories between 2000 and 8000 words. Payment: A$20 and A$60 per 1000 words. 

All types of science fiction, fantasy and horror that are of a “speculative” nature will be considered, but we do not want stories that are derivative in nature, particularly those based on TV series. We do not publish horror without a supernatural element.

https://aurealis.com.au/submissions/

Beneath the Yellow Lights (Oddity Prodigy Productions)

Deadline: July 31, 2021

(checked May 30/21)

Payment: $10 and a contributor’s copy Theme: A modern world overrun by fantasy, details below! Imagine your favorite coffee shop is run by elves, or the band playing speed metal at the club is made up entirely of orcs. That graffiti on the side of the building that seems too high for humans to have reached? Maybe it was painted by wizards? Beneath the Yellow Lights is the place to explore the urban fantasy landscape! Finding the places where magic and modern day meet is our goal. We are looking for urban fantasy stories that feature fantasy elements such as magic and mythical creatures in urban environments.

https://www.oddityprodigy.com/beneath-the-yellow-lights

Mythaxis

Deadline: July 31st, 2021; Opens July 15, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Speculative fiction. Payment: $20. 1,000-7,500 words.

https://mythaxis.co.uk/submissions.html

Oddity Prodigy Productions: Beneath the Yellow Lights Anthology

Deadline: July 31st, 2021

(checked Mar 30/21)

Theme: A modern world overrun by fantasy. A collection of stories featuring urban magic and fantasy. Payment: $10 and a contributor’s copy.

https://horrortree.com/taking-submissions-beneath-the-yellow-lights/

Spirit Machine

Deadline: July 31, 2021, Opens: June 1, 2021

(checked May 25/21)

1500 and 3500 words. Payment: $0.08/word

Theme: Seance Fiction – A mashup of Spiritualism (seances, ouiji/spirit boards, kirlian auras, discarnated entities, ghost talking) and Science Fiction and/or Steampunk genres.

Be wild, take chances, submit stories that are left of center. Show us your fireworks!

Stories must combine elements of both Spiritualism and Science Fiction/Steampunk SF. No fantasy stories, no standalone ghost stories, no SF without aspects of Spiritualism.. To be published in the Winter of 2021 by the Air and Nothingness Press.

http://aanpress.com/submissions.html

Timeworn

Deadline: July 31st, 2021 – SUBMISSIONS CLOSED

(checked May 26/21)

Historical fiction. Payment: $25. 2000 to 5000 words. 

https://www.timewornlit.com/submit

Eerie River Publishing: Of Fire and Stars

Deadline: July 30, 2021; Opens June 1, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

LGBTQ+ Dark Fantasy anthology. Theme: Encounters with the fae world and its creatures. Payment: Up to 3000 words $10.00; Up to 5000 words $15.00; Above 5001 words $20.00. 

https://www.eerieriverpublishing.com/open-submission

Flash Fiction Online

Deadline: July 21, 2021; opens July 1, 2021

(checked Feb 21/21)

Speculative (science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and horror) and literary fiction. Payment: $80. We are looking for complete 500- to 1000-word stories with crisp prose, well-developed characters, compelling plots, and satisfying resolutions. We want stories that engage our minds and emotions. 

Beginning in January 2021, our submission portal for original stories will be open from the 1st to 21st of each month. Reprint submissions will remain CLOSED until April 1, 2021.

https://ffo.submittable.com/submit

Electric Spec August Issue 2021

Deadline: July 15, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Payment: $20 per story. 250 and 7000 words.

Theme: Electric Spec prefers science fiction, fantasy, and the macabre, but we’re willing to push the limits of traditional forms of these genres.

Issues are published at the end of February, May, August, and November. We reserve the right to shift publication date slightly, as necessary.

We have reading periods for each issue, though we never close to submissions.

