Lanternfish Press

Rare & Strange

We are currently closed for submissions.

We'll be back in the fall. You can sign up for our email list to be notified when submissions open.

In the meantime, you can check out our previous call for submissions below.


  • Novels and novellas. We look for work that has something of the "rare and strange" about it: the gothic or grotesque, the surreal or magical.
  • Short (20–40K words) hybrid works. Fictional or quasi-fictional encyclopedias, collections, catalogs, bestiaries, dictionaries.

This spring, we're also seeking:

  • Creative nonfiction titles that focus on cross-cultural perspectives. If you live in some sense between a Here and a There, and you sometimes find these hard to reconcile, or if you write about related topics, please send us your manuscript or book proposal! 

We are eager to read submissions from women, people of color, and queer and neurodiverse folks of all stripes. Please no romance, inspirational, or YA. Manuscripts should be formatted in 12-point Times New Roman, double-spaced, ragged right, with author contact information on the title page. 

Lately, we've seen a few too many manuscripts in which the protagonist is drunk or high through most of the story. That's not to say you can't send us a story involving substance abuse or addiction – just that if you do, the bar will be a little higher. Don't assume that the mere frequency of altered mental states will do enough to make your story edgy or surreal.

LFP titles for Fall 2018 include a satire about superheroes and racism; a literary novel about the escape of two sisters who committed murder as children and have spent most of their youth in a psychiatric institution; and a dark comedy about a vampire who operates a suicide hotline.

Read. Read voraciously. Read writers who don't look like you. Read foreign writers. Read dead writers! 
Writing is a conversation. It can offer people who lead wildly different lives a window on each other’s worlds. It can bridge gaps between cultures and gulfs in time, overcoming unbearable solitudes. We tend to click with writers who’ve grappled with many stories and whose work is informed by that broader perspective. 

Aim high.
Being “relatable” is overrated. Nine times out of ten it just means saying things that resonate with the favorite stereotypes of a given marketing demographic. Yawn. If you really want to wow us, shoot for a perspective that a European writer of the sixteenth century, a middle-class Nigerian teenager of today, and a woman born in an agrarian community two hundred years in the future might all be able to make sense of. If you have trouble putting your finger on what could possibly interest such different people, William Faulkner’s brief but pithy Nobel lecture is a good place to start.

Have fun.
Who says a “serious” book can’t also be entertaining? We love stories that aren’t afraid to have fun: raucous, gleeful, zany romps through new worlds bursting with life. 

Embrace your voice.
We appreciate skillful prose, whether the style is spare and clipped or elaborate and intricate. We have nothing against either long or short sentences. Don’t be afraid of your own voice. Shout it loud! 

As a matter of house style, we do tend to dislike present-tense narration unless the author has a very solid reason to use it. (“It’s more vivid” is not a solid reason.) Instead of reaching for immediacy through use of the present tense, we encourage writers to explore other ways of escaping abstraction and engaging the reader in a lifelike world of concrete things and sensations.

Our nominal administrative fee of $3 is used solely to support the cost of operating this Submittable portal.