Submissions

Short Story Collections and Anthologies

Please send all submissions and queries to submissions@argosymagazine.co.uk.

Successful submissions will earn royalty payments once the collections go on sale.

Authors retain all rights to works submitted to Argosy, granting Argosy licence only to distribute the works in ebook and print formats worldwide.

Accepting Submissions for “Volume 3: Collapsed Binary”

For this volume of Argosy, we want to see stories involving strong female protagonists and other female characters taking center stage. Any such tales should stand up to the same rigorous standards that we expect from all our pulp submissions.

Send submissions to submissions@argosymagazine.co.uk.

Queries

We are accepting queries (not submissions) for stories fitting the following themes. Please identify which category you are submitting to in your email, submitting the first four pages and a synopsis of your story.

Pulp Fiction

We are always looking for tales of high action, adventure, horror, mystery, fantasy and science fiction inspired by the classic pulps of the early to mid 20th century for our general pulp volumes. Works should be of a high quality, well-paced and dripping with pulp energy.

Apocalyptic Fiction

Working Title: Apocalyptica

Tales set during and after world-shattering events about the struggles of those left behind: nuclear holocausts, EMP attacks, environmental collapse, disease and, of course, zombie apocalypse.

Cthulhu Mythos Anthology

Working Title: Lovecraft’s Legacy

A Cthulhu Mythos inspired anthology of cosmic horror, unspeakable cult, forbidden knowledge and ancient evil inspired by the likes of H. P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert E. Howard. Works of this genre should be thematically linked to the works of Lovecraft’s acknowledged contemporaries. An emphasis on the style and works of Lovecraft specifically is not essential.

Detective, Mystery, Hardboiled and Noir Anthology

Working Title: Startling Mystery Stories

For this anthology we are accepting pulp-style works of crime and investigation, vigilante justice or police action. We will be accepting straight detective tales as well as ones that have elements of the weird or that are set in sci-fi, dystopian or fantasy worlds.

Colonial Era Adventure Anthology

Working Title: Shadows of Empire

We would like to build a collection of adventure stories set in the 15th to 19th century. Stories may include magical or science fiction elements but must fit within the aesthetic of the age of imperialism and colonisation, which may include up to the end of World War One. Pure adventure fiction with no weird elements will also be accepted. Pulp fiction style stories are preferred.

 

Cover Art

We are always in need of cover artists and illustrators for our collections.

Submission Guidelines

Unless otherwise stated, works below 4500 words will not usually be accepted but may be considered. Works over 17,500 words may be considered for serialization. No works over 30,000 words will be accepted.

Please ensure all submissions are in a common document format, preferably .doc. Any official regional variant of English spelling and grammar is acceptable for an initial submission.

Consistency between works in a single volume is important to us. Should your work be accepted, please ensure you make any alterations required as below or by the editor.

House Style

“Style” consists of elements of grammar for which there is no definitive correct usage, but many competing usages. Argosy’s style is based on that found in the pulps of the 1930s. The following lists our preferences:

Punctuation

  • “Double Quotes” are used for dialogue, and ‘Single Quotes’ for quotes within dialogue.
  • Possessive forms of names and nouns ending in -s, -z and -x are always followed by an S after the apostrophe if it would normally be pronounced. For example: “Ramirez’s number”; “Jones’s mule”. Where the final letter is silent, an S still follows the apostrophe: “Arkansas’s laws”; “Dumas’s works”. The exception is where possessive S (‘s) would explicitly not be pronounced, such as with plurals: “the Joneses’ car”; “the victims’ bodies”. Also with ancient names there is this exception: “Moses’ laws”; “Achilles’ heel”.

Spelling

  • Works will be published using the spelling standard they are written in.
  • “Further” and “farther” are not distinct words but variant spellings with the same meaning. “Farther” has historically no etymological connection to ”far“. “Further” is preferred for both uses.
  • “Alright” and “all right” have distinct meanings, and one should not be used to mean the other. Similar formations are treated in the same way.
  • Adjectives ending in -ward and -wards such as “forward” and “forwards” are equally acceptable and interchangeable. When used as a descriptive adjective, only the -ward form should be used, as in “forward guns” and “untoward behavior”.

