Let’s preface all of this by saying two things:
1) We are a really small team of barely literate writer-types. It takes a long time to get through the hundreds of stories we receive each month. We aren’t perfect, we’re just dudes, if you can live with that then so can we.
2) There is more to Subtopian than just fiction, but we primarily get fiction submissions. On average, we publish one short story per issue, and that’s one issue per month, so think about that. If you want to get published with us then think about sending something that pertains more directly to our manifesto of Utopia vs. Dystopia, take on a bit of news or current events, analyze history, do something profound and based in the world around us. See, the way we work here is very much about building relationships, community, and even friendship. When we publish someone we ask what we can do to make this story get noticed, we encourage you to get it published elsewhere, and we ask you to become part of the family — to keep sharing your work with us and to stay in touch. In other words, once you’re one of us, it’s much more likely that your short story will stand out from the hundreds it is competing with so try starting with something nonfiction written in the spirit of the magazine. Now, on to the details…
Subtopian Magazine publishes stories year round and prints select stories in an anthology each year. We are interested in short stories, poetry, photography, artwork, journalism, essays, interviews, serialized novels, novellas, pretty much anything as long as it pertains to the theme of our magazine. Work must describe the in-between nature of modern society, the sub-par sensation that hides behind the routine of every day life, that feeling that we’re all waiting for what comes next. That is what Subtopia means to us, we aren’t destroyed or ideal, we’re just blundering through, dreaming of utopia and expecting dystopia. Write about that. Write about how it is to live in a subtopian society, write about how the subtopian society will change into a better or worse version of itself.
For new writers we recommend sharing your work in our online Writer’s Workshop. There we will select stories that we feel have potential and work hand in hand to help you polish your work for publication in the magazine. The idea behind this project is to create a little more transparency in the editorial process so aspiring writers can learn from your example and we can let the world know that editors are not any sort of elite, we are just regular people looking to read great work and share our opinion. If this sounds like something you want to be a part of then submit work to the Writer’s Workshop.
If you are just looking for a classic submission process we can accommodate that as well. Submit stories via our Online Submissions Manager.
We publish First North American Serial Rights but will consider work that has been previously published if it does not conflict with the contract agreement from the previous publication. Subtopian has no problem with stories being published elsewhere as long as the subsequent publication includes a credit to The Subtopian Magazine. Finally, we publish online, year round, on a monthly basis. Because of the alarming amount of submissions we get and the relative small size of our staff, it can take several months to hear back from us, although, on occasion, something can rise to the top if it really catches our attention. If you haven’t heard back in six months assume we are not going to use your piece, we likely are just too swamped to write a rejection letter. If you have any further questions or if something was not covered in our guidelines feel free to write us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We can’t wait to see your work.