Submission Guidelines for Mermaids Monthly

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

Submission Guidelines

Original Work Contract

Reprint Contract

Illustration Contract

Cover Commission Contract

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

The second submission period for Mermaids Monthly has closed! We will not be reading more submissions for the magazine in 2021.

Below are the guidelines we had posted for the second reading period as a point of reference. We are not accepting submissions at this time.

What we want:

  • Fiction up to 5,000 words. There is no minimum word count, and we love flash! (we pay $0.10/word for fiction)
  • Original poetry of any length (we pay $50 – $100 for poems)
  • Comics (Our pay varies depending on the style, length, and level of detail for comics, but it is generally the case that any original comic will get at least $50. Reprints start at $25)
  • Creative non-fiction up to 1,500 words, though shorter is fine! These can be big personal essays or thoroughly researched articles, but they can also be small, fun things. If you have a great idea for a few hundred words reviewing or recommending a mermaid related thing, or a a mermaid quiz or listicle, we’re interested! (we are only considering finished works this round, not pitches. 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 be taking submissions via Moksha this time. 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.

What are the themes you most want to see?

A few themes we have coming up:

  • July will be themed to Oops! All Selkies! Most of this issue is already set, but we may select a few more things from this submissions call. We do not have any selkie non-fiction at this time, for instance. If you have a selkie themed piece you’d like us to consider, please send it during the first two weeks of our period. If you are a Black or indigenous creator who has a selkie piece to share, we would especially love to hear from you!
  • September will be dedicated to ecology and climate change!
  • November will be themed to All Ages: Young to Old. If you have ideas for pieces about merchildren or mercrones or just like… middle aged mer-CEOs… this is a chance to showcase them. Though most of our issues are open to things like swearing and sex, we’re aiming to keep the November issue family-friendly so mergrands can share it with he guppies in their lives if they want to!

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?

  • Sadly, we are not accepting more Each to Each submissions this time. We’ve got as many as we can handle for 2021.
  • Art submissions should not come to us through this period. Please see our Art Submissions page for those. Comics are okay, though!
  • 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. (We actually try to make content notes for a lot of things that aren’t these, too! We like our readers to be able to be able to make informed choices and take care of themselves.)
  • 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, 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.

Do I need to write a cover letter?

You don’t have to, though we are happy to read about you if would like to introduce yourself to us, or tell us about any aspects of your identity or experience you would like us to be aware of while considering your work.

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, creative non-fiction, comic. You may submit up to three poems at a time.

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.

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.

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