Submission Guidelines for Mermaids Monthly

Please read our guidelines before contacting or submitting to us. A PDF of our guidelines can be found below.

If you have read ALL the guidelines please click here for our submission form.

If you have questions, please email us at mermaidsmonthly @ gmail.

The first submission period for Mermaids Monthly will open on the 20th of December 2020 and close on the 9th of January, 2021.

What kinds of things can I submit?

  • Fiction up to 5,000 words. There is no minimum word count, and we love flash! (we pay $0.10/word for fiction)
  • Poetry of any length (we pay $50 – $100 for poems)
  • Comics up to 5 pages (we pay $75-$100 per page)
  • Each to Each micro art and word submissions (more below—we pay $25 for these)
  • Mermaid and undersea themed spot art (we pay $50 for spot illustrations)
  • Previously published mermaid and undersea illustrations and comics for us to reprint (we pay $25 – $50 licensing fee for interior and $100 – $150 for cover art licensing)
  • Non-fiction essay or article pitches for works up to 2,000 words (we pay $0.10 per word for non-fiction)
  • Reprints (we pay $0.01 per word for these with a minimum of $20 if the piece is shorter than 2,000 words)

How can I submit?

We will have a submission form for you when we open! If you are reading these guidelines and there is no link to a form, we are not open!

You will be able to attach your submission as a document on our submission form. If you have previously published art already displayed online that you would like us to consider, we’ll ask you to give us the link in a text document.

What are the themes you most want to see?

Everything should in some way relate to merfolk. We are loose about how you want to define that, and we will consider other aquatic fantastical creatures to be on theme. Yes, kelpies and selkies and kappas and nagas are all okay! We would love to see creative interpretations of the theme, and we’re also extremely interested in seeing work from writers of many backgrounds. Our staff includes BIPOC and queer people who are excited to explore diverse mermaid bodies, cultures, genders, abilities, religions, neurotypes, ethnicities, and more.

We are interested in happy and sad, light and dark, funny and serious. Most of all, we want to see what you most want to share.

What don’t you want?

  • Submissions that are longer than we ask for in our guidelines. We have made these lengths our limits so that we can afford to pay fairly for your work, and we cannot commit to taking longer pieces.
  • Work that promotes homophobia, transphobia, racism, fascism, ableism, misogyny, bigotry, or other attitudes that harm people and go against our love of inclusivity.
  • We are very particular about stories containing violence, child abuse, and sexual assault. We may publish pieces that refer to or depict this kind of thing, but we want it to be justified within the context of the piece, and not there for the sake of sensationalism or shock value. We will place content warnings on any piece we publish containing these.
  • Things that aren’t in some way related to our mertheme.

How should I format my submission?

  • For prose, we suggest Word documents, but we will read other kinds. If for some reason we can’t read your document, we’ll email you to let you know. Please use a format that you personally find comfortable to read. We’d like it to be in a widely available font, and at a size that is not too small (12pt is always a good default if you aren’t sure).
  • For poetry, we’d like to see it as you intend it to look on the page. If your poetry has special shaping, we’re okay with a PDF.
  • For comics and art, please send jpeg image files. If we accept a piece we will ask for a higher quality version, but a compressed file is fine for the submission phase. We accept files up to 10MB.

Do I need to write a cover letter?

We’ll have a section for you to write a cover letter on our form if you would like to introduce yourself to us. We will also include a place for you to tell us about any aspects of your identity you would like us to be aware of while considering your work, as well as a section where you may identify as part of a marginalized group for the purposes of our submissions statistics reports. All of these sections will be optional.

Do you accept simultaneous submissions?

Yes, we are OKAY with these! We just ask that you let us know immediately if your piece is no longer available. For original work, we ask for first publication rights and 6 months of exclusivity, so if your piece is accepted elsewhere, we would no longer consider it as an original submission. If your piece is accepted elsewhere but the other venue does not want exclusive publication rights, you may ask us to continue considering your submission as a reprint.

How many things can I submit at one time?

You may submit one each of: original story, reprint story, essay pitch, comic.

You may submit up to three each of: spot illustration, previously published art, poem (original or reprint), Each to Each micro submission.

We ask you to use one form for each type of submission. This is so that we can easily track, count, and sort submissions by type.

WHAT IS AN EACH TO EACH OMG TELL ME NOW!?

Our Each to Each series is a recurring series of collaborative works. This is in reference to “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot. In that poem, the narrator says, “I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.” What do mermaids sing when they are singing to one another? What mer-art is inspired by mer-art?

If you would like to be a collaborator, you may submit up to three very short pieces of prose or poetry (up to 250 words or 10 lines), or very small pieces of art (think sketches and doodles more than fully polished masterpieces). If we choose one, we will pair you with another Each to Each submitter and have the other person create a complementary piece in answer to yours, while you will be asked to create a piece answering theirs. You will be paid $25 for each part of your collaboration ($50 dollars in total).

How long will I have to wait?

We aim to send initial responses to all submissions within 14 days of the end of our submissions window. If more time has passed and you haven’t heard from us, please send us a query.

Update: We received a large volume of submissions and are still working our way through them. We expect to reply to everyone who submitted work during our first submission period by the end of January. Thank you for your patience!

How do I ask you a question?

You can tweet at us, or send us a query at mermaidsmonthly@gmail.com. If you send a query, please put “QUERY” at the start of your email subject line. You should hear back from us within 48 hours. If more time than that has passed, please double check your spam filter and then reach out to us again.

How do I submit?

Please make sure you’ve read ALL of our guidelines before you submit to us. If you have questions, please send them to mermaidsmonthly@gmail.com and we will respond swiftly! You can find our submissions form here.

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