Guidelines updated as of October 8, 2007.
Due to an overstock of material, Dark Wisdom Magazine is presently closed to submissions. All current submissions are now being considered as simultaneous submissions, which means that writers are free to submit the material to other markets while it is under consideration at Dark Wisdom , or withdraw it for publication in another market.

Dark Wisdom is a full-sized, quarterly print magazine with a full color, glossy cover and 76 interior pages. We publish quality dark fiction. This covers a broad range of genres, including horror, dark fantasy (not sword and sorcery), and dark science fiction. We also publish Lovecraftian tales, but we prefer them to be original - not  a pastiche.

The important ingredient for publication in Dark Wisdom is originality, and well-written stories of dark fiction that examine the human condition. Stories can be set in any time period or location. Futuristic science fiction set in space or historical fiction stories are acceptable, so long as they appropriate for the magazine's style. We are not interested in explicit violence, sex or bloodshed used simply to shock the reader. If you're unsure of what we like, review a copy before submitting. All stories submitted must be well written and within the word count. Dark Wisdom considers reprints, but please query first. Dark Wisdom does not accept simultaneous submissions.

Short Fiction
We prefer stories of 5,000 words or less. However, we are open to larger words providing they are well done and deserve the increased size. Please query for stories over 5,000 words before submitting. We also consider "flash" fiction and short shorts. At the present, Dark Wisdom is not accepting serial or novella length works. We purchase First North American Publication Rights. Payment for fiction is 5 cents (U.S.) per word. Payment is made by check or PayPal upon publication. 1 contributor's copy is included as well.

We accept innovative poetry with a dark flair. We desire insightful works that spark emotion and imagination in 250 words or less. We purchase First North American Publication Rights, and sometimes first electronic rights. Payment for poetry is 5 cents a word, minimum $5.00.

Dark Wisdom accepts color cover art, color interior art, B&W line art, photographs and grayscale works for the magazine's interior -- color art is preferred. We are interested in anything that is appropriate to the magazine's style. We also contract work, so please feel free to submit samples. Do not submit originals. High quality photocopies or electronic submissions are fine. Do not submit files over 1MB in length without querying first. We purchase First North American Publication Rights, and sometimes first electronic rights. Payment is $100.00 (U.S.) for the cover and $5.00 to $25.00 (U.S.) for interior art.

Non-Fiction Articles

Our interest in non-fiction submissions is mainly reviews for fiction books, gaming products, films, computers games, and music. We prefer reviews related to the topics of the magazine. Reviews need to be concise and well written, entertaining and insightful while remaining around 500 words. We accept extended essay reviews of 1500 words, but please query the Reviews Editor first:  We purchase First North American Publication Rights. Payment for reviews is 5 cents (U.S.) per word.

Strange Happenings
Strange Happenings is a regular feature in Dark Wisdom that deals with factual events that are of interest to readers of dark fiction. This column explores unusual events in nature, such as the beaching of whales, scientific discoveries, information about new and potentially dangerous viruses, inexplicable weather phenomena, and anything unexplainable and strange that happens in our world. Articles should be well researched, concise, detailed, and focused, with a word count of 2000 words or less. We purchase First North American Publication Rights. Payment is 5 cents (U.S.) per word.

Payment is made at the time of publication by check or PayPal. Additionally 1 contributor's copy is given in payment. Additional copies may be purchased at a 50% discount.

Response Time
While we strive for a fast response time, it is presently running about 3 months. 

Reading Periods
As of January 1st, 2007, Dark Wisdom magazine is using reading periods. Our purpose is to provide better and quicker responses to submissions. Any material already submitted to Dark Wisdom will remain under consideration. All other material must be submitted during reading periods. Submissions outside the reading periods will not be considered. The reading periods are:

Feburary 1st - April 1st

September 1st - November 1st

Send all queries to:

Electronic Submissions
We accept text submissions in Word format or RTF. JPGs or TIFFs (preferred) can be submitted electronically. Do not send files over 1 MB without contacting us first.

Email fiction and non-fiction submissions to:
Email fiction reviews to:
Email entertainment reviews (film, music, games, etc.) to: (Include "REVIEWS" in the subject.)

Mail Submissions
All mail submissions should include instructions for dealing with manuscripts and artwork if not accepted. If you wish it returned, include an SASE (with proper postage). If you wish it destroyed, clearly state such in a cover letter.

Mail submissions to:

Dark Wisdom
P.O. Box 389
Lake Orion, MI 48361-0389

Submitting to fiction magazines is always a challenging endeavor. Because of limited space, many submissions must be rejected -- not always due to the quality of the material. To improve the chances of selling to the magazine, review the magazine. This is true for all  markets. Understanding what content Dark Wisdom publishes or has published can only improve the chances of acceptance, but not guarantee it. Like every magazine, Dark Wisdom has a particular trend or style of fiction that its readers accept. This means fiction or non-fiction that is typically beyond the focus of the magazine is unlikely to be accepted. And while the advice of reading the magazine before submitting is commonplace, it is still the best advice to be given. Likewise, visiting the Dark Wisdom forums may prove a useful resource; a link is provided on the Dark Wisdom homepage (

All material copyright (c) 2004, Elder Signs Press, Inc, all rights reserved. P.O. Box 389, Lake Orion, MI 48361-0389.
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