F&SF

Submission Guidelines

F&SF is currently Open to Submissions.
Fiction Currently Open to Submissions
Poetry Currently Open to Submissions

 

This is the electronic submissions portal for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, founded in 1949.

F&SF's editor is Sheree Renée Thomas.



 F&SF wishes you a very Happy New Year!  

Submissions increased more than 10% in 2020, compared to last year, and we anticipate that level of excitement for the new year as well. We are looking forward to reading more of your excellent stories and poems in 2021. 

We reopened to new submissions on January 1, 2021.
Continued strength to your writing hands!

Be safe and be well!

 September October issue of F&SF featuring Samuel R Delany 

 

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction has no formula for fiction, but we like to be surprised by stories, either by the engaging voice, the character insights, ideas, plots, or prose. The speculative element may be slight, but it should be present and readily discernible by readers, ideally in the opening first or second page. We prefer character-oriented stories with strong voices and good pacing, whether it's fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, or other speculative fiction works not easily classified in a single genre. We welcome speculative poetry, three to five poems that reflect an active engagement with science or poems that delve into the worlds of fantasy, horror, etc. Our editor is a free verse kind of reader, but excellent form and narrative poems are appreciated. But whether fiction or poetry, send your best work, stories and poems that capture our imagination and linger with us after we have turned the page. 

F&SF encourages original submissions from the world, from diverse voices, classes, and perspectives, and we welcome works that are intergenerational and intersectional. We welcome translations, but cannot line edit them for you, so choose your translator with care. Over the past seven decades we have published writers from all over the world. Many have gone on to become some of the most exciting voices in the field. F&SF's editor is Sheree Renée Thomas.

We strongly prefer to read stories submitted in standard manuscript format, something that looks more-or-less like the example described here http://www.sfwa.org/2008/11/manuscript-preparation/. In short, that means we prefer DOUBLE-SPACED submissions (to preserve our eyesight!), one inch margins, and a serif typeface like Courier or Times New Roman with page numbers. Please include your contact information on the manuscript, including your mailing address (for payment by check or PayPal). We consider story lengths from flash up to 25,000 words. Please use THE REAL WORD COUNT on your story, not estimates, as you are paid based on actual word count. We **do not** consider simultaneous or multiple submissions or unsolicited reprints, including anything posted on the internet and blogs.

Please DO NOT INCLUDE A TITLE PAGE, and there is NO NEED to thank us after receiving a pass letter! Please do not write the editor requesting personalized feedback if you didn't receive it in their original pass letter to you. Seek out online workshops for additional writing support. Also, please DO NOT SUMMARIZE YOUR STORY in the cover letter--that takes some of the fun out of reading your work. The editor enjoys a sense of discovery, and sometimes you can set up an expectation that your story doesn't meet. Let the tale tell itself. We are primarily a market for original fiction, which means we are not currently interested in seeing unsolicited reprints. .doc, .docx, and .rtf are all acceptable electronic formats. We are not interested in reading works F&SF has already passed on. Send your new work. 

When you submit, you will receive a confirmation email with a tracking number and link to let you see your story's progress in the submission queue. Our current median response time is about 4 days, but we take longer on stories that make our second read queue. There is currently no waiting period to submit a new story to the queue. You may occasionally receive a "hold" letter. That just means that the editor found your work intriguing and wants to think on it longer, for possible publication (rather than it sit in the queue). Do not overthink this. An acceptance letter clearly says "acceptance" and rewrite requests will state that as well. Anything else may be the editor's personalized feedback offered to help you along the way in your publishing journey. Feedback is not a given, so please do not email for it. The volume of submissions makes individual feedback on every story completely impractical. Please wait 90 days before querying about the status of your story. 

F&SF pays on acceptance. Our rates are 8-12 cents per word. We buy first North American and foreign serial rights, and an option on anthology rights. All other rights are retained by the author. It usually takes 3-12 months to publish a story after we buy it. Once you receive payment for your story or poem, you are welcome to share the good news with anyone you choose. 

We strongly recommend that you read an issue of the magazine before submitting, in order to get a sense of the range of our tastes and interests. A sample copy is available for $8.99 in the US and $22.00 elsewhere, at this link: https://www.sfsite.com/fsf/glines.htm

 

Other Tips for New Writers:

If you choose to write a story on a familiar theme or trope in the genre, be sure to offer a new insight, your own individual take on it, and try to subvert our expectations. Distinctive characters with a character arc and growth are the ones readers most remember. Revisit your story to be sure that it starts in the right moment, getting readers closer to the heart of your story. Avoid long, narrative exposition that hinders your pacing, as you may risk losing your readers' interest early in the storytelling. Find ways to naturally incorporate the details of your worldbuilding in character action and dialogue. Avoid long, "infodumpy" passages that explain but do not entertain. Use misogyny and other -isms at your peril, and remember, rape is not a plot device. We truly are not interested in reading those kinds of stories, and it can result in your work getting rejected immediately. Write the original stories you most want to tell, in a voice that is uniquely yours, strong and engaging. Hope these tips are helpful to you, and continued strength to your writing hand!

Bonus Tips for Writers! Behold, "The Turkey City Lexicon" 

There is a great origin story for this amazingly helpful and humorous resource on things to look for and avoid in your speculative fiction writing. Created by many talented hands, with intros by Lewis Shiner and Bruce Sterling, this is the next best thing to a writer's workshop. You're welcome! 

https://www.sfwa.org/2009/06/18/turkey-city-lexicon-a-primer-for-sf-workshops/