Reading Periods:

Apparition Lit is open for poetry and short story submissions four times a year. 

  • February 15-28
  • May 15-31
  • August 15-31
  • November 15-30

Our themes for 2019 will be:

  • Resistance (Submission period November 15-30, 2018, Publishing January 2019)
  • Ambition (Submission period February 15-28, 2019, Publishing April 2019)
  • Retribution (Submission period May 15-31, 2019, Publishing July 2019)
  • Euphoria (Submission period August 15-31, 2019, Publishing October 2019)

Our themes for 2018: Apparition (Published January 2018) – Delusion (Published April 2018) – Vision (Published July 2018) – Diversion (Published October 2018)

Apparition Lit also holds monthly flash fiction contests. These stories will follow selected themes and be published online.

For more information on themes and submission guidelines, please see the flash fiction drop down below.

Payment:

Apparition is a semi-pro rate magazine, paying $0.03 per word, minimum of 10.00 dollars (excluding flash contest. See details in the Flash Fiction dropdown for flash rates). If we accept your story, we are purchasing the right to publish the story online and in the quarterly edition. Rights will revert back to the artist after one year.

What we’re looking for:

(Click on the sections to see detailed guidelines for each classification.)

Short Fiction:

We will only accept stories between 1000-5000 wordsIf the story is complete with an extra hundred words, then it will still be considered. Any stories over 5,200 words will automatically be rejected.

Payment:

Apparition is a token-rate magazine, paying $0.03 per word, minimum of 10.00 dollars (excluding flash contest). If we accept your story, we are purchasing the right to publish the story online and in the quarterly edition. Rights will revert back to the artist after one year.

How to Submit:

  1. Format the story using the Shunn manuscript
  2. Please only use Times New Roman or Arial font in your document
  3. Save as an RTF file and attach to an email
  4. In the text of the email, provide a brief cover letter that includes your name, the title of the short story, word count, and any relevant publications
  5. Edit the email’s subject line so it reads: SUBMISSION: Title of Your Story
  6. Email your formatted email and short story manuscript to submissions@apparitionlit.com
  7. Add Apparition Lit to your Safe Senders list so you can receive our auto-response emails

Response Time:

All acceptances and rejections will be emailed by the 15th day of the following month after submissions close.

If you have not heard back by the 15th, send a query to: info@apparitionlit.com with the title of your submission. Before emailing, please check your spam folder.

To make sure you receive all emails from Apparition Lit, please add us to your Safe Senders list in your email client.

Monthly Flash Fiction Contest:

We want succinct speculative stories. Flex your writing muscles and send us flash fiction.

Each month Apparition Lit holds a flash fiction contest. We’ll be looking for previously unpublished stories that meet our monthly theme, which will be a word, saying, or image.  Flash fiction should be a complete story, not an excerpt of a larger work. If you aren’t sure how to write a flash piece, check out the write-up at Writer’s Digest.

Submissions for Flash Fiction will be accepted on the first 15 days of the month for each theme (i.e. for January 2018 theme: Grave Visitation, submissions should be sent January 1-15.) After the selected writer is notified, their story will be posted on the 20th of the month.

Themes

The monthly flash themes for 2018 have been selected. We chose words or phrases that are loaded with possibility. Apply the words in their most literal sense, craft a metaphor, or take as inspiration. Use them as a jumping-off point or dive deeper.

Whether you’re a flash master or just want to try your hand at a short-short story that packs a big punch, we want to hear from you! Check out our monthly themes:

  • January: Grave visitation
  • February: Margaret Atwood’s Marrying the Hangman
  • March: Through the mirror darkly
  • April: Lazarus
  • May: The lilies on the table
  • June: Posthumous
  • July: Follow the light
  • August: Parasites
  • September: Emily Dickinson’s Because I could Not Stop for Death
  • October: You can see the bone
  • November: Security
  • December: The final problem

Length:

We will only accept stories 1000 words and under. This is a hard limit.

Payment:

Apparition will pay a flat rate of $5.00 USD to the winning flash. If we accept your story, we are purchasing the right to publish the story online.

How to Submit:

  1. Format the story using the Shunn manuscript
  2. Please only use Times New Roman or Arial font in your document
  3. Save as an RTF file and attach to an email
  4. In the text of the email, provide a brief cover letter that only includes your name, the title of the flash, word count, and any relevant publications
  5. Edit the subject line so it reads: FLASH SUBMISSION: Title of Your Story
  6. Email your formatted email and flash manuscript to: submissions@apparitionlit.com
  7. Add Apparition Lit to your Safe Senders list so you can receive our auto-response emails

RESPONSE TIME:

The writer of the selected story will be notified and their story published on the 20th of the month. Rejections will not be sent for the Flash Fiction contest.

2019 Monthly Flash Fiction Contest:

We want succinct speculative stories. Flex your writing muscles and send us flash fiction.

Each month Apparition Lit holds a flash fiction contest. We’ll be looking for previously unpublished stories that meet our monthly tests.  Flash fiction should be a complete story, not an excerpt of a larger work. If you aren’t sure how to write a flash piece, check out the write-up at Writer’s Digest.

In 2019, instead of monthly themes, Apparition Lit will issue monthly challenges. These flash pieces must be speculative and must meet the requirements of the selected test. This may mean that stories refer to the test outright, challenge the test, or abide by the requirements. To learn more about how, and why, we planned these monthly story tests, you can read the article by editor Rebecca Bennett on the subject. 

Submissions for Flash Fiction will be accepted on the first 15 days of the month for each test (For example, January Flash submissions will be excepted January 1-15). No rejections will be sent for flash submissions, and one winning story will be selected each month. After the selected writer is notified, their story will be posted in the 4th week of the month.

Themes/Tests

Whether you’re a flash master or just want to try your hand at a short-short story that packs a big punch, we want to hear from you! Check out our monthly challenges:

  • January: The flash must pass or discuss The Bechdel-Wallace Test, which requires the piece 1) contain two women, 2) who talk to each other, 3) about something other than a man.
  • February: The flash must pass or discuss The Mako Mori Test, which requires that there must be 1) at least one female character, 2) who gets her own narrative arc, 3) that isn’t about supporting a man’s story
  • March: The piece must be inspired by The Sexy Lamp Test. In this test, rather than replacing female characters with sexy lamps, we want to see male characters replaced with sexy lamps. Does your story still hold together?
  • April: This is a call for POC, Black and Indigenous writers. The flash must pass or discuss The DuVernay Test where African-Americans and other minorities have fully realized lives rather than serve as scenery in white stories.
  • May: This is a call for POC, Black and Indigenous writers. The flash must pass or discuss The Latif Test which sets out 1) Are there two named characters of color?, 2) Do they have dialogue? 3) Are they not romantically involved with one another? 4) Do they have any dialogue that isn’t comforting or supporting a white character? 5) Is one of them definitely not magic?
  • June: This is a call for LGBTQQIA+ writers. The flash must pass or discuss The Vito Russo Test, where the piece must contain a lesbian, gay, bi, or transgender character. That character must not be predominantly defined by their orientation or gender identity—they need to be as unique as straight cis characters. And they must be important enough to affect the plot—they can’t just crack some jokes or “paint urban authenticity.”
  • July: This is a call for trans writers. The flash must pass or discuss The Topside Test which requires that the piece includes multiple trans characters who know each other and talk to each other about something other than medical transition procedures.
  • August: This is a call for Native and Indigenous writers. The flash must pass or discuss The Native Bechdel Test, which requies 1) Two (named) Native Characters, 2) Who talk to each other, 3) about something other than white people
  • September: This is a call for POC, Black and Indigenous writers. The flash must pass or discuss The Racial Bechdel Test, which asks 1) Are there two or more named people of Colour, 2) who talk to each other, 3) about something other than White people
  • October: The flash must pass or discuss The Finkbeiner Test, which sets out that the story must not mention 1) The fact that the subject is a woman, 2) Her husband’s job, 3) Her child care arrangements, 4) How she nurtures her underlings, 5) How she was taken aback by the competitiveness in her field, 6) How she’s such a role model for other women, 7) How she’s the “first woman to…”
  • November: The flash must pass or discuss Raleigh Becket Test, which contains a central male character whose narrative needs the development of a female character but is precluded from being sexually or romantically involved with the character.
  • December: The flash must pass The Apparition Test, which sets out that 1) the main character must not be a writer with writer’s block, 2) boobs cannot be described, 3) Story cannot involve a long scene with a character driving, 4) Story cannot involve rape or violence toward women/children/animals

Length: We will only accept stories 1000 words and under. This is a hard limit.

