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How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy


Pro Paying Science Fiction Short Story Markets
(paying more than 3 cents per word)

Aberrant Dreams
Aberrant Dreams accepts short fiction of any genre, though we primarily focus on the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and supernatural horror. We look for stories with a solid plot and good character development. Stories should grab the reader’s attention quickly. Stories should be original and not a rehash of tired old themes. If you do draw from an old theme, add a twist to make it unique. Submit to the appropriate genre. Pays 3 cents per word (to max $100). Please read full guidelines before submitting.
Submission Guidelines:

Abyss & Apex
Reading periods are open on the following months: November, February, May, August. Seeking Sci-Fi and Fantasy. Short and flash fiction; poetry. "Our tastes span the gamut from classical, Golden-Age SF to modern, nontraditional formats." Dark okay, but no horror. Accepts E-submissions only -- see website for detailed guidelines. Submit only during reading periods.
Fiction: to 10,000 words, pays 5 cents per word (maximum $75) On Publication.
Submission Guidelines:

Æon Speculative Fiction Magazine
Æon publishes speculative fiction of all kinds: science fiction, fantasy, dark fantasy, horror, magic realism, and everything in between. Our guidelines are simple: your story needs to be speculative in nature, and it needs to kick our (collective) ass. We are looking primarily for stories 7,500 words and under, but will consider longer works also.
Payment is 3 cents per word, paid on publication, for the purchase of first world serial rights. All other rights remain the property of the author.
Submission Guidelines:

Albedo One
Ireland’s foremost magazine of the fantastic. Needs Science fiction/fantasy/horror/experimental/surrealist fiction between 2,500 and 8,000 words. Print and ezine also. E-submissions okay, but no attachments. Send disposable manuscripts only. Prefers to reply to all submissions via email.
Payment is €3 per 1,000 words (Euro)
Submission Guidelines:

Analog Science Fiction and Fact
Needs: ". . . stories in which some aspect of future science or technology is so integral to the plot that, if that aspect were removed, the story would collapse. The science can be physical, sociological, psychological. The technology can be anything from electronic engineering to biogenetic engineering." ". . . real people in potentially real futures (some terrifying, some exhilarating, some both)."
Fiction: to 20000 words, prefers 2000-7000 words, pays 5-8 cents per word On Acceptance. Query for serials (40000-80000 words).
Submission Guidelines:

Asimov's Science Fiction
Asimov's Science Fiction magazine is an established market for science fiction stories. ". . . we're looking for "character oriented" stories, those in which the characters, rather than the science, provide the main focus for the reader's interest. Serious, thoughtful, yet accessible fiction . A good overview would be to consider that all fiction is written to examine or illuminate some aspect of human existence, but that in science fiction the backdrop you work against is the size of the Universe. . ." No S&S, explicit sex/violence. No reprints.
We pay on acceptance. Pay rate is 6.0 cents a word to 7,500 words, 5.0 cents a word for stories longer than 12,500 words, and $450 for stories between those lengths.
Submission Guidelines:

Looking for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. "Stories do not have to be explicitly Australian, although we would like to see some with Australian characterization and background, provided the Australian element is not merely a self-conscious insertion into a standard plot." Please use standard Australian spelling, punctuation and grammar (i.e. British/English).
Buys First Australian Serial Rights, the non-exclusive rights to publish the story electronically and the non-exclusive rights to include the story in an anthology. All other rights remain with the author.
Word Count: 2000-8000 words, pays AUS $20-60 per 1000 words (between 2-6 cents per word depending on budget).
Submission Guidelines:

Baen's Universe
Looking for Sci-Fi and Fantasy with popular appeal.
May submit via e-mail or via forum at website; forum at website recommended for writers not yet pro by SFWA standards. E-mail submissions should be *.rtf or *.doc files. One slot each issue reserved for non-pro writers. Pay differs between solicited and unsolicited stories.
Pay rate for Unsolicited Manuscripts: any length, pays 8-15 cents US.
Pay rate for commissioned stories:
• For the first 5000 words, we'll pay 25 cents a word. That comes to $1,250
• For the next 5000 words (i.e., from 5-10K), we'll pay 15 cents a word. That comes to $750, or a cumulative payment of $2000 for a story that was 10K words long.
• For the next 10,000 words (i.e., from 10-20K), we'll pay 10 cents a word. That comes to $1000, or a cumulative payment of $3000 for a short novella that was 20K words long.
• For the next 20,000 words (i.e., from 20-40K), we'll pay 8 cents a word. That comes to $1600, or a cumulative payment of $4600 for a short novel that was 40K long.
• Anything longer than that, we'll pay 6 cents a word.
Our rates are lower for stories that we buy from unsolicited manuscripts, whether submitted through the submission form or the Slush conference. They range from 8 to 15 cents a word depending on various factors.
Submission Guidelines:

