SF Writers’ Pages
Baen Books website. Catalog and guidelines in one place
Daw Books has delivered a lot of long series and likes to work with new talent. They do accept entire manuscripts.
Damnation Books takes horror and dark fantasy and SF. Submit to them directly.
Del Rey main page. From here you can view their catalog, sample chapters of some books, and see their guidelines. They no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts.
Tor Books, F&SF. One of the top publishers in the field, both hardback and paperback. Guidelines as well as the catalog are on line. They accept unsolicited queries in the form of synopsis and three chapters.
St. Martin’s Press Yes, SMP takes our stuff! Note though that they are a sister company of Tor. Guidelines are for more general writers, and some of the questions are truly “Duh!” — but people do ask these things. They prefer the whole manuscript but will accept a synopsis and three chapters.
Homepage for the conglomerate. Alas, they accept only agent queries at all their imprints.
Spectra SF Forum A subset of the BDD site, but more for fans than writers.
Here are the guidelines for Warner Books but they only accept agented queries..
HarperCollins They are not accepting unagented work, except in the romance genre via Avon books. This includes no self-selling to Eos, their SF line.
Dorchester Publishing/Lovespell/Leisure Books Dorchester is a good house for supernatural thrillers (mere serial killers had better be very well done), and a specialist in the fantasy romance and science fiction romance. F/F/P romance only. Takes synopsis and three.
Ellora’s Cave, F/F/P rom only and it had better scorch. Female target clientele, no plain erotica, no male-oriented stuff. Synopsis and three chapters.
Green Knight Publishing is primarily Arthurian gaming. Probably good for an Arthurian novel.
Hawk Publishing, all sorts SF including romance.
ImaJinn Books (not SFWA approved, but very few are), F/F/P rom only. Paperback publishers who have moved into CD and download versions.
6 double-spaced page synoposis ONLY, no sample chapters.
Luna Fantasy, specializing in all sorts of fy with strong FEMALE ONLY protagonists, =not= F/F/P romance. This is Harlequin’s move into femme specfi, with a possibility of moving into scifi if this flies. Big money here, and big names as well as newcomers. #1 book out was by Mercedes Lackey. Accepts synop&3 query OR complete MS
Meisha Merlin publishes some nice-looking stuff, but are so small they are not taking even queries for the next year.
Wizards of the Coast. Publishes herofy only. Read their very specific guidelines.
Graveyard Publishing. Specializes in the publishing and distribution of writings pertaining to the Pagan, Gothic, Occult and Vampire Communities. However, other submissions such as fiction, non-fiction and poetry are also welcome
Last dates noticed on the publisher’s site are provided for informational purposes. It does not necessarily mean the publisher is out of business, but it is certainly not a good sign that they are prosperous or marketing conscious enough to maintain their web site.
Wings Press Synopsis only
E. General Fictions
(These will have very little or no romance, 75,000 minimum word count and absolutely nothing over 150,000 words)
· Light Horror
· Science Fiction
They also have a complete romance line, including FFP romance.
Currently closed for book-length, but taking novellas Word Count 15,000 ?50,000. “Cover letter with total word count, brief synopsis, and applicable publishing credits. Please include a one page outline of your personal marketing strategy.” and entire novella. Echelon Ensign is their SF line. Also take FFP romance.
Re-opened to submissions Jan 2004
Low 35% royalty: most offer 40-50% synop & a 1000-word sample from anywhere in the book Futuristic ~ Whatever you can imagine to write, we’d like to see it.
Fantasy ~ From classic quest to edgy urban, and anything in between.
Science Fiction ~ From hard, technically driven, to soft, character driven,
even humorous space operas.
Vampires ~ Dark and deadly or steamy and sexy, show us what you have.
Shape Shifters ~ Regardless of their shape, these stories must have romance
and a sexy hero.
Paranormal of All Sorts ~ Ghosts don’t scare us, and Time Travel intrigues us. If it’s wyrd and wonderful, NBI would like to read it.
Historical ~ All time periods, any country, although America, England, Ireland, Australia seem to be most in demand.
Suspense and Horror ~ Espionage, Thrillers, Action/Adventure.
All Above Genres can (and are encouraged to) contain romance, but we are not
looking for Erotica or Romantica. Hot or Steamy are welcome.
All sorts of romance, incl FFP romance no straight SF.
Hard Shell Word Factory
Currently closed to queries; has SF lines
Ebooks On The Net
Closed to subs, but will take queries.
Closed to subs in March 2004
In this section we list lesser-known but well-established print publications for speculative fiction. The list is growing slowly all the time.
Albedo One is a magazine as well as a listing of Irish speculative fiction markets
Andromeda Spaceways A new Australian magazine looking for a humorous slant.
