In this week's column, I'd like to bring everyone's attention to the upcoming changes to the SFWA's membership requirements. At present, both the Horror Writers' Association (HWA) and SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) consider professional payment to be $0.05 per word. In order to become a member of the SFWA, one must have three paid sales to a Qualifying Professional Market, for a cumulative total of at least $250. As of July 1, 2014, in order to qualify as a professional market, the minimum payment will be raised to $0.06 per word. The HWA has not announced any plans to change their membership requirements. Note: Any sales made prior to June 30, 2014 at the old rates still qualify.
As with most changes, there will be positive and negative returns. The concern is, of course, that writers should always be paid, and the SFWA requirement for a Qualifying Market means that writers might be paid a little more. This is good news for writers. However, it may (somewhat) limit the number of Qualifying Markets and in effect make membership to the SFWA a little more exclusive. For more information, please visit the SFWA page.
In that spirit, here are a few markets that currently qualify for the new SFWA rates. Be aware, competition is stiff. These are very tough markets. Most have ongoing deadlines, and prepare for a long response time. And yes, sci-fi tends to pay better than fantasy or horror.
- Analog Science Fiction and Fact. Pays $0.07-0.09 per word up to 7500 words. Monthly. http://www.analogsf.com/information/submissions.shtml
- Asimov's Science Fiction. Pays $0.07-0.09 per word. http://www.asimovs.com/info/guidelines.shtml
- Clarkesworld. Sci-fi. Pays $0.10 per word up to 4000 words and $0.06 per word above that. http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/submissions/
- Daily Science Fiction. Pays $0.08 per word, 100-10K words. They're especially interested in shorter stories and flash fiction. http://dailysciencefiction.com/submit/story/guidelines (Note, Daily Science Fiction will be closed for submissions December 24, 2013 until January 2, 2014).
- Fantasy and Science Fiction. Bi-monthly. Pays $0.07-0.12 per word, max 25000 words. Especially looking for science fiction and humour. http://www.sfsite.com/fsf/glines.htm
- Lightspeed. Pays $0.08 up to 7500 words. Re-opening January 1, 2014. http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/about/guidelines/
- Strange Horizons. Pays $0.08 per word, prefer under 5000 words. http://www.strangehorizons.com/guidelines/fiction.php
- Cicada Magazine. Pays up to $0.25 per word. Children's/tween market. Read guidelines carefully, as they publish more than one magazine and have strict guidelines and a long response time. http://www.cicadamag.com/node/110 NOTE: This publisher has several markets. Another upcoming call is for Calliope's "The Life of the Vikings" theme (deadline December 27, 2013).
Pro Rate ($0.05 per word) Paying Markets currently accepting fiction submissions:
- The Dark. Ongoing deadlines. Dark, weird fiction max 5,000 words. http://thedarkmagazine.com/about-us/guidelines/
- Shimmer. Looking for "beautifully written speculative fiction with an emotional core." Hard sells: paranormal romance, sword and sorcery, hard SF, space opera. 4k range preferred but will take up to 7500 words. Also looking for artwork. No deadlines listed. http://www.shimmerzine.com/guidelines/fiction-guidelines/
- Jamais Vu: Journal of the Strange Among the Familiar. 2k-4k words, next deadline January 15, 2014. Quarterly. http://www.jamaisvujournal.com/submissions.php
- Lamplight. Quarterly market. Looking for "literary dark fiction," 2k-7k, pays $150 for stories ($50 for flash up to 1000 words). Next deadline: January 15, 2014. http://lamplightmagazine.com/submissions/
- Tesseracts 18. For Canadian writers only. Theme: Wrestling with the Gods (Faith in Sci-fi/Spec-fic). Max 5000 words, deadline December 31, 2013. Pays $50-150 for short stories and $20 for poetry. http://tesseracts18.com/tesseracts-18/
- Weird Tales. No deadline listed. Upcoming themed issues: Tesla (must have inventor Nikola Tesla as a character) and The Ice Issue. Pays $0.03 per word. http://weirdtalesmagazine.com/submission-guidelines/
- The Midnight Diner. Quarterly publication. Looking for hardboiled fiction, 3000-6000 words, with "a Christian slant." Not interested in hard sci-fi or sword and sorcery. Pays $60 for fiction, $40 for non-fiction, and $20 for poetry. Deadline December 31, 2013. http://www.themidnightdiner.com/submit-your-work/
