Grimdark Magazine is closed for submissions as of 15 Feb 2018. All submissions received after this date will not be read. If you do not receive an automated confirmation response from, please query.

Current Submissions window update (as of 20th May 2018): There are currently 59 remaining unread submissions and four shortlisted submissions in our open window from Feb 2018. I (Adrian) apologise for not getting these resolved faster. It’s been a helluva a year after an absolute bastard of a 2017 for GdM. We’re committing to getting these done with decisions made on all stories within the next three weeks. My communication to you, the submitting author, has been pretty crap, and that’s on me. I’ll ensure we get these wrapped up within the committed timeframe.

Our Commitment

The people that run Grimdark Magazine are writers and readers. We believe in paying contributors for their work. We commit to the following:

  • No token payments.
  • No vague promises of one day being paid… maybe.
  • No promises of “exposure” instead of payment.
  • Clear and concise guidelines to take the stress out of submitting.
  • Transparency regarding our pay rates and upfront payment, in full, according to our rates shown below, for the privilege of using your fiction.
  • Clear contractual expectations and obligations.

Grimdark Magazine is a grimdark fantasy and sci-fi pro-paying market for authors and artists. Working in a sub-genre means we are after a very specific style of story or image. We want dark settings, grey characters of both sexes, morally ambiguous decisions, and plenty of grit. Joe Abercrombie, George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch, Graham McNeill, Deborah A. Wolf, Dan Abnett and R. Scott Bakker are our favourite authors. Buy a copy of our magazine to see exactly what we’re after.

All submitted works must be:

  • of a grimdark nature
  • in a medieval fantasy or sci-fi setting
  • of the highest possible quality
  • submitted electronically in .doc or .docx format.

These are our requirements, the rest is up to you.

What we’re buying

  • Stories must be submitted in Standard Manuscript Format.
  • Previously unpublished stories at a strict maximum of four thousand (4,000) words.
  • Reprints at a maximum of six thousand (6,000) words and not currently available for free online.
  • Serials may be accepted but, if you hook us with the first piece of it, we’ll want to see the rest before purchasing and publishing.
  • Correct spelling and grammar a must.

Anything outside of the above is not what we are currently after. Please don’t query, beg, or send beer (actually, send beer, please, just don’t expect a result from it). Just email in the works that fit into the above requirements.


Unpublished stories: AUD$0.07 per word in line with SWFA guidelines (not that we’re a member, but it seems fair).All payment amounts are in Australian dollars (AUD). If you are sending in work from a country currently handing our beautiful kangaroo-stamped dollar an absolute beating… that is unfortunate. Transferwise payments only for international contributors. Option of Transferwise or EFT for Australian contributors.

Reprints: AUD$0.01 per word.


We are buying first world-exclusive rights from the date the contract is signed and paid for up until 1 year (12 months) after publication date. After this date, Grimdark Magazine will maintain non-exclusive rights to publication.Paid submissions must not use the intellectual property of any other author or company.

To be clear: your work will not appear, and will not have appeared, in any other available format (blogs and public forums included) until 1 year (12 months) after the release date of the story in Grimdark Magazine. After 1 year (12 months), we’ll retain non-exclusive distribution rights, but you can self-publish your work or try to on-sell your story to another paying market.

Reprint submissions must have passed the period of exclusivity with the previous market and not currently be available for free online. The submitter must provide the publication(s) and date(s) where the work has previously been published.


Ensure your work meets the above criteria and is of the highest quality possible.Now that you’ve got through all that and you understand exactly what we’re after, how much you’re being paid, and what to expect if you have been accepted – if you still want to publish your work with Grimdark Magazine you will:

Send your work to submissions (at) grimdarkmagazine (dot) com with one of the following in the subject line:

  • Short Fiction Submission: <Story Title>
  • Serial Fiction Submission: <Story Title>
  • Reprint Fiction Submission: <Story Title>

In the body of the email (address it to Adrian), tell us the following:

  • Story Title.
  • Word count.
  • A 1-2 sentence summary of the story.
  • A list of works published in any other paid markets (no self-published works, please).
  • A 1-2 sentence summary of yourself (include any social media and/or relevant web URLs).
  • If this is a reprint, details of the piece’s publication history.
  • Make sure to log your submission at either or

Multiple submissions

Not accepted.

Simultaneous submissions

Not accepted.

Setting your expectations

  1. An automatic response email acknowledging receipt of your work.
  2. A response which will either be (A) a rejection, sometimes with feedback, or (B) a request for a hold period while we see if we can fit the story into an issue.
  3. Once the editor has assessed your work, a second email will be sent, which will either be (A) a rejection, or (B) an offer to buy your work after edits.
  4. You’ll work with the editor(s) to get the work completed. When we’re happy, a word count will be agreed upon and a contract provided.
  5. If you agree to the terms of contract, you and a witness will sign it, scan and send the entire document back to us.
  6. You’ll be paid Via Transferwise or PayPal.

Good luck

Paid writing is a hard, brutal, unforgiving, and often unrewarding world – a bit grimdark, you might say. I wish you all the best.