Submission Guidelines

Look, we know that these guidelines are bit long, but we strongly recommend you read it all the way through.

Submissions are currently closed. We will be open on October 1st until we’re full.

What are you looking for?

Original short stories between 2000-7500 words.

Cirsova pays $0.0125 per word for first publication/serialization rights and 6 months of exclusivity following publication of the piece.

Submissions should be in finished, final draft form. Please do not send unedited works, excerpts or pitches. Well, you can send me a pitch, and if it sounds awesome, I will tell you “That sounds awesome, now write that story, make sure it’s edited, and submit that to me”, but that’s it.

Please send the file as a .doc or .docx or, if you must, a RTF. Your manuscript should match the standard manuscript format (i.e. double spaced, no hyphen breaks, page numbers somewhere, don’t use tab for indents, etc.) A lot of those things that seem unnecessary or piddly are actually really helpful for folks who are trying to markup your manuscript and get your text into a formatted document.

Please be sure to include your address on your manuscript; this helps us know where to send checks and contributor copies.

Cirsova does not buy reprints at this time.

What we are looking for:

  • Raygun Romance
  • Radium Adventures
  • Sword & Planet
  • Space Cops
  • Raymond Chandler But In Space
  • SFF Heists
  • Weird Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror
  • Lost World
  • South Seas Adventure
  • Pre-Historic/Antiquity
  • Occult Detective/Mystery
  • Mad Science
  • Monstergirls (but keep em classy!) and other dames

Before submitting, we highly recommend reading, or having read at least some of the following authors:

  • Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Leigh Brackett
  • Jack Vance
  • C.L. Moore
  • Thomas Burnett Swann
  • Otis Adelbert Kline
  • Bassett Morgan
  • Gardner F. Fox
  • Clifford D. Simak
  • Raymond F. Jones
  • Ross Rocklynne
  • Seabury Quinn
  • Basil Wells
  • Edmond Hamilton
  • Robert E. Howard
  • Lord Dunsany
  • H.P. Lovecraft*

*Lovecraft is a special case; having read and understood what makes his stuff work helps, but Lovecraft fanfic gets auto-disqualified as soon as we see a Mythos heavy or MacGuffin get name-dropped. See our Eldritch Earth issue for how we like ’em.

What are you not looking for?

  • Any “Lovecraftian” fiction that name drops Cthulhu, Nyarlathotep, Arkham, the Necronomicon, etc. We managed to publish an entire Lovecraft issue where none of the stories name dropped Mythos heavies, so it’s not hard as you’d think. We’re also not looking for Call of Cthulhu detective/professor-investigates-cultists stories.
  • Stories with elves; especially not D&D or Tolkien elves. If you think you can do something really freaking special with elves and fae, like Dunsany or Swann, give it a shot, but we don’t publish elf-stories as a general rule.
  • Stories where very little happens or very little is at stake. Sometimes, a setting and characters in them can be superficially weird and exciting, but the story itself may be little more than a conversation; generally, we’re not looking for that sort of thing.
  • LitRPG
  • Tolkienian or Tolkien-esque Epic Fantasy
  • Steampunk, unless you’re a fan of the first two Thief games
  • Modern Vampires/Werewolves
  • Orcs
  • Obviously D&D inspired fiction [certainly no “Drow”]
  • Asimovian sci-fi where thinky men do nothing but sit around and discuss big thinks

My story is longer than 7,500 words, can I still submit it?

Sure!  While 5,000 to 7,500 is kind of the sweet spot, for really good stories, I’d consider anything up to 10,000, maybe a little more.  It’s sort of a case by case thing.  Just be aware that chances are I will only be able to purchase one Novella or Novelette per issue.

I have serial I’d like to publish; can I submit that?

I’ve decided that I’m not a fan of serializations in magazines. I’d rather my readers have complete stories, and since Cirsova is Semi-Annual at present, I wouldn’t want authors or readers either one to suffer from the 6 month delay. Linked stories that tell the continuing adventures of this or that character are another matter entirely. Just try to be sure that the stories are able to stand well enough on their own.

But what about My Name is John Carter? You’re serializing that!

That’s a special case. Also, we’re not looking for unsolicited poetry; again, My Name is John Carter is a special case.

Can I put steamy-hot action in my story?

I’m not looking for explicitly erotic stories, but it’s not a deal-breaker. It probably shouldn’t make up more than a few lines to a paragraph or two in anything this short if you do include it. In terms of how explicit you can get without hurting your chances of being accepted, consider the upper boundary to be Andrew J. Offutt (at least what he published under his own name) or Thomas Burnett Swann. If you have something that looks like Jean Auel wrote it for one of her Earth’s Children sequels, you’ve crossed a line and should probably reconsider more than just your submission.

What rights are you buying?

Global first print and digital publication rights (including audio); you’ll be giving Cirsova the exclusive rights to publish and use the purchased material prior to and for six months following the publication of those materials. After that period, Cirsova will retain the right to publish and sell the purchased materials non-exclusively in the collected format (i.e. the anthology will remain available in print and electronic format as initially offered, however the materials will not be repackaged and resold). Cirsova will have the right to use your name and portion or whole of the material to promote the work. During the period of exclusivity, you agree to refrain from publishing the purchased material in whole or in part without prior consent. The exception to this exclusivity is if a piece is selected for inclusion in a Best of the Year collection or as a part of an awards packet.

Do you take simultaneous submissions?

Unfortunately, we cannot take simultaneous submissions.

Where do I send my story?

Submissions should be sent to cirsova at yahoo dot com with the subject line “SUBMISSION”

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