We are announcing today we are reactivating our Cifiscape project—which is a portmanteau of the words Scifi and Cityscape.
The Project: Cifiscape is is a geographical, future-based short story series. We previously released two collections of stories about the future of Minneapolis, but are opening up the call for submissions to encompass any and all cities. Instead of each collection being about one location, the stories submitted should be future-based short stories about a specific city.
What genre is ‘future-based’: Any and all genres are acceptable, as long as they are about the future of a specific city. Steampunk, Scifi, Interplanetary Fantasy, Speculative Fiction or anything in between would all be perfectly comfortable in this series. It does, however have to be about a specific city, or town, and be based on how you imagine that place in the future. The original concept was volumes of Scifi stories based in one city, but now we’re opening it up for any future-based fiction. Properties like Fallout, Defiance, or Shadowrun are good examples of what we mean—I know, naming video games and shows on Syfy as inspiration is playing our nerd card, but, they are good examples, so chill.
How will this work? We are releasing stories using the successful model that we are using for Onxy Neon Shorts, and might, if necessary, include some of the stories in that project, or will release them separately, making them an all together different kind of thing. They won’t be on a monthly release schedule, but will instead come out as stories come in.
What’s the length? Our minimum for individual story length is 5,000 words, and we favor stories under 20,000 words. We are flexible and will consider shorts that are longer, but right now those are the focus. If you have an amazing short, and it exceeds our arbitrary limit, submit it to us, we may find a different media for it, serialize it, or just release it in its entirety. We can do a great many things.
How to submit: Do not send an email asking where to send your story, just send it. Submissions should be emailed to (shorts)(at)(onyxneon.com). Please put “Cifiscape -‘your name’ – ‘story title’” in the subject line to help us make sure we see it. Submissions should be in something closely resembling standard manuscript format and be sent as .doc, .docx, .rtf, or plain-text attachments. Do not copy and paste submissions into the email. We will read every submission that comes in, so say hello, but the content of your story is what is important, not the content of your message.
Authors Rights and Reprints: For more information about how we publish and the rights we grant please refer to the ON Shorts FAQ page
Should I include a brief summary of the story? Yes, that would be quite helpful.
Should I include an “about the author”? No, it is not required initially, we will get that from you if we select your story for use.
Do you accept multiple submissions? Yes, absolutely, but if you do send multiple stories please send them in separate emails with separate headings so that we make sure we don’t miss any of the submissions. We will read them in the order in which they come in, so please do not expect us to reply immediately with an emphatic “yes.”
Do you accept simultaneous submissions? We will absolutely take a story that you sent to someone else. We would, however, hate to fall in love with your story and not be able to publish it. Obviously we are an open platform, and it is your beautiful work, so it is your choice.
Have you read my story? We reply to everything when we have finished evaluating, and we will let you know if we are going to publish it or not. We hate waiting to hear back from people as much as the next person, so we do not wish that on anyone.
Why are you so slow? We read a lot of stories, and we leave the vault sometimes. We do this because we love it and we want to be able to offer an incredible service to both readers and writers. So with that in mind, we are busy and probably reading your story as you are thinking about writing us. The maximum we will make you wait is three months. Seriously, if you have not heard from us after three months please feel free to send us an angry email with lots of grumpy emoticons and pictures of cats.
Artwork? If you have artwork that relates to your story, and you own the rights to it, or can attain the rights please feel free to send that along with it. It will not sway our opinion if you do not, but if it is good artwork it certainly makes our lives easier. Unfortunately, at this point we cannot pay for artwork, because we have a graphic designer, and don’t need it, so it’s not currently in our budget, but we will cite it appropriately online and in the book itself.
Does the work have to be in English? No. The beauty of digital publishing is it supports massively parallel publishing. We can publish a story in Chinese, and have hyperlink connectivity to word translations. We can support the idea that all translation is a derivative work and only publish in first language. And most importantly, we can do both simultaneously. So, any language is okay, just understand we read in English, so it will take us longer to evaluate submissions in another language.
Our ideal submission is between 5,000 and 20,000 words. It should be a geographically focused, future-based story of any genre that is appropriate. Please make it resemble submission formatting (google if you have not done this before). We have a specific thing in mind and we’ll know it when we see it. If it doesn’t fit into our Cifiscape scope, it will still be considered for Onyx Neon Shorts. Please send it to Shorts@onyxneon.com.
Thank you for reading, and we look forward to reading your beautiful, unique, and original shorts.