- Insert Title Here. Fablecroft's unspecified spec-fic anthology. Pays $75 (AU) and a contributor's copy. http://fablecroft.com.au/about/submissions Deadline February 28, 2014
- Industrial Horror Anthology. Spectral Press. Open til Filled, and payment not set yet. Looking for stories in the 8,000-12,000 word range. http://spectralpress.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/submissions-call-industrial-horror-anthology/
- Rite of Passage: Road to Nicodemus. Steampunk anthology to acompany a feature movie (must be set in their world, so follow guidelines carefully). 3k-10k words, pays $25 on publication. Deadline December 31, 2014. http://chroniclesofharriet.com/2013/10/16/get-ready/
- The Grotesquerie: An Anthology of Women in Horror. Mocha Memoirs Press. Token payment of $10. Deadline December 31, 2013. Looking for stories 1500-6000 words. http://mochamemoirspress.com/about/submission-guidelines/
- Ruins Excavation Anthology. Hadly Rille Books. Looking for stories (Romance, Sci-fi, Historical, and Mainstream) with an Archaeology theme. Protagonist must be a woman of colour who is also an archaeologist, working in Ruins. 1500-6000 words, pays a token $20. Deadline January 31, 2014. http://ericreynolds.livejournal.com/100520.html
- The Conqueror Womb: Lusty tales of Shub-Niggurath. 1500-5000 words. Deadline December 15. Looking for bizarre Cthulhu erotica. Token payment $10 and an e-copy. http://martianmigrainepress.com/submissions
- Bugs and Creepy Crawlies anthology. Great Old Ones Publishing. Looking for stories about bugs/insects/spiders/etc. 3000-6000 words. Pays $25 and one contributor's copy. Deadline January 31, 2014. http://www.greatoldonespublishing.com/new-anthology-opens-november-9th-2013-and-closes-january-31st-2014-bugs-and-creepy-crawlies/
- Good Mourning Publishing. Looking for romance stories set in a superhero universe (at least one love interest must be a superhero or villain). Original heroes only, no fan-fiction. Pays $30 and a paperback copy. Deadline December 31, 2013. http://www.goodmourningpublishing.com/call.html
- Despumation. Looking for stories based on metal songs (be sure to read guidelines for "metal" definition), 3k-5k. Pays $10 and a contributor's copy. Deadline February 28, 2014. http://despumationpress.com/submissions/
- Enter at Your Own Risk. Firbolg Publishing. Nature/horror/apocalyptic fiction, 3k-5k. Pays $40. Deadline December 31, 2013. http://www.firbolgpublishing.com/submissions-enter-at-your-own-risk-volume-four/
- Angelic Knight Press Demon Rum anthology. 3-7k, shared royalties. Stories must feature alcohol (think "The Cask of Amontillado" dark fiction). Deadline December 31, 2013. http://www.angelicknightpress.com/p/upcoming-projects.html
- Geek Force Five. I'm including these guys here because they just accepted one of my stories (yay, shameless self-promotion!). Royalty split, 10% of shared sales among five stories from the issue in which your story appears. Looking for speculative fiction (sci-fi, horror, noir, etc., and/or crossover mainstream fiction) with appeal to "geeks." Interests include music, film, pop culture. https://geekforcefive.submittable.com/submit
- THE DARK CRYSTAL: Looking for an author to write a prequel novel (50,000 words +) set in the Dark Crystal world, set during the Gelfling Gathering. Major publisher contract, send in 7500-10,000 words. Deadline December 31, 2013. http://www.darkcrystal.com/authorquest/
- Merry Little Apex Flash Fiction Contest. Maximum 250 words (firm). Looking for dark sci-fi, horror, fantasy with a holiday theme. Limit 3 entries per person, deadline December 16, 2013. Prize is publication, payment of $0.05 per word, and a critique of a short story (max 5000 words) by Apex publisher Jason Sizemore. http://www.apexbookcompany.com/2013/11/a-merry-little-apex-christmas-flash-fiction-contest/
- AMOK: Short Sharp Shocks Volume 1. April Moon Books. Five editors' picks $30 each. 2k-5k words, deadline February 28, 2014. http://www.aprilmoonbooks.com/#!amok-submission-guidelines/cv7a
- Friends Of Merrill Speculative Short Fiction Story Contest. $5 entry fee. Speculative fiction stories, maximum 5000 words. Deadline February 15, 2014. First prize is $500 (Canadian). http://friendsmerrilcontest.com/guidelines/