We Want Your Work!!!

Cryptic Escape Magazine is always looking for the best in quality science fiction and horror to give to our readers. If you’re a writer who is starving and you need to be published and you feel you have the right stuff then please submit your work to us!  Send your work to MakeYourCrypticEscape@gmail.com.

What We Want

Cryptic Escape Magazine is a genre magazine in written form. We’re looking for science fiction, fantasy, weird or dark fantasy horror. CE Magazine has a large spectrum of crime drama, supernatural, and dark fantasy.   We publish the entire realm of this genre.  If you want to write shock and gore that’s fine too, as long as its good quality.  We won’t throw a work out because it’s taboo.  Originality is very important.

We don’t want your books.  We want short stories or fast fiction.  These tend to be fast paced with well-defined characters, and fast action.

We will be wanting holiday themed stories.  Preferably submitted about 4 months ahead of that particular holiday.  Also, if you happen to have a book being released soon and you wish to publish a short story to coincide with its release date, we would be more than happy to oblige you and delay its publishing until it’s timing is better suited for its promotion.

We normally pay you for your work.  If however, you have a good story and wish to be bumped ahead of everyone else to coincide with a book release there will be a $100 fee imposed.  This fee is there to discourage people jumping ahead in line.  We also have costs to run the magazine.


CE Magazine welcomes submissions from writers of all backgrounds.   We don’t care whether you are black, white, LGBTQ, Christian, Muslim, or even an anal probing alien. Your work will be looked at objectively for its content and content alone.  You can not pay us to publish a work that is not good and we will promptly reject your $100 fee.  If it isn’t what we’re looking for it just isn’t.  It is what it is.  It’s just business.

Payment and Rights

Ah the section that all starving writers are interested in.

We pay the rate of $.05/word for original fiction up to a cap of 5,000 words.

$75 flat rate for reprints.

$15 flat rate for fast fiction stories below 1,500 words.  We call this fast fiction.  This also applies to book, comic book, video game, and movie reviews.

Cryptic Escape Magazine purchases your works nonexclusive rights in audio or visual medias and we do so under the Creative Commons License. 

Specifically, we use the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license. Briefly, this means that the entire world has permission to distribute the content for free, provided they give credit for it, don’t try to make money from it, and don’t change it in any way. Recording it, extracting portions from it that exceed fair use, and mashing it up are all prohibited.

You will retain your copyright and all rights to any other use of the story.


We like reviews.  If they’re good and well read and under 1,500 words that would be peachy.  Make sure your book, video game, comic book, movie, television show reviews are of the proper genre.  Science-fiction, fantasy, and horror.

For short stories you have a 5,000 word cap. Your story can be longer than this however you will only be paid for the first 5,000 words.


We do not discriminate between previously published and unpublished works. We buy nonexclusive rights, so it doesn’t hurt us if a story has previously appeared in another market. If the text of the work is currently available online for free, that’s great! Let us know in your cover letter so we can link to it in the web post if we publish your story.

Multiple and Simultaneous Submissions

We will not accept multiple submissions.  If you submit more than one story everything after the first will be rejected. However, let us know if you have submitted your work to other publications.

Format and Cover Letter

Please prepare your manuscript in something approximating Standard Manuscript Format formatted in .rtf, .doc, .docx, and .odt.

In your cover letter, please include your legal name, byline (if different from your legal name), and the story’s approximate word count and publication history. If you have any previous publications, feel free to list the most recent three, but this is optional and won’t affect your story’s consideration.

Once you’ve sent us your story our submissions division will let you know when they have received it.  Then they will let you know when they have read it.  If by chance you have not heard from us within 3 months, send us an email asking what’s up.

Things You Need to Know

By sending us your story you understand and agree that:

  • You are the original creator of the work submitted to us;
  • You are the copyright holder of the work;
  • You are not prohibited by any prior agreement from the transfer of non-exclusive electronic and audio rights to the work;
  • All information in the contact and cover sections of your email is accurate and truthful;
  • You accept sole responsibility for any false statements or encumbrances upon rights not disclosed to us.

If we buy your story we’ll send you a contract, and you’ll be bound to all of the above.

If you have audio rights to your stories: unless you’re doing work-for-hire for a game company, all reputable speculative fiction magazines of which we’re aware acquire serial print rights, often with non-exclusive electronic or anthology options. Some online markets may insist on electronic exclusivity for a certain period of time, and if so, you can’t publish it with us until after that period ends. However, we know of no regular short fiction market that contracts for exclusive audio rights. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen; always check your contracts.  This is to save your own ass.

What We Do With It

Once you’ve sent us your story, we will review it and respond to you via email in about three months. If it takes longer than that, please query.

If we decide we’d like it for our magazine, we’ll send you a contract as a PDF file in email. You will sign it and send it back to us either via email (after scanning it), fax, or postal mail. Then we’ll pay you via check or money order, whichever you indicated on the last page of the contract, and we’ll start publication.

During the publication process we may contact you with questions about the story, its background. We hope and expect that you’ll be available to help us, as a good manuscript makes all of us look good. Unfortunately, as everything we do is on a somewhat fluid schedule, we usually can’t give you an accurate timetable of when your story will appear but we will let you know.

Why Do We Use Creative Commons?

As stated above we use the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.o license.  This means that the entire world will have permission to distribute your work for free.  As long as they give you credit for it, make no money off of it, or change it any way.  Taking excerpts from your work is beyond the fair use and is prohibited.  Even though we retain publishing rights, you also retain your copyright and all other rights to any other use you deem fit.

Most writers do not feel comfortable with Creative Commons licensing and we understand that.  However we have our reasons for using it.  Let us explain.  When we publish a work we are putting it on the internet.  It is actually called the WORLD WIDE WEB (www).  Your work is going to get copied into countless CDs, mobile devices, and hard drives all over the planet.  Which is exactly what we want. We want people to read your work.  But once it’s on the internet, it’s there forever.  There are no take backs.  There is no way to reach into everyone’s devices or computers and delete your work.  DRM is unreliable and is too complicated to chase down every single person and ask them to remove it from their device.

For this reason, when we purchase your rights we have to make it so the content does not expire.  There is no way to stop people from taking your work.  And we shouldn’t!  So, given that reality of the digital age, we all should give our readers the full legal right to do what the internet does anyway.  They can copy it, share it, and read it whenever they want.  They’re going to do it anyway!  However, we can make it equally clear to them what they can not do.  Which is alter your story in any way, take excerpts, and make money off of it.

This is why we use Creative Commons.  If you’re work is good people will buy it!  We feel it is in your best interest to get as much exposure as possible and at the same time we are reflecting on the reality of the situation.  Which is no one can control it once it’s outside the box.

If you do not wish to use Creative Commons then we apologize that we cannot accept your work as we do not have the legal resources to chase down every single person who kept your story.  And if you want to sue your own fans, that’s on you.  However, last we checked, that wasn’t good business.

If your fans love you, they will buy your work!

Any questions?

If you have questions, comments, suggestions, or criticism (but not stories) send them to our staff at MakeYourCrypticEscape@gmail.com.  We’ll do our best to get back to you within a few days.

Thanks for hanging in there and we look forward to being amazed by you!