Submissions in 2020: 137 (134 to publications of 5-20¢/word; 2 to 1-4¢/word)
Rejections in 2020: 105 (65 short, 35 flash, 4 poems, 1 grant application)
Pending in 2020: 32 (19 short, 10 flash, 3 poems)
Writerly Positives in 2020: two honorable mentions with Writers of the Future (finally! after six rejections in a row), won a scholarship to Fyrecon 2020 which was amazing, meeting goals in Moon's challenge group, and putting together a discord chat group with said challenge group members
If you haven't been signing up for the daily raffle here, then you might take a look. An advent calendar giveaway for writers. I signed up to win editorial services and a subscription from Pro Wirting Aid, for example.
I'm working on fighting off procrastination, though to be honest, some matches with my daughter and girlfriend on Fortnite and some private matches on MTGA was just the thing to take a breather from the endless urge to be productive.
Need to fix up stories for the Flame Tree flash fiction contest and prepare a submission for Writers of the Future. In the meantime, I have also sent out submissions to various venues, including three poems, as you can see on the Pending count. I've started up a mentorship as well and am working through my first readings for that.
Tuesday to Friday will be packed with morning kindergarten jobs (mostly Christmas lessons), private one-on-one lessons, and business English classes, so I am snagging some writing time this Monday beforehand. Sent off feedback to a fellow writer on our private discord server, wrote up this blog post with a few new deadlines below, and worked on drafts and stories to submit. Busy, busy. Onward, to the ever-shifting list!
I will tweak the list below if I notice anything else. Do let me know if you notice anything missing that pays 5-20¢ USD or the equivalent. I use this list all the time, and I hope to expand the poetry deadlines as I start submitting more poems. Obviously, I make it public to help everyone else. There are other, perhaps better lists out there, but the focus of this one on upcoming deadlines that pay at 5¢/word or better, keeps me motivated. I hope it does the same for you. Some new entries include Baffling Magazine (12/15), Flame Tree flash contest (12/16), Unfettered Hexes (1/15), and Upon a Twice Time (1/1-2/28). Edit: added Uncanny Magazine’s spec poetry call (1/4-1/18).
Also, not on the deadlines list below, but you may have noticed Air and Nothingness Press tweeted about planning to open submissions to yet another special anthology. This one will be a time travel anthology! Personally, I love time travel stories, so I'm really looking forward to it. Titled "Future Perfect in Past Tense", they plan to release it in 2021 and are still working on the details. They are looking at dividing the theme into stories about travel into the future and stories about travel into the past, not "alternate now timelines". See their tweet here.
Again, march down to to the list!
Submission Deadlines/Windows from December 2020 and Beyond (5-20¢/word USD)
12/15, Baffling Magazine, ~1200 words, 8¢/word, Genre/Theme: SF/F/Horror with a queer bent (wants queer/trans/aro/ace stories; welcomes weird/slipstream/interstitial), Simultaneous OK, Note: for longer works see their Unfettered Hexes deadline on 1/15 and reprints call open until 12/31
12/16, Flame Tree Flash Fiction Contest, ~1000 words, 8¢/word, Genre/Theme #1: Horror/Deadly Creation, Genre/Theme #2: SF/Online Nightmare, Note: required sign up for submissions and to receive the newsletter with winning stories and prompts for the next monthly contest
12/31, WotF Q1, ~17000 words (aim for 3000-10,000), 8¢/word, prize money (1st $1000, 2nd $750, 3rd $500, annual grand $5000, plus Hollywood workshop; semi-finalists get feedback), Genre: F/SF, Note: contest for new writers w/o 4+ pro-level publications; the forum is very helpful, especially the Super Secrets thread; free workshop available on website
12/31, THE MODERN DEITY’S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY, DERELICT, and WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE (three anthologies from Zombies Need Brains LLC), 7500 words, 8¢/words + royalties, Theme 1: urban fantasy w/ a god/deity, Theme 2: SF/F about abandoned ships, Theme 3: SF/F about colliding cultures, Sub to email@example.com w/ name of anthology and title of story submitted, Multiple OK (separate emails), Reprints/Simultaneous NO
