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The Journal

The Press


The Journal

After listening to your feedback, and considering lessons learned from previous projects, we are pleased to announce a new format for submissions at Orchid’s Lantern. The website will now operate as an online journal, opening for set periods throughout the year, with a fresh theme every time. If feasible, there will also be print journal, collecting all accepted submissions together with some brand new material from invited authors.

We will accept:

Prose – up to 3,000 words / Poetry – up to 3 poems per submission / Artwork – up to 3 pieces per submission

Fiction / Non-Fiction / Hybrid

We want:

Strong voices / Unique perspectives / Literary / Experimental / Heady Sci-fi / Streams of consciousness / Curated journal entries / Surreal / Imaginative / Philosophical / Autofiction / Creative Non-Fiction

We don’t want:

Hate / Abuse / Overtly religious, political or ideological assertions / Erotica


We request first publication rights and a period of exclusivity to cover both online and print editions. Copyright remains with the author at all times.


We will copyedit and proofread your work. If any piece is deemed to need more extensive editing, it will not be accepted.

We will pay:

15 GBP per accepted submission


By email to with ‘Journal’ in the subject line / Word document as attachment / Include a brief bio / Can be simultaneous / One submission per author per theme / Will be acknowledged as received / Will receive a response


Submissions for our second edition, Psychogeography, will be open from Monday 6th June to Sunday 9th July 2023.

“Psychogeography describes the effect of a geographical location on the emotions and behaviour of individuals.”

Interpret the theme however you wish. Surprise us!

The Press

Our next open submissions period will be Monday 6th June to Sunday 9th July 2023.

We publish:

  • Philosophical Fiction
  • Mundane Science Fiction (set on Earth with believable uses of technology and science or plausible extensions)
  • Metaphysical and Visionary Fiction
  • Surreal and Heady Speculative Fiction
  • Occult and Mystical Fiction

In the following formats:

  • Novels (up to ~90,000 words)
  • Novellas
  • Prose Poetry Chapbooks
  • Short Story Collections
  • Experimental works such as streams of consciousness, blends of fiction and non-fiction, unusual literary forms

Please take some time to check out our website, FAQs, social media and other releases to get an idea of what we are about before submitting.

We are fine with simultaneous submissions to other publishers, but please let us know if the work is accepted elsewhere so we can remove you from our list.

We are an inclusive press and love to hear from authors however they identify. We will never reject a manuscript based on factors such as race, gender, sexuality or disability.

We will not tolerate abuse – any email that we consider abusive to us or anyone else will result in an automatic rejection.

If you have something you think we might like, and you have read our FAQs below, please send an email to Caroline at with ‘Press’ in the subject line. Tell us about your book in the email and attach the first 50 pages of your manuscript as a Word document, with your name in the header or footer of each page. You can also use this email address to ask any specific questions you might have about what we are looking for.

We will acknowledge receipt of all submissions, but after that please allow 3 months for a formal response.

Press FAQs

Why choose an indie publisher?

Many writers are fed up with the process of traditional publishing: with the lengthy timescales involved, with having to operate through an agent, with the fact that many are unwilling to take risks on out-of-genre works, single-author collections or novellas. We’ve heard many stories of creative control being completely out of of the authors’ hands, and expectations of the authors’ own contribution to marketing being unrealistic.

Yet, self-publishing isn’t for everyone either. If you want a polished book with a professional look and feel, it involves studying editing, design, marketing and more. This can consume money and time, which is simply not available to every writer.

An independent (‘indie’) publisher is typically much smaller than a household name traditional publisher. They can can afford to be more dynamic in their processes, give a personal touch to each project, and provide the benefits of self-publishing without the burden of taking it all on yourself.

What is the downside to working with an indie publisher?

The downside is we just don’t have the reach or budget of large traditional publishers, and at Orchid’s Lantern we will never deny this. Your books will not automatically appear on the shelves of the big high street stores. The quantity of books sold is largely down to the efforts put in by both parties, but it is unrealistic to expect them to be in the same region as the big five could acheive. Because of this, you are also unlikely to receive a considerable advance. Instead, most indie publishers operate on a royalty share basis.

There is potential risk for authors in choosing an indie publisher over traditional, in that they may not be as financially secure in the long term. The other side of this coin, however, is that they are also often willing to take more risks on your behalf and will offer ‘get-out’ clauses to ensure all rights return to the author in the event of collapse or dispute.

Why choose Orchid’s Lantern?

Our mission is to publish within niches we have a passion for and are often overlooked by other publishers. We love ‘think’ fiction that explores humanity’s relationship to the world around us and the ways in which our own ontology may surprise us. This goes hand-in-hand with science fiction, but we are not married to any one genre. We love pieces that get right inside the workings of consciousness and explore unique subjectivity as well as collectivism. We love short stories, novellas and experimental works as well as more traditional-length novels.

We believe we have the drive, passion and experience to add value to fiction within this remit. We are currently in our infancy, but we hope that by focusing on such niches, over time we will build strength in a brand that other seekers will recognise.

Are you a ‘vanity’ press?

Vanity presses prey upon authors by having them pay to be published. There is little (if any) consideration for quality or marketing. This is absolutely not what we do. You will never be asked to pay for services up front and our quality control is of utmost importance to us.

What will I get if you publish my work?

Manuscripts taken on by Orchid’s Lantern will have a dedicated project manager who wants to make it into the best version possible, just as much as the author does. After an initial consultation, you will be appointed an editor to work with, a cover designer, a typesetter and a proofreader. Some of these may be the same person, and could be in-house or external depending on the specific requirements. You will also be allocated a marketing budget, which we will manage and spend on things like review copies, branded gifts and advertising. All books will be taken along to any shows and conventions we attend, and offered to our small network of independent bookstores in the UK. We will stay in touch with you and give transparent updates on the state of sales and reader responses.

Why don’t you have many titles?

So many small presses go to the wall from taking on too much too fast. Our approach will be to start small and build up as and when we are able. We began by publishing some of Caroline’s own works and a couple of anthologies, and we are now in a position to invest in work from other authors. The intention is to take on only a couple at first and focus on making them a success. We will not take on any project unless we are confident we can add value, and we are aware finding manuscripts that are the right fit for us may take some time.

Who makes up the Orchid’s Lantern team?

There are only two of us currently. We are a wife and husband team, with tasks/expertise split as follows:

Caroline Dudley – Selection, Project Management, Editing, Proofreading, Marketing, Book Design and Administration

Cy Dudley – Selection, Beta-reading, Book Design, Typesetting, Direct Sales and Distribution

We also have a network of trusted professionals in all of these areas who we will subcontract work to as required.

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