The Psychopomp Magazine staff is committed to publishing original fiction that dares to redefine traditional storytelling and genre borders. While we like stories that treat the concepts of passages, transitions, and the state of being betwixt and between, we are open to all work regardless of theme. We are generally not looking for traditional realist fiction or pure hard genre. With that said, we are certainly open to publishing more traditional literary work or more hard genre (no fan fiction) so long as it’s really, really good.

To give you an idea of our tastes, here are some writers we admire: Kate Bernheimer, Karen Russell, Alissa Nutting, Kevin Brockmeier, Jonathan Lethem, Jeff Vandermeer, Brian Evenson, Matt Bell, Etgar Keret, Ron Currie, Amelia Gray, Ben Marcus, Pinckney Benedict, Robert Coover, J.G.Ballard, Italo Calvino, Kelly Link, Walter Miller, Alex Shakar, Russell Hoban, Gillian Flynn, Justin Cronin, Peter Straub, Aimee Bender, Steven Millhauser

Simultaneous submissions are welcome, but please do inform us if your work is accepted elsewhere as soon as possible.

Ends on January 31, 2018$10.00
$10.00

The Psychopomp Magazine Short Fiction Award recognizes outstanding pieces of fiction that push the boundaries of genre and/or form. Surprise us! Show us something we’ve never seen before. Note: As with our regular submissions, we ARE open to realist fiction and work that may veer towards the hard genre but are most interested in stories that work between these realms and/or is innovative in the way a story is told.

First Place Award: $500 and issue publication

All finalists will be considered for publication on our site as “special contest features.”

Judge: Anne Valente

Anne Valente is the author of the recent novel, Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down, and the short story collection, By Light We Knew Our Names. Her second novel, Utah, is forthcoming in early 2019. Her short stories appear in One Story, The Southern Review, The Kenyon Review and The Chicago Tribune, and her essays appear in The Believer and The Washington Post. She lives in upstate New York where she teaches creative writing and literature at Hamilton College.

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Please follow the guidelines closely. 

1.Submit up to 6,000 words (double-spaced, 12-point font, pages numbered) of a short story or a self-contained excerpt of a novella or novel. The Psychopomp Magazine staff reserve the right to stop reading at any point after our specified limit. Work previously published is ineligible. Simultaneous submissions are accepted so long as you inform us immediately that your work has been accepted elsewhere.

2. Please do not send publication history or a cover letter. We just want to see your work. To that end, please remove the writer’s name from within the manuscript. If the byline is different from the name under which you submitted, you can inform us of your preferred publishing name later in the event that your story wins.

3. Submit anytime between October 15, 2017 and January 31st, 2018 via our submissions manager. The entry fee is $10, payable during the time of submission. 

4. Results will be posted to the website in the spring. Finalists and winners will be notified by email.

5. For questions, email psychopompmag@gmail.com with “Contest Question” in the subject heading.

6. Those closely affiliated (personally or professionally) with the editors are ineligible to submit.

We are open to free submissions several times a year, but our "tip jar" submissions are open year round. If you opt for a tip jar submission, your fee will go toward the cost of things like maintaining our website, printing anthologies, and paying contest winners. Thank you!

Please only submit one story at a time unless your individual submissions are under 1,000 words in which case you may send up to three pieces in one file. Our response time is within 2-3 months.

Our word limit for general submissions is approximately 5,000 words. If you happen to see a story that is much longer than this limit, it means we solicited it or that it was a contest winner or finalist. Please send .Doc or .PDF formats only.

We acquire First North American serial rights, which return to the author upon publication. This means that we only accept unpublished, original work. We do ask that we be noted in any future re-printings. We do not count sites like Facebook or Myspace as previously published but do ask that if your work is available to the general public (i.e. on a blog) that you remove it or set your privacy settings accordingly prior to submission.