Ongoing Submissions: After The Storm
Payment: $20 and Medium Paywall
Theme: For fiction, speculative fiction about a better world of tomorrow that takes place after capitalism.
Welcome to After The Storm!
This is a publication for stories that describe a world beyond our current oppressive society. We want to tell stories that span beyond white supremacy, patriarchy, ableism, imperialism, capitalism, and so much more. We operate under the assumption that to reach a place, you first have to imagine it.
What do those stories even look like?
What constraints do you as a writer have in constructing such a world?
What sacrifices or gains would have to be made for that world to be reached?
We do not have a set future in mind but rather want to be a platform that debates that vision openly and enthusiastically.
We accept long-form essays and fiction stories that strive to provide a vision of what that brighter future can be. The subject matter is not constrained to blueprints on building a utopian society — in fact, we would prefer it if you were as practical and grounded in your approach as possible.
- The body of all pieces must be a minimum of 1,000 words and a maximum of 5,000 words. We sadly will not be making any exceptions.
- We prefer ever-green content that dives deeply into a subject or theme. It’s fine to focus on a niche subject as long as you translate that piece’s themes into something a wider audience can understand.
- While we will review everyone’s work (and everyone has the potential to be selected), this publication aims to accept non-established writers from underrepresented backgrounds.
- This is a paid publication, so we only have the budget to accept a couple of articles per month.
Keep in mind that we are not asking you to construct a narrative devoid of tension and problems. You can still write about epic space operas or funny love stories, but a core system of oppression must have been reduced in your story far more significantly than in our present society.
For example, if you write a detective story, perhaps you can set it inside a post-patriarchal world. What does that look like? How does that impact your setting and characters? What standard detective tropes that exist in our world would not exist in yours, and vice versa? Would the stereotype of a grizzled detective even be present? Why or why not?
Telling a story where one system of oppression is significantly reduced; however, it does not mean that all of them have to be gone in your story. It’s perfectly possible in your detective story for there to be gender equality, in whatever way you define it, but for other pressing problems like climate change to also exist. In fact, the tension concerning who does and does not receive such equality can make for a richer story.
We are not asking you to solve all the world’s problems (that would be a lot), but to imagine a story where we have started to move past some of them.
We realize that you can’t tell the real-life story of how you individually vanquished white supremacy or capitalism. Don’t worry; we are not looking for you to tell a story chronicling the impossible.
We want you to capture moments in time when a pressing system of oppression — perhaps one that has been hanging over you your entire life — has briefly melted away. This can be your time spent with an organization that was able to provide you a sense of community not built on exclusion; it can be a group that was, in a limited way, able to push back against systemic institutions; or perhaps it’s something else entirely!
What we are looking for is the articulation of that ephemeral feeling of acceptance and progress. We want to hear stories from people fighting in the trenches to make that better future today — either through action or reflection.
We sadly cannot publish everything. The nature of publishing means that there are some things we have decided (for the time being) that will not be accepted by After The Storm:
- Poetry. This one saddens us greatly because poetry has the ability to envision a better world just as much as a short story or essay. Unfortunately, we do not have the current budget for it.
- Letters. We are not looking to do Dear Abby content at this time.
- Self-help guides.
- Hate-speech of any kind (no racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, etc.).
- Promotions. We are not interested in the first chapter of your already-published novel.
Before you send us an email with your wonderful draft, there are a couple of rules that we would like you to follow:
- Review Medium’s rules, curation guidelines, and ad-free policy to ensure that you comply.
- Again, please make sure that your piece is a minimum of 1,000 words and a maximum length of 5,000 words. We will not accept anything shorter.
- Your title should be in title case and your subtitle in sentence case.
- You should have provided at least one image to accompany your article. The website Unsplash is a great tool for this.
- Preferably, it would help if you have edited your piece either manually or with a tool like Grammarly.
- If you would like more assistance, please read Casey Botticello’s fantastic essay, The Best Medium Article Formatting Guide.
The first time that you submit a piece with us will require several simple steps. If you are already familiar with Medium publications, you have probably done this process dozens of times. If not, do not worry; it’s very straightforward.
- The first step will involve sending us an email to afterthestormmag(at)gmail.com with an unpublished draft that you think meets our guidelines.
- We will send you an email notifying you that we have received it, and how long we think it will take us to review your piece.
- If we think you are a right fit for After The Storm, we will notify you via email that we would like to add you as a writer to our publication (see further details here) and proceed with your piece.
- Regardless of our decision, we will send you an email indicating whether your piece has been accepted or rejected (note: we are happy to provide notes for any writer who asks).
- Once we decide to go forward with a piece, we will work with you to finish some final edits, formatting issues, and possibly adjust the title and image(s).
Notes on Rejection
We are a paid publication, which means that we cannot accept every piece that comes our way. This does not mean your piece is bad. It might be good, possibly even great, but our limited budget means that we are only accepting several pieces a month.
Please, do not hesitate to ask us for notes or to submit a piece multiple times.
Regarding Removal of Content
We place a lot of effort into making sure that your piece reaches the widest possible audience. If we have accepted and published one of your pieces and find that you have withdrawn it and resubmitted it to another publication on Medium, then we will, unfortunately, have to remove you as a writer from our publication.
This does not apply to self-hosting the content on your personal blog (posting it as a blog entry on your non-Medium personal blog is okay with us).
Where else will this piece go?
After The Storm is a mission-oriented publication trying to use your work to change the world (no pressure), this means that we reserve the right to syndicate your piece on our main site (once we get it up and running) so that people outside Medium’s paywall can access it.
After The Storm is attempting to be different from many other Medium publications in the sense that we pay our writers. We prioritize this payment over the quantity of work being delivered every month. The stories we are asking you to deliver deviate from what is traditionally acceptable in publishing, and with that risk should come greater reward.
We seek to pay our writers in three primary ways:
- The traditional way that most writers are paid on this platform, which is by placing your work behind Medium’s paywall. This not only helps with the piece’s chance at getting curated but increases the number of dollars you are rightfully owed.
- We also devote hours of our editors’ labor promoting your pieces online so that that payment is as high as it possibly can be. This not only includes plugging your article on our social media platforms but employing organic advertising on places across the web.
- Finally, we provide direct payment of $20 ($50 for Greater Washington, DC area residents) sent to you via PayPal 5 days after the piece has been published.
- We also pay $5 for published pieces.
We hope to grow both the amount we can pay writers per piece and the number of pieces we accept per month overall. If you like what we do, consider donating to our Patreon.
If you have any questions, please email us at afterthestormmag(at)gmail.com (note: we will be ignoring any derisive emails as well as all private notes left on this article).
Via: After The Storm.
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Stuart Conover is a father, husband, published author, blogger, geek, entrepreneur, horror fanatic, and runs a few websites including Horror Tree!