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General Submission Guidelines:

Either you’ve come to this site because you’re already a writer or you are a fan of speculative fiction that wants to take a crack at writing some. In either case, it is necessary to carefully read these guidelines if you plan to submit your work to us for online publication.

PLEASE NOTE: These are guidelines for speculative fiction submissions to our online division (silverthought.com). For submissions to our print division (Silverthought Press), see the Publishing Queries section below. For literary fiction/poetry submissions, visit our sister site Megan's Closet. For transgressive fiction submissions, visit our sister site Offense Mechanisms.

Include the following with your submission:

This is the name of your submission. Be creative. If your title contains a spelling/grammar/punctuation error, unless you can provide a very good reason for the error, expect it to be corrected. Nobody really wants to read "Teh time The Robotz Conquered It's H8."

This is your name. Pseudonyms are acceptable, but we encourage you to use your real name. Few things are as satisfying as being known for having written a good piece of fiction. Silverthought is a newcomer to the literary world, but we are known, and you will be, too. If you choose to use a pseudonym, please provide the editor with your real name as well. Your real name will not appear in any form on Silverthought unless you want it to, but the editor likes to know who he's dealing with.

This is a short plot summary of the submission. Please note: the editor will use this synopsis to generate the submission description that appears on the ST front page. Thus, please refrain from first-person descriptions (“I wrote this piece three years ago...") or generic, cliche descriptions that have little or nothing to do with the plot ("Mama always told me there would be days like this.")

This is a short biographical statement. If you’re lost here, a good place to start would be your hometown, education, non-writing hobbies, or similar points of interest. Tell us who you are.

These credits may be truncated if they consist of 200 online publications, but novel-length work, material that has seen hard-copy print, and publication by our peers in the online world are definitely of interest.

PLEASE NOTE: Submissions that do not include the information above will not be considered for publication. Include this information in the body of your submission email or at the top of your attached document. You'd be surprised by how many submissions come in with no synopsis or even a real author name. We're not going to publish UNTITLED STORY by COOLKID69LOL@aol.com. Ever.

To submit to silverthought.com, email Paul Hughes at editor@silverthought.com. If we accept your submission, you will be notified via email when it is included in a site update. Because of the volume of submissions to the online division, we do not send rejection notifications. If you do not receive a site inclusion notification within six months of your submission, consider it rejected.

As with any resource, particularly in the literary world, it is important that you know who you are submitting to. Silverthought.com is a website that was originally intended to showcase the best in new speculative fiction. We have expanded our thematic coverage by accepting some horror, some weird-tales, some Twilight Zone-type material, and other genres. We also have accepted in the past stories that stray wildly from the accepted hard-boiled sci-fi yarn.

That having been said, there is a relatively fine line between acceptable and unacceptable with regards to pieces like this on Silvethought.com. We encourage you to submit your story ideas and not be afraid that you’re "too out there” for us. On the other hand, qualitatively, you must recognize that the further you deviate from the accepted traditional storytelling format that sci-fi and speculative fiction uses, the less likely it is that we will accept your work. If you want to write an edgy, dark, speculative poem, we may very well accept it. But it had better be the best damned edgy, dark speculative poem we’ve read in a long time in order for you to have reasonable hope that we’ll publish it.

Also, please evaluate carefully if your work could be considered “speculative.” We receive numerous pieces that are ultimately not published, and not because they aren’t good. They’re just not for Silverthought. We like to keep an open mind, as discussed above, but there is value to associating a certain quality with our name. We want our readers to have at least a vague idea of what to expect when they log on to our free website. Imagine wanting to read a space-drama and being greeted with a fairy story. Some things just aren’t for us. Fan fiction (Star Trek stories, etc.), sword and sorcery fantasy, and rehashed imitations of other, better stories are among these. We’re not saying we don’t like that sort of story or that we haven’t read good fiction in those categories, we just don’t publish that here. Keep in mind that your submission may be rejected solely because it does not fit this single criterion.

Technical Guidelines

Please submit all work as plain text in the body of an email or as an attached .TXT, .DOC or .RTF file. .PDFs are not acceptable. Submissions in unacceptable formats will be rejected. Please note that text is sometimes corrupted either in transmission or in transfer from word processing programs to web design programs. The editor will make every attempt to present your text as it appears in the original file.

There are no minimum or maximum length requirements for pieces. We accept flash fiction, short stories, novellas, serial fiction, and novel-length works. Silverthought Press (the print division of Silverthought) accepts short stories and novels as well, and often the print publications are drawn from the online content.
Note: If you plan to serialize a story, however, plan on finishing it. If we invest the time in publishing parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 of your story, make sure you have 5, 6, and 7 ready to go. We appreciate the difficulty involved in finishing a lengthy story, but it makes us look like a trash-bin for hacks when serial fiction starts and then disappears when halfway through the storyline the author runs out of ideas.

