Archive | October, 2019

January 2020 Submission Challenge update

27 Oct


Next year in January I am going to be submitting at least 1 story every day for the entire month.

If you’d like to join me in this attempt, the markets are listed below. Obviously you’ll need at least 31 pieces of SF (flash & short stories) written & ready to sub. If you are a Science Fiction writer who really wants to start subbing stories or already are, why not take the challenge?

UPDATE:- You may have noticed I removed Tell-Tale Press from both lists. Andrea has advised me she’ll be closing Dec 31st ’19 until May 31st ’20.

I’ve removed Anotherealm from both lists. While they are open all year round to subs, their only reading period is Oct-Nov & I have no wish to make people wait so long to hear back from a sub made in January, hence their removal.

I won’t be doing any further alterations to the list after Dec 15th ’19.


01 – F&SF
02 – Clarkesworld
03 – Daily Science Fiction
04 – Sirius Science Fiction
05 – 87 Bedford
06 – Strange Constellations
07 – AGNI
08 – Visions
09 – The Overcast
10 – Trouble Among The Stars (close Jan 12th ’20)
11 – Constellary Tales
12 – Electric Spec (before Jan 15th
13 – Strange Horizons (after 4pm BST) OR Every Day Fiction
14 – Strange Horizons (before 4pm BST) OR Every Day Fiction
15 – Strange Fictions
16 – NewMyths
17 – Chrome Baby
18 – Flash Fiction Online
19 – Metaphorosis Magazine
20 – Mithila Review
21 – Space & Time
22 – Asimovs
23 – Beneath Ceaseless Skies
24 – Interzone
25 – Three-Lobed Burning Eye
26 – Analog
27 – The Weird And Whatnot
28 – Liquid Imagination
29 – Not One Of Us
30 – Augur
31 – Timeworn Literary Journal

Be aware, once F&SF or Interzone send rejections, you can resub there right away. Clarkesworld have a 7 day cool-off period after rejections but those are all markets you can sub to more than once during the month.

SPARES:- Kyanite Press dystopian & post-apocalyptic SF theme (closes Jan 30th 2020)
Kanstellation Magazine The Dark Side of Science (close Jan 15th ’20)

This year I am also offering horror writers the chance to take part. I’ve sourced 24 different markets, as below. I’ve checked them all, they either take horror or speculative fiction covering the horror genre. The same rules as above apply here, you can sub to Black Static as soon as you get rejection, likewise F&SF.

Unless I’ve stated to get in quickly or put an early deadline, most of these markets can be passed over or moved down to the bottom of the list in favour of a market with a fast turnaround like Black Static or F&SF. I’ve spoken to Charlie Finlay, editor of F&SF and he’s fine taking horror stories.


01 – Dark Moon Digest (close after 300 subs, get in quickly!)
02 – Coppice and Brake (dark speculative fiction), deadline Jan 6th ’20.
03 – The Fiends In The Furrows II closes Jan 7th ’20
04 – Black Static
05 – Clarkesworld
06 – The Dark Magazine
07 – F&SF (will take horror!)
08 – No Sleep Podcast (short & regular fiction ONLY)
09 – HYPNOS MAGAZINE Radium Town Press Guidelines –
10 – Black Static
11 – F&SF (will take horror!)
12 – The Weird And Whatnot
13 – Metaphorosis –
14 – Electric Spec (before Jan 15th
15 – Bards & Sages Quarterly
16 – F&SF (will take horror!)
17 – Black Static
18 – The Overcast
19 – Three-Lobed Burning Eye Guidelines –
20 – Three Crows Magazine
21 – Stories We Tell After Midnight (horror), deadline June 1, 2020.
22 – F&SF (will take horror!)
23 – Mithila Review
24 – Every Day Fiction
25 – Liquid Imagination
26 – Not One Of Us
27 – F&SF (will take horror!)
28 – NewMyths
29 – 34 Orchard
30 – Hungur
31 – F&SF (will take horror!)

This link is a huge post of horror markets compiled in 2018. Some of them may no longer exist. If you use this, be sure to check the market is still open & is actually paying! Thanks to Erica Verrillo for making this list.

It’s your job to read the guidelines & work out what kind of story to send each market. I’ve given you the links. Make sure stories are proofed & audioproofed. If you don’t want to sub every day, you don’t have to. If there’s a market you don’t want to sub to, then don’t. I’m not forcing you to do anything here, it’s just an opportunity to get your work in front of people who might buy it.

