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Taking Submissions: Rakehell Magazine May 2022 Window

May 14, 2022

Submission Window: May 8th-14th, 2022.
Payment: $0.01 (one cent) per word
Theme: Swashbuckling action in all genres

Rakehell buys First Worldwide Serial Rights to swashbuckling tales from 3,000 to 8,000 words long. We currently pay $0.01 (one cent) per word. We know that’s not much, and we hope to increase our rate as soon as possible.

Rakehell Accepts All Genres

  • We’re looking for stories of swashbuckling action in all genres.
    • We love fantasy, steampunk, and historical fiction, but we’ll read anything that fits the Rakehell vibe.
    • We’re looking for small-scale conflicts with personal motivations. We’re less interested in epic quests and straight military fiction.
    • Think Robin Hood, Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser, the Three Musketeers, Horatio Hornblower, Felimid mac Fal, Flashman, Khlit the Cossack, the Gentleman Bastards, Captain Blood, the Greatcoats, Inigo Montoya, Indiana Jones, Rudolf Rassendyll, Richard St. Vier…
    • Feel free to draw on other genres, like mystery, comedy, and romance. No erotica.
  • “Swashbuckling” implies a sense of fun and excitement.
    • Don’t sugarcoat the realities of violence, but don’t dwell in the darkness.
    • Readers should come away from your story exhilarated, not depressed.
  • Stories will probably have a pre-modern technology level.
    • Swords stopped being quite so useful once firearms advanced past the black powder stage. (Flintlock-era technology is welcome.)
    • If your story has a reason why guns/grenades/missiles/lasers/phasers/blasters aren’t an option, we’ll consider it. For sci-fi, think Star Wars or Dune.
    • If your story captures the Rakehell attitude, we can be flexible. Put another way: a duel at dawn between two libertines with flintlock pistols is a yes. A showdown at noon between two cowboys with revolvers is a maybe. A shoot-out between a mobster and the cops is a no.
  • Magic is fine, but will probably be low.
    • Worlds where battle magic is common and/or powerful tend to have the same problems as worlds with modern firearms.

Rakehell is at the New Edge of Pulp

  • We recognize that many classic adventure stories were written in a time of terrible religious, racial, and gender attitudes. Those must be left behind for pulp and adventure fiction to thrive.
  • We will not consider any story that normalizes bigotry, even in the name of “historical accuracy.”
  • Rakehell encourages characters and authors representing the full spectrum of human experience.
    • This includes, but isn’t limited to, people of all colors, shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities, and the full LGBTQ+ family.

Rakehell Means Action!

  • We want fast-paced stories that grab the reader early and don’t let go until the end.
  • That doesn’t mean you can skimp on the characters.
    • Action means nothing if we don’t care about the characters.
    • Characters drive your plot.
  • Violence should be at roughly a PG-13 level.
    • Absolutely no sexual violence. Absolutely no violence to children.

Your Story Is…

  • 3,000 to 7,000 words.
    • We prefer around 5,000 words. The closer you can stick to this number, the better your chances.
    • We understand that every story is different. Write it the length it needs to be. We don’t mind if a story falls a little outside our range.
  • Polished!
    • Your story should have gone through multiple revisions, maybe with an editor, maybe with a beta reader or three.
    • It should be free of spelling errors, grammar errors, and typos. Take pride in your work and show us your best.
  • Paid.
    • Rakehell currently pays $0.01 (one cent) per word. That means a 5,000-word story is paid $50. We hope to increase this rate in the future.
      • We pay by either PayPal or Venmo.
    • We buy First Worldwide Serial Rights.
      • All copyright to the story, characters, setting, etc. stays with you.
      • Rakehell is buying the right to be the first publisher of your story worldwide. (Issues will be sold in multiple locales, for example, both amazon.com and amazon.co.uk.) You can resell, reprint, or do whatever you want with your story 90 days after it’s been published in Rakehell.
      • Be aware that many publishers want First Serial Rights, so it may be hard to sell your story to, for example, another magazine after it’s appeared in Rakehell.

Got something for us?

  • Send story submissions to rakehellmag at gmail dot com.
  • Please send stories in standard manuscript format, as a PDF or Word doc attached to the email.
  • The subject of the submission email should read “SUBMISSION: {Your Last Name} – {Name of Story}”, for example, “SUBMISSION: Goldman – My Name Is Inigo Montoya.”
  • Feel free to include a short bio, including any other published works, in the body of the email. Don’t worry if you don’t have any publication credits yet.
  • Please submit only one story per submission window (i.e. no multiple submissions).
  • Simultaneous submissions (that is, submitting your story to Rakehell and other markets at the same time) are fine, but please let us know ASAP if your story is accepted elsewhere.
  • No reprints, please.
  • Please allow about two months for a response. If you haven’t heard from us two months after the submissions window closes, you’re welcome to send a followup email.
  • Do not submit stories outside the submission window. Early and late submissions will be deleted unread!

Via: Rakehell Magazine.


May 14, 2022