Did we tell you we are actively looking for submissions in speculative fiction? That includes science fiction, fantasy, magic realism, horror and everything in between. Here are a few tips to help your work stand out and give it a better chance of getting accepted by our in-house master of speculative fiction, Indrapramit Das, author of The Devourers:
- Make your submission email short and concise: you don’t need to tell your life story, or describe your qualifications. This isn’t a résumé–it’s the story that matters.
- Format properly: no fancy fonts or single spacing. Spare our eyes!
- Don’t swap South Asian names into your George R.R. Martin or Tolkien imitations: write original stories. Don’t repeat the same narratives Western, Euro-centric fantasy has told for decades just because you grew up with them. Surprise us! Show us new worlds and cultures.
- Similarly, don’t re-tell the Mahabharata or the Ramayana unless you have a very unique and interesting spin. Inspiration is different from imitation.
- Limit your exposition: don’t get so carried away with your sci-fi and fantasy world-building that your story sounds like a history text. If the world of your story is thoughtfully built, it should come through naturally in scene and dialogue, not through pages of explanations.
- Use clichés sparingly: that includes characters that are ‘special’ by virtue of birth or blood, royalty or the way they look (Chosen Ones) or villains that are evil for the sake of evil (Dark Lords), and women who exist only to give male heroes a reason for revenge (dead or abused mothers, wives, daughters), or as love interests.
- Don’t have a young-to-middle-aged, straight, able-bodied male protagonist as default (we’ll publish stories about them too, of course, but if they’re interesting). We want stories about all kinds of people!
More tips to come in the future! Remember, if you’re submitting speculative fiction, send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. All other submissions go to email@example.com.