February closes January 15

May closes April 15

August closes July 15

November closes October 15

http://www.electricspec.com/Submissions.html

Shoreline of Infinity

Deadline: July 13, 2021; Opens July 11, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Science fiction, fantasy. Payment: £10/1000 words.  Disabled and/or neurodivergent  writers only. We are looking for an engaging science fiction or fantasy story, something that gives reality a tweak on the nose – an idea that makes us stop and think.

https://www.shorelineofinfinity.com/submissions/

Buckmxn Story Service 

Deadline: July 4, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Buckmxn Story Service is a snail-mail subscription of ten short stories, with one story delivered each week via the United States Postal Service. Genre: Fiction and CNF up to 5,000 words. Payment: $120. 

https://buckmanpublishing.submittable.com/submit/192494/buckmxn-story-service

Havok: Creator/Explorer Theme

Deadline: July 4, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

Flash fiction 300 – 1,000 words on theme of creator / explorer. Payment: Pays for anthologies only.  See accepted genres.

https://gohavok.com/submission-guidelines/upcoming-themes/

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores

Deadline: July 2, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Speculative stories. Payment: 6 cents/word for original work. 2 cents/word for reprints. 

https://cosmicrootsandeldritchshores.com/submissions/

The Periodical, Forlorn: Mythos Reborn (Volume I, Issue VI)

Deadline: July 2, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Word Limit: 6,000 words. Payment: $15

Theme: Mythos Reborn. For this issue, we’re looking for stories that give us a unique take on mythological figures and characters from all the cultures of the world. Retell a classic tale from a minor character’s perspective. Reintroduce us to a story lost to the ages. Or invent your own mythology.

https://www.periodicalforlorn.com/submission-guidelines

Constelación 

Deadline: July 1, 2021. See themes

(checked May 26/21)

Quarterly speculative fiction bilingual magazine. Publishes stories in both Spanish and English. Writers can submit their stories in either language. Fifty percent of the stories we publish in every issue will be from authors from the Caribbean, Latin America, and their diaspora. Payment: 8 cents/word. 

https://www.constelacionmagazine.com/submissions

The Cafe Irreal August 2021

Deadline: July 1, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Up to 2,000. Payment: One cent U.S. per word ($2 minimum) Theme: Fantastic Fiction. You really NEED to read the description below.

The Cafe Irreal is a quarterly webzine that presents a kind of fantastic fiction infrequently published in English. This fiction, which we would describe as irreal, resembles the work of writers such as Franz Kafka, Kobo Abe, Clarice Lispector and Jorge Luis Borges. As a type of fiction it rejects the tendency to portray people and places realistically and the need for a full resolution to the story; instead, it shows us a reality constantly being undermined. Therefore, we’re interested in stories by writers who write about what they don’t know, take us places we couldn’t possibly go, and don’t try to make us care about the characters. We would also suggest you take a look at the current issue, archives, and theory (especially the essay, “What is irrealism?”) pages on this web site.

http://cafeirreal.alicewhittenburg.com/

Jun 2021

Dragon Soul Press: Extinct Worlds

Deadline: June 30, 2021

(checked Jan 24/21)

Fiction on the theme of Extinct Worlds. “After killing Earth, humans have been launched into space exploration. Discovering aliens and new technologies, future generations are unrecognizable from the Earthlings that once were. There are a select few who want to go back to their roots, some who will prevent this at all costs, and others who don’t care. Where do your characters fit within the vast universe full of the unknown?” Word Count – 5,000-15,000. Payment:  Royalties..

https://dragonsoulpress.com/anthologies/

Exploring Infinity

Deadline: June 30, 2021 

(checked May 25/21)

5,000 to 10,000 words. Payment: $20.00 USD and a contributors copy Theme: Exploring the hotel in ‘Escaping Infinity’, details below Subs are now open for, Exploring Infinity, a new sci-fi/fantasy anthology based on the Dragon Award nominated novel, Escaping Infinity ( https://www.amazon.com/Escaping-Infinity-Richard-Paolinelli/dp/1541392582 ).

https://scifiscribe.com/2021/04/09/anthology-submission-call-exploring-infinity/

Interstellar Flight Press

Deadline: June 30, 2021

(checked May 25/21)

