SUBMISSIONS OPEN JANUARY 1 - April 30, 2019.
SUBMISSION FEES: Due to increases in production costs and our commitment to continue making payments to contributors, it is necessary for Phantom Drift (as an all-volunteer, non-profit journal) to resort to a modest $3 reading fee for submissions. This has not been an easy decision. Fees go to our contributors by providing payment and a beautifully-designed and printed showcase for their work. You can also support our efforts by ordering one of our previous issues.
We request first North American Serial Rights and exclusive rights for six months following publication. We request permission to publish an excerpt of your story on our website. We pay on publication ($5 per page plus 1 contributor copy -- pdf of issue for international contributors).
Upload your story in RTF or Word by clicking SUBMIT HERE button.
We accept simultaneous submissions if so noted, but request that you inform us immediately if your piece is accepted elsewhere. As a general rule we do not read previously published work, including work that appears on the web or in electronic format. Please send one fiction submission during each submission period, and we ask that writers wait for several weeks beyond the end of the reading period before querying about the status of your submission, though I will do my best to read and respond to work as quickly as possible.
Matt Schumacher, Managing Editor
If you have questions, feel free to contact us.
We are looking for fabulist flash fiction and short stories (250 words minimum and 6500 words maximum). We like stories that favor the unusual over the usual; we like stories that create a milieu where anything can happen. Stories can take the form of myth or fable. They can invent or suggest an unreal ambience or describe a realistic landscape gripped by a surreal or unexplained event.
We are fond of Calvino, South American Magical Realism, and Talmudic legends. Kafka and Orwell now and will forever totally rock. Some contemporary favorite reads you might have missed include “Flying Leap” by Judy Budnitz, “Carmen Dog” by Carol Emshwiller, “Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot” by Robert Olen Butler, “Wild Life” by Molly Gloss, “Serial Killer Days” by David Prill, “The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye” by A.S. Byatt, “ Riding the Red” by Nalo Hopkinson, “The Child Garden” by Geoff Ryman, and the “Interfictions” and “Polyphony” anthologies. The list of writers of stories we enjoy numbers in the thousands.
We prefer poetry composed in the new fabulist tradition. Phantom Drift exists because its editors wish to found a journal devoted to work that shatters or valuably distorts reality, whether this means surrealism, magical realism, fantastique, or bizarrerie. We value writing whose imagination is unafraid to shift shape, writing that generates unique alternatives to and uncharted voyages away from conventional realism. As poetry editor, I welcome your submissions and tend to favor poetry of a sinister bent, but am open to work readers might label new weird, slipstream, and/or fantastic. Poetry that demonstrates what Roger Caillois has referred to as “the impression of irreducible strangeness,” and that inspires what Franco-Bulgarian structuralist critic Tzevetan Todorov characterized as a “duration of uncertainty’’ between strange and marvelous explanations in the mind of the reader will be especially prized here.
Apart from these considerations, content, language, and form remain quite wide open. Submit sonnet, abcedarius, prose poem, or lipogram. Send gothic, supernatural, steam punk, or science fiction. If you possess unabashedly strange, unpublished work which shows such unusual tendencies as these, Phantom Drift wants to see it. Send us your weirdest verse in submissions of 3-5 poems.
Non-Fiction & Art:
We are looking for essays on New Fabulism (or the range of imaginative literature generally referred to as slipstream, new weird, magic realism, fabulist and cross-genre fantastic literature difficult to categorize). Essays can be academic or non-academic, personal or critical but must illuminate with originality, insight and intelligence preferably about neglected or underappreciated writers working in this range of literature. We are open to essays that explore the ways in which fabulist/fantastic literature expands our view of reality or guides readers in learning to use imagination in accessing inner experience or what it means to be human. Critical studies and interviews are welcome. Please do not submit your attempts to write “fabulist non-fiction.”
Cover art for Phantom Drift is accepted only by invitation as we have very specific tastes and we tend to solicit the art we desire directly. Interior b/w art can be submitted through our Submittable page. Send one image with link to artist site where we can see more samples of b/w art. Prefer high contrast b/w work on fabulist/surreal themes.