Poetry submissions

The Future Fire welcomes submissions of speculative poetry with progressive, inclusive and socially aware disposition. We are particularly interested in feminist, queer, postcolonial and ecological themes, and we actively seek out submissions by under-represented voices (but nobody is required to self-identify, publicly or privately, as any identity). All submissions are and always will be 100% selected from the slushpile, are read anonymously and judged on their fit to TFF.

We prefer to publish original material. Previously published poems are not out of the question, but you must let us know if a piece has appeared elsewhere when you submit. This includes poems posted to blogs, open access writing groups or other public fora, even if they are no longer available there. We are more likely to reprint a poem if its previous appearance was in a venue not readily accessible to our main audience, either because of medium, date, genre, or other factors.

If you are thinking of submitting a poem for consideration by TFF, please read the following guidelines carefully:

  1. Please only submit one poem or story at a time. We are flexible with regard to format and length, but prefer poems under about 100 lines without too much elaborate formatting on the page.
  2. No simultaneous submissions: please do not send work that is under consideration elsewhere. If you need to withdraw a submission for whatever reason, please do so as early as possible.
  3. Please send your poem as an email attachment to fiction (at) futurefire.net. A decision is usually made within six weeks; feel free to chase us up if it’s been longer than this. Important: emails sometimes go astray, so please do query if you feel we are taking an unreasonable time to get back to you.
  4. We prefer .docx files, but can also read .doc, .rtf or .odt (query first for any other format), in an easy-to-read font such as Times New Roman/Palatino, and avoiding unnecessary formatting, font changes, etc. Do not include your name anywhere in the document; we make all decisions based upon anonymised submissions.
  5. Use the email subject line: TFF poetry submission: Surname, 'Title' (line count)—substituting actual author surname, poem title and line count, of course. Give your prefered name/byline or pen name in full in the accompanying email.
  6. The Future Fire offers payment of $10 per poem, regardless of length (to be paid via Paypal on publication).

Upon acceptance of a poem, 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 downloadable e-book versions; all other rights to this work belong to you. We shall upon publication make payment of $10 (ten US dollars) by Paypal to the account [EMAIL ADDRESS]. If we have not published your poem within one calendar year of this contract, all rights shall revert to you. 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 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 a legal name and mailing address, even if you wish your work to be published under a pseudonym. If for safety or other reasons you have a name you are commonly known by that can be used to identify you in official contexts, please feel free to give us this rather than a former name or other sensitive information. We will in any case never ever share this information with anyone else.)

If you have a public Twitter handle and would like us to tag you in promotional tweets when the issue comes out, please let us know at this point also.

It is the intention of The Future Fire to keep an indefinite archive of stories and poems published in HTML; if an author has a pressing (e.g. legal) need to have a poem removed, however, we shall of course help them to comply. We may not be able to remove the poem 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 there permanently).

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