Speculative Fiction Small Presses

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Thinking about publishing your speculative fiction novel but don’t know where to start? It’s true there are plenty of publishers out there, but narrowing the best science fiction and fantasy publishers down isn’t too difficult. Some of these speculative fiction small presses also accept speculative genres such as horror, gothic, and all kinds of subgenres. Many also let you send in your entire manuscript rather than tell you that you need an agent or only a pitch.

This is currently a small list of speculative fiction small presses, but I plan on expanding and putting this article and other similar ones in a special place on the blog. In the meantime, here’s a list of speculative fiction small presses and publishers for you to get started on your publishing journey!

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At first glance, this website looks like it has multiple guidelines. To clarify, one page is for submissions for nonfiction submissions, which is primarily for their magazine. There they look for essays and other similar posts, which you can pitch to the magazine. Those guidelines can be found here.

Their fiction submissions include fiction submissions for their magazine, as well as the standard novels and novellas. Their website lists the editors you can submit your full manuscript to, as well as what they look for when reading novels and novellas. Make sure that your work is explicitly science fiction or fantasy. This page also discusses royalties and other submission criteria.

You can find their guidelines for novels and novellas here.

Based in Australia, this small press looks for science fiction, horror, crime, and fantasy, according to their website. They also look for nonfiction, chapbooks, and novellas, along with novels. For chapbooks, they look for works between 4,000 to 10,000 words, novellas of 10,000 to 40,000 words, and novels of up to 60,000 words. So if you have a shorter speculative novel, this might be the place for you.

Their submission guidelines on their website require that you send in a query letter and a synopsis of your work, along with a few chapters or a certain word count. Depending on what you’re submitting, you might need to send in either chapters or up to 10,000 words, but their website offers more information on what you will need.

You can find their full guidelines here.

Baen Books is one of the older and well-known publishers on this list. You might even recognize their short story contests, which you can find here. They look for science fiction and fantasy specifically. According to their website, they look for “100,000 – 130,000 words Generally we are uncomfortable with manuscripts under 100,000 words, but if your novel is really wonderful send it along regardless of length.” They also don’t look for query letters.

You can find their complete guidelines here.

This press is one of the older small presses on this list, founded in 1971. They look for science fiction and fantasy novels specifically, as they no longer take novellas or other types of works such as short stories collections or poetry. According to their website, “DAW Books seeks to publish a wide range of voices and stories, because we believe that it is the duty of the science fiction and fantasy genres to be inclusive and representative of as many diverse viewpoints as possible.”

DAW Books currently only accepts submissions through their Submittable page, but they don’t require an agent, so you can send your work unsolicited. Novels tend to be around or over 80,000 words. Find their full guidelines here.

This publisher looks for middle-grade, science fiction, and fantasy. According to their website, “Science fiction and fantasy submissions should be aimed at ages 14+ or 18+ and should be approximately 70–90K words. Middle grade submissions should be 40–60K words and written for children ages 7+.” You can also submit your entire manuscript to their website as well.

They look for family-friendly content as well. More information can be found in their guidelines regarding this. You can find their full guidelines here.

This Scotland-based press looks for science fiction, fantasy, dark fantasy, and general speculative fiction, according to their website. On their submissions page, they state, “For our purposes, speculative fiction deals with elements that are nonexistent in reality, covering various themes in the context of science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternate history, utopian and dystopian fiction, and supernatural fiction, as well as combinations thereof (e.g. science fantasy).”

Their submissions page also details specific submission windows for short stories. Full guidelines on what to submit when you go to submit your work can be found here.

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