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TIPS FOR AUTHORS

Pay attention to these tips to give your story its best shot:

Things that will make us reject a story outright
  • Intolerance - We have no tolerance for stories that show clear intolerance toward others' viewpoints and beliefs.
  • Glorifying violence - Although violence is often necessary in story, we will not publish stories that promote or glorify undue violence toward others.
  • Excess profanity - We'd like to keep Empyreome a friendly place. Therefore, we will not publish stories that use words that would not be acceptable in common use in a PG-13 movie.
  • Graphic sexuality - In keeping with the "friendly place" idea, we will not publish stories that depict graphic sexuality. PG-13, remember?
  • No speculative element - We only publish speculative fiction, so if your story doesn't have a clear speculative element, we will not consider it, no matter how well-written it may be.
Things that will most likely make us reject a story
  • Weak hook - If your story doesn't grab us right from the beginning (especially for flash fiction), we probably won't take the time to read any further.
  • Overuse of cliché - A couple clichés here and there probably aren't a big deal, but if your story is peppered with them, or if the story itself is one big cliché (i.e., it sounds like every other sci-fi or fantasy story you've ever read), it's probably not the right story for us.
  • Flat or passive characters - Your characters (especially your main character) should be well drawn and active throughout your story.
  • Lackluster action - We really like action in stories. If you submit a story about a guy sitting on a log thinking, it's probably not going to fly with us.
Things that might make us reject a story
  • Improper grammar and spelling - A few little mistakes are expected, since authors are writers, not grammarians, but please don't send us a story that looks like you put little to no effort into trying to do things properly.
  • Improper formatting - Your story should conform to standard formatting as illustrated by Shunn. We're not too hardnosed about this, but if you send us something with crazy fonts and wacko spacing, you'll get a rejection notice.
  • Weak ending - Weak endings are common among stories (unpublished AND published), because, let's face it, it's hard to end a story. You might think this would go in the "certain rejection" category, and for flash fiction, it probably does. But for longer stories, we might give it a pass if the rest of the story is strong and we think the ending might be strengthened by some minor editing.
  • Too much or too little dialog - If your story has no dialog, it probably won't be a good fit for us (although we give some leeway to flash stories). If it is all dialog it almost certainly won't be a good fit for us.
Hard Sells
  • Experimental style - We prefer straight up storytelling. Submit experimental work at your own risk.
  • Present tense - We won't reject these stories outright, but we don't prefer stories told in the present tense.
  • Hard sci-fi - We like science fiction that is accessible and fun to read. In our opinion, most hard sci-fi is neither.
  • Swords and sorcery - This is sort of the definition of cliché fantasy. We'll read it, but it will have to wow us to get through.
  • Non-human protagonist - If you can make a non-human protagonist human enough that a reader can identify with her/him, that's fine. But think twice before you send a story with a cat as the protagonist.
  • Novelettes - Although we will consider fiction up to 10K words, we prefer shorter stories. We will only select up to one story longer than 7.5K words per issue. So, if you send us a long story, be sure it's a great one.

 

Background image by ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/R.Gendler, J-E. Ovaldsen, C. Thöne, and C. Feron.
http://www.eso.org/public/images/etamosaicnm2/, CC BY 4.0, Link