Abyss&Apex publishes on a quarterly schedule.
- January (1st Quarter)
- April (2nd Quarter)
- July (3rd Quarter)
- October (4th Quarter)
Submissions sent outside our submission periods will be deleted unread.
- FICTION SUBMISSIONS are currently Closed until May 1, 2014.
- Please read the poetry guidelines carefully. Poetry has a different email submissions address and schedule.
- What we’re looking for
- General information on sending manuscripts
- Small Press Book Reviews
- Support Abyss & Apex
Our mission is to publish the finest in speculative and imaginative fiction and poetry, with special attention to character-driven stories that examine the depths and heights of emotion and motivation from a broad variety of cultural and social perspectives. A&A wants to publish powerful stories with emotions that resonate in our minds and hearts long after a first reading, stories that make us want to read them again and again. We look for the unique: stories that stand out in a genre that pushes the envelope of unusual. We take special delight in detailed world-building: we like slipstream, YA, hypertext fiction, dark fantasy, science fiction puzzle stories, magical realism, hard science fiction, soft science fiction, science fantasy, urban fantasy, military science fiction, ghost stories, space opera, cyberpunk, steampunk . . . there is very little we will not look at, although we have a severe allergy to elves, retold fairy tales, sports, westerns, vampires, and gratuitous sex and violence. We have no subject/topic preference, beyond a requirement that the work have a speculative element. We are happy to read stories that don’t quite seem to fit elsewhere.
We will consider dark speculative fiction, but we do not publish horror. We won’t publish extremely graphic violent or sexual content or over-the-top gore either; we are turned off by gratuitous foul language. In other words, if the primary purpose of a story is to scare us or make us queasy, we won’t buy it.
- We accept fiction submissions via e-mail only.
- SHORT FICTION E-mail submissions must be saved in Microsoft Word (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf).
- Important: Flash submissions must be copied into the body of the email, with contact info & bio.
- We do NOT accept simultaneous or multiple submissions, except for poetry (limit, three poems).
- We NEVER accept unsolicited reprints.
- We are not currently soliciting artists, book reviewers, or editorial content.
- We DO NOT serialize novels. Period. Don’t even ask.
We will read your genre short stories at lengths of up to 10,000 words. Higher word count? Query first, but we rarely look at anything of that length unless it’s by an author we’ve already published.We are especially interested in good flash fiction (1,250 words or less). If your story is on the borderline of flash length, consider trimming those extra words and making your short-short story even tighter and stronger.
The submissions editors at Abyss & Apex read short fiction and flash during designated reading periods ONLY, four times a year. The four one-week reading periods are the FIRST weeks of:
- February (open now!)
The next scheduled reading periods are the FIRST weeks of:
- May 2014
- August 2014
- November 2014
- February 2015
All short fiction submissions of more than 1,250 words must be in Standard Manuscript Format. That means 12-point type, double-spaced, black on white, ragged right margins; author’s name and contact information on the TOP of the first page; and name, page number, and story name as a header every page thereafter. Further details are available at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~mslee/format.html.
For Fiction submissions of more than 1,250 words in length, please attach your .rtf or .doc or .txt file to your email. We cannot at this time open .docx files. Please be absolutely certain to include your name and contact information on the manuscript itself. We would appreciate it if you would include a brief, two- to three-sentence bio either in the body of your e-mail message or somewhere within your attached manuscript.
Please note: Flash fiction (fewer than 1,251 words) must be submitted within the body of your e-mail message. You should at least include contact information, and a Bio.
Please Note: We will not open or read any submissions that do not have an appropriate subject line. The subject line is important for sorting our mail; mail sent to the submissions address with an incorrect subject line may never reach us. Submit your work to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the email subject in the following format:
FICTION SUB: “Your title here” or FLASH FICTION SUB: “Your title here”
Our editors try their best to provide feedback on stories that are declined, but may not be able to answer specific questions on the reasons a story was not accepted. We strive to keep our response times reasonable (currently running about six months), but this may change depending on a variety of factors. Feel free to query if you have not received a response in eight months.
If we buy your story, payment is USD $.06/word (six cents a word) up to 1,250 words, and a flat payment of $75.00 for longer stories. We currently pay 60 days after publication. We prefer to make author payments via PayPal (especially if you reside outside of the United States). If this is unacceptable please let us know and we will make other arrangements.
Abyss & Apex likes to see strong, emotionally resonant, literary-quality poetry with a clear speculative element (fantasy, science fiction, or any combination of the two), as well as scifaiku and what some call “science poetry” or “astronomy poetry.” Although dark fantasy and dark SF are encouraged, we DO NOT publish horror. There are no format or length restrictions for poetry. Wow us with a sestina, or stun us in free verse. We admire poetry that exceeds our expectations in scansion, imagery, emotional impact and creative wordplay. We love language, and we like to see it worked for all it’s worth. Our love of poetry exceeds the space and funds we have to publish it, so we accept only the very best; amaze us!
Poetry Reading Periods:
The poetry editors at Abyss & Apex read poetry during designated reading periods ONLY, two times a year. The two one-month reading periods are:
The next scheduled reading periods are:
- December 2013
- June 2014
Poetry received outside these designated reading periods will be deleted without acknowledgment.
Poetry Submissions Format:
Please use this subject header for your submission email:
POETRY SUB: “Your title here”
Submit your poetry in the body of your e-mail message to email@example.com.
Important: You may submit up to three poems per reading period (in the same email or separately). Please paste your poetry into the body of your submission email. The volume of submissions does not allow for personalized rejections. If your poetry is not accepted for publication, you will receive a standard rejection form. It may take up to two months, after the reading period ends, to receive a response.
Payment is a flat fee of US $5.00. We pay 60 days after publication.
We prefer to make author payments via PayPal. If this is unacceptable please let us know and we will make other arrangements. We cannot pay via other arrangements outside of the United States.
Abyss & Apex is pleased to offer small press book reviews. We leave the reviews up even though the edition they are in is retired. The process for getting a review is as follows:
- In keeping with the types of short fiction we publish, we will only review Science Fiction and Fantasy novels. We do NOT publish or review Horror.
- We will only accept books from small press publishers.
- We will NOT accept self-published, e-published, or vanity published works.
- We prefer our copy of your book approximately six months in advance of a review.We prefer to a publish reviews at or just before a book’s release date, but will review books up to one year after release dates.
- We will only accept a maximum of three books per publisher at a time.
- We understand that shipping and printing are expensive. Books can be in pdf format, sent to A&A’s submissions address with the following text in the subject line: SMALL PRESS NOVEL: (TITLE, PUBLISHER). However, we find paper copies much easier to read and prefer them.
- Paper books and ARCs will be sent to A&A staff reviewers who specialize in subgenres. Please query for the proper mailing address.
- We especially like to review collections or anthologies of short fiction.
For Short Fiction and Flash Fiction: Send queries to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s best to reply to our latest message about a story rather than start a new gmail message thread.
For Poetry: Send queries to us at email@example.com
We run our magazine as lean as possible, and any monies we receive go directly to purchasing fiction, and web maintenance things like domain names and hosting. If you want to support our authors, please click the button above to donate via PayPal. Or buy a subscription to Abyss & Apex to view our archives and comment on stories for only $5 a year. $25 donations get a free book. Visit our Support Us! page to find out how. Thank you!
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