Author Submission Guidelines
The people that run Grimdark Magazine are writers and readers. We believe in paying contributors for their work. We commit to:
- No token payments.
- No vague promises of one day being paid… maybe.
- No promise of "exposure" instead of payment.
- Clear and concise guidelines to take the stress out of submitting.
- Transparency on our pay rates and up front payment, in full, according to our rates shown below, for the privilege of using your work.
- Clear contractual expectations and obligations.
Grimdark Magazine is a grimdark fantasy and sci-fi pro paying market for authors and artists. Working in a sub-genre means we are after a very specific style of story or image. We want dark settings, grey characters of both sexes, morally ambiguous decisions, and plenty of grit. Joe Abercrombie, George R.R. Martin, Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch, Graham McNeill, Dan Abnett, and R. Scott Bakker are our favourite authors. Buy a copy of our magazine to see exactly what we're after.
All submitted works must be:
- Of a grimdark nature.
- In a medieval fantasy or sci-fi setting.
- Of the highest possible quality.
- Submitted electronically in .doc or .docx format.
Those are our requirements, the rest is up to you.
WHAT WE'RE BUYING FROM AUTHORS
- Stories must be submitted in Standard Manuscript Format.
- Previously unpublished stories at a strict maximum of four thousand (4,000) words.
- Reprints at a maximum of six thousand (6,000) words and not currently available for free online.
- Serials may be accepted, but if you hook us with the first piece of it, we'll want to see the rest before purchasing and publishing.
- Correct spelling and grammar a must.
Anything outside of the above is not what we are currently after. Please don't query, beg, or send beer (actually, send beer, please, just don't expect a result from it). Just email in the works that fit into the above requirements.
All payment amounts are in Australian dollars (AUD). If you are sending in work from a country currently handing our kangaroo-stamped dollar an absolute beating… that is unfortunate. Paypal payments only for international contributors. Option of Paypal or EFT for Australian contributors.
Unpublished stories: AUD$0.07 per word in line with SWFA guidelines (not that we're a member, but it seems fair).
Reprints: AUD$0.01 per word.
Paid submissions must not use the intellectual property of any other author or company.
We are buying first world-exclusive rights from the date the contract is signed and paid for up until 1 year (12 months) after publication date. After this date, the rights revert back to the author, however your story will continue to be sold in back-issues of Grimdark Magazine available commercially. To be clear: your work will not appear, and will not have appeared, in any other available format (blogs and public forums included) until 1 year (12 months) after the release date of the story in Grimdark Magazine. After 1 year (12 months), we'll retain non-exclusive distribution rights, but you can self-publish your work or try to on-sell your story to another paying market.
Reprint submissions must have passed the period of exclusivity with the previous market and not currently be available for free online. The submitter must provide the publication(s) and date(s) where the work has previously been published. Grimdark Magazine will ensure that these publications are credited as a part of the issue.
Now that you've got through all that and you understand exactly what we're after, how much you're being paid, and what to expect if you have been accepted – if you still want your work with Grimdark Magazine you will:
- Ensure your work meets the above criteria and is of the highest quality possible.
- Send your work to submissions (at) grimdarkmagazine (dot) com with one of the following in the subject line:
- Short Fiction Submission: <Story Title>
- Serial Fiction Submission: <Story Title>
- Reprint Fiction Submission: <Story Title>
In the body of the email (address it to Adrian) tell us the following:
- Story Title.
- Word count.
- A 1-2 sentence summary of the story.
- A list of works published in any other paid markets (no self-published works, please).
- A 1-2 sentence summary of yourself (include any social media and/or relevant web URLs).
- If this is a reprint, details of the piece's publication history.
- Make sure to log your submission at either www.Duotrope.com or http://thegrinder.
No multiple submissions.
No simultaneous submissions.
ONCE YOU HAVE SUBMITTED, YOU CAN EXPECT THE FOLLOWING:
- An automatic response email acknowledging receipt of your work.
- To wait up to 6 weeks for a personal email which will either be (A) a rejection, usually with feedback, or (B) a request for a 3 to 6 month hold while we see if we can fit the story into an issue.
- After the abovementioned 3 to 6 month period, a second personal email will be sent, which will either be (A) a rejection with feedback, or (B) an offer to buy your work after edits.
- You'll work with the editor(s) to get the work completed. When we're happy, a word count will be agreed upon and a contract provided.
- If you agree to the terms of contract, you will sign it, scan and send the entire document back to us.
- You'll be paid.
- In the lead up to the publication date you’ll have excerpts of your story online through our social media.
Paid writing is a hard, brutal, unforgiving and often unrewarding world – a bit Grimdark, you might say. I wish you all the best.