Phantom Drift Limited

There are presently no open calls for submissions.

  Phantom Drift Limited is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization with all volunteer editors founded to develop an understanding of and appreciation for fabulist literature through the publication of Phantom Drift: A Journal of New Fabulism. Phantom Drift is one of the few literary journals in the U.S. focusing on fabulist literature. We aim to nurture the literature of fabulism, the fantastic and the surreal by publishing an appealing, top-quality literary journal featuring only the best fiction and poetry from the U.S. and abroad. Our annual journal is perfect bound, 7.5 X 9.25, approximately 160-170 pgs., and published in October of each year. Our submission period is from January 1 - April 30. We publish flash fiction (250 words minimum), short stories (6500 words maximum), poetry, prose poems, critical essays, interviews, artist features and reviews which explore fabulist themes. Payment is $5 a page and a contributor's copy (pdf of issue for international contributors). Please read guidelines included with each category (poetry, fiction, nonfiction and b/w art) for more information. Orders, pre-orders and donations can be made through our website at: or you can leave a tip at

Due to increases in production costs, our commitment to continue payment to contributors makes it necessary for Phantom Drift (a non-profit journal with all volunteer editors) to resort to a modest $3 reading fee for submissions. Fees go toward our support of writers in providing payment and a beautifully designed showcase for their work.

We request first North American Serial Rights and exclusive rights for six months following publication. We request permission to publish an excerpt of your story on our website and permission to publish, if selected, in a future anthology. We pay $5 per page up to 6,500 words, plus 1 contributor copy (overseas contributors will receive a pdf of the issue). We accept simultaneous submissions if so noted, but request that you inform us immediately if your piece is accepted elsewhere. As a general rule we do not read previously published work, including work that appears on the web or in electronic format. Please send one fiction submission during each submission period, and we ask that writers wait for several weeks beyond the end of the reading period before querying about the status of your submission.

If you have any questions regarding our reading period, submissions, guidelines or how to order copies of all our issues, please contact Managing Editor at:

FICTION GUIDELINES: We are looking for fabulist flash fiction and short stories. We receive too many stories to read more than one from each writer during each submission period. We like stories that favor the unusual over the usual; we like stories that create a milieu where anything can happen. Stories can take the form of myth or fable. They can invent or suggest an unreal ambience or describe a realistic landscape gripped by a surreal or unexplained event.

We are fond of Calvino, South American Magical Realism, and Talmudic legends. Kafka and Orwell now and will forever totally rock. Some contemporary favorite reads you might have missed include “Flying Leap” by Judy Budnitz, “Carmen Dog” by Carol Emshwiller, “Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot” by Robert Olen Butler, “Wild Life” by Molly Gloss, “Serial Killer Days” by David Prill, “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A.S. Byatt, “ Riding the Red” by Nalo Hopkinson, “The Child Garden” by Geoff Ryman, and the “Interfictions” and “Polyphony” anthologies. The list of writers of stories we enjoy numbers in the thousands.

POETRY GUIDELINES: We prefer poetry composed in the new fabulist tradition. Phantom Drift exists because its editors wish to found a journal devoted to work that shatters or valuably distorts reality, whether this means surrealism, magical realism, fantastique, or bizarrerie. We value writing whose imagination is unafraid to shift shape, writing that generates unique alternatives to and uncharted voyages away from conventional realism. As poetry editor, I welcome your submissions and tend to favor poetry of a sinister bent, but am open to work readers might label new weird, slipstream, and/or fantastic. Poetry that demonstrates what Roger Caillois has referred to as "the impression of irreducible strangeness," and that inspires what Franco-Bulgarian structuralist critic Tzevetan Todorov characterized as a "duration of uncertainty’’ between strange and marvelous explanations in the mind of the reader will be especially prized here.

Apart from these considerations, content, language, and form remain quite wide open. Submit sonnet, abcedarius, prose poem, or lipogram. Send gothic, supernatural, steam punk, or science fiction. If you possess unabashedly strange, unpublished work which shows such unusual tendencies as these, Phantom Drift wants to see it. Send us your weirdest verse in submissions of 3-5 poems. 

If you have any questions, please contact managing editor at

Phantom Drift Limited