Written by S. Kalekar January 18th, 2021

20 Speculative Fiction Markets Open in January 2021

These are markets of speculative fiction, and they’re open now for submissions. A few also accept other genres, like nonfiction and poetry. Many of them pay writers. They are listed in no particular order.

Diabolical Plots
They publish science fiction, fantasy and horror (up to 3,500 words). Feel free to mix in other genres with these, like a fantasy mystery or a science fiction romance. All stories must have a speculative element. They list the tropes/elements they particularly like, and also those that are hard sells. They can accept up to two submissions per author during a submission window. Pay is $0.10/word. The deadline is 31 January 2021. Details here.

This Canadian magazine publishes speculative fiction (up to 7,500 words) including flash, short fiction, and graphic stories, as well as  poetry. This includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, cyberpunk, sword and sorcery, magical realism, paranormal horror, dystopian epics, eldritch horror, superhero, space opera, Afrofuturism, weird west, etc. They also accept translated works, as well as series and serials. They also commission artwork. Pay is in Canadian dollars; $5 for accepted poetry and cartoons, $10 for accepted written works (Prose & Graphic Stories), and $100 for cover art pieces. Details here.

Dragon Soul Press
They have several anthology calls, including speculative fiction ones, with various deadlines. Some of the themes are: Valiance (East Asian female warriors – deadline 31 January); Spacebound (deadline 31 March); Glitch (getting trapped in a virtual reality game – deadline 31 May); Extinct Worlds (deadline 30 June 2021); and Dragons and Heroines (deadline 30 September 2021). Payment is a percentage of royalties. Details here and here.  

Apex Magazine
This popular, award-winning magazine of science fiction, fantasy, and horror was relaunched, after a successful Kickstarter in July 2020. They accept fiction of up to 7,500 words. Pay is $0.08/word, and an additional $0.01/word if the story is podcast. They are open now for submissions. Details here.

Daily Science Fiction
This flash fiction market accepts speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, slipstream, etc.) of 100-1,500 words. They also accept flash series of three or more stories around a theme; each story needs to stand on its own. They may publish dark fantasy, but they try not to publish pure horror. They also publish artwork. Pay is $0.08/word. They accept work on an ongoing basis. Details here and here.

Dreaming in Fiction
This magazine publishes short stories and flash fiction in multiple genres. Their guidelines say, “We love everything from horror to romance to mysteries and even re-imagined fairytales. Does your story struggle to fit in just one box? We love genre-blends too!” Send fiction of up to 3,000 words. Details here

This is a new quarterly of speculative stories, essays, and art: fantasy, sci-fi, and horror. They accept work only from those who identify as an immigrant or member of a diaspora in the broadest definitions of the terms (see guidelines). They are especially interested in writing and art that explores the impact of human or cultural migration, whether voluntary or forced, like themes of immigration, Diaspora, and anti-colonialism. For nonfiction, they also accept reprints. They’ll be reading submissions in January, April, July, and October this year. Length guidelines are up to 5,000 words (up to 3,500 preferred). Pay is $0.08/word for fiction, $100 for nonfiction, and  $40-300 for art. The deadline is 31 January 2021. Details here.

Enchanted Living
This quarterly print magazine was earlier called Faerie Magazine, and they celebrate “all things enchanted”. They tend not to publish anything too dark, too overtly fantastic or spiritual, and only publish original writing or excerpts from soon-to-be-published books. Apart from fiction and poetry, they publish articles, photographs, recipes, craft pieces, and more. Upcoming themes are: Summer 2021: Magical Places (deadline: 1 March); Autumn 2021: Harvest/Abundance (deadline: 1 June); and Winter 2021: The Victorians (deadline: 1 September 2021). Details here.

Departure Mirror
They want fiction and poetry, all of which must be broadly “speculative fiction” — science fiction, fantasy, alt-history, magical realism, slipstream, or in some other way altered reality. Their guidelines say: “The January submission period is for the Spring 2021 issue. We expect our greatest need from the slush will be for middle-length short stories (around 3,000-4,000 words).
We will be deliberately restricting the number of dark and downbeat stories in the Spring issue … we’re going to be avoiding stories about kids at schools for magic, furry stories, apocalypse pieces, European fairytale retellings, steampunk, and antihero stories.” They will be particularly looking for pieces about rebuilding, and stories that celebrate diversity (click on the ‘Current Needs’ tab). Generally, they prefer stories of 12,000 words or fewer; and poetry of 30 lines or fewer. Pay is $0.10/word up to 3,000 words, flat rate of $300 after that for fiction, and $10/poem. The deadline is 31 January 2021. Details here and here.

