Current Open Call

Short fantastical fiction, Oct. 8-Nov. 12

The Fabulist Words & Art's next open call for short fantastical fiction (SF/F, genre remixes, literary fabulism, etc.) will run from October 8 at 12:00 a.m. through 11:59 p.m., November 12. We will read and respond to submissions through January 2022; selected works will be scheduled for publication throughout 2022. 

You can review our writer guidelines and submit your manuscript using the links below. 

Thank you for your interest in The Fabulist, publisher of fables, yarns, tales & glimpses since 2007. On this page you can review our writer guidelines, statement on nondiscrimination, and policies on manuscript review, simultaneous submissions, payment and rights. You can also submit your manuscript using the inline submissions form

Writer Guidelines

The Fabulist seeks short (up to 3,000 words) works of fantastical and genre fiction, which we define expansively. Surprise us! We do love science fiction, fantasy and intelligent horror, and the gamut of fantastical literary and genre subdivisions, including magic realism, mythic/folkloric works, "literary fabulism," near-future, "solarpunk/cli-fi," etc. Whatcha got? 

Crime, mystery, romance, westerns, thrillers, sea adventures, gothic, and quasi-realist works that are anchored by some element of the fantastic are also welcome.

We value

  • Great writing (attention to sentence construction, an awareness of the poetry inherent in prose)
  • Coherent plots in which people, places and situations progress through meaningful transitions large and small
  • Fascinating and compelling characters, places, things and phenomena
  • Vivid settings that influence and engage the plot and character arcs
  • Revelations of the self and the world we live in
  • Sensitivity and alertness to the significant issues of our times
  • Escapism

No Thanks

  • Reprints
  • Sublimated (or overt) misogyny/racism/bigotry played out in wretched attempts at literary or artistic sophistication

Please Think Twice, We've Really Seen Quite Enough Of

  • Zombies, zombie apocalypse
  • Teenage vampirism/lycanthropy + romance
  • Splatter/gore/brutality
  • Virtual-reality visitations with the beloved deceased
  • “Another Friday Night at the Elftown Police Station”
  • "And then she/he/they woke up” (which includes not just it-was-all-a-dream but also we’re-all-living-in-a-giant-simulation)

That said ... surprise us. If you feel you've written a truly original, compelling take on any of these genre cliches, we're glad to check it out.

Statement on Non-Discrimination

Submissions are welcome and encouraged regardless of ethnicity, faith, continental or geographic ancestry, nationality, gender, sexuality, etc. Please do not feel constrained; we are honored that you would consider The Fabulist as a potential home for your writing, and thank you for the opportunity to review your work.

Review Process

We will read and respond to submissions through January 2022; selected works will be scheduled for publication throughout 2022.

Simultaneous Submissions 

Sure, but let us know promptly if your work is accepted elsewhere. 

Payment

2021 was our final year as a non-paying market. For works published in 2022, as a first step toward ultimately offering a per-word rate, we will be paying a $25 honorarium to all contributors.

Rights

The Fabulist requests first serial rights for 6 (six) months; non-exclusive electronic archival rights on our website in perpetuity; and an option on anthology, print, ebook and audio rights, to be negotiated separately. Authors, poets and artists are otherwise the exclusive owners of their work.

The Fabulist Words & Art