Why submit to us?
- WE PAY PROFESSIONAL RATES. It’s hard work writing good stories, and you deserve to get paid fairly for it. Or maybe you don’t, and you’re just duping us? Regardless, we pay 8 cents a word for stories up to 2,000 words (well, 1,875, to be exact). Stories longer than this are capped at $150 payment.
- NO SUBMISSION FEES. We’re not saying the other guys are getting rich off $3 per submission, but there’s something about the idea that we, as writers, have you pay you, the publisher, just for the privilege of rejecting our work with a form letter, bothers us. (Costs of running an E-zine aside) We’re going to go ahead and coin a phrase right here and now - ‘Write privilege’, get it? Of course, you do.
- GET YOUR WORK IN FRONT OF A LARGE AND GROWING AUDIENCE. Our aim is fixed on telling good stories, period, and because of that we have built a massive readership from all over the globe. Want to get your stories out to more than just dear old nana? Then you've come to the right place.
- REASONABLE TURN-AROUND TIME. If you haven't heard from us within 90 days, then your story was rejected. Rejections stink - we get it - but its better than forever waiting and wondering.
- WORKABILITY. Is that the right term? Well, we're going with it. Unlike large publishers who view you as just a number, we actually work with you to help present the story in its best possible light, while never infringing upon the author's vision. We respect both creation and creator, and want to add value to both.
- GET ILLUSTRATED. We're now illustrating ALL stories we publish. Have you beheld some of our work? Just peruse around our site - we don't mean to brag (ok, yes, we totally do) - but what we're putting out is seriously good.What to Submit to us?
- STORY LENGTH: We like stories on the shorter end. However, we’ll publish something as long as 10k, if it’s worth it. Try us, you never know.
- CONTENT: To put it simply, we're looking for good stories, measured both by the quality of the writing and the skill in storytelling. We prefer prose that elicits emotion: make us laugh or cry, think or consider, anything on the edges or in between.
- GENRE AND STYLE: Good stories don’t just come in all shapes and sizes, but in all genres, too (fiction and nonfiction). Although some genres lend themselves to certain feelings (Sci Fi to curiosity and wonder, Fantasy to the exploratory joys of adventure) by no means do we expect authors to follow preordained paths. We like stories that cross genres, experiment, and push the boundaries of literature while maintaining the utmost quality in literary technique and storytelling, which is why we're open to just about anything (see note at bottom of page).
- WHAT WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR: excessive anything. Think PG-13, R if necessary. We're not attempting to salt the earth with more cultural dogma couched as mediocre fiction, or writers who are jockeying for the title of Most Woke. There’s enough of that already out there. You want to impress us? Write a good story. You want to get published? Write a great one.
- NEW STORIES AND REPRINTS: We accept previously published stories – and oh how we love a good reprint(!), as long as you, dear author, have retained full rights. For reprints, we pay 1 cent per word with a maximum payout of $50 (the story length can still be up to 10,000 words).
- A NOTE ON PODCASTING: We've just begun telling stories audibly through our recently launched podcast. CLICK HERE for details on our podcast publishing guidelines.
- ONE STORY PER AUTHOR PER 90 DAYS: We do not accept multiple submissions. We DO accept simultaneous submissions (IE, you can send it out somewhere else at the same time. Just inform us immediately if it is accepted.) On the occasion we send a rejection with feedback, please wait 90 days from your original submission before submitting again - we have a lot of submissions, and this helps us not get overrun.How to Submit to us?
- BECOME A READER: Though we don’t charge for submissions, you do need to subscribe to our magazine (free) – this is how we publish our stories, and where you'll see yours in 'print'. Don’t worry, we send out ONE issue per month. Your sacred inbox is safe with us! (See sign-up form below) Please note that although you're welcome to unsubscribe at any time, by doing so will count as an automatic withdrawal for any pending or future submissions. DO NOT mark our emails as spam (and we know when this is done) - not only will you forfeit your entry, but you'll be barred from future submissions. Harsh judgement, sure, but easily avoided on your end. Besides, you want to become the best writer you can be, right? Well then, to do that, you need to read the from the best writers out there, and who's publishing better stories than Story Unlikely? Subscribe below and see for yourself.
- SUBMISSION PERIOD: Our standard submission period runs from February 2nd through September 29th (In between runs our annual contest).
- BY EMAIL: UPDATE: Due to our endless quest to get our stories past overreactive spam blockers, we've changed our submission email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sure, organization was easier with a different address, but as long as you type the word 'Submission' in the title, your story will end up in the right place. And this is important, so we'll say it again: make sure you type the word 'submission' in the title of your email, otherwise it may be lost! So email submissions to email@example.com in the following format:- FORMATTING: Standard manuscript format is fine, but honestly, you've spent enough time writing the darn thing to worry about our silly preferences on spaces and underlines and, heaven forbid, a different font.For previously UNPUBLISHED stories:Email Subject line: (SUBMISSION: STORY TITLE)
Body of email: Include TITLE, (FICTION/NONFICTION,SUB GENRE (if applicable)),WORD COUNT, FIRST 250 words of the story (rounded to the nearest sentence), author bio as you want it to appear along with your published story, your contact info.Please include how you found Story Unlikely. If you're really feeling chatty, tell us the main reason why you decided to submit a story to us. No judgements here for shallow answers; honestly, this feedback really helps us grow the magazine.Attachment: Attach your story as a DOC or DOCX, or something else if you want to be difficult.For previously PUBLISHED stories (reprints):
Email Subject line: (SUBMISSION, REPRINT, STORY TITLE)Body of email: Include TITLE, FICTION/NONFICTION,SUB GENRE (if applicable),WORD COUNT. FIRST 250 words of the story (rounded to the nearest sentence), author bio as you want it to appear along with your published story. Include your contact info and information on the previous publication (where and when, online or print, and previous payment, if any).Please include how you found Story Unlikely. If you're really feeling chatty, tell us the main reason why you decided to submit a story to us. No judgments here for honest answers; this feedback really helps us grow the magazine.Attachment: Attach your story as a DOC or DOCX, or something else if you want to be difficult.(See below for a sample submission)And seriously, tell us how you found us!I submitted a story, now what?
- Seriously, sign up for the magazine: We do NOT consider submissions from anyone who is not one of our readers – sorry, but we’re kind of inbred that way. You’re welcome to unsubscribe at any time, just be aware that doing so automatically withdraws any pending or future submissions. ** DO NOT** mark our emails as spam (and we know when this is done) - not only will you forfeit your entry, but you'll be placed on our Excrement List, aka lifetime banishment from submitting, where only a generous donation to the human fund can bring you back into our good graces. Ok, we're joking about the human fund, but not on the ban.- Wait up to 90 days: If we have not contacted you within three months from when you submitted your story, then it was rejected.- Tell your friends about us: You want them to see your work, don’t you? We also want word of mouth referrals, so talk us up to your inner circle like we’re Jinko’s circa 1998.- Cheer up with your favorite carcinogen-filled soda and a little word of encouragement from the Story Unlikely team.
Subscribe below to receive an Unlikely Story every month, absolutely FREE, plus a bonus story sent to your inbox right now! Be sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe contacts so we don't fall into your spam!