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Crimson Quill Quarterly

A Quarterly Publication of Fantasy Short Stories

Feather Quill and Inkwell
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About CQq

Just as the classic pulps continue to bring attention, praise, and droves of new readers to legendary writers such as Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Crimson Quill Quarterly wishes to bring attention to budding authors of the Sword & Sorcery, Dark Fantasy, and Grimdark subgenres of fantasy fiction.

We appreciate creativity and talent equally and would love to see well written stories driven by developed and intriguing characters and invigorating action that unfolds throughout the plot.

While we are not looking for stories that "reinvent the wheel", we appreciate originality above all else.

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What We Want

CQQ is looking for original tales of nail-biting peril faced down by a fearless protagonist or protagonists reliant upon their mental might as much as their physical prowess to achieve their goals and overcome their enemies in action packed adventures, preferably told in 10,000 words or less. We do understand that fantasy writers can have a tale’s word-count get away from them and are willing to accept stories up to 30,000 words that will be serialized over several issues.

NOTICE: Simultaneous submissions are acceptable, but please identify it as such in the body of your email and keep us informed if you decide to go elsewhere. As always, there are never any hard feelings if you choose to have another publication print your story.

A payment of $30 USD via check or digital ​transaction (authors who have longer works ​accepted for serialization will be paid $25 USD ​per issue they appear in rather than a flat $30 ​rate). We will buy First Rights and will obtain ​aforementioned rights for six months. Should ​this venture prove even semi-successful, we ​hope to increase the amount we can pay our ​dedicated writers.

/NOTICE: As of 7/1/24, we are once again open ​for submissions. From today until 15 August ​2024, we will be accepting story submissions in ​the dark fantasy, sword & sorcery, and ​grimdark ​subgenres of fantasy.

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What We Don’t Want

Love/Romance Stories

While we don't mind sex in small amounts, we prefer stories that end with a climax of the plot rather than a climax of the characters. Love stories are also well and good, but we're looking for stories that detail the winning of battles and the breaking of bones, not the winning and breaking of young hearts.

Politically Charged Stories

We want our readers to enjoy your stories, not find themselves in firm agreement or hostile disagreement with any political views a writer may have. This world is divided enough, We would appreciate if the fantasy we publish did not stoke the flames of division by referencing political issues.


As much as we love to read stories that have already proven their worth and been given the honor of becoming published, we are hoping for both original and unpublished works. As such we will not be accepting any previously printed stories.

AI Generated Stories

We have no system to detect AI aided stories and rely solely upon the honor of the writer and the understanding that dedication to the craft is what injects soul into a work of fiction. To bring AI into the realm of art is far from writing and little better than programming.

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What We Don’t Want

Modern/Urban Fantasy

We’re looking for a throwback to a fanciful age that harkens back to the wonder and mystery of ancient times long lost to history. We appreciate the Percy Jackson and Harry Potter series, but we feel that when slaying needs doing, its done best on horseback with cold, naked steel rather than in a magic car with a charmed pistol.

Multiple Submissions

We love avid writers with a large library of newly finished work, but we would appreciate if you combed carefully through your tome of saved tales and selected what you believe to be your best piece.

Present Tense Tales

While we don’t ever like to set hard, fast rules for our interests and the creativity of our potential writers, we’ve found that reading a story in present tense can be very jarring, especially if the perspective consistently switches from past to present without much set-up for flashbacks.


These preferences should be seen as guidelines for authors instead of laws set in stone by our editing team. We welcome writers to push the boundaries of our biases and impress us despite our dislikes. Please be aware that such stories will be graded under a harsher lens.

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Get in touch

Please send all submission queries to the below email address in the form of a Microsoft Word document. To ensure that your story does not get lost as spam, please add "Submission -" followed by the name of your story as the subject to your email. We have two editors who will work diligently to read your story and reply to you as promptly as their schedule allows.