Submission Guidelines: Fiction

Submission Guidelines: Fiction

See this page for our current needs.


Alternate Realms seeks original, never-before-published short form Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Weird, and Speculative Fiction. Our preference is for unpretentious, strongly written stories.

  • Website: Submissions should be up to 3000 words. We prefer submissions to feature original characters in original worlds, but we may consider stories set in existing worlds and/or featuring existing characters, both of the submitting author’s creation.
  • Magazine: Submissions should fall between 1500 and 7500 words, and should feature original characters and original worlds. We will consider stories up to 17,500 words if they are concisely told and otherwise meet our needs.

We do not accept fan fiction. Authors should possess the necessary rights to a story, its world(s), and its character(s) prior to submission.

Any violence, profanity, or sexual situations should be integral elements of the story. We welcome romantic subplots; however, we prefer sex (i.e. copulation) to be closed door or fade to black.

See also: What We’re Looking For.


At this time, we primarily consider stories written by unpublished, freelance, self-published, or hybrid authors. For our purposes, “unpublished” and “freelance” are defined as any writer who has never published long-form fiction (40,000 words or more) in any market, but may have published short form fiction of any kind in any market or media form; “self-published” is defined as any writer who has independently published at least one long-form work of fiction, i.e. without the use of an outside publisher (publishing platforms like Draft2Digital are not outside publishers); and “hybrid” authors must have independently published at least one long-form work of fiction.

We may consider submissions written by other authors, particularly those who began their careers as self-published authors. Queries about this type of submission should be directed to us via email. First priority is given to submissions from self-published authors.

Editorial Policy

Our goal is to publish only the highest quality, indie-written fiction. To that end, we edit every accepted submission for clarity and strength of story (where needed and with the author’s permission), while retaining the author’s unique voice and perspective.

That said, every submission should be the best work of the submitting author and should be professionally presented. Submissions containing excessive typos and poor punctuation may be rejected without being read.

We reserve the right to refuse any submission of any kind for any reason.

Pay Rate and Rights

We buy worldwide First English Language publication rights and ask that all stories remain exclusive with us for 90 days after the date of digital publication. Additionally, we ask authors of fiction published on our website to allow us to archive those stories indefinitely after publication. We will, however, honor any request to take down such stories after the 90-day exclusivity window has passed.

Authors retain the copyrights of their stories and all rights not contractually assigned to us.

All payments are made in US currency via PayPal upon publication, or sooner.

We pay $.01 per word up to 10,000 words. Stories over that length receive a flat fee of $100. The pay rate is calculated using the word count of the finalized story.

See also: Why We Want to Pay You.

Submission Process

We accept electronic submissions by email. We do not accept paper or other non-electronic submissions, simultaneous submissions, or multiple submissions.

To submit a story, email us at The subject line should read FICTION: [Issue]: [Title], where “Issue” indicates that the submission is intended for our site (Website), a regular issue of our magazine (Magazine), or a special issue of our magazine (Special Issue); and “Title” is the title of your submission. For example, FICTION: Special Issue #2: When Falls the Realm.

Include a one to three sentence description of your submission in the body of the email along with your name, the approximate length of the submission, your status as an author (unpublished, self-published, hybrid), and any other information you think is pertinent, such as your pen name, any awards, or writing credits. Attach the submission to your email as a .doc, .docx, or compatible file; the file name should be the same as your title.

Please include the title, your name (along with a pen name, if applicable), and your contact information on the first page of the submission.

We have no formatting preferences. Please present a professional submission.

Please allow 30-45 days for us to read and reply to your submission. If we have not replied within 60 days from the date of submission, please contact us by email.