Fiction Submission Guidelines
Please don't query us about your story submission. We don't have the manpower to answer such queries. An editor will email you back as soon as possible with the decision about your story. This can take a few days, or, up to three months. We make every effort to get back to authors in a timely manner but we get a lot of submissions so sometimes it's not possible.
A note on our editorial policy: before publication we may edit the story for length or readability. However, we always remain true to the spirit of the story.
Issues are published at the end of February, May, August, and November.
We reserve the right to shift publication date slightly, as necessary.
We have reading periods for each issue, though we never close to submissions.
February closes January 15
May closes April 15
August closes July 15
November closes October 15
Please do not submit the same story more than once, and please submit only one story at a time.
We consider any story between 250 and 7000 words with speculative fiction elements. We prefer science fiction, fantasy, and the macabre, but we're willing to push the limits of traditional forms of these genres.
We do not consider poetry, stories with over-the-top sex or violence, serials, novels, fan fiction, or non-fiction. We don't accept multiple submissions; in other words, only submit one story at a time and wait for a response before submitting another. We accept simultaneous submissions as long as you let us know up front and tell us as soon as it's accepted elsewhere. We do not publish reprints, including anything that has appeared on a website.
We pay $20 for each story we publish. We buy first-printing world exclusive rights for four months. Payment will be made shortly after publication using PayPal. We encourage our authors to establish a PayPal account if they don't already have one.
We prefer to read submissions in traditional manuscript format. This means indented paragraphs instead of left justification, and Courier or Times New Roman font in 12 pt, double-spaced. Also, please include the title, your name, address, and word length on the first page of your story.
To submit your story to Electric Spec, e-mail it as an attachment in Rich Text Format (RTF) to submissions at electricspec (dot) com. Use the following subject line: SUBMISSION:Story Title by Author's Name (Word Count). In the body of the e-mail, include writing credits, if any, and the word count of the story. With the proliferation of viruses on the Internet, we do not open attachments unaccompanied by a cover letter.
We respond to most submissions within six weeks. Because we are a quarterly magazine, it may take us up to three months to make a final decision, but we will let you know if your story is being held for voting.
Please note we do not send out messages upon receipt of stories.
If you want to withdraw a story from consideration, please e-mail us at submissions at electricspec (dot) com and include the word WITHDRAW in the subject line. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us at our submissions address and include the word QUERY in the subject line.
Why Submit to Electric Spec?
At Electric Spec, we encourage authors to do their market research before submitting work. Electric Spec stands out from other markets because:
- We pay for stories and artwork.
- We don't have slush readers. At least one of our editors looks at every story that comes in.
- We've been around for over ten years - and we've never missed an issue, deadline, or author payment.
- We actually edit the stories we publish. Our experienced editors work with authors to make their stories the best they can possibly be. Many magazines out there don't do that - and it shows.
- We have a quick turn-around time regarding publication. We try to send out rejections in 30-40 days. Acceptances take longer, but we will let you know if your story is in the running (i.e. held for voting) in that same time frame.
- We love authors because we're authors, too. All of the editors are published speculative fiction authors.
Art Submission Guidelines
We are currently accepting art submissions for our issues.
Please do not submit the same artwork more than once.
Please submit artwork separately from stories.
We will consider any picture with a speculative fiction element for issue cover art. Look at previous covers to ascertain our tastes. We prefer energetic pieces that narrow the boundary between realism and fantastical, both in genre and style. Consider that our readers come to Electric Spec for stories; we want to see story portrayed by your imagery. Art may be re-sized to fit standard browsers; we will not crop or alter the piece without your permission.
No over-the-top sex or violence, or fan fiction characters or settings, please. Though we appreciate the form, we don't use caricature or graphic novel style art for our covers.
We pay $20 for each piece of artwork we publish. We buy first-printing world exclusive rights for four months and non-exclusive rights thereafter. Please note this means we want art that has not been published elsewhere. Payment will be made shortly after publication using PayPal.
To submit your art to Electric Spec, e-mail it as an attachment to submissions at electricspec (dot) com. Use the following subject line: ART SUBMISSION: Title by Artist's Name. We prefer standard electronic formats such as jpeg or gif files.
Unless you receive a note indicating otherwise, your work may be considered for any future issue. We have, rarely, commissioned original artwork for the cover; if we ask, please be honest about how fast you can work. We operate under tight deadlines for publication.
We respond to most submissions within a month. We do not send messages upon receipt of submisisons.
Because we are a quarterly magazine, it may take us up to three months. For art work sometimes we consider submissions after the three months has passed, i.e. we consider art work for more than one issue. If we do not reject a piece, it is still under consideration. Of course, in the meantime, if you place it elsewhere, please let us know.
If you have questions or comments, please e-mail us at submissions at electricspec (dot) com.