Black Petals Horror/Science Fiction Magazine & Yellow Mama

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For Authors, Poets and Artists 

    Okay, before we get into this, I have to rant just a little. It is becoming obvious that some people do not read guidelines or, if the do, they are not paying attention. I am receiving e-mails with no author's name, no information, no formatting of any kind. Just junk pasted into the body of an e-mail that I am expected to deal with. Here's a clue: Not gonna happen. That is why they put the little trash-can icon on the e-mail application. So, if you bomb my mailbox with that kinda junk, don't be surprised when you never get an answer. Okay, I'm done and here are the guidelines:

Black Petals is currently under a contingency plan. Due to some health issues, the Editor, Anne Stickel, is out of commission until February 15th, 2020. Submissions in the meantime will go to Kenny Crist. Please use file attachments in Word or PDF. I do not like zip files. Times New Roman is my fave, but if it's not written in Crayola, we're probably okay. The email address is blkptls@cox.net.

      We accept short fiction, 700 words for flash fiction pieces, 2500 to 3500 words for regular stories, and poetry of any length up to four pages, and illustrations. We do not care for simultaneous submissions, as we have had issues with writers "pulling" their work after release, because they got a better offer elsewhere. If your piece IS being submitted elsewhere, please advise at time of submission. For over twenty-five years, Black Petals has been proud to give many authors their very first publications, and we still continue that tradition. Even though we are one of the oldest "small press" mags on the net, we are still about new talent.

     Black Petals is about the dark side of Science Fiction, and the bizarre and unusual in Horror. Give us your best, most bizarre tales and your most chilling poetry. We will do the rest because we strive to publish a quarterly, very professional magazine.

     Keeping this in mind, please do not waste our time with manuscripts containing Star Trek or any other copyrighted characters. They will be discarded. Work in which graphic sex or violence serves only to “spice up” the tale, rape scenes, and “splatter punk” don’t impress us; neither does focusing on ‘sexploitation’ or abuse of children, animals or dead people. Other than that, go for it, and we will try our best to read and reply to all submissions.

     Payment at this time is limited to bragging rights. Authors and artists retain all rights to their material after our one-time publication. We require First Worldwide Electronic Rights for 18 months, after which we normally archive our websites so readers can see back issues. Your story or poem will be yours to do with as you like, but will still appear indefinitely on our domain. If you wish to have your material pulled after it appears once, please let us know!

     In the past, Anne Stickel has enjoyed doing book reviews for various writers. I will not be doing those as I just don’t have the time.

     Here’s what I like to see in a submission: First, as I already said, I want a file attachment. I don’t care for a manuscript embedded in the body of an email.

     I don’t need to see strict manuscript format, but I do need your full name and address on the first page, and some bio information at the end. I see no need for your phone number unless you just want to include it. I like Times New Roman font in at least 12-point. 14-point is even better. I like seeing good spelling and grammar, but I would much rather have a story that grabs me and makes me say, “Wow!” and have to work on it a little, than a meticulously-written piece of crap. I’m not looking for English majors as much as I am storytellers.

     I tend to be blunt and I didn’t take anyone to raise. If you can’t handle criticism or rejection, you will have a tough time as a writer. If I reject your work, I will tell you exactly why and I will suggest things you could do to improve your chances of being published.

     Artists, if you do horror or science fiction art, we'd like to see your work! We cannot pay for artwork, but we can help you increase your portfolio of published work. 

      Inquiries are welcomed by email at: blkptls@cox.net . We are looking for new talent to do custom artwork to suit each story we decide to publish.   Art assignments will be sent by email and artists typically will have at least 30 days to complete and return their work.  Work should be submitted as a .jpg file in 300 dpi density. DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS. If you can't scan it, send a good color copy by regular mail to:


Black Petals

11627 Taft

Wichita, KS  67209