Grimdark Magazine is currently closed for submissions.

All submissions will be deleted without response.

If you would like to subscribe to our magazine to see what we publish, head on over to our Patreon.

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 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, morally ambiguous decisions, and plenty of grit. Joe Abercrombie, Anna Smith-Spark, George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Anna Stephens, 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:

  • grimdark (for the love of the publishing gods, no “flavours” or “elements”–just grimdark AF)
  • in a fantasy or sci-fi setting
  • of the highest possible quality
  • submitted electronically in .doc or .docx format.

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

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  • Previously unpublished stories at a strict maximum of four thousand (4,000) words.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 ten thousand (12,000) words and not currently available for free online.

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Unpublished stories: AUD$0.07 per word. 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. Payment is via PayPal.

Reprints: AUD$0.01 per word.

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.


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. 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 ongoing 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.


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>
  • Reprint Fiction Submission: <Story Title>

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

  • Story Title.
  • Word count.
  • A one paragraph bio.
  • If this is a reprint, details of the piece’s publication history.

Multiple submissions

Not accepted.

Simultaneous submissions

Not accepted.

Setting your expectations

As a submitter, you will receive:

  1. An automatic response email acknowledging receipt of your work.
  2. A response which will either be (A) a template rejection if you are not shortlisted, or (B) a request for a hold period while we shortlist your story for potential publication.
  3. Once the editor has assessed your shortlisted 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. You will be paid before we publish your work.

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.

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