Eclectica Magazine is a quarterly electronic journal devoted to showcasing the best writing on the World Wide Web. "Literary" and "genre" work appear side-by-side in each issue, along with pieces that blur the distinctions between such categories. Pushcart Prize, National Poetry Series, and Pulitzer Prize winners, as well as Nebula Award nominees, have shared issues with previously unpublished authors.
Eclectica is a not-for-profit publication. We do not currently pay contributors, although we're working to change that (see below, Cash awards!). We do guarantee that your work will never go out of print, and it will be in good company; all of the work in Eclectica undergoes a rigorous submission process. Contributors are also eligible for inclusion should we produce a print anthology.
Eclectica operates solely on reputation, word of mouth, and search engines, and as such, we hugely appreciate it when authors include us in their lists of publications.
Eclectica acquires First World Electronic (Online/Internet) Rights: a one time, non-exclusive use of Electronic Rights, with all rights reverting to the author upon publication with two exceptions: we also ask our authors to grant Eclectica Anthology Rights, and it's important to note that work appearing in Eclectica is permanently available online in our archives for public reference. We expect authors to follow proper publishing protocol. With the exception of collections and anthologies, a given piece should not appear in more than one electronic publication, just as it should not appear in more than one print publication. If an author does choose to re-publish work elsewhere, in print or on the web, Eclectica should be credited as the original publisher.
We pride ourselves on giving everyone (high schoolers, convicts, movie executives, etc.) an equal shot at publication, based solely on the quality of their work. Because we like eclecticism, we tend to favor the varied perspectives that often characterize the work of international authors, people of color, women, alternative lifestylists, and straight white men—but others who don't fit into these categories sometimes surprise us.
Although we are interested in all styles and genres of writing, prospective authors are still encouraged to read a current issue of Eclectica before submitting. We are always interested in fiction, poetry, essays, creative nonfiction, drama, book and movie reviews, travel writing, interviews and humor/satire. Works which cross genres—or create new ones—are especially encouraged. This includes prose poems, "heavy" opinion, works combining visual art and writing, electronic multimedia, and types we have yet to imagine.
There are no restrictions as to length. We are happy to consider long stories and novel excerpts, although we may discuss serialization of extremely long pieces.
How to Submit
We now use a submission tool called Submittable. Use of this tool requires a nominal fee of $2.00 for most submissions, the proceeds of which help to pay for the tool itself, along wth the site's hosting and domain fees. To submit, click on the following link:
Seriously? I have to pay to submit?
Charging a $2.00 fee enables us to have a submission tool. The one we're using (Submittable) costs money, and after deductions, we're only putting $0.91 of each $2.00 toward our monthly bills (which also includes hosting and domain costs). While we are only hoping to break even, if we do make any extra from these fees, it will go toward turning the magazine into a paying publication (see below: Cash awards!).
We do wish to recognize and reward those authors who have both demonstrated excellence and shown loyalty to Eclectica over the years, and we therefore invite former Spotlight Authors and anyone who has appeared in five or more different issues to send their work directly to the editors for consideration. If you have any questions about this policy, please don't hesitate to email us.
Beginning with the October/November 2013 issue, Eclectica took a small but important step toward becoming a paying publishing market by awarding cash awards to the top three authors in each issue. The Spotlight Author and two Runners-Up chosen by the editors each receive a $50 prize. In the interest of maintaining fairness and parity across genres, if the Spotlight Author is a fiction author, the other two awards will go to a poet and a nonfiction author (to include travel, interview, review, Salon, or miscellany). If the Spotlight Author is a poet, the other two awards will go to fiction and nonfiction authors, and so on. Payment will be made via PayPal.
We've settled into a quarterly schedule, roughly corresponding with the seasons. For no good reason, the winter issue is called the January/February issue, and is actually (usually!) up from January 1 through April 1. The deadline for each issue is the first day of the month prior, so the January/February deadline is December 1, and the April/May deadline is March 1. Any work received after the deadline is automatically considered for the following issue. Some have found that if they send us something three or four days late, we'll still consider it for the current issue. It happens, but there is no guarantee, so if you want to control your own destiny, send the work before the first of the month.
