The Three-lobed Burning Eye (3LBE) is a magazine of speculative fiction published online two or three times per year since 1999. Every other year, we publish an annual anthology in trade paperback. Each issue features six stories. Terms are one-time electronic rights, with non-exclusive archival rights, and one-time print rights. Beginning with issue #20, we will offer the magazine in PDF and various e-book formats.
Payment to writers is 1¢ per word up to $35, paid on publication (via PayPal), plus one contributor’s copy of the annual.
We are looking for quality speculative fiction. We tend toward horror and dark fantasy, and what you might call magical realism or “slipstream” or “cross-genre”. We might consider an occasional science fiction, suspense or even western tale, though the story must contain some speculative element.
We want stories that expand genre by placing value on originality in character, narrative and plot. We want only your best fiction, distinct and remarkable tales that the reader cannot forget. We encourage multi-cultural points of view. Please read at least one issue before submitting.
We are welcome the short stories less than 7,000 words. Actually, we will consider flash fiction stories (500–1,000 words), but these are a harder sell since we prefer to feature only one or two per issue.
We DO NOT publish: serial stories, novel excerpts, derivative works or fan fiction (e.g. Star Trek, Buffy, D&D), erotica, sword & sorcery, space opera, non-fiction (reviews, interviews, etc.), poetry, or artwork. We do not show advertisements.
For legal reasons, writers must be 18 years of age.
How to submit? Please use the online submission form. Do not submit via email or snail mail. If after 90 days you do not hear from us, feel free to query.
No simultaneous submissions or multiple submissions.
We do not publish reprints, including any piece previously appearing online. Proper spelling, grammar and punctuation are assumed characteristics of a professional manuscript.
If you receive a rejection, please wait seven days before submitting again. We encourage you to send us your best first.
Formatting: Please turn off smart curly quotation marks ” “ and replace them with straight quotes ” ” in your word processing software before cutting and pasting into our online form. This includes single quote marks and apostrophes. Also replace em-dashes(—) with double hyphens(–). Tabs will be preserved, extra paragraph spaces are unnecessary.
Submissions not following these guidelines will be deleted unread.
If the story appears later in another venue, we would appreciate an acknowledgement of 3LBE as the first publication. We prefer that 3LBE contributors wait two issues before submitting again.