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.


  

Submissions increased more than 10% in 2020, and 14% in 2021, compared to previous years, 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 2022. 

We reopened to new submissions on January 1, 2021 and remained open throughout the holiday season and new year, but starting on December 1, 2022 through January 14, 2023, we will be taking a break for the holidays. That means our Moksha portal will be closed to new submissions during that time. We reopen in the new year on January 15th, 2023!
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. International Writers are paid via 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. Do not submit another story or set of poems before 21-days after your last submission, as there is a cool-down period--if you do so, we will not receive your submission and you will not receive a confirmation from Moksha.

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, DOUBLE-CHECK YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. If it's incorrect, all correspondence--starting with the confirmation email--will bounce and we will have no way of reaching you regarding your submission. You should 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 9 days, but we take longer on stories that make our second read queue. There is a waiting period to submit a new story to the queue. Take that time to strengthen your writing and read other good work. 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 by check. Via PayPal for International Writers. 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 $9.99 in the US and $24.00 elsewhere, at this link: http://www.fandsf.com/backish.htm

 

Other Tips for New Writers:

Your first page matters so much. In fact, your first sentence and paragraph! There is no guarantee a reader will read to the end of your story, so make a strong, solid impression as early as possible, engaging your reader enough so that they are genuinely interested in reading your story to the end.

If you choose to write a story on a familiar theme or trope in the genre, be sure to offer a fresh, 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. And double-space your work to save our poor eyes. 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 helpful and humorous resource on things to look for and avoid in your speculative fiction writing. Yes, we know the Turkey City Lexicon isn't for everyone, but we find it helpful, especially to new writers who don't have the luxury of attending MFA programs and other expensive and/or lengthy writing workshops. It's free, and anyone can pick and choose the tips that they find helpful and that speak to them.

Created by many talented hands as a kind of inside joke, it does offer some concrete aspects to consider when drafting and revising new stories. 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/