UNDERLAND ARCANA is published three times a year, and is looking for previously unpublished short fiction that veers into the numinous, the esoteric, the supernatural, and the weird. We like these stories to be mildly speculative, fantastic, mysterious, and/or horrific (if you prefer genre tags). We’re not terribly keen on stories that splash through gore, but we don’t mind the grotesque. We like character-driven pieces, but are warmly receptive to pieces that are exceptionally experimental in tone, style, and presentation. 

We are actively interested in submissions from writers of underrepresented communities, including, but in no way limited to, writers of any gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, nationality, class, and physical or mental ability. We believe in the rich potential and diversity of humanity, and seek to have that belief reflected in the stories published in the ARCANA.

In more concrete terms: stories should be longer than 1k and less than 5k, but special consideration will be given to longer pieces should the writing demand such attention. Novella length material is better suited for Underland Press (and details regarding those submissions requirements can be found here). Submissions should be in .doc or .rtf formation. Stories must be relatively-compatible to both an online presentation and a print publication. 

Please submit your stories to, along with a brief cover letter that mentions the word count of your story as well as the highlights of your recent publishing adventures. 

READING PERIOD:  Our next reading period begins October 1st, 2022. We will be reading for issues to be published in 2023. The reading period will last for at least one month. We expect this to be the only reading period for next year’s issues. Please plan accordingly. 

PAYMENT: Underland Arcana is paying $0.01 / word—up to 5,000 words—for publication on the website and in the accompanying print & electronic journal (which also includes a yearly anthology publication format). We ask for a modest exclusivity period following initial publication.