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Presenting Book Smugglers Publishing

Since 2008 we have been reading, commenting on, and sharing our thoughts about stories. After the amazing experience of curating Speculative Fiction 2013, we Book Smugglers want to continue to find and publish the best and brightest voices in SFF.

Book Smugglers Publishing looks for English language original speculative fiction and speculative fiction commentary from all around the world.

Short Stories

2018 season:

Six tales that engage with the theme in completely different ways: with magic, science, horror, hope and more

Past publication seasons include:

Gods and Monsters
Six tales of gods, monsters and everything in between: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Ancient Egypt, and more

Subversive Fairy Tales – 2014
Six subversive retellings of fairy tales from diverse international voices, including classic western fables, and folklore from New Zealand, Japan, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East

First Contact – 2015
Four tales of first encounters, including traditional science fiction, experimental short fiction, historical fantasy, and science fiction romance

Spindle City Mysteries – 2015
Three interconnected novelettes by Carlie St George – mystery noir meets fairytale retellings with a wide range of diverse characters

The Year of the Superhero – 2016
Five super stories of superheroes, including urban fantasy noir, traditional superheroes, science fiction, and fantasy

Halloween Tales of Horror
Annual tales of horror, published every Halloween

“Fighting Demons” by S. L. Huang
A sequel to “Hunting Monsters”, the first ever story published by Book Smugglers Publishing

“The Beatriceid” by Kate Elliott
A stunning new short story, written in verse, set in Kate Elliott’s Spiritwalker Universe

“The Little Homo Sapiens Scientist” by S.L. Huang
A dark, flipped Science Fiction retelling of The Little Mermaid. Available as ebook and limited print edition.

Hurricane Heels series by Isabel Yap
Five interconnected novelettes by Isabel Yap – magical girls, friendship and saving the world. Available as ebook and paperback


We officially kick-started our Novella Initiative for Halloween 2016. The award-winning The Convergence of Fairy Tales by Octavia Cade is available now.


Keeper of the Dawn by Dianna L. Gunn

Reenu-You by Michele Tracy Berger

Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw

Temporary Duty Assignment by A.E. Ash

Girl Reporter by Tansy Rayner Roberts

A Glimmer of Silver by Juliet Kemp

Accelerants by Lena Wilson


The Ninety-Ninth Bride by Catherine Faris King is a YA novel, an adaptation of King’s short story “The Ninety-Ninth Bride” and an #OwnVoices retelling of Arabian Nights. Out now.

The Extrahuman Union is a series of four interconnected novels by Susan Jane Bigelow, featuring a group of superheroes struggling to survive in a dystopian future under the oppression of a totalitarian regime. Over the course of these books, we watch these very human superheroes fly, fall, and dream of freedom.

Out now:
Sky Ranger
The Spark

The Touchstone Trilogy is a series of three YA/SF novels by Andrea K. Höst. In December 2017 we beautiful new print editions of the trilogy with cover art by Kirbi Fagan.

Out now:
Lab Rat One

Food and Horror: Essays on Ravenous Souls, Toothsome Monsters, and Vicious Cravings by Octavia Cade

Collecting the 2017 winner of the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Best Fan Writing

Hansel and Gretel. Turkish Delight. Viscous blood and meaty gristle. From the rituals that surround mealtime to the culture-spanning tales of insatiably hungry monsters, food is often used as both tool and metaphor in speculative fiction. In this award-winning collection of fifteen essays from Octavia Cade, the intersection of food and horror is explored in bone-crunching, marrow-slurping detail.

You are what you eat, except when you aren’t.

Check out more information about the collection here.

The Book Smugglers’ Quarterly Almanac

Launched in June 2016, The Book Smugglers’ Quarterly Almanac collects original short fiction and selected reprints, plus original essays, reviews, and other assorted goodies. The Almanac is available in both print (in a sweet, collectible almanac-sized book) and electronic formats, and sold via all the usual online retailers as well as directly from our website. We also offer it through Weightless Books.

More information about the Almanac is available here.

Speculative Fiction Series

Speculative Fiction is a not-for-profit, Hugo Award-winning publication that collects the best and most provocative online reviews, essays, and commentary from across SFF fandom.

Speculative Fiction 2015, edited by Foz Meadows and Mark Oshiro, is out now

About us: What We Look For & Submission Guidelines

  • DIVERSITY. We want to read and publish stories that reflect the diverse world we live in, about and from traditionally underrepresented perspectives. It should go without saying that we’d hope for a respectful and responsible approach to creating diverse worlds and characters.
  • Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult audience submissions are welcome. Good speculative fiction is ageless!
  • Creativity & Subversion. We love subversive stories. We want you to challenge the status quo with your characters, story telling technique, and themes.

Guidelines for Fiction Submissions:

  • We are looking for original speculative fiction, between 1,500 and 17,500 words long for short stories, and between 17,500 and 40,000 words long for novellas.
  • These SFF offerings must be previously unpublished; we do not accept simultaneous submissions.
  • Profanity, sex, and other explicit situations are fine as long as they fit within the context of the story.

Payment and Terms:

We are a small independent publisher, and fund all publications ourselves because we are passionate about finding new and diverse voices in SFF.

For Short Stories, we pay $0.08 per word up to $800 (although we welcome stories from a minimum of 1,500 words and up to a maximum of 17,500 words long).

We typically publish short stories for free in their entirety on We also sell these stories in ebook (and possibly limited print editions) at a 50% net royalty, with potential inclusion in future anthologies (royalty to be negotiated). We typically ask for exclusive rights for one year, and non-exclusive rights following that.

For Novellas, we typically offer a few options to our authors, depending on a number of factors including length of story, genre and commercial outlook.

We ask for exclusive print, digital, audio worldwide rights, and we plan on publishing the novellas in both electronic and print formats.

How to Submit:

Submissions should be emailed to We are currently open for short story submissions for our 2018 season. Submissions close on December 31, 2017. Full guidelines here.

Please attach your full story as a document (.doc, .docx, .rtf). Do not send your story as text in the body of an email; we will ignore any manuscripts that are not attachments.

A cover letter is not strictly necessary but recommended, and we would love to learn a little bit about you and the inspiration behind your work (or anything else you think is relevant to your story submission).

We are happy to answer any of your questions! Email us (, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.