Payment: Royalties, potentially an advance. Theme: Speculative genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Supernatural, Weird, Mystery/Thrillers or any combination of the above. Hybrids or difficult to categorize novellas are welcome. Note: Authors must be BIPOC (black, indigenous, people of color)

https://magazine.interstellarflightpress.com/call-for-submissions-bipoc-novellas-6e19ad3e250

The Rebel Diaries

Deadline: June 30, 2021

(checked May 25/21)

Word count: 2,500–7,500 words. Payment: royalty split via Draft2Digital (an account will be required but is free to set up)

Theme: The Rebel Diaries is looking for stories starring characters with a dubious shade of morals. We want characters who aren’t afraid of getting what they want, causing a bit of chaos, dabbling in mischief and mayhem, and slathering on the sarcasm. We want stories that slip into the grey areas, that are bulging with villains, deviants and rebels. We’re after sassy tales littered with questionable morals and happy endings—for the villains anyway.   We are not looking for horror or gratuitous violence, but dark stories that are fun, light hearted explorations of the characters usually hidden in obscurity.  We actively encourage submissions from own voices, characters or authors with disabilities or from underrepresented backgrounds, LGBTQ+ etc.

https://sachablack.co.uk/rebelsubmissions/

Us/Them

Deadline: June 30, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Stories that revolve around the process of creating an US / THEM situation and what happens to both sides because of it. Payment: $15.00 plus equal share of 50% of the anthology’s royalties for stories. 

https://www.wolfsingerpubs.com/us-them-guidelines

Writing the Future We Need: Navigating Ruins (WriteHive)

Deadline: June 30, 2021; Opens May 1, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Theme: Navigating Ruins.

There is no limitation to how you incorporate this theme into your work as long as the story falls within the Sci-Fi, Horror, or Fantasy genre. We encourage you to take the theme and show its manifestation beyond the physical, showing us something unique and engaging.

Word Limit: 10K words. Payment: $30 per accepted piece plus one contributor copy (with opportunity for bonus royalties based on sales).

https://writehive.org/our-first-anthology/

Luna Press

Deadline: June 27, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Speculative fiction novellas. Payment: Royalties. For our purposes, speculative fiction deals with elements that are nonexistent in reality, covering various themes in the context of science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternate history, utopian and dystopian fiction, and supernatural fiction, as well as combinations thereof (e.g. science fantasy).

https://www.lunapresspublishing.com/submissions

Shadow Atlas: Dark Landscapes of the Americas

Deadline: June 27, 2021; Opens June 21, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Dark tales intrinsically rooted in South America. “We seek haunting and folkloric tales where setting is character and landscape is an essential part of the story. We want stories that draw from the wellspring of cultural destinations and local folklore in their shaping – most especially, stories that are tied to a specific and concrete location. This can include places that never existed, or those with connections created by the author, but they must take place in South America.” Payment: $250 for short fiction; $25 for poetry. 

https://www.hexpublishers.com/submissions.html

Story Seed Vault

Deadline: June 24, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Fiction based on science. Up to 200 characters. Payment: Up to $3AUD per story.

We’re looking for stories that act as story seeds – prompts for spin off plots and weird tangents. We want to think in new ways about how our world works and the possibilities for future worlds, expanding tangentially from what we know now.

https://storyseedvault.wordpress.com/submissions/

Flash Fiction Online

Deadline: June 21, 2021; opens June 1, 2021

(checked Feb 21/21)

Speculative (science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, and horror) and literary fiction. Payment: $80. We are looking for complete 500- to 1000-word stories with crisp prose, well-developed characters, compelling plots, and satisfying resolutions. We want stories that engage our minds and emotions. 

