UNDERLAND ARCANA is published three times a year, and is looking for previously unpublished short fiction that veers into the numinous, the esoteric, the supernatural, and the weird.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 must be an attachment to your email and must be in .doc or .rtf formation. We will not click on links to Google docs. Those submissions will be summarily deleted. 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:  We are not reading at this time. We suspect we shall be reading again later in 2023 for the following year. We shall announce our next reading period via our mailing list and through the usual outlets who track this sort of thing. 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.