Submissions

Reading Period
Submit September 15 – March 15 by 11:59 PM Central time (US & Canada). Unless otherwise noted, submissions sent from Mar 16 through Sept 14 will not be accepted.

Simultaneous Submissions 
Simultaneous submissions to other journals are welcome as long as they are identified as such and we are notified immediately upon acceptance elsewhere.

Manuscript Guidelines
• Include a short cover letter noting the title(s) of the work(s) submitted and citing major publications and awards, as well as any association or past correspondence with a guest or staff editor.
• Upload your text submission as a Word (doc, docx), portable document format/PDF (pdf) or rich-text format (rtf) file. No Pages, txt, or Open Office Documents.
• Typed, double-spaced (poetry may be single-spaced) pages.
• Numbered pages.
• Submissions should follow the Chicago Style for grammar and MLA format for citations and works cited, when applicable. 
• Margins should be set at no less than 1” and no greater than 1.5”.
• Poetry: submit up to five (5) poems totaling no more than eight (8) pages.
• Fiction, Hybrid genre and critical essays:  12-point font. No more than twenty (20) pages or 5000 words (whichever is achieved first). Excerpts of longer works are welcome if self-contained. 
• Drama/Performance: submit one act or a collection of short scenes no longer than twenty pages (20) following Samuel French or the Dramatists Guild suggested formatting. Excerpts of longer works are welcome if self-contained.
Translations are welcome if permission has been granted.

Image Submission Guidelines
• Include a short cover letter noting the title(s) of the work(s) submitted and citing major publications and awards, as well as any association or past correspondence with a guest or staff editor.
• Submit up to five (5) images totaling no more than 15 MB.
• Upload your submission(s) as jpg or tiff file(s) (tiff preferred) in 300 ppi at the size(s) intended to be used.  
• Specify the orientation the image(s) as portrait or landscape.

Audio Submission Guidelines
• Include a short cover letter noting the title(s) of the work(s) submitted and citing major publications and awards, as well as any association or past correspondence 
• Submit up to five (5) sound files totaling no more than 30 MB.
• Upload your submission(s) as mp3 or wav file(s)

Video & Media Arts Submission Guidelines
• Include a short cover letter noting the title(s) of the work(s) submitted and citing major publications and awards, as well as any association or past correspondence with a guest or staff editor.
• Submit up to three (3) video and/or gaming files totaling no more than 800 MB.
• Upload your submission(s) as mpg, avi, or mov files, swf, Graphics Interchange Format (gif), UNITY game files, and HTML5 (with or without CSS and JavaScript markup).

Restrictions
• We do not reprint previously published work.

Submitting Online
We are now only accepting submissions via our online submission management system. Submissions via postal mail or email will be discarded without response. 
To submit online, please use the Obsidian submission management system, found at obsidian.submittable.com/submit. 

Notifications and Queries
Expect three to five months for a decision. Using our online submissions system you will be able to track the status of your submission.  We accept queries after five months have passed. Queries should be sent via email. They should include:
• Your name.
• The date, genre, and title of the submission.
• The title of the Call for Submissions to which you are responding, if applicable.

Contributor Copies
Upon publication, contributors receive two contributor copies of the issue. 

  • Call for Submissions—Special Issue: Speculating on the Future: Black Imagination & the Arts

    The editors of Obsidian invite you to participate in the journal’s celebration of four decades of excellence in the arts by submitting original unpublished work for its first double-volume issue exploring the speculative genre. Selected works will appear in Obsidian’s fall 2016 double-issue edited by Sheree Renée Thomas and Nisi Shawl (short fiction, drama, poetry), Isiah Lavender III (essays), and Krista Franklin (art, visual media, and paraliterature). All artists ask, “what if?” explore the consequences of “if this continues,” and contemplate “if only;” however, practitioners of the speculative arts or Afrofuturism, an umbrella term for science fiction, fantasy, magical realism, fabulism, horror, and unclassifiable and interstitial creative works such as slipstream,ask the same question and respond with an answer that re-imagines whole worlds and goes beyond the known universe.

    Afrofuturism and the speculative arts may transport audiences to a planet light-years away,to alternate histories and identities, or deep inside the jewel-toned caves of a far-distant past, another consciousness. Whether extrapolating science and society to imagine futuristic technology, art, and socio-political configurations, or conjuring new forms of magic, these genres imagine what might have been or what might be, opening the door to any possibility.

    Obsidian seeks original works that explore and reimagine black thought, black art, future and past.

    To be considered for the fall 2016 Speculative Arts double-issue,please submit materials by Friday, January 15, 2016.

    Please direct inquiries to obsidian@ilstu.edu with SPECULATIVE in the subject line.

    Note: Submissions in multiple genre categories are acceptable but must be uploaded as separate titles under the respective submission categories.

    Manuscript Guidelines
    • Upload your text submission as a Word (doc, docx), portable document format/PDF (pdf) or rich-text format (rtf) file. No Pages, txt, or Open Office Documents.
    • Poetry: submit up to five (5) poems totaling no more than eight (8) pages.
    • Fiction, Hybrid genre and critical essays:  12-point font. No more than twenty (20) pages or 5000 words (whichever is achieved first). Excerpts of longer works are welcome if self-contained. 
    • Drama/Performance: submit one act or a collection of short scenes no longer than twenty pages (20) following Samuel French or the Dramatists Guild suggested formatting. Excerpts of longer works are welcome if self-contained.
    Translations are welcome if permission has been granted.

    Image Submission Guidelines
    • Include a short cover letter noting the title(s) of the work(s) submitted and citing major publications and awards, as well as any association or past correspondence with a guest or staff editor.
    • Submit up to five (5) images totaling no more than 15 MB.
    • Upload your submission(s) as jpg or tiff file(s) (tiff preferred) in 300 ppi at the size(s) intended to be used.  
    • Specify the orientation the image(s) as portrait or landscape.

    Audio Submission Guidelines
    • Include a short cover letter noting the title(s) of the work(s) submitted and citing major publications and awards, as well as any association or past correspondence 
    • Submit up to five (5) sound files totaling no more than 30 MB.
    • Upload your submission(s) as mp3 or wav file(s)

    Video & Media Arts Submission Guidelines
    • Include a short cover letter noting the title(s) of the work(s) submitted and citing major publications and awards, as well as any association or past correspondence with a guest or staff editor.
    • Submit up to three (3) video and/or gaming files totaling no more than 800 MB.
    • Upload your submission(s) as mpg, avi, or mov files, swf, Graphics Interchange Format (gif), UNITY game files, and HTML5 (with or without CSS and JavaScript markup).
    Submit »