How to submit
EXTANT! focuses on short fiction, and publishes in two ways:
EXTANT! This is an occasional (I hesitate to call it “periodical”) publication at present, aiming for twice a year. Issues are centered around a theme. Please see the Projects page to see projects currently calling for submissions.
- EXTANT! will also occasionally publish anthologies. For the most part works included will be reprints or by invitation, however those anthologies looking for submissions will also be listed on the Projects page.
EXTANT! only accepts electronic submissions in *.doc, *.docx, and *.rtf format. Zipped or otherwise compressed submissions will be deleted unread.
Attach your submission to an email and send it to extantsf at gmail dot com. Please give your email a subject line like this:
[Issue#1] Fiction – The Black Mirror – 5750wds
In other words, start with the project name in square brackets, then follow with the type of submission (fiction, essay, poem) and its approximate length.
No elaborate cover letter is required – in fact I probably won’t read a lengthy pitch trying to sell me on your story – you can simply tell me to see the submission attached, tell me the name of the file, and tell me what file type to expect.
I won’t read submissions pasted into the body of an email unless there is some technical problem preventing you from submitting as an attachment and we’ve discussed it before-hand, and unless I recognise your name I will just delete it.
Before submitting your work for consideration, please first review the writer guidelines below, then review the specific instructions for the project you are submitting to.
When you submit, it will be helpful if you first format your file as follows:
- At the top of the first page, include your name, contact information (address and email), the title of your submission, and the approximate number of words.
- Under this, include the title, and your by-line name.
- In the header at the top of each subsequent page, include your last name, enough of the title to identify your work, and the page number.
- Format the body of your text in a readable font and double-space it.
Go through your submission one last time to catch any lingering typos and clean up grammar flubs. I probably won’t reject submissions just because of a few typos, but the less copy editing needed on my end the more likely I am to accept your submission.
I will read your submission and get back to you with either a rejection or an offer to buy your submission. You can expect a response within 4 weeks of the closing date of the project you were submitting to – if you haven’t heard from me by that time, please feel free to query.
I'm not able to provide free editing services, but if I reject your story I will try to tell you in broad terms what I think was wrong and suggest how you might be able to improve the story for submission to another venue.
Rights and Rates:
Unless otherwise noted under the project description, EXTANT! is offering to buy global first electronic and print rights for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and asking for exclusivity up to publication date and for 1 year following. After this period, EXTANT! retains the right to publish and sell the works purchased non-exclusively in the collected format – ie the anthology in which your work appears will remain available in the original print and electronic format, but cannot be repackaged or resold by EXTANT! in other formats. EXTANT! offers US$0.01/word for fiction.
Fiction Submissions – general guidelines
EXTANT! is a modern pulp imprint. I am interested in seeing stories that capture the action, adventure, wonder, and suspense of golden era of the pulps.
Successful stories will stimulate the reader’s senses, evoke a sense of wonder, and keep the reader always eager to find out what happens next. Protagonists should be proactive, the risks real, and the rewards great.
Any genre is welcome – as are mash-ups - but since EXTANT! is a venue for fantastic fiction, successful stories will also contain some element of the fantastic. This could be fundamental – as in a fantasy setting – but it needn’t be. And while the fantastic element should be obvious, it needn’t be overwhelming. But it must be present.
What do I mean by fantastic? Supernatural elements, super science, exotic worlds, psychic powers, hauntings, secret societies, eldritch artifacts, occult histories – these all fall within the realm of the fantastic. Like the stories in Amazing, Argosy, Astounding, If, Planet Stories, and Weird Tales stories submitted to EXTANT! should present readers with a more interesting, unknown world that they can explore along with the protagonists – even if the story begins in a perfectly ordinary modern city.
Successful stories will apply Alfred Bester’s “not right in the head” axiom – either starting with the mundane and leading the reader step by step into a mysterious world hidden in plain sight, or by reimagining things in a grand “what if?” experiment. Or, of course, some combination of the two.
So what do I not want?
EXTANT! wants adventure fiction painted in bright colours and broad strokes. Grimdark tales and tormented anti-heroes will likely be a hard sell, as will stories that focus tightly on the details: a lot of military SF would fall into this category, as would police or science procedural.
EXTANT! stories need to be fun and exciting to read. Since an element of the fantastic is a must there obviously needs to be a “big idea”, but this is not the venue for philosophical or political musing.
EXTANT! is not an easy market for gore, nor for explicit sex. Both have their place, and as such their inclusion won’t get your story rejected outright. But they will be a hard sell: if these elements are clearly integral to a story that hits all the right notes in terms of the above and the author has handled them very skillfully indeed.
Caveat: You’re a writer
Experienced writers know that the last rule on any list of rules for writing is always: and break any and all of the above rules as necessary to produce a great story. If you think your story is good, and it seems to capture the essence of the fantastic pulps, and you’re willing to let me see it, then by all means do. Ultimately I may not want to buy it, but I will appreciate the opportunity to read it.