UFO – Unidentified Funny Objects


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Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting your story!

image descriptionUnidentified Funny Objects is an annual anthology of humorous SF/F. UFO5 headliners include David Gerrold, Laura Resnick, Esther Friesner, Mike Resnick, Gini Koch, Tim Pratt, and 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: Upload your stories via this submissions link.

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.

Please do not respond to rejections. The email address associated with submissions is not monitored directly. If you wish to query for any reason, please use the contact form or e-mail us directly at ufopublishing at gmail dot com.




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.

5 Responses to UFO – Unidentified Funny Objects

  1. Alex Shvartsman says:

    Please note that I deleted previous comments on this page because some of the details/policies for our submissions have changed over the years and some of the information posted here was no longer accurate.

    If you have any questions about these guidelines, please feel free to ask here or reach out through the contact form.

    • petrepan says:

      What’s your policy on submissions with a partner vs. submissions alone? For example, if someone subs something as part of a pair (co-authors), can she then not submit something alone?

  2. Chris Marchant says:

    I have a story which I think is a good fit for this anthology. Unfortunately I have entered it for the Writer’s Bureau short story competition. The winner will be put up on their website, would that prevent me from submitting it to you. The competition closing date is also the 30th April.

    • Alex Shvartsman says:

      Sorry, like most SF/F venues we do not accept simultaneous submissions.

      We work very hard to turn most submissions around in 1-3 days because we respect the authors’ time. However, if we do like the story enough to consider buying it, we don’t want to have to worry whether some other venue will pick it up first.

  3. […] story was first published in Unidentified Funny Objects 3 in […]

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