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Three pro-level speculative short story submission opportunities for March

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Happy Friday, Boulder! Have you got a short piece of speculative fiction looking for a home? Whether it's science fiction, fantasy, or horror, this month opens up prestigious publication opportunities for that story of yours. Here are three markets, spanning all three genres, for you to submit your piece to. Don't delay, though; all three have a March 31 deadline.

Unidentified Funny Objects

Unidentified Funny Objects, an annual anthology of humorous science fiction and fantasy edited by Alex Shvartsman, is accepting submissions for its third edition. UFO3 was successfully funded as of February 18, and so its submission window opened on March 1. It will remain open to your submissions until the end of the month.

The mission of the Unidentified Funny Objects (UFO) anthologies is to print great collections of funny, lighthearted, upbeat and plain weird stories,

says the Kickstarter page, and that should give you at least a starting idea of what's sought here. Further details?

We’re looking for speculative stories with a strong humor element. Think Resnick and Sheckley, Fredric Brown and Douglas Adams. We welcome quality flash fiction and non-traditional narratives. Take chances, try something new, just make sure that your story is funny.

Of course your best bet is to get your eyeballs on the contents of UFO1 and UFO2. But if it's speculative, if it's genuinely funny, and if the story isn't simply a vehicle for a wonk-wonk-wonk punchline at the end, your story may well have a good chance.

Your story also needs to have a length between 500 and 6000 words, have not been published before, and have not been considered for UFO1 or UFO2. Payment will be $0.05 per word, paid on acceptance via PayPal or by check, for First Worldwide print and electronic English Language rights.

Visit the submissions guidelines for more details. Deadline is March 31.

Women Destroy ALL GENRES!

Speaking of Kickstarter projects, the previously mentioned Women Destroy Science Fiction issue of Lightspeed Magazine made all its stretch goals, and that means the destruction of all the genres. Well, not quite; "Women Destroy Noir," for instance, has not surfaced. However, Horror and Fantasy are both on the chopping block, and women everywhere ("any human being who identifies as one, to whatever degree that they do so") are invited to audition for a turn with the axe.

"Women Destroy Horror" will be a special issue of John Joseph Adams's Nightmare Magazine guest-edited by none other than the award-winning Ellen Datlow. The issue will come out in October 2014. The submission window will open on March 15 and will close at 11:59:59 p.m. EDT on March 31. Pay will be $0.08 per word for rights to original fiction as delineated in Nightmare's standard contract. Here's the kicker, though: Competition will be very fierce as only one of the stories submitted during the March 15-31 period will be accepted. Ellen Datlow will specifically solicit the other 4 originals and all 3 reprints. Send only your best horror story via the online submissions form. (Not that you would ever send any less than your best, of course.) Submitted stories should be between 1500-7500 words in length and horror (not dark fantasy) in genre.

All stories submitted for this special issue but not selected for it will also be considered for Nightmare's regular issues as well, so don't hold back. If your story would be a good fit for Nightmare during its normal operation (but again, just for this time, not dark fantasy), send it along.

"Women Destroy Fantasy" has a similar tale behind it. But rather than being a special issue of Lightspeed Magazine, it will run under the auspices of Fantasy Magazine. Fantasy ceased to exist as a separate publication when it was merged with Lightspeed, but it will be revived as a separate publication for this very special issue. Cat Rambo, former editor of Fantasy Magazine, will be the guest editor, and she'll be selecting four original stories from those you'll submit during the March15-31 submissions window. She's posted some specific thoughts about what she's looking for on the submission guideline page. Stories not selected for Women Destroy Fantasy will roll into consideration for regular Lightspeed issues.

Reprints may also be submitted. Editor Terri Windling, known for, among other things, wearing the fantasy editor hat for The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror anthologies, will select the 4 reprints that will run in this issue, also coming out in October 2014.

Terms are similar to those for Women Destroy Horror--stories should be in the 1500-7500 word range, in the fantasy genre (dark fantasy OK), and will earn $0.08 per word according to Lightspeed's standard original and reprint contracts. Once more, the submission window is a bare two weeks long, opening on March 15 and closing on 11:59:59 p.m. EDT on March 31. Submit your stories via the online web form that will become available during that time.

Best of luck to all of you! Get published, Boulder!

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