Submissions Guidelines

General

  • We can accept submissions in most popular electronic formats including MS Word (up to Word 2000), OpenOffice 1.x, RTF and, of course, plain text.
  • When submitting, please use as little formatting as possible to allow us maximum flexibility in formatting the document for the magazine.
  • If using plain text, the normal convention for indicating underlined, italicised and emboldened text is _text_, /text/ and *text* respectively.
  • TBD regrets that at this time it is unable to pay contributors for their submissions, either in money or in copies. However, if you wish, TBD's editors will be happy to give you advice on your writing and help you approach paying markets.

Fiction

  • TBD accepts science fiction and fantasy stories and horror stories which have a fantastical element. Humour is welcome. Some mixing of genres (eg: a fantasy whodunnit?) is acceptable.
  • Each story or each installment of your story should be between 500 and 3,000 words in length.
  • We regret that TBD cannot accept serials unless all installments of the serial can be provided up front. In this case, we will accept first drafts, with revisions to be made later.
  • TBD accepts poems under 1,000 words in length, and may make exceptions for longer pieces of particular merit.
  • Sex, violence, blasphemy and 'naughty words' are permissable provided that they are not gratuitous and are justified by the context of the story.

Art

  • TBD uses one colour picture per issue, for the cover. All the other pictures we use are black and white.
  • If you are submitting pictures on paper, please don't make them too small. Even if we reduce the size of your picture for publication, a larger version will give us better resolution. Please let us know if you want your pictures returned to you.
  • If you are submitting pictures on disk or via email (to the art editor), please use PNG or JPEG format. If the picture comes to more than about 2MB, please inform the art editor in advance.
  • If you are submitting pictures electronically, please use a reasonable resolution to scan them (300DPI or higher) to ensure that they are usable
  • Please don't submit pictures on lined paper. This may sound obvious, but a lot of people still send us work like this. It's very difficult to tidy up, so we're likely to reject it.
  • Please don't send us pictures drawn in pencil unless you have inked them in or scanned them in and clarified them yourself. Again, pencil drawings create a lot of unnecessary work.
  • TBD uses a lot of incidental illustrations and borders in between articles. We especially welcome submissions of this sort of material. Interesting abstract designs are acceptable, but we are most likely to use science fiction or fantasy related work.
  • TBD sometimes publishes themed issues. If you would like to tailor your work for one of these themes, contact the features editor to find out what we have planned for future issues. We also use seasonal illustrations for Christmas and Hallowe'en.
  • We are always looking for artists willing to work to deadline illustrating particular stories. Please contact the art editor if you are interested in doing this kind of work.
  • If you are interested in producing a cover illustration for TBD, we'd prefer you to look at some of our back issues to get an idea of the type of thing we use. Cover illustrations need to leave room for the magazine titles at the top and some small pictures and text at the bottom. Some covers are designed in relation to particular themes - contact the features editor to find out more about this.
  • TBD also publishes cartoons, and we are always interested in considering new work in this area. Most of our cartoons are three to six panels in length, but we are willing to consider full page spreads for exceptional work.
  • If you are interested in producing a photostory for TBD, you should contact the story editor. In this context, clear photos which tell the story well are more important than great art.

Reviews

  • TBD accepts short reviews (200 to 400 words) of a wide variety of things connected to science fiction and fantasy, including recently released films and books; theatre; new television series; music; exhibitions of paintings or sculpture; board, card, and computer games; and conventions.
  • If you want to make sure that the thing you've chosen to review is not already being covered by another writer, contact the production editor.
  • Reviews should be aimed at the intelligent general reader. Try to provide some information about the central story or ideas involved, but don't just retell the story, and please don't give away endings! Let us know your opinion, but also make sure we know why you feel that way. Tell us how you think different people involved (like writers, actors or designers) contributed to the work.

Feature reviews

  • TBD publishes some longer, more in-depth feature reviews giving an overviews of particular people's work or of work in a particular sub-genre. For example, we have published features on the works of HG Wells, on the development of folk tales, and on Godzilla films. Reviews of this sort should be 700 to 1,400 words in length. If you'd like to discuss a particular feature idea or find out about any themes we're planning to focus on in future issues, contact the features editor.

You can send your submissions to us by email at tbd@tbd.org.uk or to an individual editor using the contact details on our contacts page.