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.
Word Count: Short fiction 1000–7000 words, Flash fiction 500–1000 words, (2000–5000 preferred)
Simultaneous or Multiple Submissions: No
Reprints: No (this includes stories posted online or via Patreon)
Language: English (translations welcome from around the world)
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, optional first audio rights, and non-exclusive anthology rights for the annual printed later. Payment is made within 30 days of publication via PayPal.
Response Time: within 90 days
Submission Status: We are currently open to submissions. All submissions through March 31, 2018 have been read and responded to. Please query if you haven't heard back.
What we’re looking for:
Original speculative fiction: horror, fantasy, and science fiction. We're looking for 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, creeds, genders, orientations, expressions, status, 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 We do not publish poetry, reviews, essays, interviews, or other non-fiction.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.
We do not publish erotica per se, but we don’t mind some hotness in context.
Please avoid excessive descriptions of violence or gore. We are not looking for extreme horror.
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.
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. Also, please limit your submissions to a few in a calendar year.
Cover Letter: Brief cover letters are appreciated, no more than a single paragraph, please. 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 see 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, superheroes, or aliens; but we are interested in new explorations of ideas. Beware cleverness. Strive for depth, texture, and imagination.
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, John Crowley, 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.
You have read the guidelines and wish to:
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