There are no content restrictions on submissions. We believe that censorship has absolutely no place in the art and craft of writing. If you are easily offended by foul language, sexually charged content, or descriptions of human beings doing horrid things, please take a moment to remember that all those four-letter Wirty Dords eventually spell out “freedom.”

We can't stress this enough: PROOFREAD YOUR SUBMISSIONS BEFORE YOU SEND THEM. It can be as simple as running a spell check. Sometimes we receive submissions where it's painfully obvious that the writer hasn't actually read the piece even once before sending it in. That is unacceptable. Word has those squiggly green and red lines for a reason. Submissions with pervasive spelling/grammar/or punctuation errors will be rejected, unless you want to pay the editor $75/hour to gut your work. The editor has also been known from time to time to publish pieces without editing them at all, just to showcase to the world that a particular writer apparently didn't pay attention in third grade English class. You don't really want that, do you? PROOFREAD YOUR SUBMISSIONS.

You do not have to indent paragraphs. In transferring the text from the word processing program to the web page editor, your indentations will be lost and replaced with non-breaking spaces. The editor will make every attempt to preserve your paragraphing, but an easy way to ensure that paragraphs are obviously defined is to use single spacing within paragraphs and double spacing between.

To signify a section break, please use: * * *. Ornate fleurons or asterix variants will just be replaced with * * *.

We accept submissions in any font you choose, but all submissions will appear on the site in Times New Roman 12 with titles in Arial. The editor prefers to read submissions in Times New Roman 12 or Arial 10. The editor absolutely hates Courier of any size. Don't ask. If you just can't live without a particular font, let us know, but there better be a convincing reason that your submission is stronger in Cooper 72. Keep in mind that we will not embed fonts on submission pages.

The editor will make every attempt to preserve your emphasized text (italicized, underlined, bolded). Sometimes he will miss emphasized text within the submission if he can't see it, so be sure to denote emphasis consistently and obviously. If you submit via email and do not have the option to code italics, underline, or bold, please offset emphasized text with asterisks (*as such*). Generally, text within submissions that is italicized, underlined, or bolded will appear as italicized text on the site, unless the context implies that it should remain simply underlined or bold. The editor doesn't like shouting, so CAPITALIZED TEXT will often be replaced with italicized text, unless the text is an acronym or the context requires capitals. Remember, CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR AWESOME.

Some writers choose to include illustrations with their submissions. If you would like an illustration included with your text, please attach it to your submission email in .JPG or .GIF format. We can work with almost any graphics file format, but for the sake of simplicity, JPGs and GIFs are preferred. The editor will resize illustrations if need be. Only illustrations for which the writer has clearance will be accepted. In other words, if it's someone else's work and you don't have permission to use it, don't bother sending it in.

Editorial Policy

The editor will never change thematic or stylistic elements of your stories. The editor may, however, occasionally correct obvious spelling or grammatical errors. That having been said, Silverthought is not a free editing service. Submissions with significant grammatical or spelling errors will be rejected until fixed by the author. If you would like to receive a quote for professional editing services, click here.

Submissions to Silverthought.com remain the sole property of the author, with all rights intact, including the right to withdraw the piece for any reason with sufficient notice to the editor. Silverthought Press operates on a contract basis to “buy” the rights to a book. This is typically in the form of a percentage of future royalties and not up-front advances (a la Doubleday). If you are invited to participate in Silverthought print publications, further guidelines will be supplied to you.

Plagiarism of any sort, real or questionable, will not be tolerated. Yes, we really do mean this, and we have cut authors loose in the past who have “lifted” stories from older books. Technology being what it is these days, spotting plagiarism is almost absurdly easy, so don’t test us. Anyone caught doing this will be permanently banned from Silverthought’s forums and website, and is a douchebag.

All submissions to Silverthought will be reviewed by our editorial panel before their inclusion in a site update. If the panel feels that a submission requires revision before inclusion, the author will be notified via email, given some suggestions for improving the piece, and invited to re-submit the piece after revision. Reasons for rejection may include inappropriate subject matter for the site, significant spelling/grammatical errors, lack of originality, etc. The panel may suggest revisions; they may not. Writers are invited to revise and resubmit a piece as often as they would like, but keep in mind that the panel might invite you not to let the door hit your ass on the way out.

Authors whose submissions do not appear in a site update are encouraged to post their work in The Clinic, a section of the Silverthought forum in which writers receive feedback or suggestions for improvement on works in progress. Please take advantage of this valuable resource. When it comes to improving a piece, dozens of eyes are better than two.

