Submission Guidelines

TFF is always open to unthemed submissions.

For the month of September 2011 we published at the editors' blog a series of daily posts on the subject of various speculative subgenres and themes, with suggestions for how these topics might fit into the social-political tone of this magazine.

In the past we have run Feminist Science Fiction and Queer Science Fiction themed issues of TFF. These themes are now closed. However, there will never come a time when Queer or Feminist Science Fiction or fantasy is not welcome at TFF.

The TFF Reviews site operates outside of the regular publication schedule. Please see our submission guidelines for information on writing reviews, and contact the nonfiction editor if you would like to receive our monthly listing of titles available for review.

[ Fiction | Artwork | Nonfiction ]


If you are thinking of submitting a piece of writing for consideration by The Future Fire, please read some back issues and our manifesto to get a feel for the sort of science fiction we are looking for. When submitting, read the following guidelines carefully:

  1. We are reasonably flexible with regard to format and length, but are extremely unlikely to publish any story over 10 000 words. (We have in the past occasionally taken longer stories, up to 20 000 words, to be serialised; this will probably be less likely in the future, and obviously would require a story to be of better than excellent quality and value. We must in any case have the whole story before we make any decision.)
  2. All submissions are read anonymously and judged on their merits and fit to TFF's goals. We actively seek stories by women, people of colour, LGBTQ folk, and other groups under-represented in genre fiction.
  3. Please send your story to the fiction editor ( [  ] ) as an attachment. We prefer .doc, .docx, .rtf or .odt files (query first for any other format). Please use a common, easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier, and use no other formatting than italics. Do not include your name anywhere in the document. We read and make all decisions based upon anonymised submissions.
  4. Use the email subject line: TFF submission: Surname, 'Title' (word count). Give your prefered name or byline in full in the accompanying email.
  5. Please only submit one story at a time, and do not send work that is under consideration elsewhere; let us know in plenty of time if you plan to withdraw and offer a story elsewhere. A story that is withdrawn once illustrations have been commissioned will profoundly annoy both editors and artists.
  6. We prefer to publish original material. We do not pay for reprints. Previously published stories are not out of the question, but you must let us know if a story has appeared elsewhere when you submit. This includes stories posted to blogs or other public fora, even if they are no longer available there. We are more likely to reprint a story if its previous appearance was in a venue not readily accessible to our main audience, either because of medium, date, genre, or other factors.
  7. A decision is usually made within four weeks but sometimes life gets in the way of efficiency, for which we apologise. Please help to keep us honest by reporting our response times to Duotrope's Digest. Important: emails sometimes go astray, so please do query if you feel we are taking an unreasonable time to get back to you.
  8. The Future Fire is offering payment of $20 for each original story accepted, or $10 per poem, regardless of length (to be paid via Paypal on publication). We know that this is a token fee, but this is an entirely free and non-profit-making publication. The main reward is still seeing your work printed in the pages of this highly selective publication.
  9. Upon acceptance of a story, we shall ask authors to agree to this electronic contract: "You [LEGAL NAME] of [ADDRESS] grant us, The Future Fire, the non-exclusive right to publish your work [TITLE] by [PEN NAME BYLINE OR PSEUDONYM] on the pages of our website and in the free PDF issue; all other rights to this work belong to you. We shall make payment by Paypal to the account [EMAIL ADDRESS]. You guarantee that this work is your own and that you have the right to grant us the use of it, and that the work contains nothing that breaks copyright or other laws. Any actions breaking such laws, including but not limited to plagiarism, intellectual property theft, and defamation, will be your sole responsibility. We will print a copyright notice in your name, but we will not register the work with any copyright office on your behalf. You may modify or reprint the work anywhere in the world, but we would ask as a courtesy that you wait three months after publication and credit us for first appearance." (For the contract we shall need your legal name and mailing address, even if you wish your work to be published under a pseudonym. We will never share this information with anyone else.)

It is the intention of The Future Fire to keep a indefinite archive of stories published in HTML; if an author has a pressing (e.g. legal) need to have a story removed, however, we shall of course help them to comply. We may not be able to remove the story from the copy of the PDF issue that is deposited with national libraries, archived by the Internet Archive, and other places outside of our control (just as a paper periodical archived in a national library would remain available permanently).


All illustrations for stories are commissioned. If you would be interested in joining the TFF artist team please email the fiction editor ( [  ] ; subject line: TFF artist query) stating your interest and be prepared to show some examples of your work; an online portfolio or demonstration site would be ideal.

We generally ask for two illustrations per story, one for the top of the page (which should avoid spoilers) and one with less restrictions; we pay $5 for each interior illustration, so the artist will receive a total of $10. In addition, one illustration per issue may be chosen to adorn the front cover of the PDF version of the magazine, and this artist will be paid a further $10 (for a total of $20).

All artwork remains the copyright and property of the individual artists. We hope you will mention TFF and the illustrated story if showcasing your work elsewhere.

Nonfiction articles

The Future Fire also intends regularly to publish nonfiction items on topics of general interest to the audience of this magazine. We expect such articles to be informed and well-researched; we will attempt to have all articles refereed by experts in the relevant fields.

Topics may include:

  • Popular science pieces, especially on cybernetics, AI, nanotech, posthumanism, etc.;
  • Articles that discuss ethical or environmental implications of futuristic/new technologies or practices;
  • Scholarly papers, especially on literary/media studies, science fiction, genre issues, etc.

For all nonfiction please contact the nonfiction editor ( [  ] ) to query before sending your writing (subject line: "TFF query: article"). Articles should be fully edited and referenced, and may be refereed before acceptance.

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