Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine: Currently closed except for non-fiction queries. Queries to editor Marvin Kaye <marvinnathankaye(at)yahoo.com>. Do not query us here at The Black Cat; we aren't the editor!
Weirdbook: Currently closed.
Black Cat Mystery Magazine: See below!
BLACK CAT MYSTERY MAGAZINE GUIDELINES
These guidelines were updated November 2019 and are valid through the end of 2019.
ABOUT THE MAGAZINE
Black Cat Mystery Magazine is a (relatively) new publication, debuting in September 2017, which showcases short mystery fiction. These guidelines are designed to help writers craft stories for publication in Black Cat Mystery Magazine.
We want to feature stories by a mix of new and established authors. We don’t care about race, gender, age, height, weight, sexual orientation, political attitudes, or much of anything else about our authors. We don’t care if this is your five hundredth story or your very first story. We care about writing quality. Period.
JUST THE FACTS
FREQUENCY: 2-4 issues per year
EDITORS: John Gregory Betancourt and Michael Bracken
PUBLISHER: Wildside Press LLC.
WEB SITE: bcmystery.com or wildsidepress.com
SISTER PUBLICATIONS: Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, Weirdbook Magazine, Startling Stories.
OTHER MAGAZINES FROM WILDSIDE PRESS: Adventure Tales (not an open market).
READ THEM, FOLLOW THEM!
Black Cat Mystery Magazine Presents Private Eyes, a special issue of Black Cat Mystery Magazine featuring private eye stories, is tentatively scheduled for release December 2019. We will open for submission of private eye stories, and only private eye stories, July 1-August 31, 2019. All other guidelines apply. Submissions sent before or after, and submissions which are not private eye stories, will be automatically rejected.
Black Cat Mystery Magazine will open for general submissions October 1-November 30, 2019.
We will do our best to respond within 1-3 weeks. Sometimes even sooner! If we take longer, it's because we like the story enough to have multiple readers take a look.
It is not necessary to query us about a story you’d like to submit. If it fits our content guidelines, just send it along during the open submission period. We do not want early or late submissions.
WHAT WE WANT
Contemporary and traditional mysteries, as well as thrillers and suspense stories. Private eye stories, cozy stories, and edgy, noir-tinged stories—all of which happen to contain a crime of some sort. (A crime is essential or it isn’t mystery fiction!)
We want stories with characters who feel real, in situations that are possible (and plausible), and of course great writing.
WHAT WE DO NOT WANT
- We do not want flash fiction.
- We do not want poetry.
- We do not want routine revenge stories.
- We do not want stories that feature sadism for the sake of sadism.
- We do not want stories that feature supernatural elements: no vampires (no matter how sparkly), werewolves, ghosts, or otherworldly monsters—unless thoroughly debunked by story’s end.
- We especially do not want genre fantasy, horror, science fiction, romance, or westerns...unless they feature a crime. And even then it will be a very hard sell.
- NO REPRINTS!
- NO SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS!
Best length is between 1,000 and 8,000 words. We will look at material up to 15,000 words in length—but it better blow us away to take up that much of an issue!
Our pay rate is three cents per word ($250 maximum) plus 2 copies of the magazine.
HOW TO SUBMIT
ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION REQUIRED
Email us the story as an electronic file. We prefer one of the following formats: .rtf, .doc, or .docx. We cannot look at .pdfs or hard copy submissions, with very few exceptions. (Okay, if you’re an old pro like Bill Pronzini or Stephen King, we’ll make an exception!) Do not paste your story into an email and send it.
** Be sure to include your byline under the story title—it’s amazing how many authors forget to do so!—and please include both your mailing address and email address on the first page. (Upper left-hand corner is standard.) **
WHERE TO EMAIL
Stories should be sent via EMAIL to: wildsidepress (at sign) gmail.com
IMPORTANT — A BIT MORE ON FORMATTING
1. Paragraphs should be double-spaced. Indent all paragraphs using either the tab key or an indented paragraph style. Do not leave extra line spaces between paragraphs.
2. Never underline, use italics.
3. Please, please, please—proofread your story before sending it. Yes, typos happen, but after the third or fourth one on a page, we will stop reading.
4. Use a simple, easy-to-read font like Courier or Times Roman. If we can't easily read a submission, it will be rejected.
5. If you are still unsure of how to format your story, check out "The Obligatory Manuscript Format Article" at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's web site: click here. It was written by John Betancourt, Wildside Press's publisher and Black Cat Mystery Magazine co-editor.