Open for Submissions

I’ve got an idea. It’s a weird one. Everyone I’ve mentioned it to has had one of two reactions: They either look at me very confused-like and let out a yawn. Or they say, “YES PLEASE DO THAT YESTERDAY.”

The latter are, invariably, writers. That’s who this is for. I want to do something to help inspire writers to put out their best work. I’m saving the details of this project for its first installment, but for now I need to add to my already-growing slushpile.

I need your writing. It can be in whatever form or stage you like. The ideal submission is a short piece that you think is completely done and ready for publication in the hottest new science fiction and fantasy magazine in the land. Even better if you’ve been sending it out on submissions and haven’t had any response. Best yet is a work you’re thinking of submitting but haven’t had the courage to do so yet.

You can also send in the first chapter of your current work in progress. Or a short story you put in a drawer. Or that short story that reading this blog post makes you want to FINALLY sit down and start/finish/polish to perfection.

Whatever you send, make sure you’re okay with it being shared with the public (the entire piece will not be shared — at most a page or two of it will be made public). If you want your name left off, put “ANONYMOUS” in the subject line format that I detail below.

If you are a professional writer, feel free to send me something. If you’re a self-published writer, feel free to send me something. If you’ve never published anything in your life, feel free to send me something.

Be warned, however, that I will be going through these submissions just like my agent does: I will be looking for any reason whatsoever to skip to the next submission. I will also be editing and critiquing your work just like the professional pieces I edit and publish in my bestselling anthologies.

Grabbing or losing my attention is entirely up to you. So don’t hold back. And don’t phone it in. Send me your absolute best.

Click here to send submissions to my super-special email address

Subject line should read: Open For Submissions [Title of Work] [Your Name]

Microsoft Word files are best. RTF will also do.

Happy writing!


47 responses to “Open for Submissions”

  1. So good to see you blogging again, Hugh! Thank you for doing this. Was about to send you the opening of The Dacha Murders! (My new novel.) But the link to the email is broken…

  2. Wonderful idea, thank you! Does it need to be Sci-fi?

    1. Nope. Send me anything. Just needs to be amazeballs.

  3. Great idea. What’s the maximum length? Thanks.

    1. The maximum length is how long you can hold my attention. If it’s terrible, the maximum length is two sentences. If it’s unbelievably addictive, you can send a trilogy.

  4. Just submitted a two pager. Fantasy/Satire – Toilet Talk. Hope you enjoy.

    1. Omg! Fantasy / satire / toilet talk is my genre AND kink! Print this one Hugh!

  5. Thank you for this Hugh. I have written so many poems and some other very small works. This is an Avenue to explore. I will be sending something in the very near future.

    1. This will be ongoing, so no rush.

  6. That link leads me to a circular trail of ‘add an account’ requests that never opens a submissions page. I am running the Firefox browser on a Dell machine, this may be a result of an incompatibility between two or more of these elements. I have a submission, but cannot get to an actual submission site using that link. May I have an alternative link?

    1. It’s just a link to an email address. The email is openforsubmissions at gmail dot com.

  7. Is this for an online magazine?

    1. Nope. It’s weirder than that. This is a critique / writing workshop. But I’m going to share my thoughts and edits live on video, and interact with whomever joins me at the time. It’ll be super boring. But if anyone wants to see how the process works, it’ll be a window into that world. Hopefully it helps someone out.

      Now … if we start doing this and find great works that deserve a bigger audience, I’ll pitch putting those works together in an anthology. Or suggesting other outlets for those works. But that’s very optimistic and a long way down the road.

      1. Thanks for the offer. You may be the only writer in the world doing this!

      2. ” This is a critique/writing workshop. But I’m going to share my thoughts and edits live on video, and interact with whoever joins me at the time.”

        This info seems like it should go in the body of your post. ;) Also what are the deets in regards to Rights & Ownership?

      3. What a wonderful opportunity! Will the workshop be here on your website? How can we access it/know when it is available? I sent you the first chapter of my work in progress, but definitely want to check this out no matter whose work you are critiquing.

  8. And does it need to be unpublished?

    1. I asked this before seeing your reply to my other comment. So the answer would be unpublished I guess. I have a story that was published in an online competition and on my website.

      1. Just in case you didn’t catch the comment further down yonder, Hugh said it didn’t matter if it was published.

  9. Hey Hugh,
    Are multiple submissions allowed?

    1. Sure. There’s a chance I won’t use either, much less both. I’ll have a lot to sort through.

  10. Hi :)

    Are you only interested in unpublished work?
    Thank you for the opportunity!

    1. Nope. If you want to add something published for consideration, feel free. I’m going to be looking at some other already-published stuff.

  11. UNION STATION on its way to you. Thanks, Hugh.

  12. Boring??? Nooooo waaaay, I’m drooling! Lol

  13. What is the pay?

    1. I’m not getting paid anything. Unless you insist…

      1. lol I meant do you pay authors who submit stories, or is this pro-bono?

        1. Reading through the comments I’d say there’s no direct pay; but a chance of free feedback and workshopping from one of the world’s foremost sci-fi writers is surely reason enough for most of us to submit.

  14. what are the submissions for? What are you offering besides a critique?

    1. If you’re unsure, wait until we try this experiment once and decide the next time around. I hope it’s ongoing.

      This is intended as a learning exercise. It could be a terrible idea. Time will tell.

  15. siempre he deseado leer tus libros en español ….pero sin exito sera que habria algun libri traducido?????

  16. Aren’t you generous? I hope you enjoy the process. (I’ve read slush for a magazine. It was informative.)

  17. Hugh, great idea! We met in New York a little while back at one of your meet ups, and I’m so happy to see you posting again. I gave you some of my work when we met, but am really looking forward to submitting something toward this experiment soon!

  18. Thank you. -waves from DownUnder-

  19. Love this! I’ll send something tomorrow! Question: Will all senders receive a response or just those whose pieces are used?

  20. What a wonderful opportunity!

  21. Can it be something already traditionally published with a small press?

  22. “This will be ongoing, so no rush.”

    Those words are candy to my ear.

    Hugh, you are a great inspiration to me. I love your work, and you have most certainly been one of a handful of authors who have inspired me.

    I am nearly done with my novel, which has seen me through three states and five long years. I would love to send you that manuscript, but for now, I will send you a short story I concocted—it’s about the Mandela Effect. I haven’t had a chance to go through and polish it, but I think it’s pretty good as it is.

    I would be honored to have someone at your level of reading my work. In whatever capacity you see fit, I’d love a shot at … something.

    Thanks again, Hugh.

    G.E. Perlin

  23. Scary. Intriguing but scary. I’m in

  24. (Totally not 4am where I am)

  25. Hi there Hugh. My work deals with science fiction genre in China. I think there’s a market for it.

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