Late Summer - Fall 2023 Open Submissions Period


STUPEFYING STORIES is now CLOSED to submissions

Thank you for your interest in STUPEFYING STORIES. Issues 27 and 28 are now closed to unsolicited submissions. In fact, we received so many good submissions for issues 27 and 28 that we have begun planning an issue 29 for January 2024, but that is full already, too.

We remain open to submissions for SHOWCASE, our online free daily flash fiction feature. See the notes below.

SHOWCASE • We are almost always looking for very short (micro- to flash-fiction) stories to fill the SHOWCASE daily online fiction pipeline. Length: up to 1K words. Reprints considered but previously unpublished stories preferred. To get a better idea of what we’re looking for, read a fair sampling of the stories already online. Generally we prefer science fiction, fantasy, and horror, in that order, but right now we are seeking “seasonal” stories to fill the September and October publication slots, so we are more open to horror than usual as we lead up to Halloween. [~ed: we already have all the seasonal horror we need, thank you.]

Payment: a flat $15.00 USD for original stories or $5.00 USD for reprints.
This window closes when we have accepted sufficient stories to fill the SHOWCASE pipeline through the end of November.

Nota bene: Please do not send us any Christmas-themed stories for SHOWCASE. We don’t like them. We don’t publish them. While we find Hallmark Channel-style “inspirational” stories merely saccharine and insipid, we truly loathe Christmas-themed horror stories. In the thirteen years we have been in business we have had dozens if not hundreds of such stories show up in our slush pile, and they all stink. In particular, if I see one more “Santa Claus, Serial Killer” story, I am apt to overreact and do something drastic and very unpleasant to the hapless putz who submitted it.

STUPEFYING STORIES 26 IS NOW FULL. We couldn’t squeeze another story into this book if we tried. If you sent us a submission for #26, you should have received either an acceptance or a rejection by now, unless you sent us a flash story and said it was for either SS26 or SHOWCASE. Decisions on such flash stories are still pending.

STUPEFYING STORIES 26 • Releasing October 1st • This is our annual horror issue and it’s almost full, but we are still seeking a few choice stories to fill in the gaps and complete the TOC. Your best chance will be with a story under 5K words in length and with atmospheric horror, rather than visceral splatter horror. For examples of what we’re seeking, read “The Worm’s Eye” by Tom Jolly or “Magic with the Bones” by Beth Hudson in STUPEFYING STORIES 23, or “Lucky” by Russell C. Connor, “The Van Helsing Women’s Shelter” by Aaron DaMommio, or “Back From the Dead” by John Lance on the soon to be shut down old SHOWCASE site.

STUPEFYING STORIES 27 • Releasing November 1st • November marks the 40th anniversary of the original magazine publication of Bruce Bethke’s genre-naming short story, “Cyberpunk.” Therefore we are putting together our first-ever all-cyberpunk issue, and are still looking for stories to round out the TOC. Be advised, though, that if you submit for this issue, you are not only trying to sell a cyberpunk story to the guy who wrote “Cyberpunk,” you’re trying to sell your story to someone who has just retired after a long career in supercomputer software R&D. It can be done—see “Eddie’s Upgrade” by Kevin Stadt in STUPEFYING STORIES 23 or “Tin Lizzi” by J. L. Royce or “Caliban’s Cameras” by Allan Dyen-Shapiro in STUPEFYING STORIES 25but it can’t be done by writing prose anime, LitRPG, or Cyberpunk 2077 fanfic. Remember, your objective is to submit a story that will make Bruce Bethke Himself sit up and say, “Damn, I wish I’d written that!” 

Payment: 1.5-cents USD per word. Length: up to 10K, but shorter is more likely to be accepted. Previously unpublished stories only. NO REPRINTS.

STUPEFYING STORIES 28 • Releasing December 1st • In-house we’ve been calling this one “CLANKALOG.” You can blame Mr. Science, Guy Stewart, for this, as he’s the one who pointed out that since so many writers who start out with us graduate to writing for ANALOG, we may as well do a full “almost ready for ANALOG” issue. Accordingly, we are looking for hard SF only, the harder the better. As examples of what we’re looking for, consider “Outrider” by Helen French or “They Call Me Charon” by Gary Pattinson in STUPEFYING STORIES 23, “Last Stop Paradise” by Mike Adamson or “Krishna’s Gift” by Karl Dandenell in STUPEFYING STORIES 24, or “A Limited View” by Gary Kloster, “There Is Another Sky” by Bo Balder, or “Something Came Through” by Michael D. Burnside in STUPEFYING STORIES 25.

Payment: 1.5-cents USD per word. Length: up to 10K, but shorter is more likely to be accepted. Previously unpublished stories only. NO REPRINTS.

To submit your story, please send it as a Word or .rtf file attached to an email message to:

Expect to receive an acknowledgement that your story has been received within four days of your sending it. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please follow up with a query.

NOTE: One story at a time, please! Give us time to digest the first story you send us before sending another. The exception to this is if you want to send us a flash fiction piece for SHOWCASE and a full-length story for one of the issues. In that case, we’ll be happy to consider both. We like finding opportunities to do cross-promotion.

ANOTHER NOTE: If you do send two stories, one for SHOWCASE and another for a magazine, please send them in separate email messages. It screws up our submission tracking system when we get two different stories in the same email message.

ONE LAST NOTE: Please, please, please send your stories only to the submissions@ email address. Submissions sent to any other email address you may have for us do not merely bypass the slush pile queue, they bypass our entire submission tracking system, and thus tend to get lost.

Thank you,
The Stupefying Stories Editorial Staff