Targeted simultaneous submissions, or sim subs, can be a great strategy for short story authors. I mean, if we had to wait six months between submissions, a story could be stuck in our computers for years! (Disclaimer: This can happen despite simultaneous submissions—believe me.)
Unfortunately, speculative fiction venues are notorious for prohibiting simultaneous submissions. So what is a sci-fi or fantasy writer supposed to do? You could take a chance on an exclusive submission market and play the waiting game. Or you could try sending work to some of the following sim sub-friendly publications, many of which accept submissions through Submittable. And yes, all of these markets pay their contributors.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Do you write fanciful adventure stories that take place in a fictional time of yore? If so, Beneath Ceaseless Skies could be a good home for your work. Beneath Ceaseless Skies accepts submissions up to 15,000 words via email. Be sure to check out published stories on their website.
Are you tired of depressing dystopian tales? If you prefer writing uplifting science fiction, DreamForge may be the market for you. DreamForge has a submission system that authors may access by creating a free account. Sample stories are available free of charge.
Escape Artists is the parent company of four online speculative magazines that publish content in written and audio forms. Three of these magazines permit simultaneous submissions via Submittable: Cast of Wonders, PodCastle, and Pseudopod. If you write science fiction, fantasy, or horror that is appropriate for teenagers, check out Cast of Wonders. Submit fantasy and horror stories for an adult audience to PodCastle and Pseudopod respectively. Keep in mind their science fiction magazine Escape Pod doesn’t allow sim subs.
Freeze Frame Fiction
A flash fiction market, Freeze Frame Fiction accepts pieces 1,000 words or under. Stories in various genres, including speculative work, can be submitted via Submittable. Recently published stories are provided free of charge. Flash fiction from previous issues is compiled into anthologies available for purchase.
The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts
Another flash fiction market, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts accepts both prose and poetry via Submittable. Be aware that this online magazine has a 600 word limit for prose and a 20 line limit for poetry, so make every word count! Current and archived work is available on their website.
Not all speculative fiction needs to present a positive, hopeful vision. If you have a dark story to tell, LampLight accepts work through Submittable. One free sample issue is provided. Both original stories and reprints are accepted.
Is your science fiction or fantasy story vegan-friendly? If so, Metamorphosis Magazine may be interested in receiving your work through Submittable. Upon submission, you may request brief feedback on your story. Also, watch for their annual Best Vegan SFF anthology call for submissions if you are seeking a reprint market.
Neon Literary Magazine
A print and digital magazine published twice per year, Neon Literary Magazine alternates between themed and unthemed issues. This publication from the United Kingdom is particularly interested in speculative fiction with a literary bent. Surrealist literature and magical realism are welcome. Submissions are accepted via email.
Outlook Springs publishes unusual creative nonfiction, literary fiction, and poetry that push genre boundaries. Under their fiction submission category on Submittable, fantasy, science fiction, slipstream, magical realism, and experimental pieces are encouraged. Previously published stories are available on their website.
A quarterly print, e-book, and audiobook magazine that specializes in bizarre science fiction, Planet Scumm pays authors both a flat rate and small royalty for purchased short stories. Select full stories and excerpts are available on their blog. Submissions are accepted via email.
Shoreline of Infinity
Scottish sci-fi magazine Shoreline of Infinity accepts fiction, poetry, and artwork submissions from authors around the world via Submittable. Both lighthearted and serious stories are encouraged.
Silver Blade Magazine
Silver Blade Magazine, a publication of the Silver Pen Writers Association, accepts speculative poetry and short story submissions via email. Be sure to check their list of fantasy clichés before sending work.
Timeworn Literary Journal
Timeworn Literary Journal is a new historical fiction magazine that released its inaugural issue in October 2019. Although submitted stories must take place before 1996, speculative elements within historical settings are encouraged. Work must be sent via email.
Finally, if you have written a speculative manuscript of at least 35,000 words, consider emailing it to Transmundane Press. In addition to publishing full-length novels, Transmundane Press frequently posts short story submission calls for speculative anthologies. Extensive editing services are provided for accepted work.
Finding paying sci-fi markets that permit sim subs can be a difficult endeavor. But this handy list may help you get started. As with any market, do your research and be sure to read all guidelines before submitting work. If your story is a good fit, start sending it to multiple markets as appropriate. After all, in an ideal world, getting your speculative story in front of an audience shouldn’t take light-years. Oh, and if your work does get accepted, be sure to withdraw it from other markets posthaste. Because that’s a courtesy appreciated just about everywhere in the universe.