Writers of quality fiction up to 10,000 words are invited to submit to our triannual magazine.
Give us something unexpected. Amaze us with your writing, use of language, sense of story, and memorable characters. Give us a story that we and our readers will not be able to forget and will eagerly recommend to others. What we want are stories that start off with an intriguing line or premise and follow through to the end. We’ve declined many otherwise good stories that lack a strong ending or that wander off track.
We publish three times a year (January, May, September) and are open to most subject matter, but we do accept fan fiction. Explicit language is acceptable when the story requires its usage. Sex is acceptable when it truly adds to the story, but most of the time we find it doesn’t.
We accept previously published stories that are exceptional, but we prefer that pieces not be currently available online (unless it’s in an obscure magazine) or were published more than five years ago.
We prefer stories under 6000 words, but we will consider pieces up to 10,000 words if the story is strong enough to require that word count. On that note, if you do send us a long story, make sure that it needs all those words and that you reward the reader with a spectacular or unexpected ending.
We publish very few pieces under 1000 words and accept only those that surprise us in some way or contain a powerful message.
Please do not send us pieces similar to ones we’ve recently published. Unless they take us in a new direction, we’re probably going to decline them.
We’re currently receiving close to five hundred submissions a year. While that may not seem like a lot, we only publish 24-36 stories a YEAR, which means that we’re publishing less than 10% of the submissions. Pay attention to the following guidelines on what we’re most likely to decline so that you give yourself the best chance of catching our attention.
What we generally DECLINE unless they are really powerful or bring us a different and unexpected angle or voice.
(1) “Relationship stories” that involve troubled or abusive relationships or cheating partners. A boy-meets-girl, then boy-loses-girl piece isn’t going to cut it unless it’s really different all the others like it.
(2) Stories about extreme or gratuitous violence or terrorists. We feel we see and hear enough about this in real life.
(3) Stories where drugs or killing play a prominent role: We’re not opposed to reading such pieces, only that we prefer not to publish them unless they have elements that offset or mitigate these negative elements (redemption, for example).
(4) Pieces that are not stories, meaning they do not contain conflict and a resolution or resonance.
(5) Stories that no matter how well written are not likely to be understood by a majority of readers, such as those that deal with an obscure event or a literary work that many might not be familiar with.
(6) Stories about or that reference some current event or individual in the news. We may enjoy reading them, but they’re not what we want to publish. Ask yourself if the story would have impact or significance ten or twenty years from now. If not, then we likely won’t accept it.
Each published piece will include a comment on “Why we chose to publish” stating why the editors selected it and considered it exceptional.
Our editorial policies respect the artistic license of our authors. However, there are rare occasions when changes are needed that go beyond basic spelling, grammar, and punctuation corrections. In any case, the author will always be given final approval, prior to publication, over substantial edits made by our staff. We appreciate your willingness to work with us in this regard.
All submissions should have one-inch margins. Use a standard font such as, Arial, Calibri, Times Roman, Courier in 11 or 12 point size. Line spacing is unimportant. Please refrain from using fancy headers or footers, text effects, background colors or images because these will not be reproduced in the final published piece. We generally choose our own picture to accompany the story, but if you have a particular image you’d like, we will consider it.
We publish at the beginning of January, May, and September. We read submissions continuously, but we cut off submissions for a given issue approximately one month before the issue. All works that arrive after a cut-off date will remain in the queue for the following issue. We diligently try to respond within two-three weeks.
Rights and Payment:
Fabula Argentea pays a flat fee of $5 for flash fiction (up to 1000 words), $10 for short stories (1000-7500 words), and $15 for longer stories (7500-10,000 words).
All payments are made via PayPal. If you live within the U.S. and cannot use PayPal, we will make occasional accommodation and send a check, but we prefer not to have to do this. Outside the U.S., Paypal is the only payment option.
Our terms of publication:
(1) For previously unpublished WORK—
The AUTHOR grants First World Rights to the PUBLISHER.
The AUTHOR grants Archival Rights to the PUBLISHER
(2) For previously published WORK—
The AUTHOR grants World Reprint Rights to the PUBLISHER.
The AUTHOR grants Archival Rights to the PUBLISHER
(3) Assurance that submitted work is not currently published elsewhere (including freely accessibly “public” Internet sites).
(4) Authors must warrant that they are the sole author of the work, that the work is original, and that no other entity has reserved the rights required by Silver Pen for publication.
(5) Authors must warrant that the work does not contain libelous material or material copyrighted by another party.
Other important Points:
Pieces posted for critique on a controlled-access website (user ID and password required to access) do not count as “published.”
All submissions must be submitted through our Submittable web page unless we request a piece directly via email. Unsolicited submission sent directly to our email address will not be read.
We allow simultaneous submissions, but please let us know immediately if your work has been accepted elsewhere. We are an all-volunteer organization and our time is limited.
Multiple submissions are welcome, but we generally will not publish more than one piece by an author in any single issue.
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