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Taking Submissions: The Journal of Unlikely Academia

March 1, 2015


Deadline: March 1, 2015
Payment: 6¢ per word

For this issue, rather than limiting ourselves to one specialized field of study, we’re looking for stories about the act of studying and learning itself. This could be anything from stories set in unusual schools like Hogwarts, Brakebills, and the Unseen University, to stories focusing on the students and faculty of unorthodox majors like Decision Sciences, Theme Park Engineering, and Bowling Industry Management and Technology (these are all real majors offered by real universities), to tales of researchers digging deep into forbidden tomes, to fictionalized scholarly articles on the Ethics of Motorcycle Taming or the Alternate History of Space Flight in the Mongol Empire. (Yes, we realize this opens us up to stories with footnotes, and we’ll probably kick ourselves later, but we’re brave souls.) We would not be dismayed to see stories that delve into epistemology and hermeneutics, into the nature and limits of knowledge itself.

As always, we want gorgeously-told tales, gripping characters, and unique worlds to explore. Genre doesn’t matter to us, along as your tale involves schools, studying, or academia in some integral way. For the sake of setting this issue apart from our recurring entomology and cryptography issues, we’d prefer not to receive stories involving the study of bugs/insects, or computing/code.

Word limit:

We’ll consider stories up to 8000 words, but strongly prefer stories of 5000 words or less. We’re open to flash fiction and fiction in non-traditional formats, but we do not publish poetry or non-fiction.

Pay rate:

We pay 6¢ per word for original fiction. Payment is made upon publication.


We buy first-printing world exclusive English-language rights for six months after publication, and non-exclusive electronic rights for twelve months after publication. We hope (but do not require) that you’ll allow us to post the story in our archives indefinitely, but you have the right to ask us to remove your story from the archives at any time after twelve months. We also buy the option to non-exclusive anthology rights related to the magazine, as collected issues and/or a best-of anthology. Should we choose to include your story in a print and/or ebook anthology, you will receive a copy of the anthology.


Starting with Issue 11, we will no longer consider unsolicited reprints.

Simultaneous submissions:


Multiple submissions:


Submission Format:

Please send us your story in something generally conforming to Standard Manuscript Format. We’re not slavish to receiving everything formatted exactly the same way, but it’s generally not a good plan to annoy the editors before they’ve even started reading. You can find specific guidelines on what constitutes Standard Manuscript Format online, but the basics that we care about are:

  • 12 point courier, times new roman, or other reasonable font
  • double spaced
  • standard 1″ margins
  • top left of first page: name, contact info, word count
  • header: last name, title, page number

Please resist the temptation of creative formatting, fancy fonts, and butterfly clip art.

How to Submit:

Electronic submissions only. Send your story as a .doc or .rtf attachment to [email protected]. The subject of the email should be:
“[ISSUE] SUBMISSION – [last-name] – [title].”

So for Jayne Smith submitting My Great Story to The Journal of Unlikely Entomology, it would look like “ENTOMOLOGY SUBMISSION — Smith — My Great Story,” but if it was going to theCryptography issue, it would be “CRYPTOGRAPHY SUBMISSION — Smith — My Great Story.”

Please include a brief cover letter in the body of the email with your name, contact information, story title, and word count. Feel free to tell us other stuff if you want, but please don’t include a summary of your story.

Response Times:

We will send an acknowledgement of receipt within 72 hours. If you do not receive this, please query. Average response time is fairly quick, but we’ll definitely get back to you within 4 weeks to let you know whether we wish to hold the story for further consideration or not. Final determinations are made after submission period closes. If you haven’t heard from us after 4 weeks, please send a brief query email with your name, title of your story, and the date your work was submitted to [email protected].

Other Stuff:

Proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar are a must. Don’t send us a revised version of a story we’ve already rejected unless we specifically request it. Keep an eye on our blog and our twitter and facebook feeds for news about the magazine, and submissions status updates.

Please go here for Art Submission guidelines. 

Via: Unlikely Story.


March 1, 2015