SUBMISSIONS (Drabbles Series)

Would you like to write for The Insignia Series? Please browse the following open submission calls, and check back regularly for updates.

Looking for our poetry submission call? Please go to this page. 

—Please read the criteria for submission carefully. Each anthology call is different and the specific themes may not be outlined on Duotrope or The Grinder’s current listings.—


(Updated December 3rd, 2019)


Thank you for your submissions and interest in this new series. We hope to run a second drabble anthology project in 2020, as well as a short story anthology (theme to be decided).


Theme: JAPANESE FANTASY. Including all sub-genres and science fiction. Be creative and original! Give us ghosts, ninjas, good/evil creatures, tsukumogami, witches, magical realism, steampunk, futuristic times, and anything weird you can come up with.


Guidelines: Variety is key! Don’t just go to popular mythologies. Eg: kitsune stories are great, but we don’t want twenty of them. We don’t want twenty stories set in Kyoto either – take us all over the beautiful cities, countryside, islands, and oceans of Japan. Deep space is okay too.

All humans (main characters) should be Japanese. Try to use less common names to make your story different from others. And please don’t use the suffix ‘san’ with names. Use ‘Mr/Mrs/Ms’ where clarity is needed, or not at all.

Regarding story titles, again, be creative. Eg: don’t title your tanuki story, ‘The Tanuki’. That’s fine for a general anthology maybe , but not in a drabble anthology with dozens of potentially similar stories. A good example: I (Kelly) have a drabble going in called ‘Dangerous Love’ about a girl who falls for a hangyoujin (half-man half-fish monster).

Word Count: EXACTLY 100 words. I won’t reject stories I like if they’re 1 word off, but please double check your story and save me the trouble of asking you to correct it.

No. of Submissions: 3 stories maximum will be ACCEPTED per author. Do not submit more than 3 at a time. If any stories are rejected, you may submit new pieces. Do not re-submit a revised drabble unless invited to do so.

Other Conditions: Reprints and multiple submissions accepted. No simultaneous submissions please. For reprints, include the publisher and date in your cover letter.

Formatting: Times New Roman and 12pt preferred. Include the story title, your pen name, and email address in the story document. Each story in its own document please.

Payment & Rights: Sorry, there’s no payment for this project, however each author will receive a review copy of the finished anthology (MOBI or EPUB). Rights remain with the author. We only seek permission to include your story in this single eBook. Contracts will be sent with each acceptance.

Publication: For eBook release only. We distribute via Amazon, Smashwords, and Draft2Digital. We’ll be accepting anywhere from 60-100 drabbles, depending on the volume of submissions.

How to Submit: email your story/stories to insignia.drabbles(at) Include ‘Japanese Drabbles’ and your pen name in the subject line, and a cover letter and short author bio (with 2 links only) in your email. You may send up to 3 stories together (in separate Word doc/docx files please). Please list them in your cover letter to confirm they are all received and get read.

We’d be happy to answer any queries or discuss your story themes etc in advance of the deadline. Email us at the above address, send us a tweet @InsigniaStories,  or contact us via The Insignia Series Facebook page.

We look forward to reading your submissions, and thank you for your support of our series.

~Kelly Matsuura~


Track Submissions to The Insignia Series on The Grinder

Track Submissions to The Insignia Series on Duotrope

(Duotrope listing was updated on Aug 21. Basic call info only. PLEASE always follow the criteria listed on this page first).


19 comments on “SUBMISSIONS (Drabbles Series)

  1. Well, I have a kind of different spin. My Toonopolis series takes place in a cartoon universe and there is a section of it called Animetown, which borrows a lot of Anime/Asian inspired themes and tropes. There is a full novella starring Anchihiiroo (a minor antagonist in my first novel) that takes place entirely in Animetown. And Wan-Wan (a mech-dog created by an inventor named Yuki in Animetown) is one of my main character’s companions in my first full novel. So… it both is and isn’t in your wheelhouse. Thoughts? 🙂

    • It sounds really cool! On the blog, my only criteria for sharing books is that the stories have Asian characters, but I don’t mind which country (or fictional world) they live in. However, for the anthologies I’m looking for stories set in specific regions with native characters from those areas.
      So, I’ll look up your series and will share it on the blog when I get time. Good luck with the new novels 🙂

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  4. Not sure if you already have a theme for the next anthology in mind, but in case you don’t, I’ll throw in my 2 cents: I’d like to see stories revolve around diasporic Asians, especially those who’ve been forcibly displaced by war. There’s a lot of sociocultural dynamics and issues to play with, in addition to sprinkling in speculative elements. I think that’ll make for a really interesting and relevant set of stories.

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  9. When you say “Asia”, do you mean any country that’s technically in Asia— including places like Russia, Israel, Turkey, Cyprus, etc? Or are you wanting an emphasis on the Far Eastern cultures, and the sort of countries/cultures most people think of when they think of the Orient?

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