Gingerbread House
They publish poetry and flash prose with a magical/folkloric/fairytale element. Their tagline is ‘Bewitch, bother, & bewilder us’. They want “Retellings that offer a new spin. Take your fairy tale and twist it. Bend your fantasy to suit your needs,” according to their guidelines. Submit up to five poems or three flash pieces. They read work year round. Details here.

Metaphorosis Magazine
This magazine wants beautiful writing showing engaging characters in a science fiction or fantasy universe. Writers will get bonus points if their world is vegan. They also accept translations. Send stories of up to 10,000 words (prefer 1,000-6,000 words). Pay is $0.01/word. They accept submissions on an ongoing basis. Details here.

Dream of Shadows
They want fantasy and horror short fiction (up to 1,500 words). Their guidelines say, “We’re not too fond of science-fiction. While we will sometimes consider stories of something coming down to Earth from another planet if the focus is horror or fantasy, we’re not really looking for space adventures.” Pay is £20. They are open now for submissions. Details here.

Utopia Science Fiction
This is a new online magazine and they accept science fiction stories (100-6,000 words; will consider longer for serialization), poetry, articles, and art. Their guidelines say, “We’re looking for enthralling stories set in a future we want to believe in, one we would fight to make a reality.” See the website for details of the kind of work they want to see. Pay is $15 for fiction, $16 for nonfiction, $2-10 for poetry, and $35 for art. Details here.

They publish science fiction and fantasy (or any combination thereof) and they publish one story a month. Send stories of 5,000-25,000 words. They specially want #ownvoices stories. Pay is $100. They are open now for submissions. Details here.

This is a magazine of furry fiction (up to 10,000 words – query for longer). They want stories prominently featuring an anthropomorphic animal figure – it could be anthropomorphic in body or only intelligence. Their guidelines also say, “We’ll consider any type of furry fiction from secret life of animals to fox in Starbucks.  We love science-fiction with animal-like aliens and fantasy with talking dragons, unicorns, or witch familiars.” They are specially interested in underrepresented voices. Query for multiple submissions. They also accept reprints. Pay is $0.08/word up to 1,000 words, and a flat rate of $80 for longer. They are open now for submissions. Details here.

Aftermath Magazine
They publish stories and nonfiction on the theme of the end of human civilization as a result of our destruction of the environment (see guidelines). They also publish work that “celebrates the beauty and importance of our environment, the natural world, the splendour of the wild, the abundance of wonderful creatures, big and small, and our kinship with them, the simple joys and profound enrichments experienced by people who are able to commune with nature.” Submissions can be in English or Dutch. Send work of 1,500-5,000 words. Pay is $0.02/word for fiction, and $0.01/word for nonfiction. They are open now for submissions. Details here.

Dominion Press
They publish micro and flash fiction of the darker variety – they want dark science fiction, dark fantasy, and blends of these two genres. They are accepting submissions now for anthologies on various themes, which are open until filled. Details here.

The Martian Wave
The Martian Wave is published semi-annually, in March and in September. They publish science fiction (4,000-8,000 words), nonfiction, and poetry about the exploration and settlement of other worlds, and one or two original fantasy stories along that same theme. They do not publish horror. Pay is $25 for fiction, $0.01/word for flash fiction, $5 for poems, and $20 for articles. Details here.

Tall Tale TV
This is a podcast, and the editor wants science fiction and fantasy stories. The guidelines say, “This includes all forms of these genres. From Lord of the Rings to Star Wars. Indiana Jones to X-Files. As long as it has some aspect of sci-fi, fantasy or high adventure that breaks reality it should be good.” The editor will accept fan fiction, but it will be held to a higher standard. Send stories of up to 6,000 words; see the website for details on editorial preferences. Details here.  

Deep Magic
They want clean fantasy and sci-fi stories (1,000-40,000 words). They won’t publish fiction with graphic violence, mature sexual themes, or profanity. They also accept reprints. Pay is $0.08/word, capped at $599.92 for stories longer than 7,499 words. Submissions are open through the end of March 2021 (see Twitter). Details here.

Bio: S. Kalekar is the pseudonym of a regular contributor to this magazine. She is the author of 182 Short Fiction Publishers. She can be reached here.


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