Submissions

Acidic Fiction publishes contemporary speculative fiction, which includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, slipstream, and magic realism. As a general guideline, stories should take place within roughly the past 100 years or the next 10. Stories should be completely original and self-contained. I’m looking for innovative, well-written stories that explore the amazing aspects of everyday life through the lens of speculative fiction. Subtlety is crucial.

For science fiction stories, technological advances should be plausible. A small community of explorers on Mars might be reasonable, but a mass migration of everyone on Earth to the red planet wouldn’t quite fit the genre. Similarly implausible advances in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, medicine, time travel, and teleportation are suspect, especially if they are alleged to be in widespread use very quickly.

Parallel worlds that have a strong connection to the real world are acceptable, but not as a transparent excuse to write in a different genre (e.g. “Kevin fell into a manhole in Manhattan and wound up in Central Earth, where goblins stalk the fields of mana grass, hunting for frost pixies to use as fuel for their arcane magicks.”). Alternate histories are likewise acceptable, but not as a way of incorporating absurdly advanced technology into a contemporary setting (e.g. “Digital computers were invented in 1912, so lifelike android servants are now a household commodity.”).

Sexuality, violence, and profanity should be justified by the story. Stories with a romantic element are acceptable, but romance stories in a fantastic setting won’t be accepted.

Stories should be shorter than 6,000 words. Payment is $35 per story (via PayPal) on acceptance, regardless of the length of the story. I’m buying first world electronic rights (exclusive for 90 days, non-exclusive for another 90 days) and an option to buy world anthology rights (non-exclusive). Simultaneous submissions are okay, as long as writers contact me immediately if their story is accepted somewhere else. Multiple submissions from the same author won’t be accepted.

I’m not interested in writing credentials, so there’s no need for cover letters, just good stories. My goal at this point is to respond to everyone with at least a couple of quick notes. I’m not sure how long my response time will be, but it could be from a few days up to a month, depending on the number of submissions I get.

Submit your stories here: Submission Form

If you have any questions or concerns about a story you already submitted, or you still haven’t received a response 30 days after submitting a story, email me at query with the name of your story in the subject line.

More Information About Rights and Payments

It’s important to me that Acidic Fiction is free to read and pays its contributors, so I chose a pay rate based on those two factors. I decided to pay by the story because payment per word places less value on shorter stories and prevents me from buying longer ones. By most standards, Acidic Fiction is considered a “token” market, which means it pays less than 1 cent per word (on average). This rate is lower than a semi-professional or professional market, but it is still higher than an “exposure-only” market.

It’s also important to me that you know Acidic Fiction is buying first rights to your story. If you sell your story to Acidic Fiction, any future sales would be considered reprints, which don’t pay as much as regular sales. Because most magazines receive a large volume of previously unpublished submissions, they usually don’t consider reprints. Other publications would purchase the same rights that I will (and possibly more), so if you think a higher-paying publication will buy your story, you should strongly consider selling it to them. Having said that, I look forward to reading all the stories you submit.

Contemporary Speculative Fiction Short Stories Every Monday and Friday