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Magazine Guidelines

Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine: Currently closed to fiction submissions. Non-fiction queries to 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 to submissions. The editor is Douglas Draa.

Black Cat Mystery Magazine: Currently closed to submissions. The editor is Michael Bracken.

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BLACK CAT MYSTERY MAGAZINE GUIDELINES

These guidelines were updated April 23, 2020.

ABOUT THE MAGAZINE: OVERVIEW

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
EDITOR: 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).


GUIDELINES: 
READ THEM, FOLLOW THEM!


SUBMISSION DATES

BCMM is currently closed to submissions.

RESPONSE TIME

We will do our best to respond within 1-3 weeks. If we take longer, it's because we like the story enough to have multiple readers take a look and there is a strong chance we will purchase it. 

QUERIES

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! Simultaneous submissions will be rejected immediately and will NOT be read. If we discover a story has been submitted elsewhere, you will be asked not to submit to us again. We generally reply quickly enough that you don't need to send us simultaneous submissions.

LENGTH:

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!

PAYMENT:

Our pay rate is three cents per word ($250 maximum) plus a copy 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.

 

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