Interzone is a British magazine dedicated to keeping the genre alive in that country. It pays, but we could not discover how much.
On Spec magazine is a Canadian quarterly which publishes an impressively high percentage of award-winning fiction. Their Top 10 No-no’s is a must for all writers.
The Third Alternative is another British magazine looking for contemporary type SF and fantasy.
Black Gate is an e-zine specializing in epic fantasy that pays professional rates.
Beneath Ceaseless Skies is a pro-paying fantasy ezine that looks for stories where characters are dealing with their own worlds. No urban fantasy set in the real world. No SF.
Strange Horizons is an SWFA pro market ezine.
Market Listings and Alternatives
SpecFicWorld.com is an online resource guide for speculative fiction fans and writers.
Forwriters.com, an offshoot of the Pacific Northwest Science Fiction Resources page. A good resource for markets in all genres, and for information of interest to all writers.
Locus Online is an excellent listing, with short descriptions of the market
SF Site is a jump-off to many other SF/F related sites and many magazine and e-zine links.
Dowse is a great starting place for well-known SF/F trade magazines.
Mary Soon Lee’s Speculative Fiction Page, with information on current spec fi markets and links to many other resources, including the Internet Writers’ Workshop and the SFWA.
The Writer’s Place Guidelines is the direct link to their database of guidelines to hundreds of paying markets, searchable by criteria, like “SF, pays on acceptance, fiction.” That brings up a list of publications by name. Clicking on any of those gives you their current guidelines for submission. Why should we duplicate all their work?
Great site on the pros and cons, by Lars Eighner.
Gila Queen’s Guide to Markets
NOT a market site, but an on-line promotion for a marketing magazine to which you can subscribe.
Paula Fleming’s Market List
A list of markets that’s very good, and updated frequently in the parts that count — pro and semipro. The amateur zines come and go like kids in the kitchen when they’re playing in the backyard all day. Stef has long had a list of writer’s professional organizations which is good, too. She’s dependable, and easy access: plain ASCII on grey.
Inkspot, of course, is one of the prime sources for writers on the web, with a very fine section for speculative fiction writers.
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America main page. There’s a lot here for the non-member (how-tos, scam warnings, and marketing). Which is good, because you have to have professional publication credits to join (several short stories or any novel) — wannabe isn’t good enough. The cachet every American author desires (well, in our field). Unfortunately, SFWA keeps setting the bar higher: they only accept novel credits from the following publishers.
Ace AGENTS ONLY
Bantam Spectra AGENTS ONLY
Del Rey AGENTS ONLY
The Authors Guild was founded in 1919. They can provide health insurance in any state.
The Writers Guild of America is aimed at those writing for TV and the motion picture industry. If you have a screenplay in your head, start here.
Bookwire is the insiders’ guide to the publishing industry, full of current news and trends about what’s happening at the publishing houses, with links to the AAR and other useful sites.
National Writers Union Some excellent articles you should read about your rights vis-a-vis publishers, including the menace of “on-demand publishing.”
Futuristic, Fantasy, & Paranormal Special Interest Chapter of the Romance Writers of America
First, you join RWA for $75 (all you need is the interest and the money, no publishing credits). Then you can join this special interest chapter for $15 in the US, $20 elsewhere. The advantages include the newletter which is supposed to include marketing info (you’ll have to tell us). Also, they arrange to pair up members to critique each other, if you don’t mind luck of the draw and maybe getting someone leagues behind you in skill. There is also an annual contest for the unpublished (ever or in the last three years). To join RWA, go to their homepage.
Other Workshops (in case we’re not your sort of place)
This is an extremely fine page, with some of the best general writers’ guidelines on submitting manuscripts to be found anywhere. DarkEcho’s Horror Writers’ Workshop has a link to the Horror Writers’ Association (HWA).
A discussion list for horror writers.
“Are you interested in writing hard science SF novels? If you are, consider joining the SFNovelist writing workshop, an online writing group dedicated to novelists who write ‘hard science’ SF.” Did she tell you what it is about often enough for you to get the idea? For work over 17,500 words only, run by motivational speaker Victory Crayne. “Specifically excluded are SF Fantasy or SF Horror.” (Last time we checked saifai and horror were subsets of fantasy, not the other way around.)
A veteran sub and crit workshop for fantasy, saifai, and horror, and all ages. Because of the latter, everything generally subbed must not upset a 12-year-old’s fussy parents. Anything remotely adult must be offered on the side with a “request for readers.” Gigantic membership, so that work must be queued by the administrator to prevent e-mail chokes. Actually is sorted into separate workshops for SF, Fy, and horror, depending on what you prefer to receive to crit, but you can mix them, so as to get, say, 35% Fantasy, 55% SF, and 10% horror.
