Last Updated: 1 June 2021
- Joyce Chng (Senior Articles Editor)
- Amanda Jean
On this page:
Non-fiction published in Strange Horizons should provide an original contribution to the field's discussions. Strange Horizons currently publishes:
- Monthly non-fiction of various kinds, including:
- Original critical and academic essays
- Reprints of essays that represent significant contributions to SF criticism
- In-depth interviews
- In-depth round-table discussions about topics and specific works of interest to Strange Horizons readers
- Weekly columns: short personal essays on a wide range of topics
This page contains guidelines for each of these types of material. As for all other Strange Horizons departments, we are interested in submissions from new and and established writers, but in particular welcome submissions from voices that have historically been marginalised within the SF community.
Note: We also publish regular reviews. Guidance on submitting reviews can be found here.
Strange Horizons articles should represent a substantial original contribution to SF discussion. You can browse our articles archive for examples. We encourage you to consider Strange Horizons' focus on marginalised traditions and voices.
Please bear the following points in mind when preparing your submission:
- Strange Horizons publishes short original critical and academic essays of 3,000 to 5,000 words about works of speculative fiction, SF history, associated SF theory and criticism, and SF fandom and culture
- Essays should be aware of previous writing in their area (popular and/or scholarly) and propose an original argument
- Essays should cite their sources using endnotes (with links to online sources where available). Works discussed may be listed in a bibliography.
- If appropriate, essays will be reviewed by external specialists in addition to the regular Strange Horizons editorial staff
- Strange Horizons occasionally reprints essays that represent significant contributions to SF criticism. Reprints are selected by the editors; please do not submit work for reprint consideration.
- Examples of essays published in Strange Horizons can be found here, here, and here.
- Strange Horizons publishes interviews with notable individuals within the speculative fiction community, including but not limited to authors, editors, artists, critics, and other commentators
- Interviews will typically be 3,000 to 5,000 words long and should be presented in a question-and-response format, with a short biographical and contextual introduction, including the date when the interview was conducted
- A Strange Horizons interview should be a thorough discussion intended for a knowledgable reader. Interviewers must be respectful, and should help interviewees to put forward their points in their most complete and thoughtful form. However, interviewers should not be deferential—an interview is not simply a platform for an individual to promote their work. Questions should be specific rather than generic, and interesting answers should be followed-up rather than left hanging.
- Examples of interviews published in Strange Horizons can be found here, here and here.
- Strange Horizons publishes roundtable discussions of 5,000 to 10,000 words involving between three and five informed commentators
- Roundtable discussions are an opportunity to explore a subject from multiple perspectives, whether that is a single work, an author's oeuvre, or a theme or tradition within speculative fiction
- Roundtable discussions should be carefully moderated and edited for flow; they should not simply be a chat transcript or pasted-together email discussion. Contributors should be given the opportunity to ensure they have put forward the best wording of their arguments
- Examples of roundtable discussions published in Strange Horizons can be found here, here and here.
Columns are standalone personal essays of 1,000 to 2,000 words on topics of interest to Strange Horizons readers. We consider Strange Horizons readers to have wide-ranging interests! In the past we have published columns on:
- SF in a wide range of media, from theatre to video games to comics to literature
- Debates within the SF community, and about the history of the community
- Broader cultural, political, and technological issues of interest to the SF community
Any of these may be fair game for your column. You can also browse our columns archive to get an idea of the sort of thing we're looking for.
When writing your column, assume an informed but non-specialist audience, and provide an argued point of view. We do welcome convention or conference reports providing an overview of a recent event, grounded in personal experience. However, journalistic summaries should be avoided.
Note: We also have a roster of regular columnists. We are not looking for additional regular columnists at this time; please only submit for single pieces.
- $50 for a column
- $40 for a reprinted essay
- $150 for an original essay
- $45 to an interviewer, and $45 to an interviewee
- $20 to a roundtable moderator, and $20 to each other contributor
We acquire exclusive online publication rights for 6 months from the date of publication and request ongoing non-exclusive rights to display the work in our archive. At any point after 6 months following first publication, contributors have the right to request the removal of their material from our archive.
All submissions should be sent either as a rich text file (.rtf) or as plain text (ASCII) in the body of your email message. Submissions that are not properly formatted may not be read.
Columns should be emailed to email@example.com with the subject heading [SUB] followed by the title of the column.
For essays, interviews and round-tables you may send queries first. Email queries to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading [QUERY], followed by the type of piece you are querying for, and its working title. A query should outline your proposed piece, why it will be of interest to readers of Strange Horizons, and the time frame in which you would be able to complete it.
Completed feature non-fiction should be emailed to email@example.com with the subject heading [SUB] followed by the type of work you are submitting and its title.
For complete submissions, we should respond within 4 weeks. If you have not heard from us within this time, email firstname.lastname@example.org as appropriate, with the subject heading [FOLLOW-UP], followed by the title of your original submission.
We will only respond to queries if they are of interest. If you have not had a response to your query within 4 weeks, you can assume that we are not interested.
If you have any questions not answered by these guidelines, please contact the articles editors.