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(Last revised January 18, 2018: link to proposal guide; changed “reviews” to broader “non-fiction” category; non-fiction pay rate updated)
Submissions are OPEN.
- We are a market for interactive fiction. We do not accept prose without interactivity or a detailed plan for interactivity.
- We have an anonymous submission process. Please remove all author labels from compiled work AND file names.
Guidelines are subject to change. Please review before submitting.
We love receiving work from creators of color, creators from the QUILTBAG community, creators with disabilities, and creators from other underrepresented communities.
If you have life experience which is relevant to the story you’re telling, you are welcome to mention it in your cover letter.
Reviewed all the guidelines already? Submit here:
What We Want
We are a market for F/SF, horror, mystery, romance, and mash-up interactive fiction. Submitted works must include at least a detailed proposal for interactivity. We like beautiful, moving prose, but we also like pulpy fun! Don’t self-reject. Let us see what you’ve got!
We also accept non-fiction related to interactive fiction, including reviews, essays, and other works.
If you’d like to submit something, but you’re not sure it’s a good fit, feel free to query via our contact form.
- Stories that can be told only on a device (using choice, audio, and/or animation)
- Fiction, poetry, and webtoons/sequential art welcome
- Twine, TADS, Inform, ChoiceScript, StoryLab, custom HTML5 welcome
- 1000 – 3500 words of one-time user experience (about five minutes of playthrough), maximum 5000 words of all possible user experiences (we occasionally accept longer pieces but it’s tough on our budget)
- F/SF, horror, mystery, magic realism, mash-ups
- Showing the reader things they’ve never seen before
- Cross-browser QA-testing appreciated
- Mobile compatibility appreciated. It is not necessary that your work be feature-perfect on mobile devices. What we ask is that the work be tested on mobile and 1) any missing features be handled conditionally (e.g. if on mobile, don’t attempt to play two simultaneous audio tracks) and/or 2) the user be warned of any changes in mobile experience. We are happy to work with you to achieve your goals.
- 1st or 3rd person POV
- Requiring clicks/interaction only when asking the reader to make a choice (not just to read further)
- Works that are accessible to users with disabilities
- Fan fiction
- Revenge fantasy
- Excessive sex, violence, or profanity
- Child abuse
- Animal abuse
- Sexual assault
Text-Based Fiction & Poetry
Our rates for text-based interactive fiction are based on prose word count. If the same person is responsible for both prose and interactivity, that person receives both rates.
We require that single-installment, text-based works put a total of no more than 5000 words (including all choices, alternate endings, etc.) before the reader. We prefer that a single playthrough put no more than 3500 words before the reader.
- Original: $0.06 USD/word for prose; $0.03 USD/word for interactivity ($0.09 USD/word for both)
- Reprints: $0.03 USD/word for prose; $0.015 USD/word for interactivity (0.045 USD/word)
An original 1000 word interactive story would command $90.
A reprinted 1000 word interactive story would command $45.
Our rates for illustrated fiction are based on panel count. We pay a certain rate for the panels themselves, and a quarter again as much for the interactivity of those panels. (An animated panel is considered one panel. If you have questions, please query.)
We require that sequential art be under 50 panels.
We prefer that sequential art be under 25 panels.
- Original: $8.00 USD/panel for art; $2.00 USD/panel for interactivity ($10.00 USD/panel for both)
- Reprint: $4.00 USD/panel for art; $1.00 USD/panel for interactivity ($5.00 USD/panel for both)
An original 25-panel interactive webtoon would command $250.
A reprinted 25-panel interactive webtoon would command $125.
The person submitting the story represents they have the right to include any contributors’ work in the story, and to accept payment on their behalf.
Additional payment for external media (e.g. illustration, audio, or special software features) is negotiable on request. If your story contains external media, please include a description of it in your submission, and your requested rate for it.
We pay $45 for non-fiction, with a maximum word-count of 650 words.
sub-Q Magazine‘s staff occasionally interviews authors, game creators, and other people of interest to interactive fiction fans. These interviews are non-paying opportunities.
No, please do not submit a work to us and to another market at the same time.
Yes, you may send us multiple works to consider at the same time (limit three awaiting response at once.)
Our goal is to respond to all submissions in fewer than 90 days. Please wait until 90 days have passed to query. If you have received no response, email email@example.com with the subject line AWAITING RESPONSE: [Your Story Title].
For original IF and for non-fiction, sub-Q acquires first worldwide publication rights, exclusive for one year, non-exclusive thereafter. For reprints, sub-Q acquires non-exclusive publication rights for one year.
Sample contracts are available on request.
How to Submit
- Remove all author labels from compiled work AND file names (for our anonymous submissions process)
- Cover letter is optional. If you provide one (via our Submittable form), please include:
- Name, postal address
- Title, genre, and approximate word count and/or playthrough time
- Description of any external media (e.g. illustration, audio)
- Brief bio with publishing/interactivity credits, if any
- We encourage authors from underrepresented groups to self-identify in their cover letters if they feel comfortable doing so
- Use our Submittable form.
Short, Single-Installment Works
- For a completed interactive work, make a single compressed file (e.g. *.zip) of all materials, including:
- Compiled story (as it would appear in browser, typically an HTML file)
- Source/workspace file(s) (for examining code and overall word count)
- All needed external files (e.g. audio, images) at the correct relative path needed for the compiled story to find them.
- For completed prose with interactivity proposal, submit your proposal as up to three documents ( *.doc, *.odt, or *.rtf file) or a compressed file (e.g. *.zip) of all materials.
- Describe the interactivity in whatever way makes sense to you, e.g. writing, flowchart, diagram, links to external sources, or any combination.
- Include your completed prose. This may be integrated into your proposal, or in a separate document, as you prefer.
- For your prose, please follow standard manuscript format in a *.doc, *.odt, or *.rtf file, Times New Roman preferred, Courier acceptable, links and special formatting OK.
- Check our interactivity proposal guide for more ideas on how to submit a proposal.
Long, Serialized Works
For long, serialized works, submit a query letter, synopsis, and first sample chapter with completed interactivity. Propose your serialized work as you would a novel.
- Submit the query letter, synopsis, and first sample chapter as a single compressed file (e.g. *.zip) of all materials.
- Please follow standard manuscript format in a *.doc, *.odt, or *.rtf file, Times New Roman preferred, Courier acceptable, links and special formatting OK.
Please submit completed non-fiction through our Submittable portal. Please follow standard manuscript format in a *.doc, *.odt, or *.rtf file, Times New Roman preferred, Courier acceptable, links and special formatting OK.
Ready? Set? Submit!