We are currently closed for short fiction submissions. See our contest openings here.
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We review poetry, graphic / comic stories and cover artwork year-long.
What we’re looking for
Any genre or between-genre work of literature, or visual art (black and white) up to 75 pages in length. Short stories, novellas, poetry, comics, illustrations — bring it on. We do not publish non-fiction, memoir, or children’s stories. Aside from that we want anything entertaining and well written.
If you’re a published author, we want you to submit the pieces you’ve hidden under your bed, your midnight experiments that didn’t fit into your genre, and the little things that have no other home. Go wild! Send us your genre-breaking stuff!
If you’re a new writer send in your most thrilling, funny, or heart-rending work in any genre.
We accept simultaneous submissions. Previously printed pieces may be considered.
Short Fiction Guidelines
- We are looking for entertaining, accessible stories. We do appreciate clever and poetic turns of phrase, but first and foremost we want a story readers can sink into late at night before they go to bed. We want to stretch people’s minds, but not give them a headache.
- We want a balance of serious and lighthearted stories. We receive so many brilliant but depressing stories that we must pass on all but the best gems. We strive for emotional balance in each of our issues, and want our readers to leave feeling challenged yet refreshed.
- We aren’t satisfied with a joke. Some writers send shaggy dog stories that end with a twist or revelation that is funny, but not a story. A story is about a person, not a plot twist.
- We take all genres, not just pulp. Because our title says “Pulp” Literature, some authors assume we want guns and blood. The pulp in our title refers to cheap pulp paper, which we someday hope to use. We want our magazine to include a balance of all genres, including fantasy, romance, mystery, literary, etc.
- We love stories and art by and about underrepresented groups. We love to publish works featuring fiery feminism, a rainbow of LGBTQIA+, skin colours that don’t begin with the letter ‘W’, indigenous and immigrant experiences alike, and people of varying shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities.
- We take more short fiction than novellas. While we try to have one longer work of 15-20,000 words in every issue, that is only one story out of a dozen. This means we are pickier and wait longer to reply to novellas, usually requesting a re-write. Stories under 5000 words have the best chance of publication. We’re not saying to only send us short works, but do realize what the odds and time requirements are for novellas.
- We want both plot and character. We like some action along with those intriguing personalities, and we want to see characters that grow and change throughout the story arc.
- We have high standards. We want stories we can treasure, words that show the love and sweat and effort of strong storytellers. These are the works we get excited about polishing so they shine to brilliance in our publication.
Because of the large volume of short fiction we receive we ask for a small donation for short stories and novellas. This helps us pay first readers a nominal amount for their time, and supports the ongoing production of the magazine. If you’re as grateful for first readers’ time and dedication as we are, please consider chipping in a few dollars.
How to submit
We accept email submissions only. Send to “submissions (at) pulpliterature (dot) com”. Do not send attachments. Unsolicited attachments will be deleted unopened. Please use the title of your piece as your subject heading.
- Put the title of your story in the subject line of your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Introduce yourself in two or three lines and then give several lines about your submission, including the word count and your address and contact information.
- For works under 10,000 words, send the whole piece in the body of the email. For larger works submit a synopsis and the first 3,000 words, including final word count, and we will request the rest if we are interested in the piece.
- If you’re feeling the love, consider a donation to help with the inbox workload.
Please send a maximum of three poems, totalling no more than five pages directly to Daniel Cowper: dan (at) pulpliterature.com.
Graphic novels and illustrations
Submit a query describing your work. Include URLs to any online work you would like us to see. If we are interested we will request files.
What we pay
We pay $0.035 – $0.07 per word for short stories (to 7000 words), $0.025 – $0.05 per word between 7000 and 10000 words, and $0.015 – $0.035 per word for works over 10000 words.
Poetry and interior illustrations pay between $25 – $50. Sequential art (graphic novels and cartoons) and illustrations are at a rate of $25 to $75 per page.
We accept a limited number of reprints at rates up to 50% of first publication rates.
We purchase exclusive first world rights, print and digital, for a period of 120 days from the publishing date, after which all rights revert to the author.