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Last Updated: 22 October 2016

Art Directors

  • Heather McDougal
  • Dante Luiz

What We Want and What We Don't Want

Strange Horizons publishes original art alongside one story each month. This artwork will be commissioned or selected by the fiction editors to accompany the story's tone and content.

We commission art that tells a story. To tell that story, we want to see artists use all the tools at their command: color, composition, lighting, and detail. To see examples of what we buy, please browse our previous issues and art archives, which are available online without charge.

When you submit your work to, please do give us a link to ONE (1) portfolio (if available), as well as THREE (3) examples of your work that you feel would be the best fit for our magazine. These samples let us know right away that you understand what we're looking for (and that you've read these guidelines).

Yes, please:

  • Full color work with depth, texture, and thoughtful composition
  • Work that evokes an emotion
  • Work that captures a moment in time
  • Character and mood
  • Unusual approaches to figure, line, and color
  • Imagination

Hard sells:

  • Cartoons/anime
  • Line art/black and white
  • Portraits/fan commissions
  • Photography
  • Collage

No, thank you:

  • Gratuitous sexualization
  • Common SF tropes like shiny distant cities with huge planets behind them
  • Stereotyping, fetishization, or objectification of people

Pay Rates

We pay artists $200 for an original work to accompany a story, and $100 in the event that we use a piece from an artist's already existing portfolio.


We buy the right to display the selected artwork with the story, and to archive it on our website. In the case of commissioned original work, artists retain all rights to use the work for merchandise, or to post the work elsewhere once the story is live. However, we ask that the artist wait until the story is live before re-selling the work, and that the piece is credited as originally appearing as an illustration for the story.

In addition, we optionally ask the artist to grant us rights to use the work for limited-run, not-for-sale promotional printed items (e.g. flyers) to advertise the magazine.

How to Submit

If you would like to be considered as a potential artist for Strange Horizons, please send a link to your portfolio and/or up to 3 example image files (as links or attached as .png or .jpg, not more than 1000x1000 pixels) to

Please use "ARTIST SUBMISSION: Artist Name" in the subject line.


We will retain all artist information, but will only contact you in the event that we would like to commission an illustration or query to use one of your already existing pieces. As we only plan to buy 12 pieces per year, this may mean that many artists never hear from us. This does not reflect a judgment about the quality of your art, only that we are looking for a very narrow selection of pieces to match our accepted stories. We welcome updates if you have new work you'd like us to see, but we ask that artists only update us with new work every 6 months.