Stories to get lost in! Publishing crime, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and thriller short stories. Debuting August 2021.


We invite writers to submit to the Uncharted Magazine Short Story Award from May 1 to July 31, 2022. This Award is for all three genres: SF/F, Thriller/Horror, and Mystery/Crime. Guest judge Lincoln Michel will choose three winning stories from a shortlist. We're excited to offer 3 winners of this prize $1000 and publication, while honorable mentions will receive $300 each and publication.

Lincoln Michel is the author of the science fiction novel The Body Scout and the short story collection Upright Beasts. He’s also the co-editor of the crime anthology Tiny Crimes and the horror anthology Tiny Nightmares. His fiction appears in The Paris Review, Granta, F&SF, NOON, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and elsewhere. You can find him online at lincolnmichel.com and @thelincoln.

Uncharted Magazine publishes SF/F, Thriller/Horror, and Mystery/Crime Short Stories from fiction writers of any background or experience. We want stories that thrill us, that make us feel alive, that awaken our desires to explore and go on adventures.


GUIDELINES

  • The deadline for entry is July 31, 2022. We will announce the shortlist within 8-10 weeks of the contest's close. All writers will be notified when the results are in.
  • Your $20 reading fee allows 1 story of 1,001-5,000 words per entry.
  • We allow multiple submissions—a new story should have a separate submission accompanied by a reading fee.
  • Short Stories only—5,000 word count maximum.
  • We only consider unpublished work for contests—we do not review reprints, including self-published work.
  • Simultaneous submissions are okay—please notify us and withdraw your entry if you find another home for your writing.
  • All entries will also be considered for publication in Uncharted Magazine.
  • Double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12 pt font.
  • Please include a brief cover letter with your publication history (if applicable). Please mention any content warnings as necessary to protect our readers!
  • We only read work in English.
  • We do not read blind. Any identifying information will be scrubbed before going to the judge. The judge will read anonymously from the shortlist.
  • Some Submittable hot tips: - Please be sure to whitelist/add to contacts so notifications do not get filtered as spam/junk: notifications@email.submittable.com- If you realize you sent the wrong version of your piece: it happens. Please DO NOT withdraw the piece and resubmit. Submittable collects a non-refundable fee each time. Please DO message us from within the submission to request that we open the entry for editing, which will allow you to fix everything from typos in your cover letter to uploading a new draft. The only time we will not allow a change is if the piece is already under review by a reader.


OPTIONAL FEEDBACK ON YOUR WRITING You may choose to receive editorial feedback on your piece. We will provide global letters discussing the strengths of the writing and the recommended focus for revision. Our aim is to make our comments actionable and encouraging. These letters are written by editors and staff readers of Uncharted Magazine. A significant portion of the editorial letter fees goes to our feedback editor, according to the rates established by the EFA. Should your story win, no feedback will be offered and your fee will be refunded.

Hey novelists!

We started Uncharted with the mission to serve writers—to get them paid for their work and to put their great stories in front of readers. Tommy and I are both writers ourselves. Tommy’s got a mystery/thriller in the works, and I’m working on my dream epic fantasy (gearing up for NaNoWriMo this winter, who’s with me?). We both know intimately how lonely this writing gig can be. It’s just us and our characters most of the time, and we can only make our best guesses as to whether we’re making the right choices or not.

When we searched for services online to help, most of them are very expensive and from an Editorial framework. We were curious instead about how the other gatekeepers would read our work—Agencies—and we didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on consultation. That’s where this Lab comes in.

Want to understand how your query would be read by Agencies? What sort of feedback these key decision makers would have on your story? This Lab is for you. We handpicked folks who can give you feedback you’d receive as if sending your manuscript as a query to an agency. Their feedback letter is sure to help guide your book to successfully finding that right agent.

Want some great unique self-guided learning materials designed just for writers pursuing novels like yours? This Lab is for you. I built these materials by hand myself utilizing my skills developed at Antioch University’s Post-MFA Teaching Certificate program, pouring my love of genre writing into every piece. This will be a series of pdf workbooks over fifty pages in length, centered around the reading of foundational texts on prose and novel writing.

Want the opportunity to meet some fellow novelists and build a community of serious, committed writers? This Lab is for you. If you’d like to be joined into a group of fellow participants, we’ll curate the group that best matches your style and experience.

