Closed – Medical Hiatus

Do Not Send Manuscripts

(I’m OK, thanks for asking. It’s mechanical stuff, not dire stuff. Miss seeing you fine folks in the inbox)

Hello! This project is a comfortable two-headed beast at play in the curious and often dark corners of retropunk fiction. That means steampunk, dieselpunk, dreadpunk, bronzepunk, others that haven’t even been invented yet punk … but not atompunk. Sorry, space fans, we draw our line at Sputnik. About 2/3 of rejections are for “bad fit.” We buy nonexclusive rights for fiction, cover & interior art, music & sound effects usage, and narration services.

What we do:

  • Curiosities, a short story anthology series published two or three times a year, which is available in digital and print on demand formats, and
  • The Gallery of Curiosities, a podcast which features stories from the publication. Not every story we buy will make it to an audio podcast release, but we do make good effort to get it there before our rights expire. We started out as a podcast, and went to print later.

Short version:

  • 5 cents per word original, 1 cent per word reprint, min $50
  • Length up to 7500 words
  • We read blind. Anonymize your manuscript before sending it as a doc, docx, or rtf.
  • Use the format SUBMISSION: Story Title in the title bar of your email or it gets lost.
  • Multiple? No more than 3 at a time. Always send in separate emails.
  • Simultaneous? Yes. Please be prompt with a withdrawal if sold
  • If accepted, your story will be published in ebook and print-on-demand formats
  • If accepted, your story may possibly be produced for podcast
  • send to

Long version:

What we’re looking for:
As an audio venue, we want stories that entertain. We want to be taken on an adventure in a time that never was, be it steampunk, gaslamp, weird & new weird, vintage & gothic horror, mad science, fantastic cities (please!), creature features, impossible machines, clockworks, alt-history adventures, surprises, weird westerns, hard-to-place oddities, and things that shouldn’t work. Curiosities stories are quirky, often dark, and fun.

What we don’t want:
Serialized novels. Novel excerpts. Drabbles. Stories longer than 7500 words. Fan fiction. Sherlockians. Vulgar language used as punctuation. Bleak, hyper-realistic horror. Cutters. JFK theories. Rape. Anything that has been on a podcast within the past 18 months. Stories outside of the speculative fiction genres.

What’s a hard sell:
Use of domestic violence or sexual perversion. Anything set after the mid-20th Century. Spaceships & outer space. Contemporary moods or settings. Excessive splatter. Stories longer than 6000 words. A Stories that make us wonder why they should considered as speculative fiction. Secondary worlds which do not have a level of technology appropriate to retropunk sensibilities.

5 cents a word USD for original fiction and a penny a word for reprints, with a minimum of $50 USD for stories less than 1000 words.

How do I submit?
Send your story in an email or email attachment to with SUBMISSION: Story Title in the subject line, because that is how I search for things. Always send a new story after a rejection with a new subject line. Continuing a thread is a good way to get the next one lost.

Manuscripts will be sent as DOCX or RTF attachments that are formatted without headers. To protect your privacy, put your personal details in the cover letter, not the manuscript. Or just wait until it is asked for. I don’t think you should volunteer your details to strangers on the Internet — it’s where the crazy people live. Make sure all commentary has been removed from your manuscript, as it will (surprise!) persist when I convert it to a Google Document file, which is the format in which we read.

I think long cover letters are unnecessary for this format. I am amused by haiku, and will reciprocate. If the story is a reprint, tell where it has been.

You’ll get a quick reply to acknowledge receipt. If you do not get a rejection within a week, then your story made it past the first read and went on to the short list.

How do I get paid?

What about Rights?
We are purchasing non-exclusive audio, print, electronic, and archiving rights to your short story. You retain all other rights. The podcasts will be archived online for perpetual free download under a Creative Commons 4.0 International Attribution NonCommercial No-Derivs license.

Are you going to publish a print magazine or post my story for online reading?
We will not be posting the text of your story where it could be freely available online. Stories are published in Curiosities two or three times a year, which is available in retail print-on-demand and ebook formats.  We sort accepted stories by broad themes as suggested by the whims of the slush pile, so you may not automatically get into the next issue. You will get representative contributor copies of the issue that contains your story.

How long will it take to get my story to air?
Audio production is extremely time intensive, and it is a challenge to find the right voice for each story. Not all stories will make it to broadcast. If we don’t make it happen within 24 months, our rights expire.

Is there a contract?

What is steampunk?
That’s something you’ll have to find your own definition for. And when you find it, own it. For me, it is an artistic protest about the future we got.

My story has already been published. Can I still submit it?
Yes, as long as you are not violating any terms of your previous contract. We do want to know if it is a reprint, and where it has been. Say so in your cover letter.

You rejected my story. Can I submit another one?
Absolutely! We rejected your story, not you.

You rejected my story. Can I work on it some more and resubmit it?
Only if we said that we would read it again in the rejection letter, or a significant amount of time and revision has occurred.

I have more questions.

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