Submissions

Note that our contracts have changed to include non-exclusive audio and monthly/quarterly issue rights.
(16 July 2017)

We want

  • beautiful writing showing
  • engaging characters in
  • science fiction or fantasy settings.

Hints

Minutiae

  • Length: 0 – 10,000 words. We prefer 1,000-6,000. Prose only; no poetry.
  • Reprints: No.
  • Simultaneous: Yes.
  • Multiple: No.
  • Serial: No serials or excerpts unless they function as complete standalone stories.
  • Format: Use our template, an anonymized version of William Shunn’s, or something similar. ODT, DOC, DOCX. (We’ve stopped accepting RTF due to frequent problems.)
  • No names: We don’t have a perfectly anonymous process (Submittable makes that difficult), but we do what we can. Please ensure that your submission does not show your name, e-mail address, or other identifying information in your document. Submissions that are not anonymized will be rejected, and must wait another week to resubmit.
  • Rewrites: No. We don’t accept revisions unless we specifically solicit them.

Rights and pay

  • We pay: $.01/word, on acceptance, via PayPal.
  • We buy the following rights:
    • worldwide electronic – to post the story on our website – exclusive for 6 months from the date of purchase, non-exclusive for the life of the magazine.
    • non-exclusive print and electronic:
      • to include the story in monthly, quarterly, and annual anthologies covering the period when the story is originally published in our magazine.
      • to include the story in special limited edition issues sent to financial backers.
      • to include the story in a best-of anthology published within the calendar year after the story is originally published in our magazine.
    • non-exclusive audio rights
  • Contract: a sample contract is here.

How we respond

  • Tracking – we aim to respond within a week of submission. You can track our responses on Submission Grinder or Duotrope.
  • Feedback – we give brief, blunt feedback to all who request it.
  • Revision – we’re a demanding market. Most stories we publish have gone through 3-4 rounds of revision.
  • Timing – we try to answer most submissions within 24 hours, though sometimes travel or other obligations slow us down. Stories in our ‘maybe’ pile are generally reviewed on the weekend. Please don’t query until two weeks have passed.

Exemplars

Jack Vance, Roger Zelazny, Patricia McKillip, Richard Llewellyn, Arthur C. Clarke, Richard Adams, A. A. Attanasio, Ursula K. Le Guin, George R. R. Martin, Sean Stewart, Richard Cowper, Walter M. Miller, Jr., Theodore Sturgeon, Samuel Delany, James Thurber

Art

For cover art guidelines, click here.


submit

37 Comments

  1. I would love to work or an illustration for you publication. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help out!
    Zack

  2. Hello, I’m traditional illustrator in love with dark fantasy and universe. Are you looking for illustrations as well?

    • Joanna,

      Thanks. We definitely are looking for art. We’ll try to find a way to make that more evident. For the moment, please look about halfway down the page, or search for ‘art’ to find guidelines and templates.

  3. Two questions about submissions here.

    #1- Do you prefer straight or curly quotes?

    #2- Your template has an assortment of fonts. Would you like us to keep those intact, or should the entirety of the document be set to Cambria?

    • I prefer curly quotes.
      Modify the fonts as you choose, so long as the body of the document is in something standard (cambria, courier, calibri, etc.) and legible (12 pt).

  4. The guidelines say not to include your name in the submission body or header. Does this mean in the submission subject and body of the email, or does it include the document itself?

    Thank you.

  5. Brigitte McCray

    Hi,
    I tried to submit, but Submittable didn’t show any way to upload a story, only “title,” “genre,” and “word count.”

    ???

  6. I am an abject failure. I grabbed the wrong file which has my contact info in the header. I do have one without, and meant to send that one. How may I retract the offending doc and resubmit?

    • I see you’ve already taken care of the issue. For future reference, just withdraw the submission in Submittable, and submit again.

  7. Do you publish storybooks? Like a book with mostly pictures but text for each page? Thanks! –Leaf

    • So far, we’ve focused on pure text, though we plan the occasional story with mild illustration. I’d be willing to consider a storybook, but keep in mind the practical limits of web presentation.

  8. Do you now, or will you ever, accept poetry? πŸ™‚

    • We don’t now accept poetry, and I think it’s unlikely that we will. Nothing’s impossible, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  9. How long do you require exclusivity for accepted stories?

    • This is noted on the guidelines page – “exclusive for 6 months from the date of purchase, non-exclusive for the life of the magazine.”

  10. Would you be interested in poems about guns?

  11. Will the response time for Gun Control stories be as swift as it is for the regular issues?

    • Not exactly. Submitters will get an immediate automated receipt acknowledgement. Stories we’re considering will receive a ‘hold’ request within a few days. Beyond that, we won’t make decisions until after 30 September, at which point we’ll choose finalists and start working with authors on revisions. So, from today, most submitters would get a preliminary response within two weeks. Finalists will take longer.

  12. Gregg Chamberlain

    Is the 10K word limit firm? I have a novella but would want to check whether it would be permissable to submit it.

  13. Forest A. Ormes

    “Feedback” read as if it was referring to another story, not mine. Criticism included misuse of a word not even in the story. “Narrative arc” a kind of pat default response. If anything, character too engaging. Feedback totally unhelpful.

    • Well, we do our best. I would note that the title you typed in the submission box didn’t match the title of the document you submitted (which is the one we gave feedback on). Maybe the wrong attachment?

  14. Peri Fletcher

    I appreciate your comments. Other magazines that have provided good feedback are The Colored Lens, Allegory, Fabula Argentea, Kzine, and Cast of Wonders. I almost always rewrite after getting comments, and have been successful getting the rewritten stories published. So it’s really helpful!

  15. Thanks for the feedback. One line of the feedback reads, “Prose: 3.”
    What does that mean?

  16. Does my submission need to have page numbers in the footer? Or anything in the header?

  17. I don’t think I have a lot of curse words in my story. But, will you accept it with such language? I’m assuming this isn’t something for young children, but I don’t know if you have a preferred age demographic. I can very easily edit out the curse words. But, the character speaks like I do so sometimes there’s a bit of foul language.

  18. Thank you for your quick review of my entry. I’m sorry it wasn’t up to snuff. How long must I wait before trying again? As in, would I be able to try for your next issue? I’ll put extra effort into the next story, focusing on the areas in which my previous attempt was lax.

    • You can try again as soon as you like, though I generally only read once per day. We buy stories anywhere from 1 to 4 months in advance.

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