PodCastle is currently CLOSED to general submissions.
Please see our 2018 schedule for this year’s submissions periods.
PodCastle is looking for quality fantasy fiction. If you’re a writer with a speculative short story that you’d like to hear narrated by one of our performers, we’d like to see it.
Word count: up to 6,000 words.
Occasionally, we run reprints in the novelette range (up to 17,000 words), although they are a harder sell. Query to firstname.lastname@example.org before submitting longer works.
No multiple submissions.
Simultaneous submissions are permitted; just mention it in your cover letter up front, and let us know if you sell it elsewhere first.
Reprints are welcome, and strongly encouraged. We are happy to consider stories previously released on Patreon as reprints.
Payment and Rights
We pay $.06/word for original fiction 6000 words or less, $100 flat rate for reprints over 1500 words, and $20 flat rate for flash fiction reprints (stories below 1500 words).
As of January 2016, PodCastle publishes in both text and audio. You are offering us both when you submit your story. We ask for 4 months exclusivity for text and audio for original stories, and 4 months audio exclusivity for reprints. We are happy to receive previously-podcasted stories; this just means don’t re-pod the story until 4 months after publication with PodCastle.
We distribute under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license. Briefly, this means that the entire world has permission to distribute the audio files for free, provided they give credit for it, don’t try to make money off of it, and don’t change it in any way. Transcribing it, extracting portions from it beyond fair use, and mashing it up are all prohibited.
This license applies only to our audio performance of your work, for which we’ve contracted and paid you. It does not apply to your story itself; you retain your copyright and all rights to any other use of the story.
You can find samples of our contracts here. Note that these are for informational purposes only, and upon acceptance all the relevant information will be completed by our managing editor.
What We Want
PodCastle is looking for fantasy stories. We’re open to all the sub-genres of fantasy, from magical realism to urban fantasy to slipstream to high fantasy, and everything in between. Fantastical or non-real content should be meaningful to the story. Our word count limit is 6,000. Please note that for original stories, the closer to the limit the story is, the more difficult it is for us to buy it. Our “sweet spot” for story length is between 3,000 and 4,500 words.
We are an audio magazine. Our audience can’t skim past the boring parts. Ideally, fiction should have strong pacing, well-defined characters, engaging dialogue, clear action, and still be beautiful. Above all, we’re looking for stories that are fun to listen to. Humor is encouraged.
We hope to publish fiction reflecting the full range of settings and tropes found in fantasy fiction. We’d particularly like to see more stories set outside America, and stories that feature characters who represent a range of backgrounds and ethnicities.
Podcastle welcomes submissions from writers of all backgrounds. We are especially interested in seeing more submissions from people of backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented or excluded from traditional publishing, including, but not limited to, women, people of color, LGBTQIA and non-binary gender people, persons with disabilities, members of religious minorities, and people from outside the United States.
If you identify as part of these or other underrepresented groups, we welcome and encourage you to indicate so in your cover letter. We acknowledge the reality of unconscious bias and will make our best efforts to account for it during the editorial review process. Our goal is to publish fiction that reflects the diversity of the human experience.
How to Submit
In your cover letter, please include your legal name, byline (if different from your legal name), mailing address, and the story’s approximate word count and publication history. If you have any previous publications, feel free to list the most recent three, but this is optional and won’t affect your story’s consideration.
Once you’ve sent us your story, you will get an automated confirmation via email. Please query if you have not received this confirmation within 24 hours.
After three months, if you haven’t received a response, feel free to query by email.
By sending us your story you understand and agree that:
- You are the original creator of the work submitted to us;
- You are the copyright holder of the work;
- You are not prohibited by any prior agreement from the transfer of non-exclusive electronic and audio rights to the work;
- All information in the contact and cover sections of your submission is accurate and truthful;
- You accept sole responsibility for any false statements or encumbrances upon rights not disclosed to us.
If we buy your story we’ll send you a contract, and you’ll be bound to all of the above.
If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, send them to our staff at email@example.com. We’ll do our best to get back to you within a few days.
Thanks very much for your time, and we look forward to reading your fiction!
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali and Jen R. Albert, Editors
and editorial staff