Rights & Rates

Payment Method

We strongly prefer and recommend payment through PayPal. This method enables the most accurate payment tracking, fastest payment, and simplest currency conversion from U.S. dollars for payments to International contributors.

If you do not have a PayPal account and can get one, please do so. If you cannot create a PayPal account, you may provide a U.S. postal address to receive a payment by check. We will not send paper checks internationally.

We may be able to make other arrangements, such as Western Union or Wire Transfer, for international contributors who cannot create a PayPal address and cannot provide a U.S. postal address.

First Publication

When your work is accepted by Spark and you accept our offer to publish it, we are purchasing worldwide exclusive First Publication rights to distribute the text in multiple print and electronic formats for twelve months from acceptance or six months from publication, whichever is earlier, and a three-year non-exclusive worldwide license from the date of publication to continue to publish your work in other formats as part of the anthology volume in which it was first published without extending the license term and without constituting a new publication, and to keep that discrete anthology available in our salable inventory throughout that term.

(For example, we can re-publish the same anthology that includes your work in a cool new e-book format that comes along, but we can’t publish your work as part of a different anthology, and if we add a new format during the license term our right to publish still ends three years after initial publication unless we re-negotiate with you.)

For First Publication works, we pay 2¢ per word or $20 per work, whichever is more. We no longer negotiate higher rates for professionally-published authors and poets; instead we’ve adopted a “Rising Tide Raises All Ships” approach to increase rates unilaterally. Our long-term goal is to pay pro rates to every contributor, regardless of publication history.

Estimate your minimum payment at wordcount.sparkanthology.org.

You can also view a sample of our standard purchase offer for first publication submissions.

Reprints (Excluding Artwork)

We primarily seek unpublished submissions. When we make an exception, we purchase a three-year non-exclusive worldwide license from the date of publication to publish your work in multiple print and electronic formats as part of the anthology volume in which it was first published.

Reprint rates are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. However, most reprints are solicited with a professional offer, and unsolicited reprints are rarely accepted.

To understand what qualifies as a “reprint,” please see our FAQ entry What do you consider ‘previously published’?


We pay a flat $50 for existing artwork accepted for a cover, whether it is a reprint or first publication, so long as you have the rights to license the artwork to us. We purchase a three-year non-exclusive worldwide license from the date of publication to publish your work in multiple print and electronic formats as part of the anthology volume in which it was first published.

For custom and commissioned artwork, rates are negotiated with the artist.

Other Media and Adaptations

At this time, we do not have resources to adapt your manuscript or artwork to audio, video, or other media. Therefore, we purchase only text rights for manuscripts and still image rights for artwork. You retain all rights to adapt or distribute your work as audio, video, stageplay, screenplay, three-dimensional sculpture, holograph, interpretive dance, or any other non-textual derivative format.


All rates are U.S. Dollars.

Payment Schedule

We agree to pay you within 30 days of publication. However, our long-term goal is to pay within 30 days of acceptance, and we will always exert every effort to pay you as soon as possible. If we reach or pass 30 days after publication and you have not received payment, please contact us immediately as it indicates an accounting error on our part.

Word Counts

Word count algorithms vary from one application to another: Enter the same text in three different word processors, and you will get three different results.

We calculate payment using the free online word count tool at https://wordcount.egjpress.org. We use this tool because we know it is available to both you and to us, does not require any specific software, and does not submit or store your text to any server.

We want to be transparent about our word count process so that there are no surprises or disagreements when we make an offer of acceptance. We encourage you to check your word count against the word count tool before submitting.

19 thoughts on “Rights & Rates

    • Yes. Spark purchases the right to publish the work according to the terms described above, but you retain the copyright and ownership of your work.

  1. umm how do I track my work/ access duotrope? Pardon me, but I cant find the bloody thing.
    Also am I able to retract my submissions in favor of a different version? Does it have to be before the contest closes (15 hours left approx.)? Thank you for your time

    • Duotrope is a statistics and tracking service with information on nearly 5,000 markets for writers. We at Spark are writers, too, and we love it! You can find them at http://Duotrope.com. (Tracking your work there is completely optional.)

      For writing contest, you are welcome to retract/withdraw contest entries and re-submit any time before the contest deadline without penalty.

    • No. Under Rules & Restrictions it says a publication offer will be made, but the entrant is not obligated to accept the offer.

    • No. If your work is accepted and selected for illustration, our illustrator will create the artwork.

      Not all accepted pieces are selected for illustration.

  2. If you were to publish the winning piece of work, would that piece of work no longer be able to be published by any other company after Spark has first published it?

    • Publication in Spark only assigns First Publication rights, and we ask for a brief period of exclusivity. You retain all other rights, including the ability to reprint or self-publish your work somewhere else after a few months.

  3. I’m an indie writer and considering submitting for consideration a poem I wrote as an epigram for a novel I am currently writing. Would your period of exclusivity be in force and for how long? I anticipate self-publication of the novel towards the end of the year of early next year. Thank you.

  4. I am pleased to discover your publishing company!
    I use to write in french, english, spanish and other languages.
    But, i have not ever been edited by a company (excepted on my blog).
    Would like get it now.
    How can i do? Is there competitions or it is just an application affair?
    Thanks in advance,

  5. Duotrope removed your publication’s listing because your publication schedule “has fallen significantly behind.” The last issue I see is from 2016. Are you publishing an anthology this year?

    • I got a piece accepted a couple years ago, and it has yet to be published. That said, I inquired. They told me my piece would be out later this year (that was two months ago) in Spark IX.

      • Thanks for sharing your experience, Brittany. Spark doesn’t appear to be publishing anymore. I hope you and everyone else in the anthology can get your publications rights reverted back to you, if needed, without any trouble.

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