This Submittable coordinates submissions for both the Parsec Short Story Contest and the Parsec Ink Triangulation anthology. Please make sure you correctly choose the entity you are submitting your story to. Theme, word count, and deadlines are different for each entity.

The Parsec Short Story Contest is sponsored by Parsec Inc., the 501(c)(3) parent organization. The Contest is open to submissions from January 1st and closes on May 1st at 11:59 pm EST. 

Triangulation is curated by Parsec Ink, a standing committee of Parsec Inc.  Triangulation: Energy is open to submissions starting December 1, 2021 and closes on February 28, 2022 11:59 pm EST. 

Beginning December 1, 2022, the annual Triangulation anthology will accept submissions for its 20th collection in the series, Triangulation: Seven-Day Weekend. Automation simplifies our lives, to the point where a production facility is so automated it makes no sense wasting energy to run lights. These “dark factories” are currently present in the auto industry, the electronics industry, and even the robotics industry itself. What does the world look like when jobs are automated to the point that the labor force is non-existent? We’re looking for outstanding fantasy, science fiction, weird fiction, and speculative horror—from both new and established writers.

Editors:

  • Storm Walden, Co-editor, Triangulation: Seven-Day Weekend.
  • Greg Clumpner, Co-editor, Triangulation: Seven-Day Weekend.

Humanity craves efficiency, subconsciously forming habits to make each portion of our day more comfortable, allowing us the time and ability to expand our horizons. From Neanderthals learning migration patterns for hunting food to coding scripts to streamline processes to the dream of roads filled with fully autonomous vehicles, we push boundaries to make our lives easier. What happens when our lives become as easy as they can be?

What are the sustainability implications? How does excess free time affect our social structure? What personal habits develop when we’ve already made our work lives as efficient as possible? Are we going to rise above working long hours in drudgery? Will a seven-day weekend be hopeful, lightening the communal load for all to experience joy and freedom every day? What is the cost of that freedom?

Will automation take over society, the world, the universe? What do the unemployed do with their unlimited free time? What are the socioeconomic implications if no one has a job? Is it simpler or more difficult to find daily bliss in our lives?

“Computer” was once a job title, until the humans were replaced by mechanical calculators and, eventually, electronic digital computers. What is the next step in automation evolution? Is it the development of an artificial general intelligence that possesses human-like processing capabilities? Alternatively, could bio-robotics take the leap toward sentience, creating living, breathing, dwellings and vehicles? What rights and entitlements do these evolutions share with humanity? Are these sentient constructs—these beings—also entitled to a weekend?

Think the Weasley household in the Harry Potter series, the Golems of Kabbalah, the Replicants from Blade Runner, Mom’s Friendly Robot Company from Futurama, or the Cylon rebellion from Battlestar Galactica. Go out on a limb and show us something we’ve never conceived.

Submission Requirements

Submissions Open: December 1, 2022

Submissions Close: February 28, 2023

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 unsolicited 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.

Please, no hate-ist stories (or any other -ist), stories with suicide, religious proselytizing or excessive, unwarranted violence.

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.

Poetry Guidelines: 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 as prose submissions.

Manuscript Format: Please use industry-standard manuscript format. (For example, https://www.sfwa.org/2005/01/04/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).

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

Prose Compensation: We pay 3¢ per word. Payment will be either via PayPal or check. $5 minimum payout.

Poetry Compensation: We pay 25 cents per line. Payment will be either via PayPal or check. $5 minimum payout.

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

Good luck!

Storm Walden and Greg Clumpner (editors)

Parsec Ink