Opportunities: July 2019
Summer has reached its zenith, yet even as the sun sits high on these dog days we writers continue to write, submit, and seek out those prospects for publication. I’m filling in for the tenacious Sam Kaye this month, and following his example I’ve been busy looking for some of the best, most interesting, and inviting submission opportunities for this roundup.
One of the most common ways of submitting is through Submittable, yet I am often surprised by the blank stares writers give when I mention it. Not only can you submit your writing to magazines all across the world, but also discover opportunities like the ones listed below, plus thousands more. Best of all, for writers looking to submit it is free to sign up and use (though some opportunities charge a small fee to submit to them). Every writer should have an account.
An additional tool—though one you need to pay for—is Duotrope, which lists thousands more submission opportunities. Whilst many writers are just looking to submit to increase their reputation, some would like to get paid enough from writing fiction that it becomes their primary income. If that is your plan, and you are focusing on individual short stories or poetry rather than novels or collections, then you will likely benefit from investing in a subscription. Making good money from writing means hustling and working hard, and to do that you need to speculate to accumulate. No one will pay you big money without you first building a reputation, which is what a lot of the opportunities I’ve gathered today are ideal for.
Firstly, then, a little reminder that submissions are open at Thanet Writers, with £10 paid for each short story, poem, essay on writing craft, or book review accepted for publication. For those submissions not accepted, feedback is provided by the relevant Editor. Writing can have been published before, and the only caveat is that you have a link to Thanet to be eligible to submit. For more details, including the full terms of submission, please click here.
Now this isn’t the only game in town, so here is a curated selection of other places to submit your writing to over the next month that should definitely help boost your reputation, whatever the end goal.
Short story publishing credits are a great way of proving your ability as a fiction author, and competition wins doubly so. If accolades are your thing, there are just two days left to submit a short story to the HG Wells Short Story Competition. Shortlisted stories are published in a print anthology, and the winners get cash prizes. Over-21s pay £10 to enter and can win £250 for first prize. Under-21s enter for free, with £1,000 on offer for the winning story. There are no genre restrictions but the submission guidelines regarding formatting are specific, so be sure to read them first. 1,500 to 5,000 words on the theme of ‘Time.’
Going a little international yet very indie, Sick Lit Magazine is very much worth a look. A passion project for its Editor-in-Chief, Sick Lit is an online magazine of fiction, poetry, and occasional essays, designed to showcase raw talent. There is no payment—this is writing for the sake of art, not commerce—but the website has a high readership and a fiercely loyal following, and has become something of a talent pool for writers who have gone on to great things. Currently, Sick Lit is seeking flash fiction submissions of up to 1,000 words based upon one of two prompts: identity or adversity. This is a website well-worth browsing, and as always before you submit you need to get a feel for what they like.
Here’s a weird one: 42-Word Stories Anthology is seeking submissions of microfiction stories that are exactly 42 words long and have a title of 42 characters. These will be published in an anthology divided into 42 categories, each containing 42 stories. Within each category one winner will be picked, and they will each be paid $0.42 (or this can be donated to charity). Prepare your tiny stories and get counting those words!
A prominent place for poets to send their words to this month is Arc Poetry Magazine, which has been publishing poetry for over 40 years and is one of Canada’s leading literature magazines. $50 per page is the going rate—and a good rate at that—but poets can only submit once per calendar year, and then only up to 3 poems and no more than 360 lines. Submissions for the Winter issue close on 31st July, so get your best poetry in.
Another high-profile magazine open for poetry submissions is the Griffith Review, though the deadline of Wednesday 10th July is much sooner. The Griffith Review is renowned as the leading Australian literary magazine, publishing high calibre writing from around the world. Having received advice on submitting from its Managing Editor at last year’s Margate Bookie literary festival, I think this is a very prestigious yet accessible opportunity for poets who want to increase their readership and reputation. For issue 66, poetry responding to the title ‘The Light Ascending’ is being sought, and can be submitted for free through Submittable, though be sure to check the writer’s guidelines first.
New writing magazine Write On! has just launched from Pen to Print, with a view to connecting grassroots writers with the publishing industry. The first issue is out now and can be picked up for free or read online, and submissions are being sought for future issues. Of particular interest are features and showcase pieces, though, as well as non-fiction, submissions of short stories and poetry are welcomed. Currently this is an unpaid opportunity, but the scope is wide and the potential for extensive reach in a printed magazine—as well as online publication—could do wonders for a writer’s reputation.
This month’s highlight is one of the biggest names in genre fiction: TTA Press. Named after their first magazine, The Third Alternative, TTA Press has been running for 25 years, and publishes three magazines, as well as occasional novels.
Crimewave is published twice a year and is a collection of crime and mystery short stories. Since its launch in 1999, many featured stories have been nominated for—and won—awards, and are often reprinted in ‘best of’ collections.
Interzone is Britain’s longest-running science-fiction and fantasy magazine, having been launched in 1982, and since 2005 published by TTA Press. Issues are released bimonthly, and being included is akin to being UK sci-fi and fantasy royalty.
The Third Alternative was renamed Black Static in 2007 and focused on exploring the darker side of fiction. It is a bimonthly horror magazine showcasing some of the best contemporary horror authors, along with art and editorials.
All three magazines can be submitted to through Submittable, though it is imperative to check the contributors’ guidelines for the relevant magazine before submitting. This is a serious publisher not to be taken lightly, as their list of previously published writers testifies to: Ian Rankin, Molly Brown, William Gibson, J.G. Ballard, Sarah Ash, Iain M. Banks, and Lisa Tuttle, to name but a few. Appearing in one of these will set up your reputation with agents and publishers, as well as establishing you a readership. Plus, of course, you get paid. Acceptance rates are very small, so make sure you only send in the best of the best of the best.
Every writer I have spoken to who has been published by TTA Press said it made their career. If it’s the right place for you, it could make yours too. For writers, reputation is everything. Build your own and do it your own way.
© 2019 Seb Reilly
Available under the Thanet Writers Education Policy
Seb Reilly is a writer, fiction author and occasional musician. He lives by the sea in Thanet, Kent, with his family and two cats.