UFO – Unidentified Funny Objects




FUNNY FANTASY is currently open for REPRINT humor submissions. See guidelines.

image descriptionUnidentified Funny Objects is an annual anthology of humorous SF/F. UFO4 headliners included George R.R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Esther Friesner, Piers Anthony, Mike Resnick, Karen Haber, Gini Koch, Tim Pratt, Jody Lynn Nye.

For UFO5 we’re seeking all style and sub-genres of speculative humor.

SUBMISSION WINDOW: April 1 – April 30, 2016

LENGTH: 500-5000 words.

Limit of 1 submission per author — even if you receive a response before the submission window closes please do not send more unless directly invited to do so.



PAYMENT: $0.07 per word + contributor copy. Payment will be made upon acceptance. Our preferred method of payment is via PayPal, but you may request image descriptiona check.

FORMAT: RTF or DOC. Standard Manuscript Format or something close to it (We won’t take points off if you prefer Courier over Times New Roman or some such).

SEND TO: Submissions link will be posted on April 1.






RIGHTS SOUGHT: First Worldwide print and electronic English Language rights. Exclusivity for 90 days from date of release. Non-exclusive rights to keep the anthology in print across different publishing platforms afterward. Preview sample contract.

POLICIES & RESPONSE TIME: No reprints, multiple or simultaneous submissions please. Do not send any stories we already considered for a previous UFO volume. You may query after 30 days. Please send only one submission per author unless directly invited to send more.





We’re looking for speculative stories with a strong humor element. Think Resnick and Sheckley, Fredric Brown and Douglas Adams.  We welcome quality flash fiction and non-traditional narratives. Take chances, try something new, just make sure that your story is funny.

Puns and stories that are little more than vehicles for delivering a punch line at the end aren’t likely to win us over.  The best way to learn what we like in general is to read a previous volume. You can buy it here and also read the online stories for free.






These are the tropes we see entirely too much of in the slush pile. You will improve your odds if you steer clear of these:

* Zombies
* Vampires
* Deals with the Devil / Djinn in a bottle variants
* Stereotypical aliens probing people, abducting cattle, and doing other stereotypical alien things.


See the UFO Publishing About Us page



I have two 6100-word horror stories that were previously printed and are now on submission at several magazines. Can I send them to you, simultaneously?

Please don’t. We have carefully considered what we’re looking for and expressed it above. If you strongly feel the need to break one of the guidelines, query first and provide a good reason.

My story was previously published in an obscure college anthology in 1996, which sold 16 copies. Can I submit it?

Sorry, but we won’t consider unsolicited reprints, no matter how obscure.

I may have accidentally begun my manuscript three double spaces below the byline instead of two. Am I getting auto-rejected?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. We’ll reformat your submission to fit our needs. You’re even welcome to send your story handwritten in pink crayon on glitter-sprinkled construction paper, but we will take that into consideration when deciding whether to purchase it, and whether to file for a restraining order.

I plan on winning multiple awards for my UFO story. Will your exclusivity rights prevent me from being included in the Nebula Showcase?

Congratulations on all your future success. We will gladly make exceptions for “Best Of” anthologies.

An anthology of humor SF/F is the greatest idea since sliced bread. What can I do to help?

Spread the word. Support our Kickstarter campaign. Pick up copies of previous UFO volumes. If you want to invite our authors/editors to a con you’re organizing, sell paperback copies of UFO at your store, bake us cookies, or help in any other way, we’d love to hear from you.

UFO guidelines are proudly listed at Ralan.com

UFO guidelines are proudly listed at Ralan.com

Please report your submission stats at The Grinder.

Please report your submission stats at The Grinder.

Unidentified Funny Objects anthologies are a SFWA-qualifying market.

Unidentified Funny Objects anthologies are a SFWA-qualifying market.

45 Responses to UFO – Unidentified Funny Objects

  1. […] UFO Publishing is soliciting short story submissions for “Unidentified Funny Objects” — An Anthology of Humorous Science Fiction & Fantasy. […]

    • I have a Sci-Fi 12,500 word manuscript, that I have recently finished, about your font of UFOs! I would like to submit it to you, but I finished it, without looking over the requirements of how to submit such a manuscript, so as they say, I was not Politically correct, in my approach! Still, I think what I have written, is in a manner, of exciting levity! The title is, “Alien 2 Alien” and it was a joy to write it, and what makes it unusual, is that, it is about Aliens, that have the same mannerisms as Humans have! It mostly contains the disagreements of 2 Aliens on their journey, to the Planet Earth, and their dilemmas of getting there, and getting back home! (Note) I have not submitted my paper, to anyone at this moment, and would really like to submit it to you first, for your approval! Please contact me, with your mailing address, so I can submit it to you! You will, really enjoy it. I promise! Thank you, and God Bless, Skye!

      • Alex Shvartsman says:

        Thank you for your interest, but we’re closed for submissions at the moment, and that isn’t the sort/length of material we typically publish. Please read the guidelines.

  2. […] Cool Anthology idea here, #ICYMI: Unidentified Funny Objects anthology. […]

  3. […] If you write funny science fiction or fantasy, UFO Publishing wants to see your work. Unidentified Funny Objects has plans to publish an anthology of funny science fiction and fantasy stories. Editor Alex Shvartsman is looking for stories 500 to 4,000 words and will pay 5 cents a word. His reading period is July 1 through August 31, so don’t sent your story before then. Get the scoop here. […]

  4. Miss Edee says:


    I’m looking forward to submitting a short story once you open to submissions. Is there information you would like included in the body of the email?

