Slush Tips

It’s been only recently that we opened to submissions and we have received lots of short fiction and Monster Bytes. We thank you for your interest. However, we’ve got some easy tips that might help you leap out of the slush box.

Short Fiction

  1. Flash fiction: We buy flash fiction under 1000 words but barely receive any. Your odds are much higher of making it out of the slush if you send flash.
  2. Unusual setting: More than 80 per cent of everything we get is set in New England. Yes, we know Lovecraft was from Rhode Island, but we’d like different an unusual locales. It adds spice to the mixture.
  3. Historical fiction: The publisher and the editor in chief have a soft spot for good historical fiction. Most of what we get is Victorian, so other time periods are often unexplored.
  4. Fiction by and about minorities and women: We get a lot of Caucasian male protagonists. And we know Lovecraft wouldn’t have had a female Japanese lead, but we would. We are not interested in fiction that degrades women, minorities or children, such as “rape and revenge” or “childhood sexual abuse” plots (for women or men). We see too many of them, already.
  5. Not only horror: Most of what we receive is horror, but we will also purchase Lovecraftian parody, science fiction, dark fantasy, steampunk or heroic fantasy. Clark Ashton Smith’s Hyperborian stories, for example, are fantasy with a Lovecraft twist.
  6. Lovecraftian: We have an ample definition of what constitutes fiction inspired by Lovecraft, but straight murder stories or revenge pieces with no hint of the supernatural do not fall in this category.

Monster Bytes

If you are curious about what a Monster Byte looks like, go through News, Fiction, Lifestyle and Opinion archives.

Reviews and Essays

We want reviewers! We’ve got people lined up for book reviews but we are also looking for speculative movie and TV reviewers. And essays on Lovecraftian stuff.


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IFPSlush Tips

7 Comments on “Slush Tips”

  1. Michael Webb

    What exactly constitutes fiction that degrades women and children? If the woman fails to resolve the conflict and dies, or children suffer in a story, does that constitute degrading women and children? It is after all a horror story.

    1. IFP

      Pointless violence does not a good horror story make. If you have read our first issue, you’ll see that “A Bedtime Story” concludes with the death of a woman. We are not against the death of females or characters in stories, but violence for the sake of violence does not satisfy the editorial team. Similarly, throwing in rape, mutilation or profanity just to shock us will not get a story up the slush ladder.

    2. IFP

      I might add to the above reply that while we do buy horror, we also purchase other Lovecraftian stuff from parody to sword and sorcery (ala Clark Ashton Smith or Robert E. Howard). We reply quickly, so if it is not our cup of tea we’ll let you know as soon as we can. We don’t want to keep writers waiting for long.

  2. Jeffrey Moeller

    Guidelines clarification query. I have a short story I am circulating but don’t wish to offend. The POV character is female, but thoroughly and unremorsefully despicable, and meets an (off camera) violent but deserved end. The antagonist is female and frankly not any better. No one in the story is what you might consider a good person or heroic.

  3. Mike

    Hi folks –

    Do the submissions have to feature things Lovecraft created, or can they simply be dark stories with creatures that may be similar to something Lovecraft would have done? Thanks.

    1. IFP

      The stories should be inspired by Lovecraft, but don’t need to feature Mythos creatures or monsters.

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