What we want
We want fiction and poetry that is both literary and speculative. Realist work sensitive to the magical and strange. The fantastical. Slipstream. Fabulist. Gothic. Weird tales. Work that unlocks. Work that restocks. We love writers who see familiar things in unexpected ways, and writers who revel in playing with language.
This issue’s object
The next reading period will open August 1 through October 1. Follow @GoldenKeyLit for updates on the Issue 3 theme.
Send an email to submissions[at]whatwonderfulthings[dot]net with “Submission: Your Title Here [Fiction/Poetry]” in the subject line. Your work should be emailed as an attachment; we accept documents in .doc, .docx, or .rtf formats.
Lengths: We prefer fiction submissions under 6,000 words, although we will consider stories of longer lengths (up to 10,000 words). We accept flash fiction (up to 1000 words). We prefer poems that are under 100 lines.
Multiple submissions: We accept up to three poems in a single document. For fiction, please send only one story submission at a time. We ask you to wait until you hear back from us before you submit more.
Simultaneous submissions: We gladly accept simultaneous submissions. Please withdraw your work as soon as your story or poem has found a home elsewhere. Presently, we are not looking to publish reprints.
Response Times: Our usual turn-around time is 8 weeks, though we often respond sooner. However, if you haven’t heard from us after 8 weeks, it means your work has been held over for further consideration, in which case a response may take as long as 12 weeks. If you have not heard back from us after 12 weeks, please query about the status of your submission. You can also follow us on Twitter @GoldenKeyLit, where we do our best to keep followers informed on the state of submissions. Please make sure our submissions email will be clear of your spam filter.
Rights: The Golden Key acquires first North American serial rights and first Worldwide Electronic rights for six months. After six months, rights revert to the author; however, we do request the right to archive your work in our cabinet of curiosities. If you would like to remove your work from our archive, just send us an email.
Please note: While The Golden Key is not a paying market at this time, having your work published by us is considered publication. Most publications (print and online) will not publish work that has previously appeared on the Internet, which means your work, after having been published by The Golden Key, can only be marketed as a reprint. This will limit both the number of publications that will accept it and the amount of payment you might receive. It is up to you, the author, to decide if you are willing to give up your First Publishing Rights in exchange for the exposure we provide. We prioritize two goals: to share excellent, strange, and unexpected work with as many readers as possible, and working towards being able to pay our contributors.