Submission Guidelines

Who we are

The Sockdolager is a quarterly internet magazine for original short fiction.

What we want

From August 15th through November 1st, we're accepting submissions for a special issue edited by Rawles Marie Lumumba. The theme is "Women of War," and Rawles offers the following editorial statement:

“Women of War” are so often those who have suffered, nameless and forgotten, in the fallout of others’ conflict. But they can also be women who have carved out their own ways to survive and to thrive. Women who have fought their own wars in fields both traditional and extraordinary. Women who are warriors in any or all permutations and conceptions of the word. What is your character’s preferred field of battle and how has she triumphed, persevered, succumbed, or all of the above?

Please note the temporary changes in "How to Submit" below.

We’re looking for short genre stories in which Things Happen—stories about lives saved, discoveries made, worlds changed, days seized, and hearts broken or mended. We want tight plots, snappy dialogue, and smart, engrossing prose—pieces that you can’t help but devour in one sitting, but which reward coming back for a second look. We like to be challenged and we love clever stories that make us think, but above all else it has to be fun to read. Please note well the bold typeface in the previous clause. We strongly prefer science fiction and fantasy, but will consider just about anything that you think we might enjoy. 

We are particularly interested in hearing from a diversity of voices and perspectives. We also encourage unpublished writers — or writers who have previously worked in other mediums — to send in their work.

Stories should be at least 1000 words, and absolutely no more than 5000 words. Unless we have specifically solicited a longer piece from you, submissions above the 5000-word threshold will not be read.

We will consider reprints, particularly if they didn’t receive a wide audience in their original venue, but we prefer stories that have not been previously published.

What we pay

Payment is 2¢ per word for new stories, and a flat $15 for reprints.

How to submit

Submissions can be sent as .rtf or .doc attachments (in standard manuscript format), or as Markdown-formatted plain text files, to If your story is a reprint, please tell us where it has been previously published.

In your submission email, please use the following convention for the subject line:

SPECIAL ISSUE: Story Title/Approximate Word Count

We do not accept simultaneous submissions—do not send us a story you have sent to another market. Please wait for us to reply to your submission before sending another—we’ll only consider one of your stories at a time.

How long to wait

If you haven't received confirmation of your submission within a couple of days, please do query -- sometimes emails go astray!

We try to respond to submissions within two weeks. You are encouraged, nay, exhorted to query if you haven’t heard from us within four weeks — include the word “QUERY” in your subject line, along with the title of your story.

What not to submit

We would much rather see your work than discourage you with a litany of things not to write. Also, execution trumps originality. So: If you love it, send it in. 

What exactly we're buying

For new stories, we are purchasing the right to be the first market to publish your story in English in three formats -- here on our websites as part of an upcoming issue, as a part of an ebook edition of that issue, and as part of a small-run print "zine" edition of that issue. For reprints, we're asking for the right to include your story in an upcoming issue, and we'd prefer that it not debut in another English language online market at the same time.