Parsec Ink is coordinating submissions to both the Parsec Short Story Contest and Triangulation: Habitats. Please be sure you know which entity you are submitting to. The Parsec Short Story Contest is curated by the Parsec program branch and Triangulation is curated by Parsec Ink.

Theme, word count, and deadlines are different for each.

Triangulation: Habitats will be open to submissions December 1, 2020. Watch here and on our Parsec Ink website for updated guidelines. Editors for the 2021 edition of Triangulation will be John Thompson and Diane Turnshek

Triangulation is open for submissions. We are Parsec Ink’s speculative fiction anthology, since 2003. We’re looking for outstanding fantasy, science fiction, weird fiction, and speculative horror–from new and established writers. Tell us a story we won’t forget.

Theme: Triangulation: Habitats. Sustainable habitats, in tune with their surroundings.

Show us places we want to live that never existed or that we don’t know ever existed. Past, present, and future domiciles for humans, aliens, and fantasy creatures.

Ideally, the story plot will hinge on the habitat design. Let us hear about a new way to live, thriving, not merely surviving. What does it mean to live sustainably in outer space, underground, in the sea, floating in the atmosphere?

What does sustainability look like in a fantasy setting? Is the mana running out? Eye of newt getting scarce? Gnomes in the septic system?

Consider an Earthship, a faerie mound, a hobbit house, a generation starship where everything is recycled, a living starship where humans live in symbiosis with their environment, a forest city, a treehouse on Yggdrasil.

What will Biosphere 3 look like? A research station on Mars? The first or thirty-first lunar colony?

Flying houses. Tiny houses. Ultrasmart houses. Longhouses. Cave dwellings, cliff dwellings, teepees, igloos, tents, yurts, polystyrene dome homes, sandbag homes, straw bale homes.

Moated castles with crenelated battlements, slitted archery windows, double walls, drawbridges, spiral staircases curved to put a right-handed attacker at a disadvantage. Spires, minarets, secret passages, dungeons, wells, narrow twisty streets in a surrounding town, so armies can’t march through.

Phase change materials in the walls. Earth tubes. South-facing window walls. Large thermal masses for heating. Greenhouses. Buried root cellars (wine cellars).

Ah, but adding magic in the mix? The hut of Baba Yaga. The treasure cave of Aladdin.

Show us habitats we’ve dreamed about or never even dreamed of. Show us habitats we thought we understood and teach us something new about them.

Please, no hate-ist stories (or any other -ist), stories of suicide, religious proselytizing or excessive, unwarranted violence. The editors are also not fans of guns.

Submission Requirements

Submissions Open: December 1, 2020

Submissions Close: February 28, 2021

Word Count: We consider fiction up to 5,000 words, but the sweet spot is 3,000. There is no minimum word count. Stories over 5000 words will be rejected unread.

Genre: We accept science fiction, fantasy, and horror–and enjoy intelligent blends of the three. Stories without a speculative element will not be considered.

We do not accept reprints, multiple submissions, or simultaneous submissions. If we reject a story before the end of the reading period, feel free to send another.

We love creative interpretations of our themes, but we do require the stories to be a solid fit.

We run mature content only if we like the story and find the mature content to be integral to it.

We do not accept fanfic.

Please send a short bio in the cover letter of your submission. We ignore that until and unless we buy your story.

Manuscript Format: Please use industry-standard manuscript format. We’re not testing you or trying to make you jump through hoops, but we do want a manuscript that is easy for us to read. We reserve the right to reject a story because it does not adhere to our formatting guidelines.

We accept manuscripts in the following formats:

· .doc or .docx (MS Word)

· .rtf (Rich Text Format — generic document format that most word processors can create)

Poetry Guidelines:

$5 minimum payout, 25 cents a line with no minimum or maximum number of lines, but poems of more than 100 lines will have to be extraordinary to find a place in the anthology.

Same Submittable link and general guidelines as prose submissions. Poetry editor: Herb Kauderer

How We Choose

We are a meritocracy. New authors are as welcome as those with a laundry list of accomplishments. But it’s going to be the story that wins us over. Grab us by the lapels, drag us onto that plane, take us for the ride of our lives… but get us back on the ground safely and home in time for dinner.

We aim to read submissions as they are received. If a story doesn’t work for us, we reject it. If we think the story has great potential but isn’t quite there yet, we request a rewrite. The ones we love the most, we hold on to for further consideration. Next, the stories fight it out amongst themselves until we have our final lineup. At which time, final acceptances are sent out. It’s sort of like Enter the Dragon, but without the nunchucks. When a story is accepted, the changes we suggest will typically be minor and/or cosmetic.

Response: Final decisions are made by April 30.

Eligibility: All writers, including those who are known or related to the editorial staff, can submit to Triangulation. That doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily get in, but we are happy to consider their work.

If Your Story Is Accepted

Compensation: We pay 3¢ per word. Payment will be either via PayPal or check.

Rights: We purchase North American serial rights, Spanish language rights, audio and electronic rights for the downloadable version(s). All subsidiary rights released upon publication.

How to Submit

Electronic submissions make our lives easier. Please upload your story via Submittable. If this is your first time using Submittable, you will need to create an account with them. Don’t worry, it’s free.

Good luck!

John Thompson and Diane Turnshek (prose editors)

and Herb Kauderer (poetry editor)

25th Annual Parsec SF/Fantasy/Horror Short Story Contest   --

The theme for the 2021 contest is:

Still Waters, Deep Thoughts.

This can be conveyed in the setting, plot, characters, dialogue…the only limit is your imagination. The theme must be integral to the story in some way and not just mentioned in passing.

Contest opens: January 1, 2021 and closes April 15, 2021. There is no fee to enter and all entrants will be notified of the results by June 15th.

Word count for all entries: No minimum, no more than 3500 words.

Genre: All stories must be of the Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror genres.

How to Submit:

Electronic submissions will be accepted through Submittable: (Opens January 1, 2021)

If this is your first time using Submittable, you will need to create a FREE account with them. Instructions for this will appear after you hit the submit link. It’s easy and quick.

–> submit your story here <–

Publication status: Stories must be original, unpublished, and unsold to any other market. Manuscripts should be in standard manuscript format, double-spaced, and written in either Courier or Times New Roman font. Acceptable formats include .doc, .docx, and .rtf.

For an example of standard manuscript format, see:

Prizes and Eligibility: The contest is open to non-professional writers (those who have not met eligibility requirements for SFWA or equivalent: sale of a novel or sale of 3 stories to a large-circulation publication ( Previous first-place winners and current contest coordinators are ineligible to enter.

Requirements: The winning story will be the one that most effectively uses the contest theme as a key element.  

First-place receives $200 and publication in the 2020 Confluence program book (Confluence).

Second-place receives $100

Third-place receives $50

Submission to the contest implies consent for publication, but all rights revert immediately to the author upon publication. Coordinators/Readers screen the entries and the seven best submissions are then read by the judges. Decisions of the judges and coordinators are final.

Number: A maximum of 2 submissions is allowed. Submit each one separately.

Coordinator: Alfred (AJ) Smith

Parsec Ink