Beyond: Fantasy & Science Fiction
Seeking short SF/F/H to 4000 words, pays
£2.5/1000 words.

Boy’s Life Magazine
Short stories run 1000 to 1500 words. Payment is $750 and up. All stories feature a boy or boys. They use humor, mystery, science fiction and adventure. They run one or two short stories per issue.
Submission Guidelines:

ClarkesWorld Magazine
Clarkesworld Magazine pays 10c per word for science fiction, fantasy and horror. Firm word limit of 4000 words. They buy first world electronic rights, first print rights for the production of signed/numbered limited edition chapbooks and non-exclusive anthology rights.
Submission Guidelines:

Cosmos Magazine
Cosmos is an Australian science magazine sold internationally and published 6 times a year. They seek submissions of short stories between 2,000 and 4,000 words. Stories should involve some element of science at their heart. Payment is flat fee of $300(AU) for publication into the print magazine and $75 (AU) for publication in the online version.
Submission Guidelines:
Downloadable Detailed Guidelines:

(The) Edge
“The sharpest magazine in the world.” Deals with horror, fantasy and science fiction. Publishes features, fiction, reviews and comment columns. “… urban themes, and/or could be described (by others) as modern and borderline gothic horror/fantasy/sf, slipstream, crime fiction or erotica; please don't send clichéd stories. Experimental work is welcome.”
Stories should be more than 2,000 words. Payment is up to £50 per 1,000 words. Detailed guidelines and sample stories are available on the website.
Submission Guidelines:

Fantasy & Science Fiction Magazine
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, founded in 1949, is the award-winning SF magazine which is the original publisher of SF classics like Stephen King's Dark Tower, Daniel Keyes's Flowers for Algernon, and Walter M. Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz. We have no formula for fiction. We are looking for stories that will appeal to science fiction and fantasy readers. The SF element may be slight, but it should be present. We prefer character-oriented stories. We receive a lot of fantasy fiction, but never enough science fiction or humor. Do not query for fiction; send the entire manuscript. We publish fiction up to 25,000 words in length. Please read the magazine before submitting. A sample copy is available for $5 in the US and $7.50 elsewhere.
Payment is 6-9 cents per word on acceptance. We buy first North American and foreign serial rights and an option on anthology rights. All other rights are retained by the author.
Submission Guidelines:

Closed to Submissions February, May, August and November
Ideomancer is a professional-looking online mag (web/pdf) searching for quality science fiction, fantasy, horror, slipstream and flash fiction. They are looking for stories that explore the edges of ideas, stories that subvert, refute and push the limits. They want unique pieces from authors willing to explore non-traditional narratives, take chances with tone, structure and execution and take risks. The stories we publish will also be honest - which means plausible and affecting. Up to 7000 words - Up to 500 for flash fiction.
Ideomancer may only consider reprints they have solicited. For everyone else, no reprints will be considered. Buys First Worldwide Electronic Rights and requires exclusive rights for three months.
Payment: 3 cents per word (US) up to a maximum of US$40.
Submission Guidelines:

Intergalactic Medicine Show
Seeking Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror. Science fiction includes hard sf, sf adventure, alternate history, near-future, far-future,
psi, alien and any other kind of sf you can think of. Fantasy includes heroic fantasy (based on any culture’s mythology), fairy tales, contemporary fantasy, and Horror in the sense of supernatural suspense (not gory bloodfests, thanks).
Other: Submit online via form at website. Orson Scott Card contributes fiction to every issue.
Fiction: any length, pays 6/word US (maximum $500)
Buys exclusive rights in any language or any medium throughout the world for one year from date of first publication in the magazine, and nonexclusive electronic and/or online rights in any language in perpetuity.
Submission Guidelines:

