Submission Guidelines: Onyx Neon Shorts

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*SUBMISSIONS Closed as of 6/20/16*

At Onyx Neon Press we strive to release the best from authors around the globe. We are always looking for new ways to bring content into the light. Onyx Neon Shorts is a collective of people dedicated to making short fiction available. We’re doing collections of short fiction.
We are currently accepting short stories from authors of science fiction.
So if you have a short story that you want to release into the world, send it to and we will review it and let you know if it is a good fit for us. Guidelines are below.

Reasons why this is cool for you:
1) Through our network of connections we take care of getting your story seen by a wide audience.
2) You still retain all the rights to that story, and if you decide to run the story somewhere else, we can, at any point, take that story down.
3) Get exposure while still making a percentage of the profits from sales.

Onyx Neon Short Submission Guidelines

Who we are: Onyx Neon Shorts is a branch of Onyx Neon Press, which focuses shorts of all genres, compiling collections and releasing individual stories.

What we’re looking for: Onyx Neon Shorts is seeking Science Fiction (Sci-Fi) Shorts for a collection to be released this year. Sci-Fi authors that we look up to are: Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Leguin, Frank Herbert, Andy Weir, Philip K. Dick, Ann Leckie, and Isaac Asimov. There are more, but those are some of our favorites and they will most likely bias our opinion.

We want the stories to be as diverse as the authors who write them, and strongly encourage submissions from writers in underrepresented populations. This includes, but is not limited in any way to writers of any gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, class, and ability, as well as characters, themes, and images that represent these groups.

What’s the length? We favor stories under 30,000 words. We are flexible and will consider shorts that are longer, but right now that is the focus. If you have an amazing short, and it exceeds our arbitrary limit, submit it to us, we may find a different media for it, serialize it, or just release it in its entirety. We can do a great many things.

What we pay: We offer a % of the net profits of the book. Some places offer a flat rate, but we felt it was fairer to give you a cut of the total profit, which means you could continue to make money forever, if the book does well.

First Print and Electronic Publishing Rights: It must be stated that when your story is published for the first time that that publisher has taken your stories First Print Rights. What this means is that every publication that publishes the story after that has to list where the stories were published. In this case we also take Electronic Publishing Rights. This means that someone else might feel uncomfortable ALSO publishing your story electronically. We don’t take your right to this story, but please bear in mind that lots of publications will not publish pieces that have been published in print, eBook, or on the web, so for all intents and purposes after your work is published by us or anyone it can only be marketed as a reprint, which could limit the number of markets that will accept it, and can decrease it’s value. It is similar to the idea of virginal purity. It is up to you, the author, to decide if publishing your work in print and/or eBook formats and/or on the web, giving up your First Publishing Right for a royalties based payment method is what you want to do. We understand if that isn’t something you’re interested in, but we wanted to alert you.

What rights do we get from you? Our contract states that this story that we are acquiring from you is yours, now and forever. We come from a background of both fiction and open source coding. Open source is cool. We do not require exclusivity. Your story is yours, we publish it for as long as you let us, and we stop publishing it if you find yourself somewhere where they do not let you have it in multiple places.

How What about shorts or stories printed elsewhere? (known as a Reprint) If you own the rights and we like it, we will print it. First publishing rights, and Exclusive E-publishing Rights aren’t things we hold as being important criteria. Good writing, original ideas, those are important. Who has published what where is an outdated idea. I mean, look at Norton Anthologies of Fiction, they have tons of republished work, and that doesn’t devalue the writing, does it?

How to submit: Do not send an email asking where to send your story, just send it. Submissions should be emailed to (shorts)(at)( Please put “Sci-Fi Collection – ‘your name’ – ‘story title’” in the subject line to help us make sure we see it. Submissions should be in something closely resembling standard manuscript format and be sent as .doc, .docx, .rtf, or plain-text attachments. Do not copy and paste submissions into the email. We will read every submission that comes in, so say hello, but the content of your story is what is important, not the content of your message.

Should I include a brief summary of the story? Yes, that would be incredibly helpful.

Should I include an “about the author”? No, it is not required initially, we will get that from you if we select your story for use.

Do you accept multiple submissions? Yes, absolutely, but if you do send multiple stories please send them in separate emails with separate headings so that we make sure we don’t miss any of the submissions. We will read them in the order in which they come in, so please do not expect us to reply immediately with an emphatic “yes.”

Do you accept simultaneous submissions? We will absolutely take a story that you sent to someone else. We would, however, hate to fall in love with your story and not be able to publish it. Obviously we are an open platform, and it is your beautiful work, so it is your choice.

Have you read my story? We reply to everything when we have finished evaluating, and we will let you know if we are going to publish it or not. We hate waiting to hear back from people as much as the next person, so we do not wish that on anyone. We are a small collective, so expect to wait upwards three months. We wish we could say we’d get back to you sooner, but it’s just not realistic.

Why are you so slow? We read a lot of stories, and we leave the vault sometimes. We do this because we love it and we want to be able to offer an incredible service to both readers and writers. So with that in mind, we are busy and probably reading your story as you are thinking about writing us. The maximum we will make you wait is three months. It is longer than we’d like, but we have been getting a very high volume of submissions. Seriously, if you have not heard back after three months please feel free to send an angry email with lots of angry reaction emoticons and pictures of cats with grumpy faces.

Artwork? If you have artwork that relates to your story, and you own the rights to it, or can attain the rights please feel free to send that along with it. It will not sway our opinion if you do not, but if it is good artwork it certainly makes our lives easier. Unfortunately, because we have a graphic designer in the fold, we aren’t budgeting for external artwork, so we cannot pay for it, but we will cite it appropriately online and in the book itself.

In conclusion

Our ideal submission is between 1,000 and 30,000 words. Please send it in Times New Roman font, and please indent the first line of each paragraph properly, and don’t use tabs. We are not limiting the scope and length, but that is our ideal goal. If you are not in that range, please submit it anyway, just know that we are people and we have preferences. Please send it to

Thank you for reading, and we look forward to reading your beautiful, unique, and original Sci-Fi shorts.

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