Sword & Sorceress Guidelines

The reading period for Sword & Sorceress 33 will begin on MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2018. It will end on SUNDAY, MAY 13, 2018.

If you wish to submit a story to the anthology, please follow the Guidelines below.

Guidelines

Stories should be the type generally referred to as "sword and sorcery" and must have a strong female protagonist whom the reader will care about. See Sword & Sorceress 22, Sword & Sorceress 23, Sword & Sorceress 24, Sword & Sorceress 25, Sword & Sorceress 26, Sword & Sorceress 27, Sword & Sorceress 28, Sword & Sorceress 29, Sword & Sorceress 30, Sword & Sorceress 31, and Sword & Sorceress 32 (or S&S 1-20) for examples. We do not want stories with explicit sex, gratuitous violence, or profanity. We are NOT a market for poetry, horror, or dark fantasy. We are willing to consider stories set in modern times (urban fantasy), but we don't buy more than one or two of those for the anthology. We always want something short and funny for the last story.

No reprints. No simultaneous submissions.

With regard to multiple submissions, do not submit more than one story at a time. If we've rejected your first one, you may send one more, as long as it's before the deadline. We have occasionally bought someone's second submission. We have never bought a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth submission. If you send us two stories, and we don't hold either of them, wait until next year to try again. Please do not re-submit stories we have already rejected (including stories rejected in previous years).

If you have not previously sold to Sword & Sorceress, please read "What is a Short Story?" and "Why Did my Story Get Rejected?" before submitting to us.

Reading period: Monday, April 23 to Sunday, May 13, 2018. Stories received before or after this period will be deleted unread.
Response time is expected to follow MZB's traditional standards: you should hear within a week if we're holding your story for the final line-up or rejecting it.

Deadline: May 13, 2018

Editor: Elisabeth Waters

Length: up to 9,000 words, with preference given to shorter stories. The longer a story is, the better it has to be. Long stories should be submitted early in the reading period.

Cover Letter/e-mail: We don't actually need a cover letter, but our e-mail program does. It puts any e-mail with no body in the spam folder. So...
Please do not explain or describe your story in the e-mail. If your story can't stand on its own, fix the story. The e-mail should be brief. For example:
Dear Miss Waters,

Attached is my 4000-word story "The Dark Intruder" for consideration for Sword and Sorceress 33.

Sincerely,
(Ms.) Marion Bradley

If your name could be either male or female, please indicate whether you prefer Ms./Miss/Mrs., Mr., or Mx. in our reply. We're not asking for the details of your personal life, we just want to use the correct form of address. (MZB once did an entire story intro thinking a male writer called Terry was female.)

Formatting and Submission:

Format with one-inch margins on all four sides of page.
Please do not use a header or footer.

Your legal name, full mailing address, and email address must be in the upper left corner, single spaced.
Skip two lines, center the text, then put the title, with your name (or byline) on the next line. We're not as rigid as MZB was about pen names, but we expect them to be reasonable, rather than cute.

The rest of the manuscript should be single-spaced, with the first line of each paragraph indented 1/2 inch.
If you need to indicate a break, put "#" on a line by itself, centered.
Do not underline; use italics instead. Do not use bold face. We prefer Courier New font, size 12.

Word count will be determined by our word processor; that way it will be the same for everyone.

Save your document as an .RTF file (rich text format or interchange format, depending on what your computer calls it). E-mail as it as an attachment to . The subject line should be "SS33, your last name, story title" (e.g.: SS33, Bradley, Dark Intruder) -- we don't want submissions caught in the spam filter. Remember that a computer is sorting this, so follow the format exactly. Use commas, not slashes, hyphens, etc. Do NOT change SS33 to something similiar (e.g.: S&S 33). We do our best to find stories that have not been sorted properly, but we don't guarantee success.

Rights purchased: first rights, non-exclusive eBook and audio book rights.

Payment: 6 cents per word as an advance against a pro rata share of royalties and foreign or other sales.

Report your response times at Duotrope's Digest

page last updated: 15 May 2017


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