The Arcanist is now accepting nonfiction submissions!

We’ve been in business for a little over a year now and we’ve decided it’s high time to expand our horizons. Medium, and the internet at large, is teeming with opinions, historical looks, and think pieces. And now we want yours in the form of an essay.

But not just any essay! (You can keep your feelings about pineapple on pizza to yourself.) We want to hear well thought out, insightful looks at speculative fiction.

This means anything related to science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc. Of course, we have a preference for the written word, but we’re open to movies, comics, television, graphic novels, etc.

This is your chance to go full nerd on a captive audience and have a team of editors at your back to help you make the best essay you can (if you need our help at all).

Have you already read this and are ready to submit? Click here!

What We’re Looking For

Here is a brief overview of what we’re looking for:

  • In-depth looks at the story behind famous SF/F/H stories, thought-provoking takes on genre-based books, and other interesting thoughts related to speculative fiction.
  • We want you to get into the nitty-gritty. We like to read lists as much as the next guy but it’s a hard sell.
  • Think a casual essay feel. We like intellectual content but not pretension.

Some things we’re into include:

  • Using lit crit for in-depth readings
  • Historical context
  • News in connection to fiction — particularly science news that ties into your favorite works. Did we just find a weird radio signal from a far-off world? Neat. Tell us about it.

Requirements

Here are some details you need to know:

Word Count: 1K-3K words

In nonfiction, you’re often told to “write until you’ve written something interesting.” This is might feel like very vague advice that leaves you scratching your head wondering if you have anything interesting to say, but it’s what we’re looking for.

Some topics will just need more words. We get it!

That being said, this word count is a guideline to keep you digging deeper if you’re way under or to be more concise if you’re way over.

Essay Structure

Our articles follow a pretty simple structure:

  • An intro where you ease your reader into what to expect.
  • A call to action — essentially why your reader should care about what you’re writing about.
  • The body: Points with quotes. You need to back up your statements with sources. This part is repeated until you’re satisfied. Hopefully, you stop before you’ve written an opus. (Keep in mind that 1–3K word count ballpark.)
  • Conclusion: where you wrap things up nicely.

Keep this structure in mind when you make your pitch. It will help focus your ideas, keep the scope of the article reasonable, and help us completely understand your idea before you spend the time writing it up.

Speculative Fiction Based

That’s kind of our MO. We accept essays on a lot of different things besides that.

If you're unsure if your pitch is what we're looking for, drop us a line.

We also accept book review, if you were wondering.

Payment

Wait did we say we’d pay you?

Yeah, we did.

We’re offering a $25 USD flat fee for nonfiction articles.

Writers are always paid before their work is published and all payments are processed through PayPal. We will publish your article under The Arcanist account (the one you’re reading now). Friend links will be provided upon publication.

How to Submit and What to Expect

You have a great idea that you want to dive into, but hold up. This is going to work a bit differently than our fiction submission process.

You will be submitting a pitch with a brief outline — not a whole article.

If you submit a whole article, due to volume, we won’t be able to read it and we’d hate to see you do that great work for nothing.

Here’s how it works:

First, create a document with a list of 1–3 pitches per submission.

These pitches should be formatted to have a snappy headline, a list of links that back up your point or story, and a brief summary of what you intend to write (around 200 words or less).

It can look something like this:

Headline: What you want your title to be.

Sources: Link to all of the sources you want to use.

Summary: Provide a brief synopsis of what you intend to write.

An editor reads this over, likes it, and accepts it. Congratulations.

Once your pitch is accepted, you write your article and submit the finished piece for editing.

If there are major edits (ie. flaws in logic), an editor will give you notes for a rewrite.

If there are minor edits, an editor will make those edits, authorize your payment, and then publish your piece.

We reserve the right to edit your work, including structurally. We choose to retain the right to do a lot of editing for a variety of reasons, including to increase clarity, voice, speed of publication, and alleviating the workload for the writer. Don’t be surprised to see your article looks a little different in the end. We want the best essay possible!

Then you totter down to the local watering hole, celebrate with a fancy drink, think up another brilliant idea, and repeat the whole cycle over again.

Submitting Your Pitch

Once you have your pitch created, use this form to submit. Or click here:

Submit Here

We’re only accepting one pitch document per person at a time (which can contain up to 3 pitches). Once you hear a response, feel free to pitch again. This is to keep things running smoothly.

Please be patient! Due to a volume vs manpower issue, it can take about a month to hear back from an editor.

Everything You Need to Know: A TL;DR

Here’s a recap of everything for easy reference:

  • We want in-depth looks of speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror). Though it can be any medium (books, short stories, comics, movies, etc).
  • Submit pitches using this form: Click Here.
  • Pitch document contains 1–3 pitch ideas and includes headlines, sources, and a brief synopsis of each idea.
  • One pitch doc per writer at a time.
  • If accepted, we will request a draft. When the draft is received, you will be paid.
  • We pay a flat fee of $25 USD per accepted article. All payments are through PayPal.
  • We retain the right to republish your article under The Arcanist banner. We also retain the right to edit your draft to make it fit with our other articles.

Thanks for your interest!

Drop us a line if you have any questions. Both Twitter and Facebook are great ways to get fast responses.

We look forward to reading your work.