We made Uncharted because we want to serve writers as best we can. It’s our passion. This Lab is just as important to us as our publishing efforts, and we hope to connect novelists like ourselves with great agents and readers that can push them forward as professional writers. Let’s leave the hobbyist mindset behind, together.

Please feel welcome to reach out to me at josh@unchartedmag.com with any and all questions!

Sincerely,

Josh & Tommy

Founders of Uncharted Magazine

Lab Details

Expert advice from the comforts of home. This remote, asynchronous writing lab is open to all writers and is an excellent way to improve your novel. Please submit only the first 50 pages and include a cover letter describing your project. 

Your cover letter should include a brief introduction to your story, where you have submitted or hope to submit in the future, and any specific feedback you're looking for, as well as challenges you're having. 

When your submission is uploaded you will receive registration confirmation. Manuscripts will be processed in the order they are received. Please give our agent and editor partners 8-10 weeks to return their feedback. 

Early submissions may yield earlier feedback.

We accept works of science-fiction and fantasy, the first 50 pages or fewer of your novel. Please submit one single manuscript per submission. 

To keep with all ethical guidelines recommended by the Association of American Literary Agents, our agent partners will receive works without any identifying information of the writer.

Guest Editors

Maeve Maclysaght is an agent at Copps Literary Services with a background in Foreign and Sub-rights. She is looking for genre-blending commercial queer SFF in YA/MG/Adult/Graphic Novels with a particular focus on BIPOC authors and authors of marginalized identities. She often judges books by their villains, and thinks the best stories are the ones that gnaw at you.

Noah Rosenzweig is a literary assistant based in Ross Yoon’s D.C. office. He reads manuscript submissions, develops literary projects with agents, edits proposals, and manages Ross Yoon’s social media presence.  Noah is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he focused on English and Political Science. As an assistant, he now helps agents find the best book proposals and develop their next big projects. He is an avid reader of all fiction — especially YA, science fiction, and speculative fiction He has previously written about the changing face of gender-affirming health care, and works as a freelance editor.

More guest instructors may be invited to join the project, depending on the number of participants.

Participants Receive:

  • an editorial letter from your agent or editor with specific suggestions and developmental analysis that will help elevate your novel to the next level.
  • a PDF collection of self-guided learning curriculum on fiction and novel writing, featuring workbooks uniquely built by our team around the foundational texts Naming The World edited by Bret Anthony Johnston, The Emotional Craft of Fiction by Donald Maass, Writing Fiction by Janet Burroway, and Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody.
  • free submission in a forthcoming Uncharted Magazine contest
  • the opportunity to join a workshop group with your peers in the program

FAQ

How much interaction will I have with the editors?

Each participant will be assigned one editor who receives their work. For accessibility and convenience, we've designed this program with the aim to be completely asynchronous and digital—you will submit your manuscript, and the agent or editor will write their feedback and send it back. After that, any continued conversation is at the editor's personal discretion.

How much interaction will I have with the other participants?

Entirely up to you! The Lab is designed to be open to complete independence or group participation. After getting your learning materials, you'll be asked if you'd like to join a group to either workshop writing, or work through the materials together, or both. The Uncharted team will help create the groups according to level of experience, and then it'll be entirely up to the participants after that to figure out a working schedule and style that makes sense to the group.

Will this help me with my other writing?

Absolutely! While the feedback will be specific to the project you share, the rigorous learning material will help your current writing and all future projects become the best they can be.

Will I have to zoom or get on the phone?

Nope! This will be handled entirely through submittable. We will send you your packet of lab material soon after you submit. The timing of the feedback depends on the editor availability, but it should not be longer than 8-10 weeks.

Can I purchase a spot for a friend?

Yes, please feel welcome. Just make sure to make clear in your cover letter what you're doing and put us in contact with that author.

Uncharted Magazine publishes Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Stories from fiction writers of any background or experience. We want stories that richly imagine the future of technology and science, that explore our world through a speculative lens. We want stories of fantasy that make us hunger for new worlds, new biomes, new places we can explore through thrilling sensual details and human empathy. We want stories that thrill us, that make us feel alive, that awaken our desires to explore and go on adventures. 

