Friday, September 14, 2007

The New Submission Guidelines for Astonishing Adventures Magazine Issue #2

From Editor Tim Gallagher


Okay, kids, we got the first issue out of the way. It darn near killed some of us, but we did it.

In the process of putting the magazine together, we learned what worked and what didn’t; what we need help with and what we have down pat; and what changes will have to be made in order to ensure things go smoother the second time.

The submission guidelines for the time being are going to remain essentially the same:

1) We’re looking for all-new, all-original stories covering all pulp genres. That includes adventure, mystery, science fiction, Western, aviation, fantasy, sword and sorcery - you name it (except romance! Romance is verboten! If I don’t have to deal with it in real life, I don’t want to deal with it in my magazine!). And please don’t make the mistake that many do and equate pulp with noir; most noir is pulp, but not all pulp is noir.

The stories can take place in any time period, and in any location. We’re looking for stories that evoke the spirit of the ‘30s and ‘40s - pulp’s golden age - but that doesn’t mean your stories have to take place then.

Most of all, we’re looking for stories that are FUN and ENTERTAINING! This ain’t some long haired, highbrow literary magazine, it’s a pulp!

If you’re still not sure what we’re looking for, please check out the plethora of pulp reprint magazines available: THE SHADOW, THE SPIDER, DOC SAVAGE, PLANET STORIES, G8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES, SECRET AGENT X, etc. Those are the sort of stories we want to showcase.

2) We said it above, and we’ll say it again: we want all-new, all-original pulp stories. Stories you’ve written featuring characters you’ve created. We will accept absolutely no fan fiction (stories featuring someone else’s characters).

3) We are aiming for the broadest possible audience, from tweens to twilighters, so your submission should be appropriate for all. We will not accept submissions with excessive, gratuitous violence; offensive language (cursing); gratuitous hanky panky (the hero can kiss the girl, but everything else should occur off the page); or content that is deemed disparaging, offensive, or hateful by the editors. Basically, if you couldn’t get away with it in a PG-rated film, you won’t get away with it here.

4) The word count for stories is still 3,500 or less, but as you saw in the first issue, we are open to longer stories. Please query us first before sending anything longer than 3,500 words.

5) We can only accept single, stand-alone stories. We do not accept serial stories at this time. Our quarterly publication schedule makes serialization impractical. We will accept stories that are excerpts of longer works, as long as the excerpt can stand alone: it must have a beginning, middle, and end, like any other story.

6) Here’s the new wrinkle, so please pay attention: ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST BE IN THE FORM OF A WORD DOCUMENT (.doc), with the option of an additional .html doc. We can no longer accept submissions that are in the body of an e-mail. Sorry if this inconveniences anyone, but it makes too much work for us when we put the magazine together.

7) Yes, we accept art submissions. We need spot illustrations for stories as well as cover art. If you can provide art for your submission, by all means do so. For more specific requirements and specifications, contact JDC directly at

8) We are also looking for non-fiction material about the world of pulp: articles, reviews, interviews. Just read a great pulp novel you want to share with everyone else? Write a review and send it to us. You met a man who claims to be the real, live Doc Savage? Well, by jingo, we want to read about it. You just happen to be the neighbor of a man who made his living pounding out pulp stories for a penny a word? Get a tape recorder and get him talking.

The variety of non-fiction material we’re looking for is wide open, as long as it’s pulp related. Please query us first with what you have in mind.

9) Finally, and I can’t say this enough, don’t be afraid to use the LESTER DENT PLOT FORMULA posted elsewhere on this site. I know it’s set up for a 6,000 word story, but it can easily be modified for a story of any length. It’s a great tool, so use it. That’s why we posted it in the first place.

Questions? Concerns? Did I miss something? Well, that’s what the e-mail addresses are for. Shoot us a line, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.Now get cracking. The deadline for issue #2 - NOVEMBER 1 - is fast approaching. And yes, we would love holiday-themed pulp stories.

No comments: