We're not going to waste your time with obscure and lengthy guidelines, and we hope you won't waste ours by neglecting to read these brief tips. If it's not already clear, we're primarily seeking engaging and original stories in the Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror realm. That said, we're looking for fiction that has literary merit above all else. Share a story with us that's demanding to see the light of day. Give us a conflict that's cannot be ignored; give us a character that commands attention; give us a novel situation or a compelling predicament or a totally unique angle on a familiar trope. Send us a good piece of fiction and we'll figure out everything else later.
Edit your manuscript. Gaping plot holes, typos, mistakes, and cliched writing is certain to be rejected. No idea is clever enough to overpower bad or unpolished writing. We cannot stress this enough: edit your manuscript.
Hyper analyze your first page. Then, hyper analyze your first chapter. There's an overwhelmingly high chance that our editors will recognize within the first page whether or not they'll read the full chapter, and within the first chapter they will almost always know if they're reading the full manuscript. If you've ever earnestly explained to someone that 'it gets really good around chapter three,' know that while your friends, peers, and allies might be willing to invest an hour into you based on good faith, our editors simply don't have the time.
Write a query that loosely follows this formula: When (event happens), [main character, age x] must (action) or else (consequences). Your query should be 2-3 paragraphs, followed up with a brief bio. Don't overthink the query, but don't ignore it, either. Remember, this is the first text our editors will read.
For Novels / Novellas.
Simply send a query to submissions (at) muddypawpress (dot) com. Begin your subject line with QUERY: title of manuscript [genre] (e.g. QUERY: The Muddy Pawed Bandit [Horror].
We like letters that are concise, include a brief bio with relevant writing experience, and focus on character / conflict / stakes - in that order. Also include the first chapter of your manuscript as an attachment. Word attachments are highly preferred.
Format the text in 12 point Times New Roman font with double spacing. No reprints. Original, unpublished work only.
For Short Stories
There is no word count limit, but we prefer work that doesn't exceed 5000 words. If you have an incredible story that's 10,000 words and just can't possible be shorter, send it anyway, and if it truly is amazing, we'll talk.
Include a cover letter made up of 2-3 sentences aptly summarizing your work, a brief bio with relevant writing experience, and the full text in a word attachment.
Again, email your submission to: submissions (at) muddypawpress (dot) com. Begin your subject line with SHORT STORY: title of story [genre] e.g. SHORT STORY: The Serial Editor [Cosmic Horror]. No reprints. Original, unpublished work only.