Status: We are currently open to submissions. Read on, then send us your best!
What to send us: Unusual and beautifully-written speculative fiction stories with full plots and strong characters. The best way to understand what we are looking for is to read an issue of the magazine. We’re most drawn to contemporary fantasy, and seek out stories with a strong emotional core. We like unusual stories with a fluid and distinctive voice, with specific and original images. Send us your odd unclassifiable stories–though we prefer traditional storytelling mechanics to experimental approaches.
We’re less likely to be interested in sword and sorcery, hard SF, space opera, paranormal romance, and slasher horror, but really, we’ll read anything.
We are extremely unlikely to be interested in rape stories. We encourage you to find other dimensions for your female characters besides their rapeability.
Length: We like our fiction short – under 5000 words. If your story is longer than 5000 words (and yes, 5100 words is longer than 5000 words) but you believe we would love it, please send us a query briefly describing the story along with the first page of the story.
Payment and Rights: We pay 5 cent per word, minimum $10. You’ll also receive two copies of the issue in which your story appears. Additional contributor copies available at the subscription rate. We purchase First Serial rights and electronic rights. 120 days after publication, most rights revert to the author, but we retain the right to continue selling back issues of the magazine, the right to archive your story, and non-exclusive anthology rights.
How to submit: Send your manuscript as an attachment (.doc, .docx, or .rtf only) in standard manuscript format to [email protected]. Make sure the subject line begins with Submission and has the title of your story. Example: “Submission: Attack of the Evil Robot Monkeys.” If you don’t use the correct subject line, your story may end up in our spam filter and not get read. Please ensure that our response to you won’t go in your spam folder.
We don’t have a firm policy on how often you may submit but because of our volume of submissions, we appreciate a few days between submissions.
Response Time: We are usually able to reply to submissions within three weeks. If it has been longer than one month, feel free to query us at the submission e-mail. We comment on most submissions.
We do not accept simultaneous or multiple submissions. Please do not send unsolicited rewrites.
International authors: Shimmer welcomes submissions from authors outside the United States.
Other: We occasionally run non-fiction, audio pieces, cartoons, and other miscellanea; if you have something other than fiction that you think might tempt us, please query to the submissions e-mail. We do not accept poetry or reprints (including stories you’ve published on your blog or other public web sites).
Art: Read our art guidelines for more information.
Still have questions? Get in touch.