Beginning in January 2021, our submission portal for original stories will be open from the 1st to 21st of each month. Reprint submissions will remain CLOSED until April 1, 2021.

https://ffo.submittable.com/submit

Baffling

Deadline: June 15, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Speculative flash fiction. Length: Under 1200 words. Payment: 8 cents/word.  Speculative stories that explore science fiction, fantasy, and horror with a queer bent. We want queer stories and we want trans stories and we want aro/ace stories. We want indefinable stories. We welcome weird, slipstream, and interstitial writing. 

https://www.bafflingmag.com/submissions

Muddy Paw Press Speculative Fiction Contest

Deadline: June 15th, 2021

(checked May 25/21)

Word Limit: 5000 words. Prizes: 1st place: $700, 2nd place: $200, 3rd place: $100

Theme: Engaging and original stories in the Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror realm

https://www.muddypawpress.org/submission-guidelines

Shoreline of Infinity

Deadline: June 13, 2021; Opens June 11, 2021

(checked May 26/21)

Science fiction, fantasy. Payment: £10/1000 words. We are looking for an engaging science fiction or fantasy story, something that gives reality a tweak on the nose – an idea that makes us stop and think.

https://www.shorelineofinfinity.com/submissions/

Havok: Hero/Magician Theme

Deadline: June 6, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

Flash fiction 300 – 1,000 words on theme of hero / magician. Payment: Pays for anthologies only.  See accepted genres.

https://gohavok.com/submission-guidelines/upcoming-themes/

Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores

Deadline: June 2, 2021

(checked Apr 16/21)

Speculative stories. Payment: 6 cents/word for original work. 2 cents/word for reprints.

https://cosmicrootsandeldritchshores.com/submissions/

Strange Orbits Sci-fi Series (Black Ink Fiction)

Deadline: June 1, 2021

(checked Apr 23/21)

Space Opera. Restrictions: Author Eligibility: Authors accepted into any unpaid BIF collection. Theme: Melodramatic adventure, interplanetary battles, chivalric romance, futuristic weapons, advanced technologies, risk-taking–all set primarily in space. Length: 5000-10,000 words, excluding title.  Payment: Royalties.

https://www.blackinkfiction.com/submissions

How cute you look. Dashing. Pretty. Pretty weird. Handsome. Bizarre. Tough. Tender.

What kind of appearance are you going for?

Photo by LeeAnn Cline on Unsplash

Self-promotion, in many ways, is like a Snapchat filter. Who hasn’t used one of those, right? The ‘old’ filter is fun when you’re goofing with friends, making them all see how awesome they look old. Or as one of the other wacky filters. It makes for hilarious party games.

But you see people on other social media using the Snap filters to change their appearance for the pics they put up of themselves, to make themselves look more flattering (because who doesn’t want to look better?) and it’s so obvious they used a filter.

That’s what self-promotion amounts to. The appearance of yourself that you put out there. Your public persona is the Snap filter of your real self. And that appearance isn’t really about your looks, it’s about your personality.

Whether you are going for genuine original you, or putting on a different face for your fans and followers, putting that persona out there consistently is work. And you need to be consistent. You can’t be the girl or boy next door full of sweetness and then lash out full of angry venom. You will alienate your followers that way. Don’t confuse them with different personalities on different social media platforms. Self-promotion means using multiple platforms, and trying to remember who you are on each is just too much unnecessary work.

If you are going to be a particular persona, own it. Eccentric? Own that too.

If you are going to be Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Alice Cooper, or some other character, then you have to put that act on any time you are doing anything to self-promote. Always in character. Always obvious about knowing you are a character, not real, because your followers know it. That’s exhausting.

What persona do I think works best? Just be you. The real you. Unless, of course, the real you is a jerk. Be personable, friendly, and easy-going. Be natural. Be the best and most likable real you that you can be. Although you might not be able to be all natural you. Not if, like me, you have strong introverted tendencies, are most comfortable in your own company, and feel completely awkward about promoting and talking yourself up or talking to audiences of any kind. You’ll have to fake the outgoing personality a bit then. But it gets easier and more natural feeling the more you do it. Kind of like that bike you learned to ride.

And when you get out of practice, like relearning to ride a bike (I did that), it’s easier the second time around.

Wherever and however your are promoting yourself, everyone will see through a fake façade. If you try to sound too smart, funny, or cute when you blog, when your blogging or vlogging voice just isn’t you, followers will pick up on that quickly if they meet you in person or follow you elsewhere. If you put a personal note in the front or back matter, make it real. Make it you. When you do a bio of yourself, try to put a little of your personality in it, even though you are writing it in the third person.

Here’s a secret: readers like to feel a personal connection to the author, like they know you. Like they can think of you as perhaps a distant friend or an acquaintance. I’ve listened to teenagers rave about their favorite authors and it always seems to share one common thread – they will happily tell you about something they feel is personal about the author. Something they found Googling about the author, from an author interview or article about the author, or just from following the author on social media. It might be a story the author shared about something that happened in writing or publishing a book, at a book event, in an interview, or in their personal life. That connection seems to have a bigger overall impact in that age group than the quality of the writing.

Adults seem to gravitate more to the story that enthralls them first and the author’s personality second. But if that personality fails, so does their opinion of you, and that translates to their opinion of your books.

Think before you speak. Another important tip. It only takes a single one-off offensive comment to ruin a reputation. Insulting people and making hurtful comments is not a way to sell yourself or your books. Your personal views are separate from your writing quality, but not from your reputation, and it’s that reputation you want to build. When you put respecting others first, you bring greater respect on yourself.

Do no harm. That should be first and foremost in your actions and comments. Think before putting something out there publicly that you cannot take back. You do not want to alienate entire communities of potential fans, whether it’s by being insensitive, flipflopping the public persona you put out there, or by being unlikeable.

And remember, the easiest way to not slip up on your public face is to just be you. Be nice. Be respectful. And be real.

Keep writing my friends, and think about the different ways you can self-promote you and your books.

You hate it, but you have to do it. Self-advertising.

But what does self-advertising really look like? And why did I just call it “self-advertising” instead of the normal term “self-promotion”?

Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

The two terms mean the same. Usage may be more about where you are from than anything. The point here is to get you to think outside the normal box. Draw outside the lines. Explore new clichés, invent new metaphors, and find new ways to promote yourself and your work – preferably without annoying and alienating your would-be readers with all these clichés.

Self-promotion – Oxford languages (British) describes it as:

“The action of promoting or publicizing oneself or one’s activities, especially in a forceful way.”

“she’s guilty of criminally bad taste and shameless self-promotion”

Self-advertising – Collins dictionary (USA) describes it as (Oxford apparently doesn’t want to touch it):

“Self-advertisement in British English NOUN

The act of gaining publicity for oneself and one’s activities esp through pushyextrovert behaviour and not hesitating to put oneself forward.”

Okay, so we established that whatever your preferred term to call it, self-promotion is you being a pushy bugger, putting on your extrovert gear and promoting and publicizing the hell out of yourself and your work to as many people as you can.

Just the thought of it makes me cringe. I am not an extrovert. I am much happier alone in my happy place with a glass of wine, my dogs and family nearby, watching birds, squirrels, and bunnies, and the trees outside, while writing scenes of terror from my head through the keyboard to my screen.

“But what actually is self-promotion?” you ask?

It has many faces. That Facebook friend who keeps constantly plugging their book in their feed, in others’ posts comments, and anywhere else they can. The endless list of plug-n-dash Facebook groups for blatant self-promotion where everyone just plugs their book and pops on to the next self-promo group. (Does anyone actually get sales from the plug-n-dash groups?) Giveaways, contests, paid ads, book events, they all fall into the self-promo territory. These are just the tip of the list.

It already sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?

But, like the demon in a horror, it is a necessary evil.

At some point most of us who have at any time published with a publisher have questioned why the onus seems to be on the writer to promote their own book, why the publisher isn’t doing it all, or at least more.

The simple fact is that, just like you, the publisher has a limited budget they can and are willing to spend on a book they don’t have high guarantees will sell and sell well.

