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Criminal Element (Paying Market)

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Criminal Element, a subsidiary of leading publishing house Macmillan, is reading for high quality crime and mystery fiction in all subgenres. Much of the site is teasers for forthcoming novels, but they also buy original fiction for the Criminal Element site. Awesome tagline: Murder. Mystery. Mayhem. Professional pay rates and then some.

criminal element murder mystery mayhem

Criminal Element welcomes submissions of original short crime and mystery stories in all subgenres.

We are not interested in “true crime” or other non-fiction material.

We are interested in stories between 6,000 and 15,000 words.

Simultaneous submissions are allowed.

Original short stories acquired for this program are edited by both in-house editors and freelance editors who are experts in the genre.

We pay $1,000 against a 25% royalty. (The royalty enters the picture with respect to downloadable versions of the work.) Although we will consider edge cases, “original” means original—not previously published.

Please do not query first. Due to the volume of submissions, we regret that we are unable to send responses for queries or for submissions that fall outside the word count specified.

In your cover letter, please include the following:

The subgenre of your story
Confirmation that the story has not been previously published
If you are a published author, and if so, for whom you write
If your story is connected to a larger universe in which you already write

This is not required, but please feel free to include your Twitter and Facebook URLs in the cover letter.

Stories should use standard manuscript format (Our preference is 12 point, Times New Roman, double-spaced.) and be emailed as Word or RTF. Please send it with a cover letter including the elements described above.

Submissions and questions about the acquisitions process should be emailed to criminalelementstories[at]

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Posted by on Saturday, April 21st, 2012. Filed under Professional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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