The Internet Writers’ Workshop is a fine place to take work outside our genre. Has separate workshops for novels (mostly mysteries, thrillers, and historicals, some domestic dramas), short stories, romances of all lengths, poetry, nonfiction, and Teenwrite for younger writers. Nice people in admin. The flakes and flamers don’t usually last long. Occasionally gets a group of intermediate snobs who don’t want to be bothered by having beginners around, but sure want the advice of the advanced writers — who straighten them out in several weeks. Not segregated by ability, but has no particular help or training for beginners.
Erotica Writers’ Workshop This was the original link to a very serious workshop for genuine professionals and wannabes in erotic writing. The guidelines for membership are here.
If you’re interested in joining, send mail to Mary Anne (using the link on the first page) with the subject REQUEST EROS INFO.
Membership requirements are two crits or pieces of market news a month; it’s not rigorously enforced, but we do check on it when the deadwood builds up. Market postings do occur; Mary Anne and others notify the list of upcoming anthologies and the rise and demise of specialty publishers. Open-minded about fetish material, etc., but story subs containing non-consensual or incestuous material must be marked as such.
For those who want to take classes from James Gunn, or at least read the basics of what he has to say, there’s a page for a SF workshop:
Shoshin Distance Learning Center Science-Fiction Workshop
Links to find agents:
This is a wonderful, extensive site on writing resources as well as agents.
Writers Net has an extensive listing but is slightly maddening in its indexing.
Places to check out agents who may be suspect:
It is an unfortunate fact that many literary agents are not as honest as they could be. The real agents and the Association of Authors’ Representatives will be the first to tell you this. It is a real case of writer beware, so check out any offer of representation you may get well and thoroughly before signing a contract. We suggest checking to see if the agency is a member of the AAR or sanctioned by the Writers’ Guild. The SFWA also has an excellent listing under their Writer Beware section.
Bookdoctor is an interesting site, full of current information about shady agents and a host of other good stuff.
Preditors & Editors: A really excellent tool for finding good agents as well as scoping out bad ones.
Feminist SF, Fantasy, & Utopia
This has excellent links for everything from publishers of feminist spec fi to literary analysis of the genre.
Time Travel, Paranormal, Fantasy Romance Webring
A central point on a webring mostly of fans with the occasional author. A great place to join with a publicity homepage if you’ve finally gotten something published that might interest these heavy buyers!
Other Good Stuff
Center for the Study of Science Fiction
U of K’s site based on the work of James Gunn, which runs the Campbell and Sturgeon awards in the field. Especially check out
“The Protocols of Science Fiction”
about why not everyone can make sense of SF, because the use of language is as different from literary fiction as poetry is from journalism. In short, why general writers can’t be expected to critique us worth beans beyond the raw basics.
Moonscape: Elizabeth Moon’s Homepage
Yes, the writer. Has some excellent articles on writer’s block and depression. “In fact, if you wanted to make a cheery person with no predisposition to depression depressed, you could stick him in front of a typewriter or computer for hours a day–feed him a typical writer’s diet -forbid him to exercise, isolate him from friends, and convince him that his personal worth depended on his “numbers.” Make him live the writer’s life, in other words, and watch him sag.”
“Broad Universe is an organization with the primary goal of promoting science fiction, fantasy, and horror written by women. Anyone excited about that project is welcome to join us. ”
For those of you who haven’t taken the Keys, or who don’t have one handy:
· Damon Knight on plot
· Vonda McIntyre on words and other things
· Suzy McKee Charnas on vampires
· Joan Slonczewski on the science in science fiction
· Roger MacBride Allen on writing mistakes
· Marian Zimmer Bradley on what makes a “Ripping Good Yarn”
· “On Thud and Blunder”: Poul Anderson on adventure stereotypes and mistakes. But please notice that he is wrong about not using stallions as warhorses.
· C. J. Cherryh on why you can’t write fiction by the English teacher rules
· Jane S. Fancher on POV, once you get a little ways down the page
· The Beginning Melisa Michaels, on the basics for beginning writers
· C. J. Cherryh on Characters (strong vs. weak, well-drawn vs. poorly-drawn, and how to avoid the last)
· Vonda McIntyre on words and other things, then go down the page to “Pitfalls.” On the same page she has an Adobe PDF file on manuscript preparation that is a must-read.
· Bartleby gives on-line access to the major writer’s reference books: Strunk’s Elements of Style and Roget’s Thesaurus, among others.
· Dr. Suzette Haden Elgin, working in her double profession of scifi writer and linguist, gives us the basics of creating a new language
· Jane Yolen on joy in writing, for those who don’t want to suffer for their art but still do great stuff
Other SF&F Links: