Deadline: October 31st, 2019
Payment: 1 cent per word, a flat rate of $20 if under 2,000 words.
The Overcast is currently open to submissions three times a year, during the months of January, April, and October. (Note we are no longer reading during July. Our summers have just gotten too hectic. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you for understanding.)
What We Want
We are interested in speculative fiction, whatever that means to you, be it Science Fiction, Fantasy, Steampunk, Magical Realism, Slipstream, or an as-yet-unnamed genre. Anything that looks at the world and life from an unexpected angle. We want the original vision of William Gibson. The magic and beauty of Erin Morgenstern. The uncompromising voice of Margaret Atwood. The technical brilliance of Ted Chiang. We want to read stories that transport us to places that we’ve never imagined. We want to still be thinking about a story days after reading it. Be original. Be amazing.
We are based in Portland, OR, and shine a spotlight on writers hailing from, living in, or connected in some way to the Pacific Northwest, as loosely defined by the bioregion of Cascadia. We feel there is an exceptionally strong talent pool of speculative writers in Cascadia, and we want to celebrate and promote them to a larger audience. Roughly half the stories we publish are by PNW writers. That said, we are not exclusive, and the other half of our stories come from authors all over the globe. So no matter where you live, send us your stories. If they make us laugh, cry, or turn cartwheels of astonishment, preferably all at once, we will find a place for them on The Overcast.
This is an audio format publication. We feel that stories of around 20-30 minutes in length are the best fit for our podcast. While we will consider submission between 1,000-5,000 words, we read at around 100 words per minute, so the sweet spot for submissions is 2,000-3,000 words. If it comes to a choice between two stories of equal merit, we will generally choose the one that is closer to the sweet spot.
Reprints are welcome, so long as they have not been previously produced in an audio format.
What We Don’t Want
Generic settings or characters we’ve seen a million times before (lithe elves, dour dwarves, charming vampires, etc)
Horror. Dark, gritty fiction is fine, but straight horror really isn’t our thing.
What We Pay
Our authors are the soul of our podcast. We strongly believe that creators should get paid for their work. Period. We would love to pay pro rates, but alas that is beyond our current financial reach. At the moment, we pay a semi-pro rate of $0.01 per word. Because we think it’s insulting to pay less than $20 for any story, we pay a flat rate of $20 for all stories less than 2,000 words. We hope, however, that our podcast will soon bring us fame, fortune, and success beyond our wildest dreams, as well as the ability to pay pro rates. We’d also like a pony. A genetically modified pony with six legs that runs 100mph and urinates a rich, tasty stout.
All payments made via Paypal.
(Our rates are directly tied to our Patreon funding goals. As we reach our goals, our rates will go up. Simple! If you want our authors to get paid more, please help spread the word!)
How To Submit
Please attach your story in standard manuscript format to a brief email containing the following information: Story Title, Word Count, and what, if any, connection you have to Cascadia. Please DO NOT include a bio or list of credits. We do not care how many degrees, awards, or publications you have. We want your fiction to speak for itself. If we love your story, we will ask for a bio upon acceptance.
Please make the Subject line: “Submission: (Story Title)”
We do not accept multiple or simultaneous submissions.
If you have not heard back from us by the beginning of the submissions period following the one in which you submitted your story, please query.
For some reason, we have had numerous problems responding to submissions from AOL users. Most of our responses get bounced back as undeliverable. To prevent future frustration on all sides, please do not send submissions from AOL mailboxes. Thank you.
We purchase first worldwide exclusive audio rights, as well as the right to keep the episode in which your story is produced available in our archives for as long as The Overcast remains in operation. We do not own your story, nor do we wish to. You are free to publish and sell it elsewhere in any other format.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to terrify, scar and haunt our audience of 10,000 daily listeners, then we want your stories!
If accepted, we’ll get our fantastic narration team to lend their voices, our editor will sprinkle some magic pixie dust on the track, and you could have your story heard by thousands of listeners each week.
We are looking for short fiction between 2,000 and 7,000 words in length. All stories must meet at least one of the following three criteria:
by an author who identifies as an anarchist or with another political tradition that opposes state authority, capitalism, and other oppressive hierarchies
takes place in a society without state authority, capitalism, or other oppressive hierarchies
involves struggle against state authority, capitalism, or other oppressive hierarchies
One of our goals is to publish fiction that offers imaginative answers to our world’s problems. One of our other goals is to publish fiction that is entertaining and well-written. We have no strong feelings about genre. We are open to fantasy, science fiction, horror, or stories with no speculative elements whatsoever. We are open to submissions from authors of all class backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, and genders, though we are particularly excited about work that explores the experiences of people whose identities are marginalized by this society. While we are aiming this podcast at a primarily anarchist audience, we are actively excited about publishing work from other political traditions that share an antiauthoritarian, pro-community worldview.
We pay $.01USD per word upon acceptance. This is not a professional rate, and we are therefore primarily a reprint market. While we will consider fiction that has not appeared elsewhere, we suggest that if your story is good enough for us, it is probably good enough for someone who will pay you at least 8 cents per word and we encourage you to try submitting to those markets first. Authors should be paid for their labor. Once your work is out of exclusivity, or if you can’t find a better-paying home for it, send it on to us!
How to Submit
Send your story in standard manuscript format, as either an .rtf or .docx attachment, to the editor at [email protected] In the body of the email, please include a cover letter that indicates which of the three criteria your story meets as well as any prior publications of the story and/or where other work of yours has appeared.
Send only one story at a time. If you do not hear a response from us within six weeks, please consider your story rejected with our apologies.
What We Ask for
We ask for nonexclusive audio rights for the podcast, nonexclusive digital print rights to include the text on our website, and nonexclusive print rights to include your story in a potential forthcoming publication aimed at an incarcerated audience. If we accept your story, we would also like to interview you about the story, which we will air alongside your story.
What is This Anarchist Thing?
An anarchist is someone who opposes the state, capitalism, racism, colonialism, patriarchy, and all the various and intersecting ways by which groups of people exert power over other people. Anarchism also references a specific political tradition that dates to the mid-19th century and has had millions of adherents around the world. Or, to quote one of our favorite anarchist fiction writers, Ursula le Guin, “What is an anarchist? One who, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice.”
The Gods Among Men podcast is looking for short stories year-round. I will read them aloud on the podcast for a unique, audiobook-like experience utilizing music, sound effects, and even images that fit the theme of the stories.
I prefer stories under 6,000 words, however longer stories are accepted if I thoroughly enjoy them.
Any genre is welcome but horror (especially existential horror) is preferred.
Send submissions to [email protected] with SHORT STORY and your last name in the subject line. Any file format is acceptable. Include an author bio if you wish, and don’t fret about the cover letter. I’ve been through the struggle, I’m not a stickler for the business-like approach that most publishers insist upon. Include whatever you feel is relevant/important.
Reprints (audio and/or print) are not allowed, as I’m trying to give new authors (like myself) a voice. Multiple and simultaneous submissions are allowed, however if your story is accepted elsewhere let me know so I don’t end up getting sued, haha.
I firmly believe in freedom of speech, so no content is off-limits. Don’t be afraid that I won’t like it or won’t understand it. I write some crazy shit too, and have received a mountain of rejections because of it. Consider this my blessing for you to go crazy and do whatever it is you’re scared to do anywhere else.
The story rights remain with you, I don’t like to hold art hostage. Feel free to post it anywhere and ask me to remove it at any time. However if you end up in a contract that prohibits me from keeping it on the channel, let me know (again so I don’t get sued, haha).
Payment is $5 through PayPal.
The Gods Among Men podcast is funded solely through Patreon and not only releases short stories, but also podcast episodes dedicated to expanding human consciousness through psychedelics, research, philosophy, love, and total open-mindedness. If you believe in our cause, please consider donating. Peace!
For posting on MadnessHeart.Press & the Madness Heart Radio Podcast
For submissions that are for our website and podcast we prefer stories that can be broken down into roughly 1500 word chunks. IE: 1500, 3000 or 4500 words. This allows us to have better control over the length of our show and the length of the posts.
As with other submissions there are some basic guidelines.
Violence, sex and gore must be pertinent and interesting to the story. Anything too gratuitous will be rejected.
Racism/Sexism/Bigotry of any form will never be accepted here.
