Fiction & Multimedia Submission Guidelines

Bridging the worlds of speculative fiction


Speculative fiction is the great “what if” that entertains us, challenges us, inspires us, or makes us think. From space opera to stories of faerie realms, from epic verse to flash fiction, the literature of the fantastic has been the playground for many of humanity’s most influential authors since the heyday of the oral tradition. As new storytellers, poets and scholars approach this growing literary cosmos at a significant fraction of the speed of light, technology and media struggle to keep up with what the latest creative and critical voices have to say. Ad Astra helps to fill that void.

About Ad Astra

James Gunn’s Ad Astra is an online resource that will help fans, scholars, and anyone interested in speculative fiction share current ideas in how the genre has developed to this point, what’s taking place right now, and what may come next. It is where the brightest new talents and boldest thinkers share their stories, poems, critiques and opinions. That’s why we need you.

Fiction & Multimedia Guidelines

We are actively seeking fiction to consider for publication online and, on occasion, in print.

We have several fiction categories available:

  • Flash fiction: stories of about 1,000 words or less. We will accept from five to eight flash stories per issue.
  • Short fiction: stories of about 2,000-7,500 words. We will accept from three to five short stories per issue.
  • Novelettes: stories of about 7,500-15,000 words. We will accept one or two novelettes per issue.

In addition to written works, we are also seeking digital artwork, multimedia, and innovative forms of storytelling. As an online journal, we have the means to push the literary envelope. Send us your vision of how stories should  be told in the 21st century and together we can build a new chapter in the great tradition of speculative fiction.

Does Ad Astra Pay for Rights?

While we may offer online publication to a wider variety of works without upfront compensation, the best of the chosen prose and verse submissions will be selected by editors working in conjunction with the Center for the Study of Science Fiction. Authors of selected works will receive a one-time honorarium of not less than $75 for novelettes, $50 for short stories, $20 for poems, and $10 for flash fiction.

We plan to publish at least two issues, in Summer and Winter each year. Submissions received at any time will be considered for a future issue.

How to Submit

To ensure timely review of your submission, please carefully review the short fiction submission requirements below:


  • Documents should be submitted in .DOC, .DOCX or .RTF format
    *Mac users please remember to add a file extension to the end of your filename.
  • Document should be double-spaced, size 12 Times New Roman font/typeface
  • Include Title at the beginning of the work and in the upper right corner/header of each page
  • Include Author’s name and page number in the lower right corner/footer of each page
  • Length should not exceed guidelines for the submission category: 1,000 words for flash; 7,500 words for short fiction; 15,000 words for novelettes; or 100 lines for poems.
  • Multimedia should be submitted in the most common formats for the type of media: mov or flv files for video; jpg files for still images; mp3 files for audio. At this time, we do not have length requirements, although works that are too long or too short may need to be edited to better suit our needs.

Fine Print

We reserve the right to reject any submission that does not follow the rules and guidelines.

Ad Astra is open to submissions from amateur and professional writers of all ages and experience levels.

Submissions must be previously unpublished (unless otherwise noted in specific invitations or guidelines). Do not send us links to works on websites, as web publication counts as a copyright/publication.

Please limit your submission count to three stories or five poems at any given time. If you have more works to submit, please wait until you’ve received a response on each of those three before submitting additional material. Each work should be contained in its own file.

Do not contact us to check on the status of your submission. We will make every effort to respond to your submission within 30 days, but cannot guarantee this turnaround time.

If a work is accepted for publication, we will contact you with contract details and any feedback we may have on the work itself. We will not offer feedback on submissions that are not selected for publication. If a work is still in the running for selection, we may ask for additional time before making our final decision on acceptance. If you wish to use pseudonym, you can let us know after we have accepted your work for publication.

If you would like to remove your work from consideration, please send a request to the editors via e-mail including the text “Remove:” and the title of your work in the subject line.

Submission Form

When you are ready to submit your short fiction, complete the submission form here.

For Poetry Submission Guidelines, Go Here

For Scholarly Article Submission Guidelines, Go Here