What we're doing:
The Journal of Unlikely Entomology publishes two standard issues per year, roughly in May and November. There are also a few other things we'll be putting out each year on an irregular basis: an indeterminate number of themed mini-issues and non-buggy standalone issues of other Unlikely Arts & Sciences.
What we’re looking for:
Beautifully-written fiction, characters that grab us by the throats and refuse to let go, worlds that demand to be explored…and bugs. Genre isn’t particularly important to us—speculative, mainstream, slipstream, and the unclassifiable tales in between—we’ll read anything; all we ask is that something pertaining to bugs is integral or significant in your story. The bug element can be literal or metaphorical, hallucinatory or behavioral or metaphysical, or any combination thereof.
Not quite sure what we’re talking about? Think of The Metamorphosis, Ender’s Game, Angels and Insects, Naked Lunch, A Recipe for Bees, District 9, Eight Legged Freaks, and Sandkings. Basically, think bugs, and let your imagination run wild. There are no barriers as to levels of profanity, gore, or sexuality allowed, but be sure to use them well if you do use them.
Please note: our definition of bugs is somewhat expansive. Please read our FAQ for details.
Themes for prior mini-issues calls for submissions:
We have no current calls for submissions for mini-issues.
Occasional Papers of Non-Entomological Interest:
At the risk of seeming insufficiently obsessive, we have decided to mount exploratory expeditions into other unlikely Arts & Sciences.
Our first such effort will be The Journal of Unlikely Architecture. You can find the submission guidelines for JoUA here.
Submissions are open now, and will remain open until filled.
Standard Issues: We’ll consider stories up to 8000 words, but prefer 5000 words or less. We’re open to flash fiction, but we do not publish poetry. We publish the occasional piece of non-fiction on our blog. Please email the editors for more information.
Mini-issues: Stories should be between 100-1500 words, with a hard cap at 2000 words.
Standard Issues: We pay 1¢ per word for stories between 1000—5000 words. Stories over 5000 words receive a flat fee of $50. Stories under 1000 words receive a flat fee of $10. Payment is made upon publication.
Mini-issues: We pay 2¢ per word for stories between 500—1500 words. Stories between 1501 and 2000 words will receive a flat fee of $30. Stories under 500 words receive a flat fee of $10. Payment is made upon publication.
We buy first-printing world exclusive English-language rights for three months after publication, and non-exclusive electronic rights for twelve months after publication. We hope (but do not require) that you'll allow us to post the story in our archives indefinitely, but you have the right to ask us to remove your story from the archives at any time after twelve months. We also buy the option to non-exclusive anthology rights related to the magazine, either as collected issues or a best-of anthology. Should we choose to include your story in a print and/or ebook anthology, you will receive an additional payment that will be at the same rate as the initial sale, or at our current pay rate, whichever is higher, plus a copy of the anthology.
We will consider reprints, but original fiction is strongly preferred. If you are submitting a story that has been published elsewhere, please tell us in your cover letter when and where the story previously appeared. Our general rule of thumb is that if the story has appeared only in print, we'd want at least a year to have passed since it was first publication; if the story has appeared online, we'd want at least 2 years since first publication.
Standard Manuscript Format, basically:
- Mini-issue 2.5 - 'Valentine's Day' - was published Feb. 14th, 2012. The theme was love, lust, and/or massacres (and also, bugs).
- Mini-issue 3.5 - 'hello, world' - will be published August 28th, 2012. This is the 40th anniversary of the first ever publication of the 'hello, world' computer program, written by Brian Kernighan. Stories for this issue involve something new emerging to greet the world, and in the process, change that world in significant and unexpected ways.
Variances from traditional manuscript format:
- 12 point courier font
- double spaced
- standard 1" margins
- top left of first page: name, contact info, word count
- header: last name, title, page number
How to Submit:
Electronic submissions only. Send your story as a .doc or .rtf attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject of the email should be:
"SUBMISSION - [last-name] - [title]."
Please include a brief cover letter in the body of the email with your name, contact information, story title, and word count.
If you are submitting for a particular mini-issue, please state so in the cover letter.
We will send an acknowledgement of receipt within 72 hours. If you do not receive this, please query. Average response time is fairly quick, but we'll definitely get back to you within 4 weeks to let you know whether we wish to hold the story for further consideration or not. If you haven’t heard from us after 4 weeks, please send a brief query email with your name, title of your story, and the date your work was submitted to email@example.com.
The subject of any query email should be: "QUERY - [last name] - [title].
Final selections for each issue will be made approximately two weeks after the close of the submission period for each issue.
Proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar are a must. Don’t send us a revised version of a story we’ve already rejected unless we specifically request it. Keep an eye on our blog and our twitter and facebook feeds for news about the magazine, and submissions status updates.
We are interested in bug-oriented art, particularly art with some fantastical elements, as illustrations for stories. Story illustrations will be solicited, and artists will have 3-4 weeks to submit a final illustration. Illustrations may be previously published, as long as it is not under contract that would preclude any of the rights requested below.
If you would like us to consider your work, please submit three samples of your work to firstname.lastname@example.org, either attached as moderate resolution jpgs (max of 500 KB each), or as links to your work online.
- use bold, italics and underline as they are to appear in the story
So if Jane Doe submits a piece titled "Larva In Waiting," the file will be
- The subject of your email should be: "ART SUBMISSION - [Artist's Name]."
- Include your name, address, email and phone number in your cover letter, as well
as the filenames of the images
- Files should be named according to the following format: [last-name]-[title].jpg
Doe-Larva-In-Waiting.jpg. Anything sent with a filename like IMG0148.JPG will inevitably be misplaced.
Pay: Pitiful, really. It's $5 per illustration, and of course a bio and link. For art used in mini-issues, it'll be $10.
Rights: We ask for non-exclusive electronic rights to use the image as an illustration for the story, including a thumbnailed version for indexes, for as long as we have the story online, and in a gallery of illustrations associated with the Journal of Unlikely Entomology. We ask for a non-exclusive option to use the image in print and ebook anthologies in conjunction with the story to which it is attached, with an additional payment at the same rate as the initial sale, or at the current pay rate, whichever is higher, plus a copy of the anthology. We ask for the right to use the image in conjunction with advertising or promotion for the story, and for the issue and/or anthology in which the story appears.
We hope, but do not require, that in the event that a story is removed, you will allow us to keep your illustration in our gallery.
You retain all other rights.