Guidelines: 

All fiction categories are open year round and we do not charge any submission fees. We accept simultaneous submissions but ask that you inform us immediately and withdraw your work if your story is accepted elsewhere. 

Payment: We pay our authors $200 for original fiction! We pay by check or PayPal, according to the author's preference.

Word Count: Submitted stories should be between 1,000-5,000 words. 

We will also consider previously published fiction, as long as the writer retains the rights or second-publication rights can be obtained. We do not pay for reprints.

Writers may submit 1 story per submission. Please wait 1 month after our initial reply before submitting again.

Cover letters: Cover letters are optional, but it's nice to know who is submitting to us. We do not need your mailing address.  Please refrain from describing your stories. The work needs to speak for itself. Including the title and word count of each story is helpful for more efficient consideration of your work. Please include a brief third-person biography statement. If necessary, please include a content warning to help protect our readers. 

Format: double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12 pt font. Word docs work best!

Response Times: Please allow us up to three months to inform you if we have accepted your work for publication. You will usually hear from us much sooner. We cannot offer personalized feedback on each story. If we say, “send more,” however, it does mean that we hope to see something else from you.

We consider submissions sent via Submittable. We are not open to email submissions and are not open to submissions sent via post.

Diversity Statement: We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, or for any other reason. We reserve the right not to publish works that dwell unnecessarily in or that are unchallenging of the discrimination categories listed above. We reserve the right to send back work unread and unevaluated if we find the work violates our vision of inclusivity and non-discrimination. This may result in banning individual works or writers from our submission queue.

Rights: Uncharted Magazine holds first serial publication rights for three months after publication. Authors agree not to publish, nor authorize or permit the publication of, any part of the material for three months following Uncharted Magazine's first publication. For reprints, we ask for acknowledgment of its publication in Uncharted Magazine first.

Courtesy: Please refrain from withdrawing your submission to fix a typo or misspelling. These minor issues will not result in an automatic decline. We read submissions based on the value of the story, not the typing. 

OPTIONAL EDITORIAL FEEDBACK:

You may choose to receive editorial feedback on your piece. We will provide a global letter discussing the strengths of the writing and the recommended focus for revision. Our aim is to make our comments actionable and encouraging. These letters are written by editors and staff readers of Uncharted Magazine.

Uncharted Magazine publishes Crime/Mystery Short Stories from fiction writers of any background or experience. We want stories that delve into the psychology of crime, that explore desperate and dastardly characters committing crimes of passion and intrigue. We want stories of mystery that make us search for answers, for reasons, for the things that happen in the shadows. We want stories that thrill us, that make us feel alive, that awaken our desires to explore and go on adventures.

Guidelines:
All fiction categories are open year round and we do not charge any submission fees. We accept simultaneous submissions but ask that you inform us immediately and withdraw your work if your story is accepted elsewhere.
Payment: We pay our authors $200 for original fiction! We pay by check or PayPal, according to the author's preference.
Word Count: Submitted stories should be between 1,000-5,000 words.
We will also consider previously published fiction, as long as the writer retains the rights or second-publication rights can be obtained. We do not pay for reprints.
Writers may submit 1 story per submission. Please wait 1 month after our initial reply before submitting again.
Cover letters: Cover letters are optional, but it's nice to know who is submitting to us. We do not need your mailing address.  Please refrain from describing your stories. The work needs to speak for itself. Including the title and word count of each story is helpful for more efficient consideration of your work. Please include a brief third-person biography statement. If necessary, please include a content warning to help protect our readers.
Format: double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12 pt font. Word docs work best!
Response Times: Please allow us up to three months to inform you if we have accepted your work for publication. You will usually hear from us much sooner. We cannot offer personalized feedback on each story. If we say, “send more,” however, it does mean that we hope to see something else from you.
We consider submissions sent via Submittable. We are not open to email submissions and are not open to submissions sent via post.
Diversity Statement: We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, or for any other reason. We reserve the right not to publish works that dwell unnecessarily in or that are unchallenging of the discrimination categories listed above. We reserve the right to send back work unread and unevaluated if we find the work violates our vision of inclusivity and non-discrimination. This may result in banning individual works or writers from our submission queue.
Rights: Uncharted Magazine holds first serial publication rights for three months after publication. Authors agree not to publish, nor authorize or permit the publication of, any part of the material for three months following Uncharted Magazine's first publication. For reprints, we ask for acknowledgment of its publication in Uncharted Magazine first.
Courtesy: Please refrain from withdrawing your submission to fix a typo or misspelling. These minor issues will not result in an automatic decline. We read submissions based on the value of the story, not the typing.
OPTIONAL EDITORIAL FEEDBACK:
You may choose to receive editorial feedback on your piece. We will provide a global letter discussing the strengths of the writing and the recommended focus for revision. Our aim is to make our comments actionable and encouraging. These letters are written by editors and staff readers of Fractured Lit.

