Welcome to the Silver Pen Writers Association group of publications. From this web page, you will have an opportunity to submit your work to Silver Blade Magazine.
(Updated July 2019) Give us something unexpected and well written. Technique, voice, characterization, and language will all play a part in our decision to publish. Amaze us with your writing, use of language, sense of story, and memorable characters. Give us a story readers will not be able to forget and will eagerly recommend to others.
If you want us to take your work seriously, please edit and proofread carefully prior to submission. Manuscripts with significant typographical, spelling, or grammatical errors—where we feel compelled to grab a red pen after reading the first couple of pages—will likely be rejected outright without being read further. The following are “hard sells” here:
- Stories possessing several of the cliché elements listed here.
- Fan Fiction
- Anthropomorphism (talking cats, foxes, toasters or whatever)
Our editorial policies respect the artistic license of our authors. However, there are occasions when changes are needed that go beyond basic spelling, grammar, and punctuation corrections. In any case, the author will be given the choice of final approval, prior to publication, over substantial edits made by our staff. We appreciate your willingness to work with us in this regard.
Format and Deadlines
All submissions should…
- Have 1 inch margins, 1 1/2 line spacing and double space between paragraphs.
- NO fancy headers or footers, text effects, background colors or images.
- Use a standard font (Arial, Calibri, Times Roman, Courier) in 12 point size.
- Exceptions will be made ONLY for poetry submissions.
Silver Blade publishes a new issue once a quarter, in the first week of February, May, August, and November. Submissions for upcoming issues cut off roughly a month before the publication date. We take a month-long break after each reading period. All works that arrive after a cut-off date will be rejected with a form letter stating that authors should feel welcome to submit items during the next reading period. We try to respond within two months of receiving a submission. Please inquire on status after 60 days if you have not received a response from us.
Our reading periods are as follows:
- January and February (first Quarter / Winter issue)
- March (break / no reading)
- April May (Second Quarter / Spring issue)
- June (break / no reading)
- July August (Third Quarter / Summer issue)
- September (break / no reading)
- October and November (fourth Quarter / Fall issue)
- December (break / no reading)
Silver Blade Fiction or Article
Flash: 250 to 1,000 words Submit Now
Short Stories: 1,000 to 7,500 words Submit Now
Novellas: 7,500 to 20,000 words Submit Now
Writers of cutting edge Science Fiction, Slipstream, Classic and Modern Fantasy are invited to submit their works here. Romance might be accepted, provided it has a strong fantasy element to it. Wow us. We are looking for stories beyond great, we want amazing stories. We want fantastic creatures and impossible worlds. We want characters and stories readers will remember long afterward. Submit only one (1) story per file, and upload only one file at a time.
Accepted Document Types: pdf, doc, docx, rtf
Silver Blade Poetry
(Updated Sept 2019)
We will have a special issue dedicated to Speculative Dwarf Poems, to be published in November 2019
Submit previously unpublished* poems 1 to 10 lines long or prose poems up to 100 words (viz. poetic drabbles and even more compressed microfiction). Titles, epigrams/epigraphs, postscripts/author’s notes, and white space are not counted. The poems can be one of many established varieties like monostich, distich, Haiku, senryu, tanka, cinquain, and all its variations, as well as free verse, experimental poems, hybrid forms, etc. Just be sure it contains a speculative element (with an eye toward the 2020 Dwarf Stars Anthology hosted by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association. Handle this carefully. In other words, a humorous Haiku with space aliens may not be sufficient for Silver Blade’s aesthetics. We want to continue publishing high-quality work as we’ve tried to do under my poetry editorship (since 2010).
We want a variety in this special issue, perhaps 100 lines, collectively. We are offering $1 per line (if you agree to be paid by PayPal, but slightly less if by postal check).
Submit your work through Submittable. If you title your work, do Not use all caps. Supply city, state, country that will go under your name as is usually done with these very short pieces. Also, supply a 3rd person bio that italicizes the journals your work is published in, but not the presses. Again, do not use all caps for anything in your one-paragraph bio. Put everything in one Word document (doc or docx): cover page including your contact information, byline, bio, and poem(s). Submit up to 10 poems, put each one on its own page, each page separated by an “insert page break.” Finally, label that document with your full byline name. Thanks.
Also, if accepted and despite your excitement and the accepted tradition elsewhere, please refrain from posting accepted work on social media or anywhere else. We hope you will make the announcement to the world by linking to our website. Thank you in advance for honoring our process.
* Unpublished means not published anywhere the public has access to, so all print and electronic venues, newspapers, social media, websites and personal blogs will disqualify the entry.
