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

Submissions received outside of posted open dates will be deleted unread.

Our themes for 2020 will be:

  • Experimentation (Submission period November 15-30, 2019 CLOSED, Published January 2020)
  • Transfiguration (Submission period February 15-28, 2020, CLOSED Published April 2020)
  • Redemption (Submission period May 15-31, 2020, CLOSED Published July 2020)
  • Satisfaction (Submission period August 15-31, 2020, CLOSED Publishing October 2020)

Our previous themes for 2019: Resistance (Published January 2019) – Ambition (Published April 2019) – Retribution (Published July 2019) – Euphoria (Published October 2019) 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 $30.00 dollars for short stories (excluding flash contest. See details in the Flash Fiction dropdown for flash rates) and a flat fee of $30 per poem. 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 5,100 words, or incorrectly formatted, will automatically be rejected.

Payment:

Apparition is a semi-pro magazine, paying $0.03 per word, minimum of 30.00 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.

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 pay a flat fee of $30 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.

2020 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 reflect the artwork we’ve chose for each month.  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.

For 2020, we wanted to offer some visual inspiration every month. Ekphrastic writing is almost as old as story itself. A descriptive work of prose written to highlight the vividness and story of what is happening, or what is shown, in the the piece of art itself. We wanted to highlight female artists, past and present and found artwork from some of our favorites to inspire your imagination. Flash pieces must be speculative and must meet the requirements of the selected test for the appropriate month.  

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 artwork inspiration (right click the image to open in a new tab for a larger view):

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.

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.

Please do not send graphic or image files with your submissions. They just bloat our email server and we will delete them immediately.

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 nonfiction, reprints or resubmissions, or unsolicited interviews or reviews. We currently do not accept translations. We hope to in the future, but we’d prefer both the author and translator to be paid for their work, and for both versions to appear when published, so unfortunately, we just don’t have the budget for translations at right now.

We love our alumni! But as we are championing new voices and different point-of-views we’re recently instituted a policy of waiting 3-4 issues before publishing an author we’ve published already. If we have published your work in any of the quarterly issues, please wait 3-4 submission periods before subbing again.

We are not currently open to any artwork submissions.

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