This is the 2nd time I’ll be running the challenge, I can already report we generated sales in the previous one. People don’t submit for many reasons. I’ve removed a lot of those reasons by giving you paying markets checked as open during the challenge.

The rest is up to you, take the chance.


So this was September 2019

1 Oct

Damn, but it’s been a busy month!

As you may or may not know, I’ve been submitting at least 1 story every day day for the last month. More about that here:-

I’ve made 211 new submissions. 172 rejections. 10 acceptances.
3 withdrawn, none not received as of yet.

Shots Of Repatriated Bastard & Sam, I Am both sold on Jan 21st to Jouth Vol 2.
Two Tickets To The End Of The World (Unused) was accepted by CafeLit.
(Please note, this was not a sale. No money was involved)
The Subaudibles sold on Mar 18th to Aurora Wolf.
The Parting was sold on July 18th to Electric Athenaeum.
A Million Light Years From Home was sold on Aug 19th to Escaped Ink.
Summer At Camp Long Drop was accepted on 6th Sept by Ghost Light.
The Symptoms Of Lawn Tennis was sold on Sept 8th to Flash In A Flash.
Uniform was sold on Sept 15th to New Orbit Magazine.
A Tooth Fairy Dreams was sold on Sept 25th to Aether & Ichor.

There are currently 53 stories out in submission:-

I’m still hopeful that Tuck & Roll will be published this year, 2 yrs after it was sold.

The Razors Edge is now out in issue 1 of The Weird And Whatnot.
Two Tickets To The End Of The World (Unused) is available to read for free at CafeLit.
The Subaudibles is available to read for free at Aurora Wolf.
How Have The Mighty Fallen? is now out in Insignia Vol 7.
The Parting is now out in Issue 2 at Electric Athenaeum.
The Symptoms Of Lawn Tennis was published in issue 7 of the Flash In A Flash newsletter (subscribers only)

EDIT:- Jouth Volume 2 is officially postponed until further notice. Until I know otherwise, I’ll continue to list these as sold.

Uniform will appear in New Orbit Magazine next month, I’ll put up a link when I’ve got one.

Summing Up The Submission Challenge

1 Oct

I’m writing this at 1pm on Monday September 30th, the final day of the challenge. I’ve already sent out all the subs I’m going to, it’s just a matter of waiting until midnight to see what other news regarding acceptances and rejections comes in over the rest of today. This post will ONLY contain news pertinant to the challenge. All other submission news will be posted in “So This Was September 2019”.

So how did you do, Ray? Pretty well, thanks for asking. 1 sale, to New Orbit Magazine. More than I expected, if I am being honest.

Did you manage to get 1 submission out every day? At least 1, yes. Several days it was more than 1.

What went where & what happened to it?

Sept 01 – Fair King, Fell Low to F&SF. A Monster Under Every Bed to The Dark (same day rejection). A Monster Under Every Bed to Black Static.

Sept 02 – Stray Kids Come Back to Clarkesworld. The Ghost Of A Chance to Commonwealth Short Story Prize. No from F&SF on Fair King, Fell Low. The Sleeping Season to F&SF.

Sept 03 – Black City to Speculative City. No from Clarkesworld on Stray Kids Come Back. No from Black Static on A Monster Under Every Bed.

Sept 04 – I’ve Fallen In Love With A Hologram, Again to Daily Science Fiction.

Sept 05 – Other People’s Gods to Trouble Among the Stars. No from F&SF on The Sleeping Season. The War Machines to F&SF.

Sept 06 – Top Field Tanks to Asimov’s (same day rejection). Timeshare to Alban Lake.

Sept 07 – The End Of The Centre to The New Southern Fugitives. No from F&SF on The War Machines. Body Banks to Analog. The Safety Of Checkpoints to ZNB APOCALYPTIC. Bitter Fruit to ZNB GALACTIC STEW. Befriend a Robot to ZNB MY BATTERY IS LOW AND IT IS GETTING DARK.

Sept 08 – Lost Souls to Flash Fiction Online.

Sept 09 – Insert #4 to Every Day Fiction.

Sept 10 – Uniform to Interzone. A Wizarding World to F&SF.

Sept 11 – One Step Closer to Beneath Ceaseless Skies. No from F&SF on A Wizarding World.

Sept 12 – A Trip To The Mall to Three-Lobed Burning Eye. Fair King, Fell Low to Clarkesworld. Body Banks to F&SF. Bizarre Life Triangle to Bronzeville; Twisted Love.

Sept 13 – Playing The System to Liquid Imagination. No from Interzone on Uniform. Uniform to New Orbit Magazine. No from Clarkesworld on Fair King, Fell Low. No from F&SF on Body Banks.

Sept 14 – The Witch In The Fog to Electric Spec.

Sept 15 – Into The Labyrinth to Not One of Us.

Sept 16 – I Hide Behind Cardboard Cliffs & Polystyrene Rocks to Monsters, Movies, & Mayhem. No from Beneath Ceaseless Skies on One Step Closer. Uniform sold to New Orbit Magazine! Playing For Time to Strange Horizons. Shake-down to F&SF.

Sept 17 – Previous Iterations to The Future Fire. No from F&SF on Shake-down.

Sept 18 – End Of The Line to Chrome Baby.

Sept 19 – Clever Clogs to Anotherealm.

Sept 20 – Absolute Power to Syntax and Salt.

Sept 21 – The Safety Of Checkpoints to Strange Fictions ‘Zine. Running With Scissors to Ink Stains.

Sept 22 – Body Banks to Clarkesworld. Seeking Asylum to The Arcanist.

Sept 23 – Top Field Tanks to Translunar Travelers Lounge. My Summer Holiday, By Billy Mesner (Aged 5) to Sirius Science Fiction. Seance Club to Coppice and Brake. No from Clarkesworld on Body Banks. No from Speculative City on Black City. No from Flash Fiction Online on Lost Souls.

Sept 24 – The Adventures Of The Amazing Jill, And Otter Bob to The Weird and Whatnot. It Takes A Dragon… to Flash Fiction Magazine. Report To Control to Flash Fiction Online.

Sept 25 – Fair King, Fell Low to Cosmic Roots and Eldritch Shores. Method One to Tell-Tale Press.

Sept 26 – Do Bears… to Augur.

Sept 27 – Transitional Period to F&SF.

Sept 28 – Somewhere, It’s Still Paris to Mithila Review. No from Not One of Us on Into The Labyrinth.

Sept 29 – Please Turn Over to Constellary Tales. No from F&SF on Transitional Period.

Sept 30 – Into The Labyrinth to F&SF. No from Daily Science Fiction on I’ve Fallen In Love With A Hologram, Again. Transitional Period to Clarkesworld Magazine. The Sex Lives Of Robots to Space and Time.

Over 30 days, a total of 56 stories were submitted. I received 20 rejections and made 1 sale.

So what happens now? I wait to find out what happens to the remaining stories still in submission. I got more stories out at once than I’ve ever had before (54, previous best was 44). I’m hopeful there will be a few more sales as all the markets I’ve sent out to were paying.

I’ve learnt a lot. I didn’t think I actually could send out 1 story every day for a month, so I’ve proved I’m more resilient & determined than I thought I was. That’s quite a nice kick in the teeth to my Imposter Syndrome. I’ve tried new markets, I’ve stuck to a schedule. Even when a few markets turned out to be closed, I was able to always get a sub out.

How do you think you managed to do this? Lots of preparation. All my stories were proofed & pretty much ready to be submitted apart from whatever formatting the market wanted & a cover letter. I also had spare stories for repeat markets which tipped me over the 30 stories mark fairly easily. I’m fairly sure 62 stories in a 31 day month is totally do-able.

What’s next? I’ve already made the decision to run the challenge again in Janary of 2020, and have already selected the 31 SF markets. I’m also going to try and find 31 horror markets too. I’ve started advertising the next event, hopefully a few sites will plug it for me. Once today is over, I’m going to have a few days off from submitting. Obviously, I’ll be watching out for responses from markets and will do a full write-up once all my replies from the challenge have come back. That won’t be until at least February of 2020 as Zombies Need Brains won’t be reading subs until then.

If you took part, I hope you achieved everything you wanted to. If that was to sub 30 stories, I hope that happened. If it didn’t, heck, it’s not a complete distaster. However many stories you got out, it’s better than none. Congratulations to those who made sales, or make sales when your replies finally come in. If you decide to join me in January, I’ll be happy to have you along for the ride again. If you take part for the first time, I’ll be just as happy to see you on my crazy train.

Remember the hashtag #SubmissionChallenge


Ray Daley @RayDaleyWriter