Short Fiction

Escape Pod will reopen for submissions on October 1, 2019, and remain open until summer 2020.

Escape Pod is a science fiction market. We are fairly flexible on what counts as science (we’ll delve into superheroes or steampunk on occasion) and are interested in exploring the range of the genre. We want stories that center on science, technology, future projections, and/or alternate history, and how any or all of these things intersect with people.

We publish our stories in text and audio, but audio is our primary format. Because our audience cannot easily reread or skim, we prefer stories of high clarity and tight pacing. Typographic novelties (e.g. footnotes) are difficult for us to publish.

Please visit PseudoPod for horror, Cast of Wonders for young adult, and PodCastle for fantasy fiction.

Wordcount: 1,500-6,000 words. These are firm limits. For reprints ONLY, you may inquire about longer submissions by querying the editors at the email address below.

We publish original and reprint short fiction. We do not accept poetry, serialized fiction, novel excerpts, or non-fiction.

Payment: USD $0.08 per word for original fiction. USD $100 per story for reprint fiction. We are a SFWA qualifying market for original fiction.

Diversity: Escape Pod 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 SF publishing, including, but not limited to, women, people of color, LGBTQIA or non-binary gender people, persons with disabilities, members of religious minorities or non-religious people, and writers from outside the United States. When in doubt, please don’t self-reject. We appreciate you entrusting us with your stories.

If you identify as part of these or other underrepresented groups, we welcome and encourage you to indicate so when you send us your story. 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.

Cover letters: We prefer a short cover letter that includes only:

  • Your legal name (and byline, if different);
  • Your story’s title and wordcount;
  • Whether your story is an original or reprint (and if reprint, where it was first published);
  • Up to three previous publications, if you have any;
  • Any relevant personal experiences or expertise (including information as requested in our diversity statement above).

We recommend minimizing the amount of time you spend developing your cover letter. We read every story we receive, so we don’t need to see summaries or pitches.

Anonymous Submissions. No identifying information should appear on your manuscript. We use anonymized submissions for our associate editors. Upper-level editors will read your submission-form information and cover letter, including any diversity statement. Failure to anonymize the manuscript will not cause us to automatically reject your story, but failure to read and follow our guidelines may affect our decisions.

Simultaneous and Multiple Submissions: Escape Pod does not accept multiple submissions (i.e., more than one story at a time from the same author) or simultaneous submissions (i.e., submitting the same story to Escape Pod and one or more other markets at the same time).

Resubmissions: If we reject a story, please do not submit it again (even if revised) unless we explicitly request a resubmission.

Legalese: 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 at least 18 years of age or have obtained the permission of a parent or guardian to enter into a contract with Escape Artists, Inc.;
  • 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;
  • Escape Pod publishes in both text and audio; you are offering both of those one-time and archival rights to us when you send us your story;
  • 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.

You can find samples of our contracts at this link. Note that these are for informational purposes only, and upon acceptance all the relevant information will be completed by our managing editor.

Where to submit: Please submit your stories using the button below, or go directly to our Submittable page. Please use Standard Manuscript Format but with all identifying information removed as described above under Anonymous Submissions. We prefer italics represented as actual italics, not underlines – but that is a preference, not a requirement, and will not affect our decisions.

When to submit: Escape Pod remains open for submissions year-round, except for a break during the northern hemisphere summer months of June, July, and August. (In 2019, summer closure was extended through September.)

Queries: Please direct any questions to the editors via ansible @ escapeartists.net.

We strive to provide an initial response to all submissions within 1 month. You will be notified if you should expect delays beyond that timeline. Please feel free to query regarding your submission status after 3 months.

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