From October 2 at 12:00 a.m. through October 8 at 11:59 p.m., The Fabulist will be OPEN for submissions of short, fantastical fiction of all sorts. For this month’s special-interest theme, we’d also like to see works of dark fantasy and horror.

The Fabulist accepts submissions of short fiction, poetry, visual art, and nonfiction by invitation only or during periodic open calls.

Links, guidelines and policies (including our evaluation process, nondiscrimination statement and more) for fiction, poetry and visual art are below.

You can get notifications for our current open calls via our email newsletter, Twitter feed, and Facebook page.

Short fiction

From October 2022 through April 2023, The Fabulist will be opening a new series of brief, monthly submissions windows for short, fantastical fiction of all sorts. Learn more.

Please review our Submissions & Publishing Policies for details on publishing rights, nondiscrimination, evaluation, simultaneous submissions, and why we never charge reading fees.

How to submit your work

Short fiction can only be submitted via Submittable during open submissions windows, using the linked button at the end of the following Fiction Guidelines.

Fiction Guidelines

The Fabulist seeks short (up to 3,000 words) works of fantastical and genre fiction, which we define expansively. Surprise us! We do love science fiction, fantasy, intelligent horror, speculative fiction, literary fabulism, magic realism, mythic/folkloric works, near-future speculations, solarpunk/cli-fi, hopepunk, and genre subversions (crime, mystery, romance, westerns, thrillers, sea adventures, gothic, and quasi-realist works) that are anchored by some element of the fantastic.

Please review The Fabulist’s short-fiction archives, to get a sense of the sort of work we’ve published so far. We’re always looking to expand our horizons, but knowing where we’re coming from helps.

We value

• Great writing (attention to sentence construction, an awareness of the poetry inherent in prose)
• Vivid settings that influence and engage the plot and character arcs
• Revelations of the self and the world we live in
• Sensitivity and alertness to the significant issues of our times
• Escapism
• Endings that are not punchlines

No Thanks

• Reprints
• Sublimated (or overt) misogyny/racism/bigotry played out in wretched attempts at literary sophistication
• AI fiction — no prompts, no collaboration, no AI-generated fiction of any sort, flavor or influence. Any works we have already published that are discovered to have been AI-generated or prompted in any way will be removed from our site.

Please Think Twice, We’ve Really Seen Quite Enough Of

• Zombies, zombie apocalypse
• Splatter/gore/brutality
• Virtual-reality visitations with the beloved deceased
• Mundane fantasies of revenge, sex, financial and business success, etc.
• “Another Friday Night at the Elftown Police Station”
• “And then she/he/they woke up” (which includes not just it-was-all-a-dream but also we’re-all-living-in-a-giant-simulation)

That said … surprise us. If you feel you’ve written a truly original, compelling take on any of these genre cliches, we’re glad to check it out.

Ready to submit your work? Go ahead, push the button!



Poetry submissions are at this time by invitation only.

View The Fabulist’s poetry archives.

Visual Art

There is no current open call for visual art.

The Fabulist publishes art with a fantastical inclination, and welcomes flavors of the absurd, surreal, magic realist, and strange/bizarre. Artworks can invoke dreams, fantasy and science fiction, myth, folklore/fairy-stories, and comics; and can explore symbolism, human nature, identity, horror, mystery and the unknown/unknowable. Regardless of the foregoing, some fantastical element is what makes the difference.

View The Fabulist’s visual-art archives.


Nonfiction submissions (reviews, essays, articles, interviews) are at this time by invitation only.

View The Fabulist’s nonfiction archives.

Submissions & Publishing Policies

• We never charge reading fees — here’s why
• Submissions are only accepted through Submittable during open calls, or by invitation of the editors
• Do not email your submission; your email will be deleted and you will not receive a response

Statement on Non-Discrimination

Submissions are welcome and encouraged from contributors regardless of ethnicity, faith, continental ancestry, national origin, gender, sexuality, academic achievement, or lack thereof. Please do not feel constrained; we are honored that you would consider The Fabulist, and thank you for the opportunity to review your work.

Simultaneous Submissions

Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know right away if your work is accepted elsewhere.

Evaluation process & response time

Submissions are reviewed by committee through several evaluation phases that last from three weeks to three months. On occasion it may take us six months or more to arrive at a decision for certain works.

If you have submitted using Submittable or, previously, Green Submissions, and haven’t received a decision after six months (or more), feel free to send a letter to the editors for a status check.

Rights, fees & publishing details

2021 was our final year as a non-paying market. For works published in 2022 we will be paying a $25 honorarium to all contributors.

The Fabulist requests first serial rights for 6 (six) months; non-exclusive electronic archival rights on our website in perpetuity; and an option on anthology, print, ebook and audio rights, to be negotiated separately. Authors, poets and artists are otherwise the exclusive owners of their work.

View our short-fiction contract.