Decoded is a story-a-day anthology of queer science fiction, fantasy, and horror by queer authors. We feature speculative writing and comics released to subscribers every day of Pride month. If you want to get an email when subscriptions become available, please sign up for our email list.
The best way to figure out what kind of stories we’re interested in is to read Decoded Pride Issue #1. If you would like to buy a suscription to Issue #1 you can do so by visiting the queerspec.com store. If you cannot afford a subscription, please be in touch.
Please note: Submissions for 2021 (Decoded Pride Issue #2) are now closed. We are leaving our guidelines below solely for reference.
2021 Submission Guidelines
We are avid readers, and as such, we welcome a wide array of subject matter. Everything from experimental comics to thinly-veiled fanfiction to good old formulaic genre is right up our alley, so don’t disqualify yourself – submit! Our only requirements are that you be a queer creator and that you bring your very best work to the page.
The point of Decoded is to create a space for queer folks to build community as fiction writers and comic creators. We seek to center the voices of those most marginalized within queer communities. We want to facilitate works with queer themes, writers, and audiences.
If that sounds like you, read more below about logistics and how to submit your story.
Fees paid to authors
Flash short story (up to 1499 words) – $25
Short story (1500 to 3499 words) – $100
Long form (3500 – 7500-ish words) – $200
Comics – $75 (total, not per page; there is no limit for length, but keep in mind your whole comic will run in one day)
Fees will be paid via PayPal.
- Please email your submission with the title “DECODED SUBMISSION – [story/comic title]” to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight on February 28, 2021. (Example: DECODED SUBMISSION – Starship Stuff)
- Attach your submission in a word document or google doc with 12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced with one inch margins (or something similar). For comics, email us the best way to view your work.
- Submissions must be all original content (unpublished elsewhere).
- You may submit up to two pieces, but please be aware that more than one submission does not make your work more likely to be selected.
- The hardest category of submissions is long form because we get the most submissions for that category and can accept the fewest pieces.
- Simultaneous submission is fine, but tell us if it gets placed elsewhere.
- In your email, please tell us the word count of your story, a bit about yourself, and a couple words about what “queer” means to you. Listen, we’re not checking contributors’ identities, but if you are cisgender, heterosexual, and/or not queer in any sense, please refrain from submitting to this call. There are infinite possibilities for your work to be published, edited, and praised by cishet editors. Let us do our thing.
- There is no fee for entry, but if you love this anthology idea and want to see it thrive, you can make a one-time contribution here.
- Please sign up for our email list if you want to get emails about Decoded and know when submissions go live.
Some notes from last year
- We have no interest in reading anything racist, classist, xenophobic, homophobic, or transphobic. Can you have characters who deal with these issues? Absolutely. We just don’t want to read gross and offensive writing about marginalized people.
- Don’t shit talk your work in your cover letter. If you can’t say anything positive about your work, let it speak for itself.
- Pay attention to the submission guidelines. SERIOUSLY.
- Think about the words you use in your cover letter and in your story, particularly because we’re a queer and feminist journal. If your cover letter says the use of “queer” is a slur? WYD?! If you call a woman a bitch in your short story (esp. if you’re a male writer), WYD?????
- Don’t send us weird stuff where you describe another person’s genitals and link it to their race. We hate it. We won’t publish it. And, we’ll probably judge you.
- Don’t send us stories in which one character is grossly objectifying another character, especially in connection with their age or race. Sexuality is great, stereotypes are not.
- If you make innocent mistakes, we’re not going to hold it against you. (We have published some folks who said mean things about themselves in their cover letter.) We just want to share some things that are important for anyone submitting stories anywhere.
Nitty Gritty Details
- This release will be distributed online and via eBook and PDF. It will be available to anyone for a small subscription fee. Contributors will all receive the full issue on the house.
- We are not multilingual, but we welcome multilingual work and will work with translations to assess the fit of any pieces submitted in multiple languages. We will accept stories from all over the world.
- We claim first worldwide electronic rights (text and audio), first print rights (author must be willing to sign copies), and non-exclusive anthology rights.