HWA Market Report #222

Penumbra--Musa Publishing; See Web site.

Submission Guidelines: "Penumbra is looking for original, unpublished stories of 3500 words or less. (Yes, that word count is absolute save for special projects approved by the EIC in advance.) We prefer that writers use Standard Manuscript Format for submissions."

"Please send your stories as file attachments in .RTF or .DOC formats only. Please include a cover letter in the body of your E-mail, with the manuscript title, your pen name if applicable, the exact word count of the story not including title and byline, and a publication history if applicable. You will receive an auto-response when you submit your story."

"Penumbra has multiple issue calls open at the same time; therefore it is imperative that you include the issue theme in the subject line of your E-mail. Submissions that do not include this information risk getting lost in our queue and not read before the deadline."

"Penumbra is a professional rates paying publisher at 5¢/word."

"We will evaluate poetry submissions for each issue. We will also consider previously published stories with rights reverted to the author. We do not accept simultaneous submissions. Penumbra does not accept multiple submissions for a single issue, but you may submit one story to each submission call currently open. EACH SUBMISSIONS CALL LASTS FOR TWO MONTHS. The submission windows are listed below. Please do not submit stories for a call that is not yet open for submissions--we will delete those submissions unread."

"Penumbra uses Musa Publishing's house style guide, which is based upon the Chicago Manual of Style. All accepted stories will be edited to reflect Musa house style."

"We absolutely do not accept fan fiction. Themes that are based upon a single author, like our Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe issues, are meant to showcase stories that pay homage to the style, the manner, or the themes frequently used by that author--or include the author as a character."

"Penumbra accepts both agented and unagented submissions. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact us at submissions@penumbra.musapublishing.com."

Submission Calls:

June - Isolation: "Whether you're imprisoned, stranded on a desert island, or the sole survivor of an off-world mission, forced solitude is a condition that wreaks havoc upon the human psyche. Just keep in mind that a person can be just as alone in a crowd of people as they can in an escape pod drifting powerless throughout space. We want to see stories that explore the emotional and psychological ramifications of isolation. There are great depths to be delved with a cast of one." Opens: February 1, 2014; Deadline: April 1, 2014.

July - Hyperspeed: "Light speed, hyperdrive, warp drive--however you describe it, we're still talking about the holy grail of space exploration--the ability to travel light years in a matter of moments, opening the entire galaxy like a star-punctuated garden of discovery. Send us your fastest traveling tales and your deepest space adventures as we boldly go where ... yeah, yeah, yeah. You know the rest." Opens: March 1, 2014; Deadline: May 1, 2014.

August - Pain: "Pain comes in a variety of guises. Physical. Mental. Emotional. Individual. Global. Psychosomatic. We want to read stories where the protagonist challenges pain--and either supersedes it, or collapses as a result of it. Do you write stories of solitary anguish? Or do you write stories of galactic healing? Regardless of which you prefer, make sure that your pain story confronts the concept of pain in a speculative fiction manner." Opens: April 1, 2014 ("no, really; it's not a joke"); Deadline: June 1, 2014.

September - Lewis Carroll: "Down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass, this opium-loving Victorian spun quite a set of stories for his young readers. Carroll gave us some of the most abiding characters and tales that children cherish to this day. So pen your Carrollesque adventures in a salute to this most creative of literary masters. Let your inner child come out to play in your own versions of Wonderland." Opens: May 1, 2014; Deadline: July 1, 2014.

October - Paranormal Adventures: "There's nothing more suitable for Halloween than a darn good ghost story, and we want yours. Whether you're dealing with a poltergeist or a demonic entity or a residual haunt, there's a lot to explore in the world of the paranormal. While we'd love to hang out with TAPS or the Ghost Adventures crew, we're more interested in the ghost story without the paranormal investigators and their technology. Just give us a bone-chilling, hair-raising tale of a haunting, and we'll leave the light on." Opens: June 1, 2014; Deadline: August 1, 2014.

November - Aliens: "You knew it was coming. Whether your aliens are little green men or tall, skinny grey ones, we want to hear about them. First contact or close encounters of the fifth kind--whatever, however, wherever. It's been a while since we've seen a stand-out tale of visitors from outer space. Let's end that streak just in time for the holidays." Opens: July 1, 2014; Deadline: September 1, 2014.

December - Arthurian Legend: "What ho! (No, we don't mean Guinevere.) For centuries, the magic and mystery of King Arthur and Camelot have enthralled readers. Thanks to great authors like Marion Zimmer Bradley and T.H. White, there's a strong tradition of Arthurian books on the fantasy bookshelf. So add your own myths to the Round Table; send Lancelot out on one more quest. Let's play in Camelot and Avalon until the mists gently cloak us from the modern world." Opens: August 1, 2014; Deadline: October 1, 2014.


"Each theme submission call is open for two months only. If you have a story for the October issue, don't submit it to us in January."

"We usually have three reading rounds before we select the issue lineup. Once your story is passed to a higher round of evaluation, response times may vary but they will be long. Generally, the longer you go without hearing back from us on your submission, the further along in the process your story has gone."

"We do not select our stories until the month BEFORE release--usually 4-6 weeks before publication. If you received the auto-acknowledgement E-mail from us, please do not send us status inquiries until 6 weeks before release. Good luck!"

[E-mail: submissions@penumbra.musapublishing.com; http://penumbraezine.blogspot.com].