    Thank you,

    • Alex Shvartsman says:

      Dear Edee,

      You’re welcome to include a brief letter listing your publication credits or other humor-related accolades, but this is not a requirement. We’re very easy-going about cover letters.


      • Miss Edee says:

        Wow – thanks so much for such a quick response! Since by “accolades” I’m pretty sure you don’t mean blog commenters who think some of my sillier essays are funny, my submission email will be fairly brief. Again, thanks, and I look forward to your feedback.

  5. Wenda (sic) says:

    I don’t know if I can produce something for your anthology since your genre would be a new one for me, but I still want to tell you your submission page is terrific. Covers all the bases with a style that seems to convey what you want and what you’d be like to work with. Not easy. Congratulations.

    • Alex Shvartsman says:

      Thanks very much, Wenda. As a writer who sends out a lot of short fiction submissions, I wanted to make everything as easy and convenient for the potential contributors. From clear guidelines to relaxed formatting requirements to fast response times — basically all the things I’d like to see at other markets.

  6. […] UFO: Unidentified Funny Objects – August 31 […]

  7. […] Landing” went to the UFO anthology of humorous […]

  8. […] out more on UFO here.  I hope to see your stories in the slush… not that I’ll know it was you. Rate […]

  9. […] Science Fiction, and Nature among other venues. He is an Associate Editor for the anthology “UFO: Unidentified Funny Objects.” Michael is also the author of ‘Write Every Day – Hints and Tips towards a Daily […]

  10. Winnie says:

    If the overall message is sad but the story (dialogue, etc) is funny, is that bad?

    Thank you for offering this opportunity!

  11. Winnie says:

    The story I am writing is funny (in dialogue, descriptions, etc) but the overall message is depressing. Is that really bad for my chances? T_T

    Thank you for offering this opportunity!

    • Alex Shvartsman says:

      Hi Winnie,

      Dark/depressing stories would be a *very* hard sell at UFO. The overall tone and message of the book is that of fun and optimism. I haven’t bought any dark humor yet, and don’t expect to pick up much of it at all, unless it overwhelmingly wins me over.

  12. Bill Kowaleski says:

    I’ve got a very funny story but it was published on a webzine already. They don’t get many unique views and the rights revert back to the author immediately after publication (i.e. I wasn’t paid anything). Would you consider such a story?

    • Alex Shvartsman says:


      Thank you for your interest, but we would not consider such a submission. I’m having a very hard time trying to fit on all the great stories that are previously unpublished. If this book is successful however, UFO Publishing will print other anthologies in the future, some of which will accept reprint submissions.

  13. Is the final list out yet?

  14. Gregg Chamberlain says:

    very cool a volume two to come out.

  15. If I’m reading this correctly, you want first world wide print and electronic. So does that mean I can submit something that has been published as audio (on drabblecast)?


    • Alex Shvartsman says:

      Dear Jameel,

      Although we’re not buying audio rights we will only consider submissions that haven’t been previously published in any format.

  16. Jason L says:

    Alex – are you opening this up at 12:00 am 5/1/13? :)

  17. A Heretofore Unknown Author says:

    Any chance of a deadline extension? I’ve got a story out for sub that I don’t think will come back in time for May 31st, but neither do I expect it to sell (in part because it’s a sci-fi comedy.) I refuse — tempting as it may be — to commit the sin of simultaneous submission, on the lightning strike of a chance that someone else may pick it up. But really, the story is so funny it will make you crap your pants. Hoping against hope that the window is a little flexible!

    • Alex Shvartsman says:

      Sorry, but no. Even the invited authors must get their stories in by the deadline. We have a tight schedule and will need to make all final decisions shortly after the submissions deadline has passed. The good news is that we fully intend on releasing the anthology annually, so you can try us next year if the story doesn’t come back to you in time, and is still available in 2014.

  18. […] May 2013 — Unidentified Funny Objects 2 — ed. Alex Shvartzman; UFO […]

  19. linuxjim says:

    I have a story I think would fit … BUT … I have this vague memory I submitted to one of your previous UFO anthologies (and got rejected), only I can’t find it in my records. Were you previously using a different publisher name? I want to check this, as it would make no sense to send something you already rejected.

  20. Michael says:

    Dang – I have two stories that would be a perfect fit, but they have both been published in Danish last year.

    That means they are out, right?

  21. Bev. says:

    Would you be interested in a humorous ghost or paranormal story? There is not need to send it if this genre is not your cup of tea. (I agree with Wenda, your submission page is good one.)

  22. […] March 2014 — Unidentified Funny Objects 3 — ed. Alex […]

  23. CMT says:

    This might be a stupid question, but do you have any kind of auto-reply to submissions? (Just trying to understand whether the story I sent actually went through and I only have to wait for the rejection or it got lost somewhere and I actually have to wait for next year to retry)

    • Alex Shvartsman says:

      We don’t send an auto-reply, but we do respond to everyone very quickly. I’m about to send out all first round rejections and round 2 bumps today, so if you haven’t heard anything in the next 24 hours, please query.

  24. […] for even more places to send your laugh-out-loud fantasy tale? Try Unidentified Funny Objects (you’ll have to keep an eye on their website to see when they’re opening up […]

  25. Dagnabbit! Missed it. *sigh* I’ll just have to wait and see what the next issue’s theme is. There really aren’t enough markets that take humorous works.

  26. […] has designated Unidentified Funny Objects, edited and published by Alex Shvartsman, as a Qualifying Professional Market, the first anthology […]

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