Uncharted Magazine publishes Horror/Thriller Short Stories from fiction writers of any background or experience. We want stories that keep us up at night, afraid to turn the corner. Stories that take us into the resonant fear of looming monsters and haunting ghosts. We want stories that thrill us by keeping us on the edges of our seats, hearts pounding, wondering how it will end! Stories with characters who refuse to stay in the shadows! We want stories that thrill us, that make us feel alive, that awaken our desires to explore and go on adventures.
Guidelines:
All fiction categories are open year round and we do not charge any submission fees. We accept simultaneous submissions but ask that you inform us immediately and withdraw your work if your story is accepted elsewhere.
Payment: We pay our authors $200 for original fiction! We pay by check or PayPal, according to the author's preference.
Word Count: Submitted stories should be between 1,000-5,000 words.
We will also consider previously published fiction, as long as the writer retains the rights or second-publication rights can be obtained. We do not pay for reprints.
Writers may submit 1 story per submission. Please wait 1 month after our initial reply before submitting again.
Cover letters: Cover letters are optional, but it's nice to know who is submitting to us. We do not need your mailing address.  Please refrain from describing your stories. The work needs to speak for itself. Including the title and word count of each story is helpful for more efficient consideration of your work. Please include a brief third-person biography statement. If necessary, please include a content warning to help protect our readers.
Format: double-space your submission and use Times New Roman 12 pt font. Word docs work best!
Response Times: Please allow us up to three months to inform you if we have accepted your work for publication. You will usually hear from us much sooner. We cannot offer personalized feedback on each story. If we say, “send more,” however, it does mean that we hope to see something else from you.
We consider submissions sent via Submittable. We are not open to email submissions and are not open to submissions sent via post.
Diversity Statement: We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, disability, family status, gender identity or expression, national origin, race, religion, sex or sexual orientation, or for any other reason. We reserve the right not to publish works that dwell unnecessarily in or that are unchallenging of the discrimination categories listed above. We reserve the right to send back work unread and unevaluated if we find the work violates our vision of inclusivity and non-discrimination. This may result in banning individual works or writers from our submission queue.
Rights: Uncharted Magazine holds first serial publication rights for three months after publication. Authors agree not to publish, nor authorize or permit the publication of, any part of the material for three months following Uncharted Magazine's first publication. For reprints, we ask for acknowledgment of its publication in Uncharted Magazine first.
Courtesy: Please refrain from withdrawing your submission to fix a typo or misspelling. These minor issues will not result in an automatic decline. We read submissions based on the value of the story, not the typing.
OPTIONAL EDITORIAL FEEDBACK:
You may choose to receive editorial feedback on your piece. We will provide a global letter discussing the strengths of the writing and the recommended focus for revision. Our aim is to make our comments actionable and encouraging. These letters are written by editors and staff readers of Fractured Lit.

Uncharted is looking to add some talented new readers to our team! If you love the following genres: Crime/Mystery, Science Fiction/Fantasy, and Horror/Thriller or experience across a wide spectrum of these genres., and three to four hours of reading submissions a week sounds like fun, we encourage you to apply. Our readers work remotely and can set their own schedules. BIPOC, marginalized or underrepresented writers are strongly encouraged to apply!

This position begins when accepted and involves a commitment for 6 months, though we are flexible. PLEASE NOTE: readerships are unpaid and on a strictly volunteer basis. If interested, please send a cover letter, resume, and at least one writing sample. We look forward to hearing from you!

*Cover letters should address your interest in the above genres, including favorite stories and/or writers. Please include any memberships. 

Uncharted Mag