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 theme for Issue 7 is resurrected things.
We’re looking for stories and poems that are alive-again—revived, resuscitated, revivified.
Send us rekindled relationships and recovered memories, near death experiences and premature obituaries. Show us characters who are revisiting their lives after a long absence, or rebuilding something they once thought lost.
You might invoke Mary Shelley’s charnel house Creature galvanized to life, or the “sort of walking miracle” of Plath’s “Lady Lazarus.” Maybe you’re interested in the story of Janina Kolkiewicz, the Polish woman who was discovered alive eleven hours after being declared dead at the morgue. Or perhaps you want to channel Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, the so-called zombie ant.
Send us resurrections both hopeful and horrible. Send us work that grips us in the jaws of life and leaves us gasping, hearts racing, stunned by a view of life as we’ve never seen it before.
Please note, we are not interested in religious allegory, either explicit or implicit. You’re welcome to borrow from and re-envision mythological sources, but this is not a forum for spiritual discourse.
We will be reading for our Resurrected Things issue between October 17 and January 31. Work for Issue 7: Resurrected Things will be published every other week beginning in January, 2017.
If you’re interested in illustrating an issue of The Golden Key, please feel free to query us with an email—we’d love to hear from you!
– Guidelines updated as of September 6, 2016. –
Length: We prefer fiction submissions under 3,000 words and poems that are under 100 lines. We especially love flash fiction and prose poems.
Revisions: Please do not send us a revision unless we specifically request one. Please also do not send us the same story for different issue themes, unless we specifically request it.
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, and we ask that writers submit only twice per reading period.
Simultaneous submissions: We gladly accept simultaneous submissions. Please withdraw your work as soon as your story or poem has found a home elsewhere by emailing us.
Send an email to submissions[at]whatwonderfulthings[dot]net with “Submission: Your Title Here [Fiction/Poetry]” in the subject line. Your work should be previously unpublished and emailed as an attachment; we accept documents in .doc, .docx, or .rtf formats. We also ask that previous contributors please wait one year (two issues) after being published with us to submit again.
Response Times: Our usual turn-around time is 6 weeks, though we often respond sooner. However, if you haven’t heard from us after 6 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.
Pay: The Golden Key currently pays all contributors a flat fee of $10.
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, send us an email.