Through a Facebook friend, I recently discovered a trio of speculative fiction podcasts that are looking for stories. They are produced by a group called Escape Artists, and are available on iTunes or through their individual websites. The podcasts have good production values, and the stories are read by excellent voiceover artists. These are not Christian markets, so some of the content is racy in nature. Episodes with foul language carry an “Explicit” label in iTunes. Note that I came across one episode (“Uncanny”) that, although it had very racy subject matter (and a warning to that effect at the start of the episode), was not marked “Explicit” because the actual wording was not vulgar.
All three podcasts pay 6 cents a word for previously unpublished stories. They pay $100 flat rate for reprints. They buy “nonexclusive audio rights, and nonexclusive electronic rights to distribute the audio file under a Creative Commons license.” Which means people can give away the audio files but not sell them. Nonexclusive rights means you are also free to seek print publication of your stories in any market that doesn’t require first rights in all media.
All three podcasts are looking for stories that show diversity, featuring “characters who represent a range of backgrounds and ethnicities.”
You can submit to Escape Artists simultaneously with other publishers, but they ask that you not submit multiple stories to them at once. Also, don’t submit the same story to all of them: your story should fit in one podcast but not another, because each one covers a separate subgenre:
We’re open to all the sub-genres of fantasy, from magical realism to urban fantasy to slipstream to high fantasy, and everything in between. Fantastical or non-real content should be meaningful to the story.—PodCastle
The editors at PodCastle are looking for “fiction reflecting the full range of settings and tropes found in fantasy fiction.” They’re especially interested in “stories set outside America” and say humor is encouraged. The editors label the episodes with movie-like ratings from G to X.
PodCastle accepts stories up to 6,000 words, including flash fiction. For any story less than 2,000 words they pay a flat rate of $20.
Escape Pod: Science Fiction
We are fairly flexible on what counts as “science” (as we’ll delve into superheroes or steampunk on occasion) and are interested in exploring the range of the genre.—Escape Pod
The editors at Escape Pod are looking for stories “centered on science, technology, future projections, alternate history, and how any or all of these things intersect with people.”
Escape Pod only accepts stories ranging from 2,000 to 6,000 words. They do not acquire flash fiction. They are also an SFWA qualifying market, if that matters to you.
We’re looking for horror: dark, weird fiction. We run the spectrum from grim realism or crime drama, to magic-realism, to blatantly supernatural dark fantasy. We publish highly literary stories reminiscent of Poe or Lovecraft as well as vulgar shock-value pulp fiction.… What matters most is that the stories are dark and compelling.—Pseudopod
The editors at Pseudopod are not looking for “vampires, zombies, and other recognizable horror tropes unless you have put a very unique spin on them.”
Pseudopod accepts submissions between 1,500 and 6,000 words. They say “The sweet spot is around 4,500 words which is close to 30 minutes of story.” Pseudopod also accepts flash fiction of less than 1,500 words, for which they pay a flat rate of $20.
None of the Escape Artists websites say how the editors feel about religious content. If you submit to one of these markets, whether you submit a Christian worldview story or not, please let us know how it turns out.