This is the Journal of Unlikely Entomology Archaeological Site.
Issue 6, published August 2013, is available at our new site:

The Journal of Unlikely Entomology
Submission Guidelines

[Submissions Open.]

What we're doing:
Unlikely Story publishes three themed issues a year: The Journal of Unlikely Entomology, The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography, and The Journal of Whatever Tickles Our Fancy This Year. We reserve the right to put out an indeterminate number of further sub-themed mini-issues on an irregular basis, if we feel like it.
What we’re looking for:
Beautifully-written fiction, characters that grab us by the throats and refuse to let go, worlds that demand to be explored…and bugs. Genre isn’t particularly important to us—speculative, mainstream, slipstream, and the unclassifiable tales in between—we’ll read anything; all we ask is that something pertaining to bugs is integral or significant in your story. The bug element can be literal or metaphorical, hallucinatory or behavioral or metaphysical, or any combination thereof.
Not quite sure what we’re talking about? Think of The Metamorphosis, Ender’s Game, Angels and Insects, Naked Lunch, A Recipe for Bees, District 9, Eight Legged Freaks, and Sandkings. Basically, think bugs, and let your imagination run wild. There are no barriers as to levels of profanity, gore, or sexuality allowed, but be sure to use them well if you do use them.
Please note: our definition of bugs is somewhat expansive. Please read our FAQ for details.
Mini-issue Themes:
Themes for prior mini-issues calls for submissions:
  • Mini-issue 2.5 - 'Valentine's Day' - was published Feb. 14th, 2012. The theme was love, lust, and/or massacres (and also, bugs).
  • Mini-issue 3.5 - 'hello, world' - was published August 28th, 2012. This is the 40th anniversary of the first ever publication of the 'hello, world' computer program, written by Brian Kernighan. Stories for this issue involve something new emerging to greet the world, and in the process, change that world in significant and unexpected ways.
We have no current calls for submissions for mini-issues.
Occasional Papers of Non-Entomological Interest:
At the risk of seeming insufficiently obsessive, we have decided to mount exploratory expeditions into other unlikely Arts & Sciences.
Our first such effort will be The Journal of Unlikely Architecture. You can find the submission guidelines for JoUA here. Submissions are now closed, and the issue will appear in August 2013.
Our second non-entomological issue will be The Journal of Unlikely Cryptography. JoUC will publish annually. Submissions open July 1 - November 1, 2013, and guidelines appear here.
Word limit:
We’ll consider stories up to 8000 words, but strongly prefer stories of 5000 words or less. We’re open to flash fiction and fiction in non-traditional formats, but we do not publish poetry or non-fiction.
Mini-issues: Stories should be between 100-1500 words, with a hard cap at 2000 words.
Pay rate:
Standard Issues: We pay 5¢ per word for original fiction, and 1¢ per word for reprints. Payment is made upon publication.
We buy first-printing world exclusive English-language rights for six months after publication, and non-exclusive electronic rights for twelve months after publication. We hope (but do not require) that you'll allow us to post the story in our archives indefinitely, but you have the right to ask us to remove your story from the archives at any time after twelve months. We also buy the option to non-exclusive anthology rights related to the magazine, as collected issues and/or a best-of anthology. Should we choose to include your story in a print and/or ebook anthology, you will receive a copy of the anthology.
We will consider reprints, but original fiction is strongly preferred. If you are submitting a story that has been published elsewhere, please tell us in your cover letter when and where the story previously appeared. Our general rule of thumb is that if the story has appeared only in print, we want at least a year to have passed since first publication; if the story has appeared online, we want at least 2 years since first publication. We publish a maximum of one reprint per issue.
Simultaneous submissions:
Multiple submissions:
Standard Manuscript Format, basically:
  • 12 point courier font
  • double spaced
  • standard 1" margins
  • top left of first page: name, contact info, word count
  • header: last name, title, page number
Variances from traditional manuscript format:
  • use bold, italics and underline as they are to appear in the story
How to Submit:
Electronic submissions only. Send your story as a .doc or .rtf attachment to The subject of the email should be:
"SUBMISSION - [last-name] - [title]."
Please include a brief cover letter in the body of the email with your name, contact information, story title, and word count.
If you are submitting for a particular mini-issue, please state so in the cover letter.
Response Times:
We will send an acknowledgement of receipt within 72 hours. If you do not receive this, please query. Average response time is fairly quick, but we'll definitely get back to you within 4 weeks to let you know whether we wish to hold the story for further consideration or not. If you haven’t heard from us after 4 weeks, please send a brief query email with your name, title of your story, and the date your work was submitted to
The subject of any query email should be: "QUERY - [last name] - [title].
Final selections for each issue will be made approximately two weeks after the close of the submission period for each issue.
Other Stuff:
Proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar are a must. Don’t send us a revised version of a story we’ve already rejected unless we specifically request it. Keep an eye on our blog and our twitter and facebook feeds for news about the magazine, and submissions status updates.
Art Submissions:
For the most part, once we select stories for an issue, we search online for art that fits to serve as an illustration. Artists who wish to bring their work to our attention can submit their work to us (see below), and we review these first. Illustrations may be previously published, as long as it is not under contract that would preclude any of the rights requested below.
In some cases, we will solicit original illustrations from artists who have indicated they would are interested. Artists will have 3-4 weeks from receipt of the story to submit a final illustration.
If you would like us to consider your work, please submit three samples of your work to, either attached as moderate resolution jpgs (max of 500 KB each), or as links to your work online.
  • The subject of your email should be: "ART SUBMISSION - [Artist's Name]."
  • Include your name, address, email and phone number in your cover letter, as well as the filenames of the images
  • Files should be named according to the following format: [last-name]-[title].jpg
So if Jane Doe submits a piece titled "Larva In Waiting," the file will be
Doe-Larva-In-Waiting.jpg. Anything sent with a filename like IMG0148.JPG will inevitably be misplaced.
Pay: We pay $10 for existing art and $25 for original art that is produced to illustrate a specific story. If your piece is chosen as the cover art, you will receive an additional $10.
Rights: We ask for non-exclusive electronic rights to use the image as an illustration for the story, including a thumbnailed version for indexes, and in a gallery of illustrations associated with the Journal of Unlikely Entomology. We ask for a non-exclusive option to use the image in print and ebook anthologies in conjunction with the story to which it is attached. You will receive a copy of any issue or anthology in which your work appears. We ask for the right to use the image in conjunction with advertising or promotion for the story, and for the issue and/or anthology in which the story appears.
You retain all other rights.