Fiction open submissions window 2024

It has been a while, authors. AI reared its ugly head causing widespread problems across the fiction industry for publishers, authors, artists, and competition runners, and because of that, we shut our gates for a time. But, the foundation Grimdark Magazine is built upon is the hard work of authors looking for a shot–no matter their fame or publication history–and so Beth and I are throwing caution and work life balance to the wind and running an open fiction window in 2024 to purchase stories for our 2025 issues.

Let’s get stuck in to the details.

The 2024 Grimdark Magazine open window

On the 1st of March, 2024, at 00:01 AEDT we will be opening up our submissions email address for two weeks until 23:59 14th March, looking for short stories of up to 4,000 words for original fiction, and up to 12,000 words for reprints. Anything submitted over the word limit, or outside of the open window timeframes will be auto-rejected.

We will be looking for grimdark fantasy, as well as the darker grittier side of sci-fantasy and science fiction. We are also after horror in either of those aforementioned settings (eg. with a fantastical or SF aspect that’s key to the story), through a grimdark lens. We encourage diverse authors and those from underrepresented backgrounds to submit stories.

Contemporary settings will be a very hard sell. We do not want pornographic scenes, rape scenes, or tortureporn.

We leave the rest up to you, and no further direction will be provided.

We will expect to purchase between 2-4 original pieces of fiction, and a similar amount of reprints.

What do we define as grimdark?

A grim story told in a dark world by a morally grey protagonist.

Submission and timelines

Submissions will be in Word format via email. Depending on the volume of submissions, we estimate that all acquisition decisions will be made before the end of July 2024, and that that stories will be edited, contracted, paid for, and allocated to a 2025 issue lineup by end of year.

Depending on the volume of stories received, our team may or may not provide feedback on stories.

Statement on AI

Let’s be absolutely clear about this: we do not want stories created in part or in full by AI tools. We will be using an AI checker, as well as contracting to that effect.

Grimdark Magazine is a people business. Our cover art, editing, fiction, articles, interviews, reviews, videos, branding, design, etc, is all done by people, and we’d like to keep it that way.

It is 100% your choice whether you use AI in writing your fiction. If that’s your process and happy place, then do your thing. Just please don’t send it to us. We don’t want to purchase it or promote it through the platform we’ve spent the better part of a decade building with people who create from the ground up.

Rights and rates

We will continue to purchase at our current rate of AUD0.07 a word up to the word limit in exchange for exclusive worldwide English rights for one year as of publication, and non-exclusive thereafter. The reprint rate will remain at AUD0.01 a word up to the word limit for non-exclusive rights.

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Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins

Adrian Collins runs Grimdark Magazine and loves anything to do with telling darker stories. Doesn't matter the format, or when it was published or produced--just give him a grim story told in a dark world by a morally grey protagonist and this bloke's in his happy place. Add in a barrel aged stout to sip on after a cheeky body surf under the Australian sun, and that's his heaven.