Mission Statement

This blog is for my purposes, namely to track, evaluate and submit to various fantasy/science fiction magazines examples of my short fiction, whether they be flash fiction or novellas, and consequently to promote my fictional work via such magazines. Other people can certainly use this blog to submit their own work, but the purpose of the blog is primarily for me to keep track of where I am submitting my work, what magazines are open for submissions, etc.

Saturday 1 June 2024

The Problem of Vanity Magazines

Why Vanity Magazines Are Often a Waste of Money and Time

In the world of publishing, writers are always looking for opportunities to showcase their work, build their reputation, and potentially earn income from their craft. Among the many options available, vanity magazines often present themselves as an appealing avenue for writers, particularly those who are new to the industry or struggling to gain traction. However, despite their allure, vanity magazines are frequently criticized for being a waste of money and time. Here’s why.

Understanding Vanity Magazines

First, it's important to define what vanity magazines are. Unlike traditional literary magazines, which typically have a rigorous selection process and often pay contributors, vanity magazines charge writers a fee to publish their work. These fees can range from modest amounts to exorbitant sums, depending on the publication. The term "vanity" itself suggests that the primary appeal of these magazines is to cater to the writer's ego rather than to provide a legitimate, respected platform for their work.

The Cost of Vanity Publishing

One of the most immediate drawbacks of vanity magazines is the financial cost. Aspiring writers might find themselves paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars to see their work in print. This financial outlay is rarely justified by the benefits received. Here’s why:

  1. Lack of Return on Investment: The money spent on vanity magazines could be better invested in professional editing services, writing workshops, or submissions to reputable literary magazines. These alternatives not only improve the quality of the writer's work but also offer a more substantial chance of meaningful publication.

  2. No Payment for Writers: In traditional publishing, writers are compensated for their work. Vanity magazines, however, often require payment from the writer instead. This inversion of the typical financial relationship devalues the writer's labor and undermines the principle that good writing deserves compensation.

The Question of Credibility

Publishing in vanity magazines often does little to enhance a writer’s credibility within the literary community. Here’s why:

  1. Lack of Editorial Standards: Vanity magazines are typically less selective about what they publish since their revenue comes from writer fees, not from the quality of the content. This can lead to a dilution of quality and a lack of critical editorial feedback, which are crucial for a writer’s development.

  2. Reputation in the Literary Community: Being published in a vanity magazine does not carry the same weight as being published in a respected literary journal. Literary agents, publishers, and fellow writers are often aware of the nature of these publications and may not regard them as credible achievements.

Exposure and Readership

One of the promises of vanity magazines is increased exposure. However, this claim often falls short for several reasons:

  1. Limited Audience: Vanity magazines generally have a small readership, often limited to the contributors themselves and their immediate circles. The goal of publishing is to reach a broad and engaged audience, something that vanity magazines typically fail to deliver.

  2. Poor Distribution: These magazines often lack the distribution channels that reputable literary magazines have. Without proper distribution, even the most beautifully produced magazine will not reach its intended audience.

Impact on a Writer’s Career

Engaging with vanity magazines can have long-term negative impacts on a writer's career:

  1. Missed Opportunities: Time and money spent on vanity magazines could be better spent submitting to reputable journals, entering writing contests, or networking within the literary community. These activities are more likely to lead to meaningful publication opportunities and professional growth.

  2. Potential Stigma: Having a portfolio filled with vanity magazine publications can sometimes carry a stigma. It signals to industry professionals that the writer may not have the discernment or the ability to be published in more prestigious venues.

Alternatives to Vanity Magazines

For writers seeking publication, there are far more beneficial avenues to explore:

  1. Reputable Literary Magazines: Research and submit to well-regarded literary journals. While the competition is fierce, being published in these outlets can significantly boost a writer’s profile.

  2. Online Platforms and Blogs: Many online platforms and literary blogs are open to submissions and can provide valuable exposure without the associated costs of vanity magazines.

  3. Writing Contests: Entering writing contests can be a great way to gain recognition and potentially win prizes. Many contests also offer publication opportunities for winning entries.

  4. Self-Publishing: With the rise of digital publishing, self-publishing has become a viable option. Writers maintain control over their work and can potentially reach a wide audience through effective marketing strategies.


While vanity magazines might seem like a convenient shortcut to publication, they often prove to be a costly and unproductive detour. The financial burden, coupled with the lack of credibility and limited exposure, makes them a poor investment for serious writers. Instead, writers should focus their efforts on more reputable avenues that respect their work, offer constructive feedback, and provide genuine opportunities for career advancement. By doing so, writers can build a more credible and sustainable literary career.

Thursday 30 May 2024

How to get your Story published in a Speculative Fiction Magazine

If you're looking to publish short fiction in literary magazines or anthologies that focus on speculative fiction, here are some strategies and tips to enhance your chances of success.

Recommended Strategy

  1. Create a Submission and Tracking Document:

    • Record the details of each submission, including the date, magazine name, and the status of your submission. This will help you stay organized and avoid sending duplicate submissions.
  2. Research and Rank Potential Markets:

    • Make a list of potential magazines and anthologies. Rank them based on their pay rate (cents/word or total payout) and their policies on simultaneous submissions.
  3. Target High-Paying Markets First:

    • Start by submitting to the three highest-paying markets that do not accept simultaneous submissions. These markets often offer more substantial compensation but require exclusive submissions. Submit to these one at a time, moving to the next only after receiving a rejection.
  4. Submit Widely to Simultaneous Submission Markets:

    • If the top three markets reject your story, submit it to all magazines that accept simultaneous submissions. This increases your chances of acceptance. Skip any markets that charge a submission fee unless you're willing to invest in that particular opportunity.
  5. Utilize Feedback:

    • If a magazine rejects your work but provides feedback or an edited version, consider incorporating the suggested changes before submitting to the next market.
  6. Track Submission Deadlines:

    • Keep an eye on submission windows and deadlines for each market to ensure you don't miss any opportunities.

Additional Advice for Speculative Fiction Writers

  • Read and Research: Familiarize yourself with the magazines and anthologies you're targeting by reading their previously published works. This will give you a sense of what they are looking for and help you tailor your submissions accordingly.

  • Network and Engage: Join online communities and forums dedicated to speculative fiction. Engage with other writers and editors to learn about new opportunities and get feedback on your work.

  • Craft a Strong Cover Letter: Write a professional and concise cover letter to accompany your submission. Highlight any previous publications or relevant experience, but keep it brief.

  • Stay Persistent: Rejection is a common part of the submission process. Don’t get discouraged—keep refining your work and submitting to new markets.

  • Utilize Submission Platforms: Websites like Submittable, Duotrope, and The Grinder are invaluable resources for finding and tracking speculative fiction markets. These platforms often have advanced search functions that allow you to filter by genre, pay rate, and submission policies.

  • Consider Anthologies and Contests: In addition to magazines, look for themed anthologies and writing contests. These can be great avenues for publication and often have specific calls for speculative fiction.

Other Resources

  • List of Magazines: Some websites have comprehensive lists of speculative fiction magazine publishers. Make use of such resources as they can be very useful for writers looking to get published.

For now, I recommend browsing platforms like Submittable and similar websites that curate lists of publications, including speculative fiction.

Best of luck with your submissions!

Monday 22 April 2024

Issue #21 of 100subtexts magazine


100subtexts literary magazine
instagram: @100subtextsmagazine
 Today sees the release of issue 21 of 100subtexts magazine.
Within this brand new issue,  an excellent bumper issue, you will find art and stories by a variety of talented artists and writers.

Friday 15 March 2024

Poetry Book by Canadian Poet Gail M. Murray

Do you enjoy poetry by Canadian poets? Yes? Then do check out Gail M. Murray's book: Reflections & Reveries

She has a book launch coming up on April 14th 2024 at the Stone Cottage Pub in Scarborough, Ontario. See the book launch details below:

About the Author

Gail M. Murray B.A. B. ED. was an English teacher and teacher-librarian with a focus on drama and literature. Gail grew up on a small farm in Pickering surrounded by nature, walking in woods, fields and gardens like the Romantics. For several years, Gail performed with Scarborough Theatre Guild and Scarborough Music Theatre. After retiring Gail became a free-lance writer. Like Keats, she seeks to capture the essence of the moment. Gail’s writing is a response to her natural and emotional environment.

Her poems have been published in Written Tenfold, Blank Spaces, Wordscape, Arborealis, The Banister, CommuterLit.com and her collection Reflections and Reveries. Her creative non-fiction has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Trellis, Heartbeats,  Renaissance, The Ontario Gardener, NOW Magazine, Blank Spaces, Just Words Volume 2, Stony Bridges, Ottawa Review of Books, Historical Novels Review, Our Canada, More of Our Canada, Devour and Our Canada, Our Country, Our Stories.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Call for Submissions: Peasant Magazine Issue #2


Peasant Magazine is seeking submissions for Issue #2. Specifically it is looking for fantasy, historical fantasy, historical fiction and magical realism stories that are between 1,000 and 8,000 words in length.

PM is a free nonprofit fantasy/historical fiction/magical realism literary magazine that focuses on stories set on earth prior to 1750 or set in a fantasy world.

Furthermore stories don't have to be 'first time publications'. They also accept reprints of previously published works.

Peasant Magazine is available in both 8x11 magazine format from Amazon, and as a free PDF for download.

Peasant Magazine Issue #1, 8x11

Peasant Magazine Issue #1, Free PDF



Wednesday 4 October 2023

Peasant Magazine releases First Issue



Download a copy of the free PDF version by visiting the Peasant Magazine website, or order the 8x11 magazine of Peasant Magazine via Amazon for $4.99 USD.

Tuesday 4 April 2023

Dead Peasant Submissions close on April 4th (Today!)


 Deadline for submissions is April 4th.

 Good thing I submitted yesterday.

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Proper Manuscript Format - Classic


  1. Courier or Times New Roman font.
  2. 12 point font.
  3. Black text.
  4. No colours.
  5. No decorations.
  6. 1 inch margins on all sides.
  7. Contact Info goes in top left corner of first page.
  8. Contact Info should include legal name, address, phone number, and email.
  9. Word count goes on top right corner of first page. If it is a longer piece round to the nearest 100.
  10. Title should be one third or one half down the first page and centered.
  11. Byline: Your name or Pseudonym below the title, also centered.
  12. Double spaced between Title and Byline
  13. Another double spacing after the Byline, then the story.
  14. Set the line spacing for the story to Double-Spaced
  15. Each paragraph should be indented one half of an inch.
  16. Text should be left-aligned.
  17. Do NOT use full justification.
  18. Header at the top-right of each page should include: Surname of the author from the Byline, the title, page number.
  19. Header should begin on the 2nd page, not the 1st page.
  20. Scene breaks should be marked with a # instead of * * *.
  21. If you are submitting to a magazine or publisher that has specific guidelines you should follow then you SHOULD follow them.

Tree and Stone, Flash Fiction


Tree and Stone is seeking Flash Fiction (less than 1000 words) and pays 2 cents per word.

They sometimes will buy 1000 to 6000 word short stories, but only pay an honorarium of $20 for such pieces.

Simultaneous Submissions = OK

While all writers are welcomed, they prefer to publish work by QTPOC and BIPOC writers. Especially with queer characters/romance, and queer fantasy/science fiction.

Sunday 6 November 2022

Etherea Magazine, Australia Fantasy and Science Fiction

Looking for fantasy and sci fi, but not horror or grimdark. Dark Fantasy is OK, but nothing too dark or grim.

Accepts at least 25% Australian writers, up to 75% international writers. So don't worry about being Canadian.


2 months response time.

Pays a flat rate of $100 AUD (roughly $87 CDN or $65 USD) for short stories that are 2000 to 5000 words. Sweet spot is approximately 3500 words.

Original unpublished stories only!

Also accepts flash fiction that is 500 to 1000 words, but only pays $25 AUD for each. Will sometimes accept supernatural horror for the flash fiction stories.

Also accepts reprints at a rate of $25 AUD, short stories that are 2000 to 5000 words as per above.

Open to printing completed serials.

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