Payment: $40 for flash fiction , $100 for short fiction
We’ve decided to open submissions for multiple tiers! So now we have flash fiction (stories of up to 1200 words), short fiction (stories between 1200 and 2500 words) and regular fiction (stories of 2500 words and upwards). If your regular fiction story’s long enough it might count as a novella too! We’re not currently accepting novels and epics though, so chill on those for now.
FLASH FICTION REQUIREMENTS:
Here’s what we’re looking for: Stories of up to 1200 words. No minimum. However, they have to be really scary. Like super scary. The scariest, creepiest or most unsettling thing you can come up with. Any perspective or tense is fine for these. Single character stories are fine.
We pay $40 for flash fiction stories and payment can be made via Paypal or Amazon gift card as usual.
Email your flash fic in .doc form or similar editable file (NO PDFS PLEASE) to [email protected] – Please send them to this address and not the general submissions one.
SHORT FICTION REQUIREMENTS:
Here’s what we’re looking for: Stories between 1200 and 2500 words. Again, they have to be really scary. Any perspective or tense is fine for these. Single character stories are fine. Prose or script format is fine. For the most part, these stories will be appearing on the regular show, so cool soundscapes and attention to how they’ll sound in production is helpful.
We pay $100 for short fiction stories and payment can be made via Paypal or Amazon gift card as usual.
Email your short fic in .doc form or similar editable file (NO PDFS PLEASE) to [email protected] – Ideally send them to this address and not the general submissions one. If you happen to make a mistake and send it to the wrong address, don’t worry about chasing it up to correct it as we’ll still see it, just if possible try and send it here.
Beyond that, I’d strongly recommend still reading through our submissions guidelines, and this advice post, as there’s a lot of helpful info regarding tone and style.
Here at The NoSleep Podcast, we love nothing more than hearing from up-and-coming or seasoned horror writers who’d like to work with us. We want you to frighten us and mess with our heads, so we in turn can terrify our listeners. As such, we’ve prepared a handy list of submissions guidelines to get your relationship with our show started. We welcome and encourage a broad, diverse range of submissions from all across the horror genre, and can’t wait to read the spine-tingling tales you send us.
Submissions are primarily handled by editor Gabrielle Loux and editorial assistant Olivia White, who upon your story being selected will work with you to ensure your story is primed for audio adaptation.
In the body of your email please include the title and word count of the story.
Please send submissions as an editable attachment. Microsoft Word documents are preferable. Please do not submit your story or script as a .PDF file as we cannot edit or annotate it easily. Anything submitted as a .PDF file will be automatically rejected.
Please do not submit your story by pasting the text into the body of your submission email. This breaks the formatting of your story and makes it exceptionally hard to read, requiring us to reformat your story ourselves just to be able to assess it. Any submissions received in this manner without an attachment will be automatically rejected.
Note: Submissions must be carefully proofread and formatted. Stories that lack appropriate paragraph breaks, punctuation, or proper spelling and grammar will not be considered.
This email is for story submissions only. Submissions or inquiries about art, voice acting, or contributing to the podcast in some other form should not be sent here. The editors don’t handle that side of the podcast and won’t be able to answer your questions. Additionally, please only submit your own stories. Please do not suggest or submit stories from other authors.
Please double check that your story is actually attached to your email. Almost every day we receive at least one submission without a story included. The more time we have to spend on chasing up these submissions, the less time we can spend on appraising your stories.
Note: Current response times can vary wildly. Even if you haven’t heard back from us within a few months, it doesn’t mean your story’s been rejected. We have thousands of submissions between a tiny team, and sometimes it may take a while to get back to you. We intend to respond to everyone whose work meets our guidelines, but occasionally human error may occur.
Due to the high volume of submissions we receive, any submissions that don’t follow our requirements will be automatically rejected. Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines carefully before submitting in order to receive a response from our team.
Update (13/12/17): Due to an extremely high volume of submissions, we are unable to respond to emails chasing up submissions unless an error has occurred. Your submission hasn’t been lost; if you haven’t heard back in a while, it’s because we haven’t read it yet. Particularly, please don’t resubmit stories because you haven’t heard back about them yet as it complicates our filing system and adds an unnecessary workload by cluttering our inbox, which in turn leads to a longer wait for other authors. Thank you for your patience! – Gabrielle & Olivia
Stories should be a minimum of 2500 words, with 3000+ being preferable. Please include a word count with your story. If possible, include a spoiler-free list of characters with speaking roles, including the narrator.
