ULTRA is a short story project run by indie press 1889 Labs.
We're looking for well-written short stories of maximum 2,000 words. Real stories with a beginning, middle, and end — not vignettes, jokes, or decriptions. A short story should still have conflict, plot, characterization, and all such elements.
Here are some of the basics you’re going to want to know about ULTRA.
What is ULTRA?
ULTRA is a new way for readers and writers to connect. Accepted stories are published, voted on and shared with a growing population of excited readers. It’s like a social news site, but instead of news, it’s fiction. It’s about showing readers things they wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and giving authors access to a new fan base. What’s more, the top stories could find their way into our semi-annual anthology series.
What do we accept?
Nearly all genres and themes. We’re looking for original stories with strong characters and settings; stories that surprise, entertain, engage and/or intrigue. Reprints are welcome.
What do we reject?
Badly written or incomplete stories. Excerpts from longer web series. Submissions which do not follow the guidelines.
Unfortunately, fanfic is one thing we can’t accept. While we personally love fanfic (and most of us have written it), the copyright issues would get us in trouble, being a publisher and all. If you have a really fantastic fanfic story that you just can’t bear to shelve, you could try obfuscating it by changing characters, locations and other details... but that might ruin the effect. It’s up to you.
How long can the stories be?
Our goal is to focus on flash fiction, but we’re flexible with the word count. Try to keep yourself below 2,000 words, and above 500.
How does it work?
Submit your story
Go to the submissions page and fill in the form.
Maximum word count of 2,000. Do not indent paragraphs, instead put a hard return between paragraphs. Make sure to put your pen name and to include an author bio with one link.
Once you submit, your story is vetted by our editors to make sure it meets our guidelines. Upon acceptance, your story will be published in the ULTRA Inbox, where it can be viewed by anyone visiting the site.
The front page
If your story receives over 10 Facebook “likes”, it’s scheduled for release on the main 1889 front page, where it will get at least a few days in the spotlight. The most popular stories will be on the shortlist for inclusion in one of our anthologies, so keep spreading the word!
Not on Facebook?
Sadly, our system depends on Facebook to work. It’s a lot of technobabble, but the end result is that we can’t count votes any other way. But even if YOU don’t use Facebook, your friends might! So let them vote for you! Problem solved!
While we do not proofread every story 100% for grammatical and formatting errors, we may edit the style of your submission to fit our in-house rules and do our best to correct blatant errors.
Because ULTRA is a user-generated project, there is no compensation for stories in the Inbox or Front Page. It’s not that they’re not worth it... it’s just that “public voting for cash” is a disaster waiting to happen. Stories chosen for the anthologies will be paid at industry standard rates for non-exclusive publication rights.
For unpublished work, 1889 Labs asks for non-exclusive first print electronic rights for publication on the Internet. For previously published work, we ask for non-exclusive electronic rights for publication on the Internet.
In laymen’s terms: upon acceptance, we purchase the rights to place the content on our website, and to retain it in our archives until such a time that you, the author, asks us to remove it.