PodCastle is CLOSED to submissions until March 1st.
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.
Submit online via our Moksha submissions portal using a Standard Manuscript Format, with the exception that we do not require your home address or telephone number on the document. We accept files in .rtf, .docx, or .doc format.
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. Please note we do not accept originals at this length. Be aware that if you submit a story over 6,000 words without seeking prior permission from the editors, your story is likely to be rejected unread. Query to firstname.lastname@example.org before submitting reprints over 6,000 words.
Multiple submissions: you are permitted to submit one (1) original story and one (1) reprint at any given time, thus you may have two (2) stories under active consideration at a time. If you receive a rejection while submissions are still open, you can send another story of the same type. If your story is still being held from a previous period or special call, you are free to submit another story (or stories) this period.
Simultaneous submissions are permitted; just mention in your cover letter upfront that you’ve submitted your story elsewhere, and let us know if you sell it to another market first. Caveat: The only places we ask you not to simultaneously submit your story are to the other EA podcasts, namely Escape Pod, PseudoPod, and Cast of Wonders.
Reprints are welcome and encouraged. We are happy to consider stories previously released on Patreon as reprints. However, if a story was sent to us an original and received a rejection, please do not submit it again as a reprint.
Translations of stories into English are welcome. We will treat stories that have not previously been published in English as originals even if they’ve been published elsewhere in a different language; we’ll consider them reprints only if they have already appeared somewhere in English. The author and translator will be asked how they’d prefer to split payment for the story.
Payment and Rights
We pay $0.08 per word USD for original fiction, $100 flat rate for reprints over 1,500 words, and $20 flat rate for flash fiction reprints (stories below 1,500 words).
PodCastle publishes stories in both text and audio. You indicating both are available 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 4,000 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.
We only publish short fiction. We do not accept poetry, novel excerpts, screenplays, audio dramas, or non-fiction.
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, BIPOC, 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
Prepare your manuscript in something approximating Standard Manuscript Format (except without your street address and telephone number at the top of the file) and submit through our online submissions portal. We accept files formatted in .rtf, .doc, .docx, and .odt. We do not require anonymous submissions – please include your name/byline on your story.
In your cover letter, please include your byline 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!
Eleanor R. Wood and Shingai Njeri Kagunda, Editors
and editorial staff