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3LBE #27


August 1, 2017 — We're always reading submissions.

January 30, 2017 — If you liked our 2016 fiction, help us release more issues this year. Buy a book, donate, write a review, submit stories, tell your friends.

October 31, 2016 — Issue 28 published today with six new stories of weird, wonder, and horror!

Submission Guidelines

Three-lobed Burning Eye (3LBE) is a speculative fiction magazine published online twice per year (Spring and Fall) and print anthology (every other year). Each issue features six original stories, some with audio readings. 3LBE was founded by editor Andrew S. Fuller in 1999.

Please read the magazine and guidelines before submitting.

What we publish: Original speculative fiction. Horror, fantasy, and science fiction.
Word Count: Short fiction ≤7000 words, Flash fiction ≤1000 words, (2000–5000 preferred)
Simultaneous or Multiple Submissions: No
Reprints: No
Language: English (translations welcome from around the world)
Response Time: within 90 days
Pay Rate: $100 for short fiction, $30 for flash fiction; + 1 print annual
Rights: We purchase first world electronic rights, with non-exclusive archival rights, non-exclusive anthology rights, and optional first audio rights. Payment is made within 30 days of publication via PayPal.

Submission Status: We are currently open to submissions. All submissions through September 14, 2017 have been read and responded to. Please query if you haven't heard back.

Our Needs

What we’re looking for:
Original speculative fiction: horror, fantasy, and science fiction. We want short stories from across the big classifications and those shadowy places between: magical realism, fantastique, slipstream, interstitial, Weird fiction. We will consider suspense or western, though we prefer it contain some speculative element. We like voices that are full of feeling, from literary to pulpy, with styles unique and flowing, but not too experimental. All labels aside, we want tales that expand genre, that value imagination in character, narrative, and plot. We want to see something new and different.

We encourage diverse authors, characters, and points of view; inclusive of all races, cultures, genders, orientations, and abilities.

Our issues include audio readings. If your story is accepted, you will have the opportunity to record your story, or have a colleague or one of our readers do so.

What we’re NOT looking for:
We are not interested in fan fiction, novel excerpts, or memoir. We do not publish poetry, reviews, essays, interviews, or other non-fiction. We are not considering reprints or outside artwork.

Please avoid excessive descriptions of violence. Extremity only belongs in a story if it is relevant to the narrative.

We do not publish erotica per se, but we don’t mind some hotness in context.

Though 3LBE’s title echoes a line from an H.P. Lovecraft story, our publication is not a Cthulhu Mythos-themed venue. We’re open to the occasional “Lovecraftian” short or cosmic horror tale, though we prefer that you make the story your own.

For legal reasons, writers must be at least 18 years old.

How to Submit

We only accept electronic submissions via our online submission form (linked below). Please do not email or postal mail submissions. If after 90 days you do not hear from us, feel free to query.

If you receive a rejection, please wait a minimum of seven days before submitting again. Please do not respond to rejections, even to say thank you, or resubmit revisions of rejected stories. We regret that we are unable to offer feedback.

Cover Letter: Brief cover letters are appreciated. Include your top three or four publishing credits and any experience relevant to the story. Please refrain from summarizing your story.

Formatting: Please format italics with surrounding _underscores_. Indicate section breaks with a # symbol. Do not add extra manual line breaks. Single- or double-line spacing does not matter, as the submission form transmits text. Proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation are characteristics of a professional manuscript.

We prefer that contributors wait two issues before submitting again. If your 3LBE story is later reprinted in another venue, we appreciate a mention.


Read a few issues of 3LBE to understand what we publish. Write something better. Explore, challenge, be original. We want only your best.

Read and know good works in the science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, and other genres. Beware clichés, overused language, hackneyed plots, cheap thrills, thin characters, and wish fulfillment. There is nothing inherently wrong with tropes and trends like vampires, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, serial killers, faeries, or aliens; but we are interested in new explorations of ideas. Beware cleverness. Strive for depth, texture, and imagination.

Please feel free to report our response times to:
Duotrope’s Digest

Critter’s Black Hole tracker
The Grinder

Recommended Reading

American Fantastic Tales ed. Peter Straub
The Book of Fantasy ed. Jorge Luis Borges
Dangerous Visions ed. Harlan Ellison
Mammoth Book of Best New Horror ed. Stephen Jones
The New Weird ed. Ann & Jeff Vandermeer
Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror ed. Ellen Datlow, Terri Windling et al
Year’s Best Weird Fiction ed. Michael Kelly et al.
The Best Horror of the Year ed. Ellen Datlow
The Elements of Style by Strunk and White

Writers whose work we enjoy: Robert Aickman, J. G. Ballard, Clive Barker, Ray Bradbury, Octavia E. Butler, Italio Calvino, Ted Chiang, Michael Cisco, Julio Cortázar, Harlan Ellison, Jeffrey Ford, Shirley Jackson, M.R. James, Stephen Graham Jones, Franz Kafka, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Kathe Koja, Ursula K. Le Guin, Kelly Link, Arthur Machen, Richard Matheson, China Miéville, Flannery O’Connor, Nnedi Okorafor, Lucius Shepherd, John Shirley, Isaac Bashevis Singer, James Tiptree Jr., Jeff VanderMeer, Gene Wolfe … to name a few.


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