Mysterion: Christian speculative fiction
They want science fiction, fantasy and horror stories that engage meaningfully with Christian themes, characters or cosmology. The stories need not teach a moral or be close to an approved theological position. Nor do they need to be pro-Christian – see their detailed guidelines on the kind of work they see too often, and what they would like to see. They are especially interested in stories that show Christians from cultures beyond those of the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. They accept translations and reprints, and art submissions.
Reading period: 1-31 January 2020
Length: Up to 9,000 words
Fiction submissions are open through January 31, 2020.
Open to fiction submissions each year during the months of January and July.
We are looking for speculative stories–science fiction, fantasy, horror–with Christian themes, characters, or cosmology, and for artwork for this site.
- Stories can be up to 9000 words (thanks, Patreon supporters!). This is a hard limit–our submission system will enforce it.
- We pay 8 cents/word for original stories (or original translations of stories that have not previously appeared in English), and 4 cents/word for reprints (thanks again, Patreon!).
- Authors are paid once we’ve agreed on edits and signed a contract, prior to earliest publication (generally on our Patreon page).
- We are seeking 6 months’ exclusive worldwide publication rights for original works (with exceptions for established Best of the Year anthologies), and non-exclusive worldwide print and electronic rights thereafter for both original works and reprints.
- We want to publish your story online in our webzine and keep it there indefinitely.
- We’re also acquiring the right to offer ebook versions of the stories we publish, as Patreon rewards or for purchase; and to publish a print and ebook anthology of all the stories that appeared in the webzine over a given 1- or 2-year period.
- For original fiction, we want to be the only place publishing it for the first 6 months; after that, you’re welcome to publish it anywhere else in any format you like.
- No multiple or simultaneous submissions.
- If multiple writers co-write a story, we consider each distinct group of writers a different submitter. In other words, if two people co-write a story, and they submit the co-written story, and each of them also submits a story written on their own, that would not violate our no multiple submissions policy. Submitting two stories co-written by the same two people would violate our no multiple submissions policy.
- Don’t resubmit a story we’ve rejected unless we request revisions.
- We hope to have responded to everyone within three months of the submission window’s closing. Feel free to query (email@example.com) if it’s been longer than three months since the end of the submission period.
- Format requirements:
- Stories must be double spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman or Courier font.
- The story title, your byline, a word count, and contact information should appear on the first page, and your last name, story title, and page number should appear in the header information of all other pages.
- If you want to make our lives easier, our preferred format is Times New Roman, italics for emphasis, one space after periods and colons, smart quotes, m-dashes instead of double hyphens, and first line of paragraph indented 0.5″ in Paragraph formatting instead of with the Tab key. But we aren’t that particular about any of this when evaluating your stories.
- Stories should be submitted via the Moksha submissions system: https://mysterion.moksha.io/publication/mysterion.
- Submit your stories in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format.
- Your cover letter should contain a list of your three or four most prestigious publications (if any), and any pertinent biographical details: tell us if you’re an astronaut writing about space travel, but not if you’re an astronaut writing about the elf-dwarf war. Invert that if you’re an elf. If you’ve met us in person, feel free to mention it. Finally, let us know if the story is previously published and where it first appeared–even if it appeared on your blog or Twitter feed. Don’t try to summarize your story or explain why it’s a good fit for our publication (if it’s a good fit, we should be able to tell by reading it).
- The story must have a speculative element. It needs something beyond the everyday. We love science fiction and fantasy, enjoy good ghost stories, and think there’s great fiction material hidden in the mysteries of Christian theology–cherubim, leviathan, nephilim, visions, prophecy, and more.
- The story must engage with Christianity. We want stories with Christian characters whose faith affects their actions, with Christian themes such as grace and redemption, or with a Christian view of the supernatural. Note that we’re not saying that you must be a Christian. We are not in a position to judge your faith and won’t try, and we welcome submissions from authors of all backgrounds and perspectives. Nor does your story need to be unambiguously pro-Christian. If you can tell a good story that meaningfully engages with Christianity, we want to read it.
- We publish accepted stories submitted in January between July and December that year, and stories submitted in July between January and June of the next year. If your story is seasonal (Christmas, Easter, Presidents’ Day), please take this into consideration.
- Read more about what we’re looking for in our Theme Guidelines.
- For even more information, see our posts on what we want or read the stories we’ve published so far.