If you are a very famous top tier author, maybe this isn’t a thing. Your millions of copies of guaranteed sales in the first run alone gives the publisher a nice budget to invest in widespread promotion. Your very existence is promotion too.

Even well-known authors do a certain amount of self-promotion. I’ve seen Dean Koontz (I’m a fan) promoting his own books on social media.

For most of us – lower tier authors who may have awesomely fantastic viral-worthy best-seller potential books – who are maybe published with an indie press, small publisher, medium publisher, self-published, and even with big publishing houses – self-promotion is both a case of self preservation and an expectation of the publisher.

While your publisher should be doing their part with what budget and social media reach they have, the bulk of it rests on your – the author’s – shoulders. This also means the publisher should be working with you. If you are inexperienced, they should be doing everything they can to teach you how to self-promote, what inexpensive options are out there, and what in their experience has or has not worked. They should make it clear what they can do to help and what your options with them are.

Reduced price author copies should be a given. How else are you going to sell them at book events without having to over-price them to cover your costs? And yes, you will have to buy copies of your own books, and pay for the shipping, in order to have copies on hand to do book events. Your publisher is doing this as a business, to earn a profit. But if you can get them at their cost or little more, that’s no different than ordering your own self-published copies from KDP to sell at events

But what else? What other perks does your publisher offer to help you self-promote? Are they willing to offer discount sales in conjunction with you doing a self-promotion event or tour? A freebie eBook download for people subscribing to yours and their mailing lists in the hope subscribers buy your other books?

Together we will explore what self-promotion can look like. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Blogging and vlogging. Newsletters and websites. Book signings and sale events.

These past few months I have done two self-promotion things that fall under none of these.

I won a story contest. My short story, Unknown Caller, won the Manitoba Writers’ Guild 2021 Bloody Valentine short horror story contest in a blind submission. The payment was in the form of a gift certificate from McNally Robinson Booksellers and the reach was only to the Writers’ Guild’s smallish newsletter mailing list – it was published in the newsletter only. So, the promotion gain was negligible in the scheme of needing to reach wide, but it is still promotion. Even that scattering of a few hundred email subscribers who will actually open and read the story could potentially result in a book sale or two, or even better, online buzz about your writing. (“The average email open rate for all industries we analyzed is 21.33%.” -Mailchimp).

Photo by ammar sabaa on Unsplash

I (gasp) took part as a panelist for the virtual Keycon 2021 (Keycon38): Ghosts in the Machine May 22nd with fellow authors L.T. Getty (I have read and recommend her book Dreams of Mariposa if you like steampunk vampire stories – it is not a romance despite the romancey cover) and horror author Reed Alexander, who I met for the first time on this panel. The theme for this year was horror in science fiction, two things I personally feel go well together. I was terrified of doing it. As I’ve said many times, I am not a public speaker and actually find public speaking to be dread-inducing, panic time, and really awkward. While participation in the panel was small – it was their first virtual con and Winnipeg is a small but wonderful community – I do believe they intended to record and upload these panels for posterity – and potentially to laugh at my awkwardness. But really, despite my lack of experience and zero comfort zone, I actually enjoyed it and would do it again. The organizers put in a lot of hard work to pull this off and, despite technical issues with Discord, they did a pretty marvellous job for having no real budget.

And maybe, just maybe, my appearance and participation with Keycon might result in a book sale or two, or a little online buzz, or someone remembering my name at some other point.

These are just two of the faces of self-promotion and no promotion is too small if it gets you out there before a single person who never heard of you or your writing. Except for no promotion at all. That is definitely too small.

There is no way around it. Effective self-promotion is hard work. It’s a full time job in itself. It means maybe doing things you are not comfortable with, like public speaking online where a million people potentially could see you and laugh at you. It can also cost a lot of money. And no matter how much work and money you put into it, there is no guarantee that it alone will culminate in mass sales, even a small mass.

Keep writing my friends, and self-promote your asses off.

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