Submission Guidelines for Space Squid
Space Squid is a scifi & humor 'zine that's oriented to people who are bored easily. It doesn't have to be scifi. It doesn't have to be funny. We even accept fantasy, bizarro, and experimental. But if your story is boring, then we can't take it. We reject lots of stuff. There needs to be totally rocking shit blasting out of that story of yours. Funny and sad goes a long way. We want to laugh so hard that snot comes out of our noses while crying and beating our breasts.
What isn't boring? Subversion isn't boring. Literary skill isn't boring. Memorable imagery isn't boring. Funny isn't boring. Try digressing from the standard style. And of course, please read the stuff we consider to be funny scifi or explore our back catalog.
We often publish the story you have that nobody else understands. You know, the one you wrote that's pure genius, but it's so far outside the accepted norm of professional fiction that JJ Adams didn't even bother to scrawl his initials on your form reject. Space Squid appreciates you and we appreciate your vision. And we promise not to give your name to the FBI after we find out what goes on in that freakish head of yours.
Most of the stories we buy are 750 to 2000 words. Your best bet is to send us something short that we're not going to forget. We may print-publish one longer piece a year (less than 5000 words). We strongly encourage submissions by women writers who help dilute the nasty testosterone scent in the Squid offices. (We don't have offices and several of our editors are women, but you get the idea.) Try sending us something experimental or something beautiful or something profane. But please, no sloppy wandering grade-school humor stories.
We publish reprints if they rock... and they haven't been around the block. I.e., less than two printings, please.
No AI-assisted or ChatGPT-generated stories unless that's mentioned in the cover message and explicitly part of the narrative. We love robots, but they are not great at understanding fiction.
Note: Space Squid will no longer read funny stories about aliens abducting and raping people. We got a lot of them, and that was enough.
Comics, Audio, Video
We love comics, video, and audio. Shoot, even meandering experimental comics with stupid nonsequiteurs are cool with us. Color is great, too; our paper publications are generally full color.
No matter what you do, all you're going to get out of us is a flat payment of $5 USD or $5 credit toward a Squid funny t-shirt. If you are so unfortunate that we accept two of your products in a single issue, then you're still only going to get that measly five bucks.
How to submit
Please follow standard manuscript format (although font is unimportant). To prevent editor mutiny, we are currently open to submissions during select months of the year. Visit the submission manager to find out our status:
Keep in mind that this is an Austin-based zine, so we're spending most of our time drinking Mexican martinis and eating egg-chorizo kolaches. We shoot for a return time of less than 45 days, but if you make it past the first round of reading, you're looking at around three months, longer if the editorial staff is feeling crabby. Feel free to send us a query about the status of your submission after 90 days. Make sure you've checked your own spam folder for our emails.
Feel free to submit to other markets when you submit to us. Simultaneous submissions are okay, but we're likely to get confused if we have more than one of your stories on the table at a time. Read the stuff we consider to be funny scifi.
If you have a print-on-demand novel that nobody's buying, how 'bout you sponsor a story in Space Squid? It guarantees that your core audience (sci-fi fans who are careless with their money) will see it, our circ is comparable to many 'zines and journals, and it'll probably be the cheapest ad you'll ever buy.