Typography

  • Do not double-space between sentences. This is for technical reasons only.
  • Auto-indent the first line of each paragraph. Do not use tab to achieve this effect.
  • When using italics, any punctuation preceding or following the italicized word without a space between should be italicized.
  • When the m-dash is used (–), it should replace all spaces between the two words.
  • When a sentence in a dialogue is interrupted by an em-dash, the em-dash should be inside the quote marks if the interruption causes a pause in the dialogue, and outside the quote marks if it occurs alongside the dialogue. In neither case is the interruption capitalized, unless the sentence is not resumed after the interruption (in which case no pause has occurred). Examples, mostly from Marshal Jones’s Hunt by James Hoffmeister, used with permission:

Where the interruption creates a pause in mid-sentence:

Tyler Jones put an arm on Jack’s shoulder and spun round to face the crowd. “This here’s Captain Jack Johnson, an old friend of my brother’s. Some of you may remember he was here four years ago to—” the Marshal took a deep breath “—deliver Jamie’s body. He spoke at the funeral.”

Where the interruption does not create a pause:

“I”—his voice cracked—“don’t wanna do this anymore.”

Where the sentence is not resumed:

“No, we don’t know that,” Tom halted them. “At least wait till—”

Jack dropped his gaze to the ground. “Oh, I—” A pistol jumped from Tom’s holster into his hand and the hammer clicked back, persuaded by his thumb

“I prefer that when they next come looking—” He cocked the slide on his pistol. “Well…”

Capitalization

  • “Earth” should always be capitalized when referring to our home planet by name, as if it were a location, while “earth” (minuscule) should be used when referring to soil, the ground, or the solid surface of a planet.
  • “Heaven” and “hell” are, consistent with their use in the Bible, not to be capitalized.
  • “God” is capitalized when referring to the Christian god as if by name, and not when referring to the concept of a god in general. “Gods” is not capitalized.

Misc.

  • Numbers should be spelled out in words, not Arabic numerals. Exceptions are made for weapon calibers, dates, times, models and positional designations (such as seat numbers, addresses and co-ordinates).

Things to Avoid

  • Internal monologues. The only accepted usages are within the noir genre or in first person writing.
  • Using excessive ellipses (…). Try using the em-dash (–) instead, or the period (.).
  • All caps, especially in dialogue. Use italics instead.

Common Mistakes

  • When narrating an action after using a dialogue tag, set the action off with a comma. For example: “Hi!” he said, waving to them all.
  • Dialogue tags should be in lower case, following on from a comma or similar punctuation mark within the quote (but not a period). Actions following dialogue should be capitalized. In either case, the sentence following the quote should end in a period, and the dialogue following that sentence should be capitalized. Examples:

“Hi,” he said. “How are you?

“Hi.” She waved back. “I’m fine.”

Firearms

  • Gunshots do not smell like cordite. Cordite was a smokeless propellant used for a brief time by the British military, but no one else, around the turn of the century up to WWI. It smelled like nail polish remover or bleach. Instead of mentioning “the smell of cordite”, use “powder”, “smoke”, “gunpowder” or “propellant”. A story that “reeks of cordite” also reeks of poorly-researched writing.
  • Generally the only weapons that make a clicking sound on a trigger pull when empty are double-action revolvers, which pull the hammer back and release it with every pull of the trigger. Automatic (magazine-fed) weapons do not allow a trigger pull when they are empty; instead, the slide shoots back and stays there in most models. It is also possible to make a single-action revolver click when empty, but the hammer must have been cocked first. Some models of double-action automatic pistols may also allow a trigger pull to cock and release the hammer when empty (the source of the click), but these are rarer than single-action pistols and models that do not allow the hammer to be cocked with the trigger when empty.

Links

Below are some links to various sites which provide advice on correct grammar: