We are currently CLOSED for short stories submissions
In addition to reviews, The Book Smugglers also publish short stories, novellas, novels, and select works of nonfiction commentary since 2014.
Browse our book store here.
Presenting Book Smugglers Publishing
Since 2008 we have been reading, commenting on, and sharing our thoughts about stories. After the amazing experience of curating Speculative Fiction 2013, we Book Smugglers want to continue to find and publish the best and brightest voices in SFF.
Book Smugglers Publishing looks for English language original speculative fiction and speculative fiction commentary from all around the world.
Past publication seasons include:
Subversive Fairy Tales – 2014
Six subversive retellings of fairy tales from diverse international voices, including classic western fables, and folklore from New Zealand, Japan, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East
First Contact – 2015
Four tales of first encounters, including traditional science fiction, experimental short fiction, historical fantasy, and science fiction romance
Spindle City Mysteries – 2015
Three interconnected novelettes by Carlie St George – mystery noir meets fairytale retellings with a wide range of diverse characters
The Year of the Superhero – 2016
Five super stories of superheroes, including urban fantasy noir, traditional superheroes, science fiction, and fantasy
Halloween Tales of Horror
Annual tales of horror, published every Halloween
“Fighting Demons” by S. L. Huang
A sequel to “Hunting Monsters”, the first ever story published by Book Smugglers Publishing
“The Beatriceid” by Kate Elliott
A stunning new short story, written in verse, set in Kate Elliott’s Spiritwalker Universe
We’re kick-starting The Novella Initiative in 2017. We look for original, English-language novellas from all around the world. Our goal is to publish at least four novellas in 2017, and each novella will be accompanied by one original piece of artwork from an artist commissioned by us separately.
More information about the Novella Initiative is available here.
We officially kick-started our novella initiative for Halloween 2016. The Convergence of Fairy Tales by Octavia Cade is available now.
The Extrahuman Union is a series of four interconnected novels, featuring a group of superheroes struggling to survive in a dystopian future under the oppression of a totalitarian regime. Over the course of these books, we watch these very human superheroes fly, fall, and dream of freedom.
The Book Smugglers’ Quarterly Almanac
Launched in June 2016, The Book Smugglers’ Quarterly Almanac collects original short fiction and selected reprints, plus original essays, reviews, and other assorted goodies. The Almanac is available in both print (in a sweet, collectible almanac-sized book) and electronic formats, and sold via all the usual online retailers as well as directly from our website. We also offer year subscriptions through Weightless Books.
More information about the Almanac is available here.
Speculative Fiction Series
Speculative Fiction is a not-for-profit, Hugo Award-winning publication that collects the best and most provocative online reviews, essays, and commentary from across SFF fandom.
Speculative Fiction 2015, edited by Foz Meadows and Mark Oshiro, is out now
What We Look For & Submission Guidelines
- DIVERSITY. We want to read and publish stories that reflect the diverse world we live in, about and from traditionally underrepresented perspectives. It should go without saying that we’d hope for a respectful and responsible approach to creating diverse worlds and characters.
- Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult audience submissions are welcome. Good speculative fiction is ageless!
- Creativity & Subversion. We love subversive stories. We want you to challenge the status quo with your characters, story telling technique, and themes.
Guidelines for Fiction Submissions:
- We are looking for original speculative fiction, between 1,500 and 17,500 words long for short stories, and between 17,500 and 40,000 words long for novellas.
- These SFF offerings must be previously unpublished; we do not accept simultaneous submissions.
- Profanity, sex, and other explicit situations are fine as long as they fit within the context of the story.
Payment and Terms:
We are a small independent publisher, and fund all publications ourselves because we are passionate about finding new and diverse voices in SFF.
For Short Stories, we pay $0.06 per word up to $500 (although we welcome stories from a minimum of 1,500 words and up to a maximum of 17,500 words long).
We typically publish short stories for free in their entirety on thebooksmugglers.com. We also sell these stories in ebook (and possibly limited print editions) at a 50% net royalty, with potential inclusion in future anthologies (royalty to be negotiated). We typically ask for exclusive rights for one year, and non-exclusive rights following that.
For Novellas, we typically offer a few options to our authors, depending on a number of factors including length of story, genre and commercial outlook.
We ask for exclusive print, digital, audio worldwide rights, and we plan on publishing the novellas in both electronic and print formats.
How to Submit:
Submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please check submission windows.
Please attach your full story as a document (.doc, .docx, .rtf). Do not send your story as text in the body of an email; we will ignore any manuscripts that are not attachments.
A cover letter is not strictly necessary but recommended, and we would love to learn a little bit about you and the inspiration behind your work (or anything else you think is relevant to your story submission).
We are happy to answer any of your questions! Email us (email@example.com), and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.