CLOSED: Worlds Without Master

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We get quite a few submissions, which is as grand as it is overwhelming. We are up to the challenge, but be advised that it may take a while for us to get back to you. In the meantime, enjoy this brief primer about Worlds Without Master and its submission policy.

Worlds Without Master is my own self-publishing endeavor.

Just so we’re clear on my intentions. I have fiction and games that are burning to get published. There are folks out there interested in seeing this fiction and these games published. Together we are also interested in publishing the fiction and games of like-minded individuals, which is where you come in.

The ezine is funded by the Patron Horde.

You can witness the might of the Patron Horde for yourself by going to Patreon is a crowdfunding site that allows readers to pledge to fund each issue of the ezine as it comes out. The number of patrons and the amount of funding available for each is issue can fluctuate quite a bit. Which brings me to my next topic . . .

Each issue is only planned about a month ahead of time.

Fluctuations in funding as well as a number of other concerns make it impossible to predict the size of the issue more than a month in advance. So we cannot accept a piece until the month it will be published. To that end, here is the official Worlds Without Master submission policy:

Official Worlds Without Master Submission Policy

  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed. If you wish to submit this somewhere else while you’re waiting, we encourage you to do so.
  • If it looks like your piece will be a good match for Worlds Without Master, we’ll tell you when we think it’ll be published. The actual date will depend on many factors, including the extent of Patreon backing and the amount of other stories submitted. This estimate can only be so accurate.
  • So as not to keep dragging you along, we won’t actually accept a story until the month we are able to publish it, at which point we’ll ask you for the rights, send it to an editor, acquire illustrations, and so forth.
  • Up until that point, you can withdraw your submission for whatever reason and you won’t even hurt our feelings. That way you don’t get punished if the Patron Horde ends up being a bit fickle or for some reason we don’t have enough material to fill an issue.
  • Finally, you will get paid within 30 days of the publication date. This allows enough time for the funds to flow from Patreon to PayPal to us to you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send them through the form to your right.

Rights Being Purchased

We purchase the first online and print publishing rights (in the English language in the case of written works) and the exclusive rights for the first six months after publication. We are also purchasing the continual archival rights that will revert back to you upon request after five years. The date of publication being defined as the day the issue containing your work was first made available to the Patreon patrons. These rights cannot be transferred to a third party without your permission.

This means we are buying the right to be the first person to publish the work anywhere, and we want to be the only ones publishing it for the first six months. Among other things, this precludes you from publishing your work first on your blog, to your friends on a social media website, or on any other website in general–without written permission from us. This written permission is not necessarily hard to get, as we see a great value in using such sites to promote interest in your work and by extension interest in Worlds Without Master. But if you intend to sell us rights different than the ones stated above, you must make us aware of it.

It also means means that once we publish the issue containing your work, it will be available for purchase online as a back issue for at least the next five years. After the first six months, these archival rights will be non-exclusive; which means you will be welcome to reprint your work however you wish, but we will still be selling the issue containing it until the end of these five years. After those five years, we will still continue to sell the back issue containing your work until you write us to specifically request we stop doing so, at which point we will happily comply. This will give you the ability to sell more exclusive rights to your work to another party after that date.

If we wish to reprint your work in another format, such as in an anthology or best-of collection, we must purchase those rights separately.

Fiction Submission Guidelines

Worlds Without Master is currently seeking works of fiction totaling 2,500 words or less in the sword & sorcery genre. We will pay $200 for the rights to accepted works of this nature. The specific rights we are purchasing are listed to the left. Send your submissions through the form above. If special formatting absolutely required, you may send a link to a shared Google Doc of the story.

Sword & sorcery is an often misunderstood genre label that many mistakenly use as a synonym for fantasy in general. Like any genre, it is hard to nail down, being both specific and possessing astounding flexibility. Because we are just as interested in your definition of sword & sorcery as we are our own, we won’t try to define it here. Instead, you will find a few regularly updated lists of some of the personal preferences of our editor-in-chief. You are welcome, but not necessarily advised, to ignore them.

Things Eppy Is Not Particularly Interested In

  • Elves and dwarves, at least in the Tolkien or D&D sense, and especially hobbits and orcs.
  • Fiction where the hero sets out to save the world.
  • Urban supernatural.
  • Lovecraft mythos.
  • Sexual violence.
  • Shallow, uncomplicated or stereotypical depictions of cultures, genders, or sexual orientations, veiled or otherwise.

Things Eppy Is Specifically Interested In

  • Strong minority voices, as authors and protagonists.
  • Adventure for its own sake or motivated in unique ways; rather than simply for revenge or to save the princess or loved one.
  • Weirdness and magic that invoke a sense of awe, horror or wonder; rather than being trite or commonplace.
  • Violence that emphasizes the stark, uncaring or brutal reality the characters live in; rather than just for shock or gore value.

Things That You May Think Don’t Belong In a Sword & Sorcery Story, But Eppy Doesn’t Mind

  • Robots, aliens, starships, and other sci-fi nonsense.
  • Actual, heart-felt romance.
  • Extra-industrial settings beyond the post-apocalypse or ancient and medieval world analogs.

A Note on Serialized Fiction

  • Due to space constraints, we will not publish serialized novels or the like.
  • We have no trouble publishing stories that stand on their own but are part of a greater whole. However, you must trick us into thinking they are not serialized fiction.

Full Game Submission Guidelines

Worlds Without Master is currently seeking complete and functional tabletop role-playing games totaling 2,500 words or less appropriate to the sword & sorcery genre. We will pay $200 for the rights to accepted works of this nature. The specific rights we are purchasing are listed to the left.  Send your submissions through the form above.

Non-Fiction or Article Submission Guidelines

Worlds Without Master is currently seeking non-fiction articles totaling 1,500 words or less. We will pay $100 for the rights to accepted works of this nature. The specific rights we are purchasing are listed to the left. Please send a query letter about your article through the form above. Do not send the full article right away.

The Sort of Articles Eppy Is Interested In

  • Articles on real historical events, cultures, technologies, practices, myths and legends that may be of interest to sword & sorcery gamers, writers and enthusiasts.
  • Articles about fictional monsters, creatures, places, or artifacts–but please, nothing based on someone else’s intellectual property.

The Sort of Articles Eppy Is Not Particularly Interested In

  • Articles on how to GM.

Illustration and Art Guidelines

Worlds Without Master is not currently seeking unsolicited artwork. We do commission full-page, black and white pieces based on our fiction. We will pay $100 for the rights to commissioned works of this nature. We also pay $300 for the rights to commissioned full-color covers. The specific rights we are purchasing are listed to the left.

But in order to commission a piece from you, we need to be aware of you! If you’re an artist looking for work of this nature, please contact me through the form above.

Via: Worlds Without Master.

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