Three Lobed Mag

 Full details 

Submission Guidelines

Three-Lobed Burning Eye (3LBE) is a speculative fiction magazine published online (thrice per year) and print anthology (every other year). Each issue features four original stories, some with audio readings. 3LBE was founded by Editor-in-Chief Andrew S. Fuller in 1999.

We recommend reading an issue or two to obtain a feel for the kinds of fiction we publish before submitting.


What We Publish: Original speculative fiction stories up to 7,500 words, including horror, fantasy, and science-fiction.

Simultaneous or multiple submissions: These are not permitted.

Reprints: We are not currently publishing reprints.

Translations: We welcome translations. Stories published in another language and translated into English are considered original.

Payment: is $100 for short story (1,001 – 7,500 words), $30 for flash fiction (500 – 1,000 words); plus one copy of print anthology

Rights Purchased: We purchase first world electronic rights, with non-exclusive archival rights, optional first audio rights, and non-exclusive anthology rights for the anthology printed later. Payment is made within 30 days of publication via PayPal. (For areas where this method is not available, we will find an alternative.)

Response Time: Our response time is within 90 days Please query if you haven’t heard back from us.

Submission Status: We are currently open to submissions.

Our Needs

What We’re Looking For

Original speculative fiction: horror, fantasy, science fiction. We publish short stories from across the big classifications and the shadows between. We will consider suspense or western, though we prefer it contain some speculative element. We like narrative voices that are full of feeling, from literary to pulpy, with styles unique and flowing, but not too experimental. All labels aside, we want tales that value imagination in character, narrative, and plot. We want to see something new and different.

We believe in diverse characters and points of view in fiction; and encourage authors of every race, culture, creed, gender, orientation, expression, status, age, and ability. We encourage writers who identify as BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ to share their voices.

Issues of 3LBE magazine include audio readings. If your story is accepted, you will have the option to record your story, have a colleague do so, or one of our narrators.

If your story is published in 3LBE, we ask that you wait two issues before submitting again. If your 3LBE story is later reprinted in another publication, we would appreciate an acknowledgment as first printed.

What We’re NOT Looking For

3LBE does not feature media tie-in fiction or fan fiction. We do not publish poetry or non-fiction. We are not currently considering reprints or outside artwork.

We are not looking for what has been called “extreme horror.” Please avoid excessive descriptions of violence or gore. We do not publish erotica per se, but we don’t mind some hotness in context of the story.

Though 3LBE’s title echoes a line from an H. P. Lovecraft story, our publication is not a Cthulhu Mythos-themed venue. We enjoy cosmic horror, weird tales, and uncanny fiction, though we prefer that you make the story your own.

For legal reasons, writers must be at least 18 years old.

We will not consider any submission written, developed, or assisted by artificial intelligence “AI” writing tools or machine software (such as ChatGPT or Sudowrite’s Story Engine). Submitting such work may result in being banned from submitting in the future.

How to Submit

Please submit your story with our online form.

Formatting: Your full story must be pasted into our online submission form. Before pasting your submission into the submission form, please format italics with surrounding _underscores_, indicate section breaks with # symbol, and do not add extra manual line breaks between paragraphs.

Cover letter: Brief cover letters are appreciated, really no more than your top few publishing credits and any experience relevant to the story. Please refrain from summarizing your story in the cover letter.

Rejections and Responses: If you receive a rejection, please wait at least seven days before submitting another story. Please do not respond to rejections, even to say thank you. We regret that we are unable to offer feedback. Also, please limit your submissions to a few in a calendar year, we only want to see your best work.

If after 90 days you have not heard from us, feel free to query.

If you receive an acceptance, please wait to make any revisions until further correspondence.


Read a few issues of 3LBE to see what we publish. Write something better. Explore, challenge, be original. Read widely in all genres. Beware clichés, hackneyed plots, thin characters, and wish fulfillment. There is nothing wrong with tropes and trends, but we are interested in new explorations of ideas. Strive for depth, texture, and imagination.

Please feel free to report our submission response times to: Duotrope’s Digest or The Submission Grinder

Recommended Reading

American Fantastic Tales ed. Peter Straub
The Book of Fantasy ed. Jorge Luis Borges
Dangerous Visions ed. Harlan Ellison
The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories ed. Ann & Jeff Vandermeer
Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror ed. Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling et al.
New Suns: Original Speculative Fiction by People of Color ed. Nisi Shawl
Year’s Best Weird Fiction, vols. I–V ed. Michael Kelly et al.
The Best Horror of the Year, vols. 1–15 ed. Ellen Datlow
Dark Matter: A Century of Speculative Fiction from the African Diaspora ed. Sheree R. Thomas
The Del Rey Book of Science Fiction and Fantasy ed. Ellen Datlow
The Dark Descent: The Evolution of Horror ed. David G. Hartwell

Writers whose work we enjoy: Robert Aickman, J. G. Ballard, Clive Barker, Algernon Blackwood, Ray Bradbury, Octavia E. Butler, Italo Calvino, Ted Chiang, Michael Cisco, Julio Cortázar, John Crowley, Tananarive Due, Harlan Ellison, Jeffrey Ford, Shirley Jackson, M. R. James, Stephen Graham Jones, Franz Kafka, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Kathe Koja, Ursula K. Le Guin, Kelly Link, Arthur Machen, Richard Matheson, China Miéville, Flannery O’Connor, Nnedi Okorafor, Lucius Shepherd, John Shirley, Isaac Bashevis Singer, James Tiptree Jr., Jeff VanderMeer, Gene Wolfe … to name a few.



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