Fiction Guidelines

Plan B is currently closed to submissions

Updated January 28, 2015

What we want:

Anything in the straight mystery genre is welcome: private detectives, police procedurals, crime stories, cozies, thrillers… if you think it fits, give it a try. We are particularly interested in a diversity of voices and characters. Private dicks in 1940s LA are good, but we’d love to see a greater variety as well. More details about that are in this post.

We are looking for stories of up to about 5000 words. Flash fiction is cool, but it might be a hard sell as we want to see a complete story. Reprints are okay, just make sure all rights have reverted back to you before submitting.

What we don’t want:

  • Cross-genre stories. I like a cyberpunk future detective probably more than the next guy, but there are already lots of markets for SF and fantasy.
  • Horror. Blood and guts are fine, but the story should be a mystery to solve, or feature a crime other than killing or maiming.
  • Fan-fic. Pastiches are fine – encouraged, even. But we want homages to Sherlock Holmes, not your Sherlock Holmes story. It’s a fine line, but a good general rule is that the characters and plots are original.
  • Supernatural elements. No ghosts, no demons, no vampires. No exceptions.
  • Erotica. Sex is fine, adult situations and language are fine, but an X-rated story will be a tough sell.
  • Multiple submissions. Let us evaluate one of your stories at a time.


We are looking for cover art for the anthologies. Original photographic work or illustrations please, with some element of crime, detection or mystery. Files should be full colour, high-res in 3:2 aspect ratio.

All Submissions

What we pay:

Ah, the brass tacks. Plan B pays 1¢ USD/word up to a $50 maximum, and a flat fee of $30 USD for art. Payments will be made via PayPal. We buy non-exclusive electronic, audio and print rights.

How to submit:

Send your work for our consideration to Please don’t send your submissions to any other email address; it won’t get addressed in a timely manner if you do.

Fiction submissions should be sent as an .rtf or .doc attachment only. No .docx, please.

We read submissions blind, so please remove your name from the body and filename of the submission. Make sure the title of your story is in the body of your email and, ideally, is (more or less) the name of the file you send us.

Send artwork as an attachment or a link to a file sharing site such as Dropbox.

In your email, give us your legal name and a short third-person bio. Please keep your cover letter brief, but be sure to include the title of your story. In fact, including the title of your story in the subject line of your email is ideal. Finally, please send your submission from the email address you’d like us to use in correspondence.

Please give us 6 weeks to respond to your submission. If you haven’t heard from us after 6 weeks, please query; we have had a handful of submissions get lost in the tubes.