1/1-1/2, Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores, open 1st-2nd every month, 1000-40000 words (shorter preferred), 6¢/word (reprints 2¢/word), Genre: F/SF, Poetry ($1/line, ~40 lines, reprints 50¢/word), Articles (2-6¢/word, reprints 1-4¢/word), Note: feedback provided if requested in cover letter
1/15, Unfettered Hexes: Queer Tales of Insatiable Darkness, ~6000 words (1-4000 best), 8¢/word, Genre/Theme: F/SF/H/ speculative stories of witchery with queer narratives, Simultaneous OK, Note: open to all but esp. interested in queer stories/authors
1/31, Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award, ~8000 words, 8¢/word, Genre: SF, Want "Moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, adventure"
1/1-2/28, Upon a Twice Time, 1000-3000 words, 8¢/words, Genre/Theme: any genre incorporating a mashup of two fairy tales (open to Grimdark, New Weird, SF, Fantasy, Dying Earth, genre bending/breaking), Note: do not submit stories rejected by Upon a Once Time
10/31-2/28, We Cryptids, 3000-6000 (3000-4000=5¢/word), $200/story+royalties, Genre: urban fantasy, Theme: what would happen if cryptids lived among us (modern time period; should be written in 2020 or as close as possible), Tone: noblebright not grimdark or despairing, Simultaneous OK
New open anthology with no specified deadline (1-10¢/word USD)
There is also a new story call for an anthology forthcoming from Cemetery Media Gates with no specific deadline (probably closing in early 2021 once they have enough stories). Details: CMG's Quiet Horror anthology, 1000-3000 words probably best (up to 5000 words OK), payment is a flat $100 (so if 1000 words then 10¢/word, if 2000 words then 5¢/word, 3000 words then about 3¢/word), Genre/Theme: Quiet Horror/confessional style supernatural experiences, Multiple and Simultaneous NO (but can resubmit one week after receiving a rejection), Note: this links to CMG's Twitter post on it which is the primary source on this "secret open call".
Publications open for submission with no specified deadline (5-20¢/word USD)
Analog Science Fiction and Fact, ~20,000 (8-10 cents/word), 40k-80k serials (6 cents/word), poetry ($1/line), 4000-word fact articles (9 cents/word), Genre: SF, Multiple Yes
Anathema: Spec from the Margins, 1500-6000 words (if 1500-2000 words pays 5¢/word), $100 CAD/story ($50/poem), Genre: SF/F/H, Simultaneous OK, Poetry OK (under 100 lines, Non-Fiction OK (1500-3000 words), Limited demographic: queer/two-spirit person of colour/Indigenous/Aboriginal, Note on Genre/Theme: "We are open to any form of genre or speculative content. We talk about what we do as "SF/F/H, the weird, slipstream, surrealism, fabulism, and more," elsewhere on the site. But we are not limited to those genres. Use them as a starting point and send whatever you want: as long as it's got some kind of speculative content we'll consider it. And we are also interested in seeing work that has been difficult to place because of content or perspective."
Apex Magazine, ~7500 words, 8 cents/word, Genre: F/SF/Horror
Flame Tree Press, seeks 70k-120k word novels (SF/F/H/Crime), often announces short story anthologies (8¢/word), runs a monthly flash fiction contest (700-1000 words at 8¢/word; reprints: 6¢/word), Note: sign up for newsletter to receive notice of monthly flash fiction contest prompts and upcoming anthology calls
Smokelong Quarterly, ~1000 words, $50/piece, Genre: Literary, Simultaneous OK, Notes on what they want: language that surprises and excites, narratives that strive toward something other than a final punch line or twist, pieces that add up to something, often (but not necessarily always) something profound or emotionally resonant honest work that feels as if it has far more purpose than a writer wanting to write a story
Duotrope, same as above, a submission tracker and market database that requires a paid subscription for full usage, may go into a bit more depth than Grinder though not by much based on my brief trial subscription
Need motivation for the submission game?
Submission Tetris: An Analytic Approach by Laurence Raphael Brothers, a brief but useful consideration of what and where to submit in the submissions game from SFWA
Also, great advice at these links below
Charlie Jane Anders' advice: chapters from her forthcoming non-fiction book Never Say You Can't Survive with new chapters released every Tuesday
Delilah S. Dawson's page of links, including her advice on how to get published
And here, more links