Needs: Science Fiction and Fantasy intelligent, unusual, innovative. Avoid S&S , space opera, traditional ghost stories.
Other: Do not submit the same story to more than one TTA publication. Email submissions being accepted during certain reading periods -- see website for details. Will respond to overseas via email. Pays £30/1000 words on publication (3p UK per word).
Fiction: to 15,000 words.
Submission Guidelines:

Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Needs: SF/F/DF, wants more SF, humor. "We are looking for stories that will appeal to science fiction and fantasy readers. The SF element may be slight, but it should be present in all submissions. We prefer character-oriented stories."
Fiction: to 25,000 words, pays 6-9/word on acceptance. We buy first North American and foreign serial rights and an option on anthology rights. All other rights are retained by the author.
Submission Guidelines:

Magazine of Speculative Poetry
Seeking SciFi/Fantasy/Horror poetry. “Speculative poetry may be described as the equivalent in poetry to speculative fiction, that interesting confluence of post modernism and science fiction in the late sixties and early seventies of Britain and America.” No epics, but all lengths, styles, forms. See website for detailed guidelines. Especially interested in Science Fiction poems.
Poetry: pays 3 per word ($5 minimum, $25 maximum) On Acceptance. No reprints. No prose, plays or art work.
Submission Guidelines:

Odyssey: Adventures in Science
Monthly print mag for ages 10-16 seeking science-related stories, poems, science fiction up to 1000 words related to the theme of the month. Regardless of theme, your story should include: science-related stories, poems, science fiction, retold legends, etc., relating to the theme. Please see website for relevant issue themes.
Pay 20-25c per printed word US
Submission Guidelines:

On Spec
Wants science fiction, fantasy, dark fiction, horror, ghost stories, fairy stories, magic realism, any other speculative material. For poetry, editor likes blank verse, free verse, prose poems; non-rhyming poetry preferred; avoid antique language.
Other: Reading deadlines are February 28, May 31, August 31, and November 30, with decisions made about 12 weeks after deadline. Maintains 80% Canadian content to keep funding. Requires cover letter -- see guidelines for specific formatting requirements. Disposable mss preferred.
Fiction: to 6000 words, pays CDN$50-$180 based on length.
Poetry: 4-100 lines, pays CDN$20.
Submission Guidelines:

The Magazine of Historical and Speculative Fiction (fantasy, science fiction, horror). Paradox publishes both historical fiction and science fiction/fantasy/horror with historical themes, as well as articles, news and reviews. While any well-written story stands a chance of being accepted, the following sorts of stories will be given preference: historical fiction and speculative fiction. Do not send any stories lacking some integral real-world historical, mythological, or historical-religious context. For speculative fiction, "primarily looking for Alternate History, Time Travel, Arthuriana, stories in which archaeology, history, literature, art, or music plays a prominent role, historical retellings with a fantasy or sci-fi twist, classical mythology settings, retellings of classic mythology from an alternate character's perspective, 'religious' fantasy/sci-fi, stories exploring evolution (human or otherwise), and any other forms of historical fantasy/sci-fi/horror you think might fit this overall theme.
Paradox pays 3 to 5 cents per word on publication for stories up to 15,000 words in length (2,000 to 9,000 words strongly preferred). Please read guidelines in full before submitting.
Submission Guidelines:

The Pedestal Magazine
This online venue is looking for fiction of all genres. For horror, they want intelligent, high-quality, character-driven stories. “We are receptive to high-quality literary fiction of all sorts, including traditional and experimental works. Genre fiction (such as science fiction, horror, mystery, and romance) is encouraged as long as it crosses or comments upon its genre and is both character-driven and psychologically acute.”
Currently pays $30 for poems and 5 cents per word for fiction up to 6,000 words.
Submission Guidelines:

Raven Electrick
Open to all subgenres/themes within fantasy, sf, horror and mystery (including humor) up to 500 words. Raven's tastes are eclectic, with subgenres ranging from "cyberpunk" to "cozy" sleuth, sword and sorcery to hardboiled "noir," space opera to vampire yarn, and anything in between. Raven discriminates only on the basis of good writing. Payment is 5c per word with a $10 minimum and $25 maximum.
Submission Guidelines:

