Tales of the Unanticipated
P.O. Box 8036
Lake Street Station
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Fantasy ~ Science Fiction ~ Speculative Fiction ~ Horror
Editor: Eric Heideman
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Tales of the Unanticipated welcomes submissions from writers, poets, and graphic artists.
Please read the following contributors' guidelines before submitting.

We will read submissions for TOTU #32 that are postmarked March 1-March 31, 2014. If you are reading this after March 31, 2014, do not send unsolicited manuscripts. Keep an eye on this site for the #33 reading period and guidelines updates. Please note that we are not a year-round market.

For questions and queries contact: .

General Guidelines for TOTU #32 submissions, March 1-March 31, 2014

PROSE SUBMISSIONS - please follow carefully

Send a manuscript copy of PROSE submissions (with SASE) to:

Eric M. Heideman
Tales of the Unanticipated
PO Box 8036
Lake Street Station
Minneapolis, MN 55408

(Eric does not assume or accept responsibility for art portfolios and poetry mailed to the above address.)

In addition to mailing us mss. copies of your prose submissions, please UPLOAD your submission using the FILE UPLOAD form at:
If you have difficulties with the upload form, then please email your submission as an attachment to:
Please do try the FILE UPLOAD form first, because it makes it much easier for us to track your submission.

We can accept most file formats - Word, Open Office, Word Perfect, etc. - but if you are not sure, send your submission as a Rich Text Format (RTF) file. For our international contributors, A4 is okay. Size, in this case, doesn't matter.

We request paper-and-uploaded submissions to maximize the simplicity of our keeping track of submissions. Paper copies can get lost in the mail, or get misplaced by absent-minded humans; emails can vanish in the aether. Uploaded copies stay put, and are easy to locate in the event that you query us. That said, we continue to require a paper copy in addition to the uploaded one because the editor can't afford the eyestrain of reading submissions off a screen (on top of his computer-centric day job)and TOTU cannot carry the expense of printing the thousands of pages of submissions we receive every reading period. If you want your prose submissions considered, you need to send a paper manuscript along with the electronic one.

Please note that Eric and the TOTU staff put a lot of time and care into helping promising writers hone their craft. Writers of originality and vision often need help presenting their material so that their desired effect gets across to readers. That's what editors are supposed to be for. To be helpful, we think it's necessary to be honest—always keeping in mind that a criticism of the current version of your story isn't a criticism of you. If you see personal editorial feedback as enemy action, please don't waste our time; we have an anthology to put out. If you like getting feedback, we look forward to reading your stuff.

FICTION: reading submissionspostmarked March 1-March 31, 2014, for #32, a general, non-theme issue. Pays 1 ½ – 2 cents a word for science fiction, fantasy, horror, hybrids thereof, and unclassifiable stories. We prefer stories with personality, and originality of vision, to the factory-made brand. We will consider up to three stories, each of any length to 10,000 words—but since we've already accepted 1/3 of our fiction quota for #32, we're unlikely to spring for anything much longer than 8,000 words this time around. No serials—but we occasionally consider sequels to stories we've previously published.

NONFICTION: TOTU pays 1 ½ – 2 cents a word for essays for the general reader on speculative fiction writers and themes, or speculative science essays for the common reader, to 6,000 words. No plot summaries masquerading as book reviews. Query Eric M. Heideman at the above address with an SASE or, preferably, send an email query to with your non-fiction idea before submitting.

RIGHTS: TOTU acquires First North American Serial Rights. We occasionally settle for One-Time Reprint Rights on previously published material, but if your piece was previously published, or is scheduled to be published elsewhere, you need to say that in your cover letter. No surprises, please. Once your piece has appeared in TOTU, you are free to resell it to other markets. But when it's republished please include a statement to this effect:
"(Story title) originally appeared in Tales of the Unanticipated #issue number)."

ELECTRONIC RIGHTS: For TOTU #32 we will try the experiment of contacting a few #32 contributors about the possibility of our reprinting their piece electronically as part of a small electronic companion version of the issue. Rights will be discussed at that time. No one will be reprinted electronically without their permission.

SIMULTANEOUS SUBMISSIONS: Because of the (very) short reading window, we're willing to consider simultaneous submissions, but again, no surprises; you need to mention up front in your cover letter where else your submission is sitting, and you need to let us know—promptly—when/if it is accepted/rejected by the other market. (After several staff members have devoted hours of consideration to a finalist submission, it doesn't make us happy campers to learn that, in the meantime, you've sold it to a market where you hadn't even told us it was under consideration.)

MULTIPLE SUBMISSIONS: Because of the short submissions window, we're willing to consider up to three stories from you at a time; but please include a separate SASE for each story—containing either a large envelope and adequate postage for return of the manuscript, or a letter envelope with first class return postage, if your ms. is disposable and you simply want our acceptance or rejection, along with any comments we might have. Failure to include separate SASEs with each story may result in prompt rejection of a story or essay that might otherwise have received serious consideration.

UPLOADED SUBMISSIONS: TOTU asks for both paper and uploaded copies of prose submissions. Electronic submissions without accompanying paper copies remain unacceptable. Please read carefully through "prose submissions" above for details. For poetry submissions, see below.

E-SUBS: TOTU now asks for both paper and electronic copies of prose submissions. Electronic submissions without accompanying paper copies remain unacceptable. Please read carefully through "prose submissions" above for details. For poetry submissions, see below.

PAYMENT: 1 ½ - 2 cents a word for fiction and non-fiction. See above for what kinds of fiction and non-fiction we'll consider.


POETRY: TOTU is/was open for speculative poetry submissions to #32 sent from March 1 - March 31, 2014. Pays $7 per short poem; $5 per published page of long poetry. Unlike Eric with his strictures on prose submissions (above), poetry editor Rebecca Marjesdatter will consider poems using any one, two, or all three methods of submission: Paper with SASE, emailed as an attachment, or uploaded. Poems may be anywhere from a few lines to a few pages, but in general, shorter pieces have a better chances of selling.

Paper poetry submissions:

Rebecca Marjesdatter
4137 31st Ave. S.
Minneapolis MN 55406

E-mailed poetry submissions:

Uploaded poetry submissions: UPLOAD your submission using the FILE UPLOAD form at:



TOTU pays $25 for front-cover art, $15 for back-cover art, $12 for commissioned interior illustrations, $7 for cartoons and spot illustrations. For an assignment, send several clear photocopies, or electronic copies, representing the range of your work. Please do NOT send original copies unless asked to do so. Send art portfolios to:

Rodger Gerberding
379 Lincoln Ave
Council Bluffs, IA 51503

Send cartoons to Eric M. Heideman at the paper and electronic addresses for fiction and non-fiction submissions, above.

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