SHORT STORY SUBMISSIONS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED
Flash stories are still welcome!
What We're Looking For
The Centropic Oracle is looking for science fiction and fantasy stories that make you feel and think. In our
opinion good fiction – particularly SF and Fantasy – should challenge us to examine our own lives and beliefs.
It should force us to reflect on how we fit into the world and what it takes to make the world a better place
by our being in it. We aren’t looking for things that will give us answers to those questions, but that
doesn’t mean your story shouldn’t have a resolution (good, bad, or indifferent!) to its conflict.
What we do not accept:
What’s a tough, tough sell and makes us shudder at the thought of having to read it yet again:
- - erotica of any description;
- - gratuitous graphic violence;
- - profanity - we need to maintain our non-explicit rating on iTunes, so keep it PG
- - anything to do with zombies;
- - pieces that are nothing but proselytization of a religious or political perspective;
- - racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or misandrist works;
- - fan fiction – it must be an original story that you own all the rights to.
- - vampires;
- - werewolves;
- - any supernatural being in a romance with a human;
- - conspiracy theories involving time travel;
- - 1st person conversational style - a really great story can be rejected because of the style it's told in.
The prose must be readable and easily spoken aloud. This means that it must flow naturally and not distract
the reader from the story. Lyricism is fine (we quite enjoy it) but pointless repetition is distracting.
This is flash and short fiction so every word counts. Make those verbs active and incorporate your
adjectives well to set mood! A single well-placed word in a sentence can change it entirely. Word usage
frequency is something we notice. Take a break from your piece and read it again. Do you notice one word
that pops up again and again? If you notice it, it’s guaranteed we will – it’s a pet peeve. Rhythm and
cadence matter too, we don't want to read pieces that sound like they were written by a robot who is only
capable of crafting sentences five words long.
Characterization is integral. If you don’t know your character, your reader won’t either. It’s distracting
when a character behaves in ways that don’t make sense, or outbursts feel like they came out of nowhere.
Continuity errors are a sure way to get a rejection. If your antagonist changes hair colour part way through
the story, you will get a rejection. Continuity is one of the key basics in editing and is an indicator that
you haven’t proofread your piece, let alone given your best effort to it.
Grammar matters. Know the difference between your, you're, and yore, and between to, too, and two. Know when to
use a comma. The occasional typo is one thing (even those of us who are proficient in grammar can miss a
single typo despite reviewing a manuscript a dozen times) but poor grammar won’t get you past the first
read, and if it’s bad enough we won’t even finish the read.
If we have rejected your story, do not resubmit it. We do not ask for rewrites. Ever. If it's almost there,
we will accept the piece contingent on specific edits. If you refuse the suggested edits and we feel strongly enough
about the necessity of those edits, we will release your piece unpublished and without payment.
If we accept your story we will require a bio and a photo from you for promotional purposes on our website.
In addition, be prepared to be called to interview with the reader and/or a small panel for a group
discussion of your story. Talking points will be sent out prior to the voice-only interview so that you can have
anecdotes or comments prepared. If you do not wish to have your photo posted, or appear on the show, do not
Flash fiction submissions should be between 200 and 1500 words. We accept vignettes in the flash fiction
category as long as they make us feel and think. We aren’t of the belief that they don’t have value and we
actually enjoy them when the prose is beautiful.
Short story submissions should be between 1500 and 6500 words. The upper limit is absolute and longer
stories will be rejected without being read. This is an audio podcast, and we aim to keep our ‘casts to a
maximum of 40 minutes.
Query us about serial works (not novels, serials in the fashion of the original Sherlock Holmes stories).
It's a tough sell, but we may go there for the right worlds and characters. Our criteria for those are
more extensive and our automated system does not handle our process.
We do not accept multiple submissions. We do our best to keep our response times as short as possible, which
means keeping the pending list as short as possible. Once you have received a response to your submitted
story you are welcome to submit again.
We do not accept simultaneous submissions. We try hard not to keep you waiting long for a response.
We do not accept pieces that already have audio recordings published but we do not consider your story a
reprint if it has appeared elsewhere in print (hardcopy or electronic) only. Be sure to tell us when
submitting if it has been published in print and we will promote it before the ‘cast so our audience may read
along if they wish.
Currently we pay CAD$0.01 per word, but that will increase as we grow. If we publish your story we do ask that
you help us promote it on your social media platforms. The faster we grow our audience, the
faster we can increase our word rate. Payment will be made within 30 days of publication.
As part of the compensation you will be actively promoted on our website, so please keep us updated with
any new credits you accumulate. We will provide an affiliate link to anything you have listed under your byline
on Amazon - or any other online retailer - and a direct link to any electronic free-to-read publication.
You will receive periodic email requests from us to review your Contributor page and provide us with any
relevant updates. Your Contributor page will appear on our Featured Author page in rotation and we will
give you notice of when you will be featured so that you can share it on your social media platforms.
Paypal support payments made directly on your page will be forwarded to you less Paypal's fees and a 10%
commission. Payments made from the story's feature page will be split 50/50 between the author and the
actor less Paypal's and our fees.
In the future, we may ask to include your piece in an audio anthology compensated a on pro-rata royalty basis
with 33% to the author and 33% to the actor.
We require a one year exclusive and five years non-exclusive to audio rights from the date of publication. If you
make a print (hardcopy or electronic) or video performance sale, let us know – we want to promote that!
Please submit in the Shunn format. If you aren’t familiar with it, you can see it here. Submissions that do not follow
this format will be rejected unread.
Please submit rtf files only as our readers use a variety of devices.
How to Submit
We accept submissions through our electronic
submissions manager only. Emailed submissions, or submissions
sent via the contact form, will be deleted unread. We do not accept hardcopy submissions.
Once you have created an account in our Submission Manager and have submitted your story you will
be redirected to a page that shows your Submission ID number and a confirmation email will be sent out.
If you don't get a submission ID, please contact our site support (firstname.lastname@example.org) to
report the error. If you don't receive the email, check your spam folder before contacting us. You can
check back often to see your submission progress through the various reading stages. We take pride in
our writer friendly submission manager, and hope that it helps your stress level to know where exactly
your piece is at in the process, and how long you should expect it to get through that step. Please do
not send us an email query unless your submission disappears from the manager (open or closed) and you
have not received an email. We do not keep copies of rejected stories, only the submission activity.