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Strange Horizons is entirely run by unpaid volunteers, and we're often looking for additional pairs of hands. At the moment we are looking for

  1. Copyeditors
  2. First Readers
  3. Poetry Editor

If you think you can help out, get in touch! Contact details are included at the end of each description.

We strongly encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply.


Copyeditors

Strange Horizons is looking for additional people to join our copyediting team and share responsibility for polishing the magazine’s content before publication.

Responsibilities

Read through pieces before publication and check spelling, grammar, punctuation, formatting, consistency, etc.; enforce Strange Horizons house style; note your suggested changes and queries for department editors to address.

Requirements

  • Ability to work well with others in an online setting and use WordPress and Slack.
  • Discretion: for example, we'll ask that you not blog about the details of your job, though it's fine for you to publicly say that you have the job.
  • Reliability: all of the magazine’s departments depend on the team of copyeditors to clear pieces in a timely fashion before each issue is published, so you must be able to reliably do some editing every week.
  • Please note that copy editors may not submit writing to Strange Horizons while on staff.

Time commitment

  • One to two hours each week. Some weeks it may be less, depending on your assigned department; more should be rare. However, some pieces are galleyed with a short time window before publication, so flexibility and availability on weekends are helpful. Copyeditors rotate through departments monthly, with a month off after every four months.
  • Commitment to stay on for at least six months if possible.

How to apply

If you're interested, take our copyediting test! The instructions are found here. The format of the test is similar to the work you would be doing. If you’ve applied in the past but not taken the test, please do apply again.


First Readers

Strange Horizons's first readers read some of the incoming fiction submissions and decide whether to pass them along to the fiction editors. We are therefore looking for people who like what Strange Horizons publishes.

We highly encourage Black first readers to apply. We especially welcome readers from outside the US & UK. We also welcome queer, disabled, and neurodiverse readers.

Responsibilities

  • Read a portion of the submitted stories each week and write a brief summary and comment for each, including characteristics we may be looking for.
  • Pass good and interesting stories along to editors.
  • Send rejection notes for stories you decide not to take.

Requirements

  • Ability to work well with others in an online setting.
  • Discretion; for example, we'll ask that you not blog about the details of your job, though it's fine for you to publicly say that you have the job.
  • Reliability: the fiction department depends on first readers. We prefer a reader who reads a small number of stories week after week to a reader who reads a large number randomly.

Time commitment

Roughly five hours per week of reading, plus up to three hours per week of writing summaries, comments, and rejections. The actual time you spend reading in a given week may end up being less than this, but expect the job to take at least five hours a week; don't expect to be able to squeeze it in during occasional spare moments.

Commitment to stay on for at least six months after an initial one-month trial period.

How to apply

If you're interested, send email to fiction@strangehorizons.com with the following subject line: FR CANDIDATE: your name here (with "your name here" replaced by your actual name, of course.)

Any of a multitude of salutations within the body of the email are fine, but please don't address your application to just one fiction editor; all of them will be reading your application (generally "Dear Editors," is a good choice).

In the email, introduce yourself, tell us about your relevant experience (if any), let us know a little about why you'd like to join us, and list three to five authors whose short stories (not novels) you particularly like (with emphasis on authors who write speculative fiction). You don’t have to have previous first-reading experience or be a writer—we want to hear from anyone interested in the position.

Then provide a list of three to five of your favorite stories that SH has published. For each story, provide a brief comment, roughly twenty to fifty words, about what you liked about it. Tell us what you really think rather than what you think we want to hear; the main point of this exercise is to help us (and you) decide whether your tastes are likely to match ours, in which case there will be some more screening to make sure we work well together.

We’ve had the good fortune of working with many talented and hard-working first readers over the magazine’s history, and we look forward to adding to their numbers.


Poetry Editor

Strange Horizons poetry editors select the poems that appear in Strange Horizons and act as ambassadors to the speculative poetry community worldwide.

We welcome applications from queer, minority, and marginalized editors. Experience is not a prerequisite: if you feel you would be good at this, we trust you. You don't have to be similar to us or to like the things we like. Ideally, we would prefer someone who can bring something new to the table, who is part of writer communities we aren't already part of.

Responsibilities

  • Read and reply to incoming submissions on a rotating basis with the other poetry editors.
  • Commission poems for special issues as needed.
  • Send and receive contracts for accepted poems, and follow up on payments.
  • Format poems in WordPress. Work with poets, copyeditors, and webmasters as necessary to make corrections.
  • Appear as an occasional guest on the poetry podcast (optional).

Requirements

  • To coordinate our work, we use Moksha submissions portal, Google spreadsheets, and Slack message boards. For poem galleys, we use WordPress. You don't have to have preexisting accounts or logins, but you need access to a computer with the capability to run these sites and apps.
  • We are looking for someone who, to paraphrase Anthony Oliviera, is brave enough to be kind. The act of sending a poem to a stranger is inherently friendly and vulnerable. We try to respond accordingly.

Time commitment

During months when you are "on desk," expect to spend 10 to 15 hours a week reading and replying to submissions. The rest of the year, you'll spend an average of an hour per week answering messages from other editors and accepted authors, and galleying poems.

Assume you will spend three to four months of the year "on desk." Currently, AJ and Romie trade off four-month stints, but we have divided the year in a variety of different ways in the past to accommodate the needs and calendars of our editorial staff.

We hope you are able to commit to a two-year tenure or longer.

How to apply

If you're interested, send email to poetry@strangehorizons.com with the subject line: APPLICANT: [your name here]. Type your full name in place of "your name here." 

In your email to us, please answer the following questions:

    1. Ninety-five percent of your job as poetry editor is reading poems you won't ultimately accept and sending rejection notes. How will you approach this?
    2. What kind of experience do you have with long-term volunteer work?
    3. Which kinds of poems, poets, or poetic genres would you would like to see more of in Strange Horizons? How would you work to attract that type of submission to the magazine?
    4. Name a poem Strange Horizons has published in the last two years that you have NOT liked. Why did you not like it? Why did you feel the poetry editors chose it? 

If there is anything else you would like to say about yourself, feel free to do so. 

Regarding salutations, you could address us as "Dear Poetry Editors" or "Dear Romie Stott and AJ Odasso" or "Dear AJ Odasso and Romie Stott"; you could also leave that part off entirely. Similarly, although we never mind hearing that you like Strange Horizons, we're going to assume that you do; we don't have to be convinced.

If you have questions or doubts, those can also be sent to poetry@strangehorizons.com. (Poetry submissions, however, still need to go through Moksha.) We may be slow to reply because it's a busy time of year; please do not assume disinterest. If you've read this far, we probably already like you.