UFO Series



Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting your story!

image descriptionUnidentified Funny Objects is an annual anthology of humorous SF/F. Past headliners include George R. R. Martin, Neil Gaiman, Esther Friesner, David Gerrold, Laura Resnick, Mike Resnick, Piers Anthony, Kevin J. Anderson, etc.

For UFO9 we’re seeking all style and sub-genres of speculative humor.

SUBMISSION WINDOW: July 26 to August 25, 2022

LENGTH: 500-6000 words.

No reprints, multiple, or simultaneous submissions.

PAYMENT: $0.10 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: DOCX, 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: Submit via this link.

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

If you wish to query for any reason, please use the contact form or e-mail us: 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 print, e-book, and audio rights 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, Future SF, or any other anthology edited by Alex Shvartsman. 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 them 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 previously published stories, no matter how obscure. Stories posted on your personal blog, Facebook page, or Patreon page are considered published.

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.

13 Responses to UFO Series

  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 […]

  4. […] (Originally published in Unidentified Funny Objects 3.) […]

  5. […] Unidentified Funny Objects series of anthologies (Alex […]

  6. […] finalist for the 2015 Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Fiction. He is the editor of the Unidentified Funny Objects annual anthology series of humorous science fiction and fantasy. His collection Explaining Cthulhu […]

  7. bouzouki2112 says:

    Hi Alex et al,
    I unfortunately saw the submission link two days too late on FB. Here’s a potentially dumb question: even two days after the deadline and with you being swamped in submissions, is there the most remote chance that I can slip mine under the door? (Completely understood if the answer is either “no” or “hell, no.”)

    • Alex Shvartsman says:

      Alas, no (with a slight leaning toward ‘hell no.’) That was a hard deadline (and the submission window had been advertised for months.) We will have an open submission period for UFO7 next year, around the same time of the year. You can check this page, The Submission Grinder, or join the mailing list to make sure you don’t miss it.

  8. […] Huff and other best-selling genre authors), Scott Andrews, the editor of Beneath Ceaseless Sky, Alex Shvartsman, short story author and anthology series editor of Unidentified Funny Objects, Bud Sparhawk, […]

  9. Hello there. I’d like to know if it is okay to use profanity in the story, for example, in this case, the f-word.or maybe any other.Just feel that it suits the theme and style of my story. Also, if I am allowed to use them, am I supposed to write them as they are, or with an asterisk, for eg: f***. Thanks in advance.

    • Alex Shvartsman says:

      That’s fine, you can use some profanity. If we feel it’s too much but like the story otherwise it’s a simple enough matter to revise in edits.

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