Payment:

Apparition Lit is increasing the prize for the monthly flash fiction contest to $10 USD, to meet the minimum semi-pro payment.   If we accept your story, we are purchasing the right to publish the story online.

How to Submit:

  1. Format the story using the Shunn manuscript
  2. Please only use Times New Roman or Arial font in your document
  3. Save as an RTF file and attach to an email
  4. In the text of the email, provide a brief cover letter that only includes your name, the title of the flash, word count, and any relevant publications
  5. Edit the subject line so it reads: FLASH SUBMISSION: Title of Your Story
  6. Email your formatted email and flash manuscript to: submissions@apparitionlit.com
  7. Add Apparition Lit to your Safe Senders list so you can receive our auto-response emails

RESPONSE TIME:

The writer of the selected story will be notified and their story published on the 4th week of the month. Rejections will not be sent for the Flash Fiction contest.

Poetry:

Apparition Lit is seeking original, unpublished speculative poetry that meet our quarterly theme. These poems must have obvious fantasy or sci-fi elements that make it clear it this isn’t a literary poem that you stuck an ogre into.

We want poetry that is more than just formatting. Send us all types of poetry, including traditional forms.

Writers can include up to five (5) poems per submission.

Length:

There is no minimum length.

Each poem must be no longer than 2-pages in length.

Payment:

We play a flat fee of $15 per poem.

How to Submit:

  1. Include each poem as a separate page in a single document.
  2. You may submit up to five (5) poems in one file.
  3. Please only use Times New Roman or Arial font in your document
  4. Save as an RTF file and attach to an email. (Please include the name of one of your poems in the file name, i.e. TheBirds.rtf. This will make it easier for us to find the file as we read.)
  5. In the text of the email, provide a brief cover letter that includes your name, the titles of the poems, how the poems match the theme, and any relevant publications
  6. Edit the email’s subject line so it reads: POETRY SUBMISSION: Titles
  7. Email your poetry to submissions@apparitionlit.com
  8. Add Apparition Lit to your Safe Senders list so you can receive our auto-response emails

Response Time:

All poetry acceptances and rejections will be emailed by the 15th day of the following month after submissions close.

If you have not heard back by the 15th, send a query at: info@apparitionlit.com with the title of your submission. Before emailing, please check your spam folder.

To make sure you receive all emails from Apparition Lit, please add us to your Safe Senders list in your email client.

Artwork:

Apparition Lit is currently accepting cover art for 2019. We are looking for speculative artwork with original subjects and design.

We will pay $100USD to license a reprint for cover art. If you have any artwork that you want to submit:

  1. Include a link to the artwork or your online portfolio.
  2. Provide a brief cover letter including your name and any relevant publications. Let us know if you would consent to an interview.
  3. Edit the subject line so it reads: COVER ART: Your Name
  4. Email to submissions@apparitionlit.com (Be sure to add us to your email Safe Sender list so our reply doesn’t land in your Spam folder or blocked by your email server.)

Apparition Lit is seeking original, unpublished speculative fiction that meet our quarterly theme. Speculative fiction is weird, almost unclassifiable. It’s fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and literary. We want it all. Send us your strange, misshapen stories.

Send us stories with enough emotional heft to break a heart, with prose that’s as clear and delicious as broth. We’re looking for proactive characters and beautiful language, all wrapped up in a complete story.

Diversity is as important in fiction as it is in real life. We want a mosaic of stories, from authors of all identities and walks of life.

What we don’t accept:

While we love dark stories with macabre elements, we will not accept stories with gratuitous and graphic violence or rape, this includes any type of child abuse including sexual abuse. We also will not consider stories that have extreme, purposeless violence toward animals. Stories containing these elements will be automatically rejected.

We do not publish erotica or thinly-veiled fanfiction.

We do not accept multiple or simultaneous submissions. Please send only one submission per category during each reading period. Apparition Lit wants your best story that meets the current theme. At some point, if your story does not meet the theme, you’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall.

At this time, we do not accept reprints or resubmissions.

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