Final advice and recommendations:

The editorial staff has a few more recommendations for you on how to successfully join the Silverthought community of writers. No matter how good a writer you think you are, you would be wise to follow the advice below.

Join the Silverthought Forum. Many of the best and most successful Silverthought writers post there regularly, and a wealth of information regarding the site can be found there. As writers, it is easy to become isolated by our own passion. Not all of us live in big cities. We’re spread out over the US, Canada, Europe and in places all over the globe. The forums are a well-established place to have a community of people who understand the value of independent literature and stories not put through the gristmill of large publishing houses. Also, readers will often log in to tell us what they think about our work. This sort of feedback is invaluable. After all, most of the authors are fans of sci-fi and speculative fiction as well, and will have useful insights into your work. If you are interested in promoting Silverthought, becoming a regular reviewer, participating in peer-reviewing and critique, and meeting the authors whose stories you admire, this is a terrific resource.

Read this thread: "Suggestions for New Submitters." Self-explanatory. Don't make the mistakes mentioned here.

Read this thread: “Things You Can Do to Make Your Writing Better and My Life Easier” by editor Paul Hughes. He updates it periodically with helpful hints to avoid common submission errors in the form of grammatical or technical mistakes. You will save yourself a lot of rejection if you know and understand the things that he talks about here.

Read this thread: “Style Tips That Aren’t Obvious.” In it, a number of established Silverthought authors talk about stylistic cues for writing that you won’t necessarily find in any “Elements of Style”-type manual. Some of us have taken formal writing classes at the post-secondary level, and some of us just have a lot of experience crafting entertaining stories. It would behoove you to check this out and pay close attention.

Read our Mission Statement. This is a clear overview of what we hope to accomplish as an online and print publishing house. If you are unsure if Silverthought is for you—or vice versa—this should clear up any ambiguity.

Publishing Queries

Updated 10-2007: PLEASE NOTE: Silverthought Press will not be accepting submissions of manuscripts for publication until January 2009. At this time we do not anticipate any more openings for our 2008 publication queue.


Effective 01-2009:

The print publishing division of Silverthought Press seeks submissions of quality work in the genre of speculative fiction. Literary fiction/poetry manuscripts will be forwarded to our Megan's Closet imprint. Transgressive fiction manuscripts will be forwarded to our Offense Mechanisms imprint. ST Press will publish 1-3 books/quarter, but we have a rolling submissions policy. If you would like to submit your manuscript to Silverthought Press, please first contact editor Paul Hughes with your query.

Given the nature of our digital assembly/production/distribution methods, we prefer to receive digital submissions. Silverthought does accept print submissions to the address listed below, but encourages writers to consider the environmental impact. If you send a printed manuscript, eventually we will require a digital version.

Times New Roman 12 is preferred; manuscripts in Courier will most likely be ignored, as will any manuscripts that feature dragons, vampire slayers, wizards, or unicorns, even though Paul Hughes loves unicorns.

Please send printed manuscripts to:

Silverthought Press
ATTN: Paul Hughes, Editor
32148 State Route 26
Philadelphia, NY 13673

Please send digital manuscripts to:

Paul Hughes, Editor: editor@silverthought.com

Include the following information with your query:

Author Information:

Title Information:

You may send digital manuscripts in .DOC, .RTF, or .TXT (in order of preference) format. Please send manuscripts with a read receipt to ensure that we receive the work.

Please allow 6-9 months for a response. Response time is generally much shorter, but unforeseen circumstances or consultation among the editorial staff may necessitate a longer evaluation. Paper manuscripts will not be returned unless submitted with a SASE. We read each query and manuscript, but due to the number of submissions, we do not respond to writers whose manuscripts do not currently meet our needs. If within 6-9 months you do not receive a reply to your query, please consider your manuscript rejected.


  • PROOFREAD YOUR SUBMISSIONS. Nothing angers a professional editor more than a manuscript that hasn't at least been put through a spell check. Some recent submissions exhibit no evidence that the writer read the manuscript even once before sending it in. If you require professional editing services, please ask for a quote here. If we have to spend three months fixing your writing before publishing your book, chances are we aren't going to publish it.
  • Because of a significant backlog of print submissions, we are no longer able to respond to writers whose work we reject. We are currently evaluating manuscripts as fast as possible, but your patience is appreciated. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
  • We are no longer accepting short story collection queries from individual writers. Anthologies drawn from multiple writers will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but we are shifting focus to ST-branded collection production instead of outside collections.
  • Submissions that do not meet Silverthought's speculative fiction focus will be forwarded to the editorial staffs of our sister sites, Megan's Closet and Offense Mechanisms. This includes all non-fiction, poetry, literary fiction, transgressive fiction, etc.