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Submit all work to: submissions*at*thewesternonline*dot*com
Read ALL guidelines below before submitting.
Novice writers should read the Fiction Writing Tips
article before submitting.

Please read the General Guidelines below
before submitting work.

Short Fiction Guidelines

  • Send as an email attachment as a MsWord .doc file or as a .RTF file
  • Put FICTION SUBMISSION and the Title of the Story in the Subject Line
  • Story should be in standard manuscript format.
  • Double space, 12 point font, Times New Roman or Courier
  • Word limit is 5,000 words (firm). 3,000 words is preferred.
  • No multiple submissions.
  • Include your Name, Email Address and Word Count at the top of the first page
  • Include a brief biography of 100 words or less written in third person in the body of your email
  • Submit all work to: submissions*at*thewesternonline*dot*com
  • Please read the General Guidelines below before submitting work.

Serialized Fiction / Novella Guidelines

Artwork Guidelines

  • Send as an email attachment in JPEG format.
  • Put ARTWORK SUBMISSION in the Subject Line.
  • Include your Name, Email Address and a brief biography of 100 words or less written in the body of your email.
  • Multiple artwork submissions are okay as long as they are attachments in the same email. Send no more than three at a time.
  • Art can be on any subject dealing with the Old West, but it must be tasteful, no work depicting nudity or gratuitous, unnecessary violence will be accepted.
  • The submission should be about 1 MB. Dimensions of about 7"x8" are usually good, but any reasonable length and width will do.
  • The dimensions of your art will usually not matter, as we can size your art to fit the website page, but you must submit in JPEG format.
  • We prefer current, available art. We don't accept photographs as art nor do we accept photographs of sculptures for submission.
  • We will accept art only from the artist who created the work. Please do not send art from an agent or representative of any kind.
  • As we only accept original artwork, the artist's name should appear with his submission note in the e-mail in signature form on the art work as well.
  • Make sure your signature is clearly visible on the artwork. Artwork that is not signed by the artist will NOT be published.
  • To get an idea of what we are looking for, see some of Mike's Western Art.
  • Submit all work to: submissions*at*thewesternonline*dot*com
  • Please read the General Guidelines below before submitting work.

Non-Fiction Guidelines

  • Send as an email attachment a MsWord .doc file or as a .RTF file
  • Put NONFICTION SUBMISSION and the Title of the Article in the Subject Line
  • Double space, 12 point font, Times New Roman or Courier
  • Word limit is 1,000 words
  • Include your Name, Email Address and Word Count at the top of the first page
  • Include a brief biography of 100 words or less written in the body of your email
  • Submit all work to: submissions*at*thewesternonline*dot*com
  • Please read the General Guidelines below before submitting work.

Book Reviews / Author Interviews

  • We do not review books upon request.
  • If you are interested in participating in an Author Interview as a way to promote your work, answer our Interview Questions and email them to the editor.

General Guidelines

Open Deadline

The Western Online is dedicated to everything Western. The type of story most likely to be published here is the traditional post-Civil War Western. However, we will consider any story that is connected with the early settling of America that takes place during the 1700s and early 1800s, from swashbuckling pirates to mountain men and the early pioneers. All stories must be set in the 17th, 18th, or 19th centuries and deal with the opening and exploration of the American West.

Since people who lived in the Old West tended to be somewhat superstitious and tales of ghosts often ran rampart, we will consider stories with supernatural elements (ghost stories, or stories dealing with regional folklore; some horror elements may even be okay, query first) as long as the story is clearly a Western. We will consider Weird Westerns as long as the story is done tastefully. We do not publish Steampunk.

We don't publish stories with spaceships or aliens, no space westerns, no modern westerns, nothing set in the mid to late 20th century. A story from the early 1900s that is set when the Old West is just ending and modernity is beginning would be ok. If unsure of what type of story we publish, be sure to query: editor*at*thewesternonline*dot*com. (Do NOT send your submission to this address.)

We will consider excerpts from novels to be published as short stories as long as the excerpt can stand on its own as story that has a clear beginning, middle and end. We do not want our readers to be left hanging.

We may consider stories set in the future if they contain no modern or futuristic technology and are for all intents and purposes Western stories.

We do not publish stories with explicit sex or pornography. No indecent or foul language. This is a family web site. Do not submit sexually explicit work or any work that insults race, gender or religion.

We do not publish spoof stories or work that mocks the Western genre. Only serious, quality Western fiction will be accepted here.

We do not publish work that contains plagiarism. Recreating a scene or using lines from another work such as a Western novel or movie is considered plagiarism. Such work will not be published here.

The author or artist retains copyright, by submitting you are guaranteeing that you are the original owner of the material. We will accept work only from the artist or writer who created the work, with no second or third party submissions. Don't send us anything from an agent or representative of any kind.

We want one time electronic rights and permission to retain the piece in our archives.

We also want exclusive online rights for six months after your work is published at The Western Online. To clarify, while we will consider reprints, we don't publish work that is currently online on another site. Previously published stories or art that are no longer available anywhere else online are fine.

No simultaneous submissions.

No Multiple submissions. Submit one item at a time, wait for a reply before submitting another.

Once the piece is in our archives, you are free to submit the work elsewhere as long as you note that it was first published here. Writers retain all other rights. If you would like your work removed from out archives, email us with a request and it will be removed within one week.

By submitting work of any kind, contributors are signifying agreement with the above terms and they acknowledge that the work being submitted is their original work, that it does not break any copyright laws and that they are giving us the first electronic publication rights to the work submitted.

By submitting work, contributors are acknowledging that their work is in adherence to and complies with the above guidelines. Work that does not meet these guidelines will be rejected unread and you will receive no notification as to the status of your submission. If you don't hear back from us after 90 days, your work did not comply with our guidelines and was rejected.

The Western Online has an open-ended submission period. That means the submission period is always open with no deadline. There is no set publication schedule. Your work will be published upon acceptance.

The Western Online reserves the right to reject any submission without explanation.

Note: The Editor reserves the right to change these guidelines at any time without warning. Submissions may be edited for clarity, content and conciseness.

Guidelines updated on Monday, July 1, 2014.

Payment Terms

Updated on Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Western Online is a token market and currently has an open-ended submission period. That means that we offer flat token payments: $5.00 per story regardless of the length and $3.00 per piece of artwork or article. The submission period is always open with no deadline. There is no set publication schedule. Your work will be published upon acceptance and you will be paid when your work is published.

You must include either the email address associated with your paypal account or mailing address along with your submission so we can mail you a check. Your information will be kept confidential and will only be used to send your payment and for tax purposes.

If we don't receive your payment information along with your submission and we decide to publish your work, we will send you another message asking for the information. You will have 15 days (including weekends) to reply or we will assume you are refusing payment and the payment will expire.

For standard short fiction, you will receive a token payment of $5.00, regardless of the length of the story.

For serialized fiction or novellas you will receive $5.00 for each story segment that we publish. For example, if you submit a novella that we serialize into five stories, you will be paid $5.00 for each story, for a total of $25. You will be paid the entire sum when your story is accepted. Each subsequent story segment will be published in monthly intervals.

For each piece of artwork, you will receive a payment of $3.00.

For nonfiction articles, you will receive a payment of $3.00, regardless of the length of the article.

We hope to gradually increase our rates over time until we can afford to pay professional rates.

Upon Submission

Open Deadline

Once your work has been submitted, you will recieve a confirmation email letting you know that your work has been received.

Our review period is sixty days from the date we receive it.

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