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Afterlives: Year’s Best Death Stories, 2023

We want to read your death-related fiction!

Psychopomp will be publishing Afterlives: The Year’s Best Death Stories 2023, curated by Vajra Chandrasekera

Please read the full guidelines before submitting so you can learn about:

  • what we’re looking for
  • how much we’re paying
  • what rights we are buying
  • and how to submit

Submission link below the guidelines.

What We’re Looking For:

We’re looking for stories specifically that have been published on and between January 1st 2023 through December 31st 2023, with a word count between 1,000 words and 19,000 words (so: short stories and novelettes) that are about death.

This could mean exploring what happens to us after we die, traveling to the Underworld, Death gods, Death personified, metaphors for death, grieving, funerals, graves, stories based on death myths from cultures across the world, death magic, ghosts, resurrection, and so on.

We specifically are not interested in stories that are centered around:

  • the traditional Christian afterlife/pearly gates
  • zombies

Note: in our experience publishing The Deadlands, we know that a lot of people interpret “stories about death” to mean slasher/true crime/gore-y horror. We are not opposed to horror as a genre, but it should be ABOUT death, not just MURDERING PEOPLE.

Stories should be previously published online, in print, in audio, or via email subscriber list, by an independent magazine or press. Stories published via your own Patreon, blog, or tumblr are not eligible.

If the story will be printed before 12/31/23, but has not yet appeared, you may submit the work as soon as you have the final edited version.

We will be accepting submissions through January 31, 2024.

We DO encourage authors of historically marginalized and underrepresented backgrounds to submit their work.

We DO NOT want to see any stories that were produced using AI.

Payment:

For any story we publish in Afterlives 2023, we will be paying $.01/word + a copy of the eBook and a print copy.

Rights:

We are buying to right to publish your previously-published story in any electronic and print copies of Afterlives 2023.

How To Submit:

In an effort to read and be exposed to as many stories as possible on this subject, we are asking authors to submit their story via a dedicated Moksha submission link.

Unlike the stories we read for The Deadlands, if your story is held for consideration, it may be held for quite some time, until we are ready to finalize the TOC.

We’ll do our best to communicate if we are holding your story; please do not query us if we have let you know we’re holding your story.

Please do not query us at all re: your story–we are moving slowly through them, it’s taking longer than we thought but it is happening, no need to query! Thx 💀

Please DO NOT submit more than one story to us at a time.

Thank you.

Submit your story here.

Any questions not covered in these guidelines, please visit the contact page to reach out, unless your question is:

  • does this story fit <pastes story in email>? (IDK, use your best judgement and just submit it).
  • you said my story is in your hold pile, but I just wanted to check if you’re still considering my story? (yes, do not query about this).
  • my story was published <insert place your story was published that is not a zine or publisher> can I still submit? (no).
  • is it OK if I submit more than one story at a time? (no).
  • My story was published <some date in 2022> is it OK if I submit it? (no).

A Quick Note About Considering Stories From The Deadlands, A Death Magazine that Psychopomp Publishes:

Authors that we’ve published in The Deadlands are encouraged to submit their stories for consideration in the anthology–the editor has 100% autonomy in picking stories, and is in no way required to include stories from the magazine that we also publish. If any story/stories from The Deadlands end up being reprinted in Afterlives, it was done so at Vajra’s sole discretion.