As mentioned, issues are usually posted on the first of January, April, July, and October. However, it is not unusual for them to be posted on the 15th of those months. Fate sometimes invervenes in the form of various demands placed upon the editors who, out of necessity, must rank the operation of this publication lower in priority than their families and day jobs (although sometimes above their health and sanity).
Why Wasn't my Work Accepted?
We do not provide specific feedback and/or critiques to our submitters. We often want to, particularly when we see something we like in a piece of work. However, then we consider our aforementioned families, day jobs, health, and sanity.
The Editing Process
Please submit your work with the following things in mind:
First, know that your piece will be edited before it is published. You will have an opportunity to discuss those and additional edits prior to the piece going "live" to the readers. Authors who feel their writing is sacrosanct, and that any alteration of it by an editor constitutes a personal violation, would do better to send their work elsewhere.
Second, although seemingly in contradiction to the first point, your work should be in what you consider to be a finished state at the time of submission. It's especially disconcerting when an author responds to an acceptance notice with a revision. If we liked your work as it was, we liked it as it was. We also don't have time to read another version of it when we're scrambling to put an issue together, nor do we have the inclination or the patience to figure out how the new version differs from the old. And, as is often the case, if we have started to mark up your piece in HTML, substituting a new version would mean starting over from scratch—an unattractive prospect given that none of the people associated with this magazine get paid for the many hours we spend working on it.
Removing Old Work
Over the years a handful of authors have written, asking that pieces be removed from the archives. In all but two cases, these requests were denied. The editors look on such requests unfavorably, in part because removing pieces from the archives requires a great deal of work to repair all the corresponding links, in part because permanent inclusion in the archives has always been a condition of acceptance, and primarily because the editors have no interest in dismantling something that has taken going on three decades to build. In addition, we feel that there's something sad about not letting the record speak for itself. We urge authors not to second guess what they wrote at an earlier period in their lives, just as we as editors prefer not to second guess what we accepted for earlier issues.
...are okay. We ask authors to inform us immediately if those submissions are accepted elsewhere. That should be all that has to be said about this subject, but since occasionally people continue to violate this protocol, here are a few more personal thoughts: As already mentioned, I've been doing this for over 20 years, and for me it is literally a labor of love. It is not about money or recognition, and I'm completely okay with that, because the primary reward I get—the endorphin rush—is when I've waded through dozens of sometimes painfully awful, sometimes almost there, and often pretty good submissions until I find one indelible piece that isn't what I thought I was looking for but redefines what I was looking for. It's exciting. It's fulfilling. If, as has occasionally been the case, your piece winds up being that source of endorphins, but then it turns out it was also a simultaneous submission, already accepted elsewhere, and you forgot to update Submittable, then you will break a little bit of my heart. I understand authors are in it for love, too—that the likelihood of anybody making a living in this "business" is pretty slim—but if it is truly something to do with love for you, I'd ask you to take a look at the aforementioned submission/reading cycle, send us something you think we'll like, wait the maximum of two and a half months it will take to get a response (if you time it right, it can be a couple weeks), and go on from there. Do simultaneous submissions make sense in today's publishing world? Sure. Will your story be any less luminescent for being one? No. But treating this process the way a Nigerian email prince with a money-making proposal would takes a bit of the love out of it, even if you don't forget to notify editors the story has been accepted elsewhere.
Eclectica Magazine is a free, no-budget, online literary variety publication, but in many ways it is a community of editors, authors, and readers. Some readers have become authors, and some authors have become editors, a couple of whom even wound up marrying each other! Some authors have become regular contributors, while some have dropped a line a decade or more after appearing in Eclectica to let us know that their new book is coming out. Sometimes, an author becomes semi-famous, even, and we bask vicariously in the glow of his or her success. We encourage anyone reading this (and if you've read this entire page, you've already garnered no small amount of our appreciation and admiration) to become part of our community. One way to do so is to join our Facebook group, which will give you access to news postings, the opportunity to contribute photo-art, and other stuff we haven't thought of yet. Another is to like our Facebook page. You may also check out our blog on tumblr, where we regularly feature conversations between our editors and authors.
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