We’d love to see more script submissions, as these have proven to work very well on the show. Scripts should ideally last between 20 and 40 minutes, and star 2 or more characters, with more being preferable. Please include a word count with your script, and a spoiler-free list of characters with speaking roles. If you’re new to scriptwriting and you’d like an example of how to structure and format an audio-only script, you can download an example here. WriterDuet, Celtx or Fade In are handy, free scriptwriting programs that will help you to format your script correctly.
Please make sure your script is written as an audio drama. We can’t adapt scripts written as a screenplay, or scripts that heavily feature visual cues. Anything not written in an audio drama format will not be accepted.
We pay to use your work! The current rate for stories and scripts is $125. Payments will be sent via PayPal unless other methods are required.
If your story is selected, you may be asked to work with the story editor on edits or tweaks to ensure your story is as perfect for the show as it can be.
Feel free to introduce yourself and say hello, but things like cover letters or CV’s aren’t required.
Please be considerate of other authors waiting for a response. Choose one or two of your best works and submit those via an attachment in a single email. Please don’t send link-dumps, or refer us to an entire anthology of your work. Similarly, please don’t send rapid-fire submissions. Ideally wait a few weeks between submissions. This is a polite request and not a rule however, and if you have a burning desire to send another story over in the meantime, go for it.
Please do not email us chasing up submissions until four months have passed. Our workload varies hugely, and while you may have gotten a response within a few days one week, it may take a lot longer the next. We try to contact everyone, and your story won’t be overlooked even if it’s taking a while. Similarly, please do not chase up submissions via the NoSleep Podcast twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. Gabrielle and Olivia do not run those accounts, so you won’t be able to receive a helpful answer there regardless.
Stories can appear elsewhere. Previously published or performed stories are fine, as long as you hold the rights to grant usage to The NoSleep Podcast. However, stories which have not already previously appeared in audio form will have priority.
Please do not re-submit stories that have already been passed on. If we think a story could work with certain changes or rewrites, we’ll reach out to you and let you know.
Only submit your own work. We can’t adapt stories without the permission of the author.
We cannot provide a personalized response to every author individually. Similarly, requests for writing advice or critiques will probably go unanswered. However, even if a story is rejected you will hear from us saying so as long as the submission falls within our guidelines.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Be familiar with the podcast and know about the kinds of stories we do on the show. Here are some details for what works best for the podcast:
Must be horror. Horror is a diverse genre, and this is open to interpretation, but the main focus of a story should be to scare or unsettle.
Stories should be written in the first-person perspective. While there are occasional exceptions to this rule, first-person tends to work by far the best for the show.
We don’t want narratives which rely solely on graphic gore (snuff, torture porn, etc.) or graphic sexual violence. Implied instances will usually be okay but as with any good horror, thoughtful is the most effective.
Provide good audio cues. This is an audio podcast – the better your story can sound the better it will be for the show. Scenarios that involve interesting or creative audio will always catch our eye.
Make good use of dialogue. Stories with only one narrator can work but we prefer 2+ characters interacting.
Here at The NoSleep Podcast, we pride ourselves on featuring seasoned horror authors alongside fresh, up and coming talent. We love working with newcomers, but if you’re just starting out in the field we ask you not to take it personally if we choose not to use your story on the show. It takes a lot of practise to write a story that is suitable for audio adaptation, and we would always welcome you to try again with a new submission if a previous one isn’t right for us. Rejection doesn’t mean you’ve missed your chance. Feel free to submit new stories even if previous ones have been rejected.
RIGHTS & LEGAL
Authors retain full rights to any story or script performed on The NoSleep Podcast. All we would ask is that starting from the date of selection of your story, we receive a 3 month audio exclusivity period during which time your story will not be performed on any other horror podcast or in any audio narrative medium without written permission from Creative Reason Media. Stories may be published in text form by the author at any time.
Creative Reason Media does not retain the rights to publish or distribute your story outside of the audio performance without written permission from the author.
Audio production of your story remains the property of Creative Reason Media and may not be altered, sold or distributed outside of The NoSleep Podcast without prior written permission.
Please send stories and scripts to [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you, and working with even more exciting and talented authors in the future.