All letters have been sent from the spring 2023 session
Get in touch if you did not get your reply
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, dark fantasy, the Odd, and others that haven’t even been invented yet punk … but not atompunk. Sorry, space fans, we draw our technology 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:
- The Curiosities Anthology Series, which is available in digital and print on demand formats.
- The Gallery of Curiosities, a monthly short story podcast.
- We buy original (5 cents/word) and reprint (penny/word) short stories.
- Length up to 7500 words.
- We read blind. Anonymize your manuscript before sending it to curiousgal[email protected] as a docx, or rtf. Remove headers and/or footers.
- Use the format SUBMISSION: Your Story Title in the title bar of your email or it gets lost.
- Multiple? No more than 3 at a time. Send them in separate emails.
- Simultaneous? Yes. Please be prompt with a withdrawal if sold.
- If you used a simulated intelligence app to help you write your story, say so in your cover letter, and to what extent. We're still thinking about this. It won't be held against you or remembered on the future session (this time).
- Send to [email protected]
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 tales, dark fantasy, dreadpunk, vintage horror, new weird, mad science, fantastic cities (please!), monsters, impossible machines, odd, clockworks, alt-history adventures, surprises, weird westerns, and things that shouldn’t work
What we don’t want:
Serialized novels. Novel excerpts. Drabbles. Stories longer than 7500 words. Fan fiction. Sherlockians. Swearing used as punctuation. Bleak, hyper-realistic horror. Cutters. Rape used as a plot device. JFK theories. Anything that has been on a podcast within the past 18 months. Stories outside of the “speculative fiction” genres.
What’s a hard sell:
Anything set after World War 2. Horror based in domestic violence or sexual perversion. Medieval fantasy. Anything set after the mid-20th Century. Stories that take place in outer space. Horror stories with contemporary moods or settings. Excessive splatter. Stories longer than 6000 words. Anything set after the 1950s. Using some sort of portal or memoir device to get to an era we might be interested in. Stories that make us wonder why they should considered as “speculative fiction”.
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 as an email attachment to [email protected] 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. Headers have been known to mess up the document when converted. To protect your privacy, put your personal details in the cover letter, not the manuscript. Or wait until it is asked for. I don’t think you should volunteer your details 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.
You’ll get a quick reply to let you know it did not get lost. If you do not get a rejection within a week, then your story probably made it past first round and went on to the short list. Wait 30 days before inquiry.
What about translations?
Translations must be authorized by the original author. First rights in English are first rights, even if the work has been published in another language.
How do you feel about simulated intelligence helping me write?
Detection apps don't work. If you used it, say so in your cover letter. What app, and to what extent. We're curious. We won't hold it against you (this time) and won't remember your name later. Some of our editors read for more prestigious magazines and already know what it looks like.
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 may possibly be published in the Curiosities Anthology Series, 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 pair the right voice for each story. 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.
I have more questions.