Shadowed Realms
An online zine of flash fiction looking for science fiction, fantasy, and horror stories under 1,000 words. Dark, psychological speculative fiction - including horror, dark/urban fantasy, supernatural/occult, slipstream, thrillers, and mysteries. We will also consider science fiction, fantasy, action, crime, and erotica, as long as it contains a speculative element and captures the essence of psychological darkness. Likes tales with twists. Pays 8 cents per word AU. Usually gives feedback on rejected subs. No reprints. See site for reading periods.
Submission Guidelines:

Spacesuits and Sixguns
Spacesuits and Sixguns is a magazine of contemporary pulp fiction – simple, straightforward storytelling with an emphasis on action. We’re not looking for Lovecraft or Howard pastiches, or stories set in the 1930’s. Read a dozen pulp fiction stories, soak it all up, then ask yourself: what if this happened in my hometown today. All genres accepted -- detective, horror, mystery, adventure, SF, sword and sorcery. We love them all. Give us about 4000 words. Shorter is fine. We're flexible. If it’s longer and it's good, no problem. Rule number one - be fun! Payment is 3 cents a word/$100 max for fiction
Submission Guidelines:

Strange Horizons
We want good speculative fiction. Your story should have a clear fantasy or science fiction element, or at least strong speculative-fiction sensibilities. We want stories that have some literary depth but aren't boring; styles that are unusual yet readable; structures that balance inventiveness with traditional narrative. We like characters we can care about. We like settings and cultures that we don't see all the time in speculative fiction. We strongly prefer stories under 5,000 words long.
We pay 5 cents per word, with a minimum payment of $50. We buy first-printing world exclusive rights for two months. After that period, you are free to republish the story elsewhere. Please read guidelines in full before submitting.
Submission Guidelines:

Subterannean Magazine
Seeking Science Fiction and fantasy. Buys first world serial rights. Pay rate is 5-7 cents (US)/word. Prefers up to 5,000 words for fiction, up to 3,000 words for non-fiction. Submit full fiction, query non-fiction. Electronic Submissions ONLY, plain text e-mail (NOT html, no attachments), to

Transmitter is seeking speculative fiction stories of any style or theme. We are not a "hard science fiction" only publisher, so all writers of all sub-genres are encouraged to submit. We do not publish horror or fantasy unless a strong science fiction element is present. No fan-fiction please.Short Stories (500 words - 2500 words) and Micro-Fiction (under 500 words).
Pays 5 cents US per word with a minimum of $25
Submission Guidelines:

Vestal Review
Quarterly ezine and limited edition print seeking flash fiction across most genres. Payment rates are:
- up to 100 words (excluding title) pays 10 cents per word.
- Between 101 – 200 words pays 5 cents per word
- Between 201 – 500 words pays 3 cents per word
Stories of great merit receive up to $25 flat fee. Minimum payment is 3 cents per word in any case. All contributors receive one free copy.
Submission Guidelines:

Weird Tales
Needs: Fantasy/Dark Fantasy/Horror/SlipStream/Poetry in Weird Tales style. "The best in horrific horror, heroic fantasy, and exotic mood pieces, plus the occasional 'odd' story that won't fit anywhere else." Likes fantasy-world & S&S, but avoid genericism. "Your protagonists must at least try to cope, and must try to change something, even if the outcome is tragic." Cover letter optional, don't mention more than 2-3 prior sales. Weird Tales was recently sold to Wildside Press.
Fiction: to 10000 words (prefers <8000), pays 3-4 cents per word plus two contributor copies.
Submission Guidelines:

Wrong World™ - The World of Unintended Consequences
Quarterly DVD collections. We are interested in stories that are original, scary short stories – science fiction, horror, fantasy, suspense, thriller, paranormal, supernatural – any genre as long as the story is on some level scary. Stories should be between 2,500 and 3,500 words in length. The Wrong World™ “experience” should last around 25 minutes.
Pay rate starts at 7.5 cents per word.
Submission Guidelines:

Zoetrope All-story
We consider unsolicited submissions of short stories and one-act plays no longer than 7,000 words. Simultaneous submissions are accepted, and first serial rights and a one-year film option are required. All fiction genres considered. Pay $1,200 US. No reprints
Submission Guidelines:

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