The Deadlands Submissions for January 2023 are particularly open to Black fiction and poetry writers, while non-fiction is open to all.
The Deadlands is a monthly speculative fiction magazine. They publish short stories, poems, and essays about other realms. It is an adventure into the unknown, to meet those who live there still, even though they may be dead. The Deadlands exists in liminal spaces between life, death, and elsewhere and so they believe that death is a journey we all will take, but we’d like to peek at the map before we go. They are generally open to fiction and nonfiction submissions that explore their general theme, except for a year-end holiday closure. Poetry submissions are open the first two weeks of every month.
Eligibility Guidelines for The Deadlands Submissions
Submission should be made through the official The Deadlands Submission link
- They welcome stories from everyone, everywhere.
- The Deadlands are particularly interested in works by writers from historically marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds.
- They are looking for fiction that concerns itself with death and everything death may involve.
- They want stories that feature characters impacted by someone passing away, and processing the event of death are fair game, but will likely be a hard sell unless they also do something else.
- They do not want stories about related subjects—zombies, demons, vampires, apocalypses, and the various undead.
- An apocalypse may be your setting, but it should not be your story.
- They are absolutely not interested in seeing weird West stories, steampunk tales, or military fiction.
- They are not interested in stories involving Lovecraft’s mythos.
- Humor will be a harder sell than heartbreaking.
- If your story begins with someone waking up, it is not for us.
- The Deadlands wants critical, academic, and personal essays from everywhere and from everyone.
- They have likely reached their current limit of pieces having to deal with cemeteries, and would rather see work exploring other aspects of death, including but not limited to Death cards in tarot decks, mourning clothing from specific cultures, memento mori, death/mourning jewelry, funeral rites, and the like.
- They also welcome nonfiction pieces about death in media.
- These essays would not be book, game, or episode reviews; for example if you were looking at the recent video game Spiritfarer, the piece would not focus on game mechanics and how it stacks up against other cozy management games, but rather would talk about how the game represents guiding spirits to their final resting places, and how it explores world myths throughout its gameplay.
- Likewise, with television media, they would take a broader view, i.e. a piece about death imagery/myth as used in the show Game of Thrones (Arya’s pale horse, anyone?), rather than specific episode reviews, which would not interest them.
- They are seeking speculative poetry in all its diverse permutations.
- They are as interested in the dead as they are in grief, hauntings, and history.
- The sublime is as much a part of The Deadlands as the uncanny. They welcome both formal and experimental poetry.
- They are particularly interested in works by poets from historically marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds, particularly BIPOC poets, and poets from the global south.
- Bilingual or multilingual work is welcome.
- The Deadlands accepts submissions from anywhere in the world, and guarantees payment in full no matter where you are.
Submissions Guidelines for The Deadlands Submissions
- The Deadlands accepts stories up to 5000 words. There is no minimum length.
- Stories should be original and unpublished (this includes your blog, your website, your newsletter, your Patreon).
- Do not submit reprints and originals at the same time. No multiple submissions or simultaneous submissions. If a story is on submission somewhere else, please wait before sending it to them.
- If it is a reprint, note it when submitting, and list the market where it originally appeared. Stories that originally appeared on your Patreon would be considered reprints. They are much more interested in older stories, rather than those that have appeared in recent years.
- Essays should be between 1-4k words.
- They want clear, thorough work that shows an appreciation, not an appropriation of culture. If it is your own culture, and you have personal knowledge or experience or with your subject, all the better.
- They want to read ritual not spectacle. These essays should show the proper tone and respect that the final embrace deserves.
- Essays should be original and unpublished (including blogs and Patreon).
- One essay submission at a time per author.
- If a piece is on submission somewhere else, please wait before sending it to them.
- Do not send them any more than three poems per submission.
- They do not accept simultaneous submissions or reprints.
- There is no length limit.
The Deadlands pays 10¢/word for original fiction and for reprints that they consider, they pay 1¢/word. They pay $100 per essay and $50 per poem.
The Deadlands will be open to fiction and poetry from Black authors only from January 2-31, 2023.
Nonfiction remains open to all. Submissions in February 2023 will be open to everyone.
To learn more about their submission and publication process, visit their website.