Standard Poetry Submission Guidelines (Closed until December 1)
Size limit: 1000
Please note new submission time windows. Poetry will only be accepted during certain periods (we will try to reflect that on our Submission manager). Issues are scheduled for publication around the end of the following months: February, May, August and November. I usually make my selections by the beginning of those months, if you have not made your submission by January, April, July or October, please defer your submission until after that issue has been released and you have taken the opportunity to read the most recent selections to help you assess our aesthetics and my editorial focus.
Submit 2 to 5 unpublished poems in a single Word file (doc or docx) via our online submission manager—Submittable. We publish literary poetry with speculative elements. We prefer free verse poetry between 10-100 lines with a keen eye on line breaks, prose poems (Robert Bly school) or flash poetry under 500 words, but all of which should strive for impeccable rhythm. We will consider a limited amount of traditional form poetry (like sestinas, Pantoums, villanelles, sonnets, including all subverted variations), experimental poetry, found poetry (with proper citations and any accompanying word-art) and a constellation of themed Haiku (or titled linked Haiku) consisting of three or more pieces, as well as bilingual submissions (including, but not limited to speculative poetry in translation*).
Please all work in a single Word file. Include a cover letter with all contact information, a lit bio, along with all the poems (each beginning on its own page) in the same Word file. PLEASE DO NOT CAPITALIZE YOUR TITLES.
Before submitting, it is highly recommended you read several recent issues and comments on our editorial focus (see the 2018 article “Hearing the Literary Voice in Speculative Poetry,” 2014 interview in Poetry Pacific, 2011 interview in Six Questions For… ).
Do not submit if you are not amenable to editorial suggestions. Optional audio files of accepted poems will be published along with the text.
* We always seek previously unpublished English translations of literary quality poems with speculative elements that have been previously published in any language except English. We prefer original works from poets other than the translator (but in some cases we will consider poems written and translated by a single author).
Include (1) a PDF or image file for each poem in its native language to ensure proper accents and characters are preserved. Be sure the poems contain a speculative element, (2) biographies of the original poet and the translator, (3) as well as your translation notes (no length requirement, and whether long or short, it should be substantial), (4) a statement asserting that the poem is out of copyright or if in copyright, that you have obtained permission to publish both the poem in the both original language, as well as your English translation. Documentation will be required before publication. (If accepted, mp3 audio recordings n both English and in the native language would be most welcomed.)
Rights and Royalties
(revised January 27, 2014)
For previously unpublished works, Silver Pen pays a flat fee of $15 for novellas, $3 for flash fiction, $8 for short stories, $8 for single poems and $15 for Featured Poets (by invitation only). Silver Pen will pay half of these rates for previously published works. A $2 bonus will be added for authors who accept payment via Paypal (which shall be the assumed payment method unless you specifically state otherwise). Note: Only authors in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom have the option of receiving a mailed, hand written check. Everyone else MUST use PayPal or forfeit payment.
For previously unpublished WORK, Silver Pen (PUBLISHER) requires you (AUTHOR) to:
- grant First Global Electronic Rights to the PUBLISHER.
- grant First Global Serial Rights to the PUBLISHER.
- grant Archival Rights to the PUBLISHER
- refer to Silver Blade as first place of publication if the WORK is subsequently reprinted
For previously published WORK, PUBLISHER requires the AUTHOR to:
- grant Second Global Electronic Rights to the PUBLISHER.
- grant Second Global Serial Rights to the PUBLISHER.
- grant Archival Rights to the PUBLISHER
Common requirements for all WORKS:
- AUTHOR assures PUBLISHER that submitted work is not currently published in electronic form elsewhere (including freely accessibly “public” Internet sites);
- AUTHOR warrants that the work is original, and no other entity has reserved the rights required by Silver Pen for publication;
- AUTHOR warrants that the work does not contain libelous material or material copyrighted by another party.
- If, after six months, the author manages a sale of the work that requires electronic exclusivity, we will take reasonable steps to accommodate them.
The exclusive period for First Rights is 12 months. Afterward, the rights granted by the AUTHOR to the PUBLISHER for previously unpublished WORK become non-exclusive. This means the AUTHOR is free to shop the WORK around after 12 months, and the PUBLISHER retains the right to use the WORK. In addition, the AUTHOR retains Print Anthology rights immediately after publication of the WORK.
Other Important Points
- Pieces posted for critique on a controlled-access website (user ID and password required to access) do not count as “published.”
- submissions –at— silverpen.org is used solely for author communication and inquiries. Writers are strongly encouraged to add it to their trusted sender email address list.
- All submissions must be submitted through our Submittable web page. Works sent to submissions –at— silverpen.org will be deleted without reading them.
- We allow simultaneous submissions, but please let us know immediately if your work has been accepted elsewhere. We are an all-volunteer organization and our time is limited.
- Multiple submissions are welcome, but we will not publish more than one piece by an author in any single issue (exception: Poetry submissions to SB).
- If you use Duotrope, please remember to report your responses. It helps keep us honest.
Now, click one of the buttons below to submit your work!