Fiction Guidelines

STATUS: After 13 years, Shimmer will be closing at the end of 2018. We will be accepting submissions through July 14. After that, the doors are closed and not even ruby slippers will get you inside.

Follow the guidelines, eh?

We do not accept simultaneous submissions.
If your story is at another market, do not send it to us.

 Shimmer publishes speculative fiction — science fiction, fantasy, a dash of literary horror.

Shimmer aspires to publish excellent fiction across lines of race, income, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, geography, and culture, and therefore encourages submissions of diverse stories from diverse authors. This includes, but is not limited to: people of color, LBGTQIA, women, the impoverished, the elderly, and those with disabilities. We are not interested in acquiring fiction that denigrates or perpetuates stereotypes of the above groups.

We encourage authors of all backgrounds to write stories that include characters and settings as diverse and wondrous as the people and places of the world we live in. Every story sent to us should be well-researched, respectful, and conscientious.

What to send us:

  • Unusual and beautifully-written speculative fiction stories
  • Full plots and strong characters
  • Contemporary fantasy, sometimes SF
  • Unusual stories with a fluid and distinctive voice
  • Odd, unclassifiable stories

Hard Sells:

  • Mermaids
  • Devils
  • Vampires
  • Stories about writers
  • Stories that open with someone waking up
  • Sword and sorcery
  • Hard SF
  • Holiday stories
  • Space opera
  • Paranormal romance
  • Slasher/body-mod horror

No:

  • Stories featuring Nazis as heroes
  • Rape
  • Multiple submissions  (one story at a time)
  • Simultaneous submissions (if your story is at another market, do not also send it to us)
  • Reprints
  • Poetry
  • Unsolicited rewrites
  • Stories that have been on your blog
  • Stories that have been on your Patreon
  • Fan fiction
  • Novels
  • Collections

Length:

  • Up to 7500 words

If your story is longer than 7500 words:

  • Send us a query briefly describing the story along with the first page of the story. Include the total word count. Shimmer does not publish books or collections of short fiction. Please note that novellas and novelettes are a super hard sell with us.

Payment and Rights:
We pay 5 cents per word, minimum $50. We are purchasing the right to display your story on our website and publish it in our annual print anthology. Four months after publication, most rights revert to the author, but we retain the right to continue selling digital back issues of the magazine, and the right to archive your story.

How to submit:

Formats:

  • DOC
  • DOCX
  • RTF

Not Formats:

  • do not paste your story into the email window
  • do not send a PDF, ODT, or Pages file
  • do not submit via Drive; if using gmail, click the paperclip, not the Drive icon
  • do not submit via DropBox
  • do not reply to a rejection with a new submission; this only results in filing the new story under rejections

How Often?
We don’t have a firm policy on how often you may submit but because of our volume of submissions, after receiving a rejection we appreciate a few days between submissions. Imagine our submission volume and please resist the urge to reply to rejections, even with only a thank you.

Response Time:
We are usually able to reply to submissions within a month (final response time is longer if your story ends up in the maybe stack–you are always notified if your story goes into the maybe stack). If it has been longer than one month, feel free to query us at the submission e-mail, with QUERY and story title in the subject line.

International authors:
Shimmer welcomes submissions from authors outside the United States. When possible, please consider having a Paypal account, so payment can be easy on both sides.

Artwork:
Our covers are presently handled in-house by our art director, Sandro Castelli. At this time, we are closed to other artwork submissions.

Take a moment to explore our cover stories, to get a better feel for the kind of fiction we lean toward:

The Earth and Everything Under, by K.M. Ferebee
The Seaweed and the Wormhole
, by Jenn Grunigen
Anna Saves Them All
, by Seth Dickinson
A Whisper in the Weld, by Alix E. Harrow
The Half Dark Promise, by Malon Edwards
The Scavenger’s Nursery, by Maria Dahvana Headley

Speculative fiction for a miscreant world

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