Submissions & Terms

Updated: Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at 10:52 (MT, U.S.).

Reading Free Radicals

Free Radicals offer two (2) formats to its readers. These are a digital format via PDFs shared using WordPress’ built-in document sharing software, and a  print version which usually drops the month after the PDF is released to readers. The digital format will always remain free to readers, contributors, etc. The print version, due to costs for printing, shipping, and handling, will require readers to pay—that is,  unless you read the print copy at your local library.

Information on Reading Fees, Payment, & Zine Funding

We will never charge reading fees—ever. Free Radicals does not pay contributors for submissions of any kind, at this time.  However, we do offer two (2) contributor copies, with a promise to fulfill more at the magazine’s expense. We are likely to change our payment policies in the future, especially if we are successful in building a(n) artists’/writers’ fund. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact Free Radicals’ Editor-in-Chief at editor@freeradicalsmagazine.com. All proceeds from subscription sales and/or individual issue sales pay for printing and shipping costs of the magazine, along with developing an artists’/writers’ fund for future use. The Editor-in-Chief, does not receive any money for what he is doing. This is a labor of love, and we hope to keep Free Radicals going for some time.

What Is Free Radicals?

Free Radicals is a speculative fiction magazine that is published, in print and in eBook/PDF form, on a quarterly basis. We welcome all kinds of speculative fictions (with literary bents),  including, but not limited to, horror, science fantasy, fantasy,  science-fiction, hard science-fiction, social science-fiction, space opera, grimdark fantasy, urban fantasy, cyberpunk/post-cyberpunk,  solar/hope punk, etc. We are also offering a place for speculative nonfiction, which, at its center asks, “What if?”. By Issue 003, we will be including roleplaying game content as well. It is our hope that we can build this into a magazine that offers professional-rate payments to writers. However, until that happens, we will be providing two (2) print copies to each contributor, with the hope of building this into something better and something that does more than providing artists/writers with exposure. Free Radicals publishes under two (2) ISSNs assigned by the U.S. ISSN Center at the Library of Congress:

  • Online ISSN: 2767-5769
  • Print ISSN: 2767-5750

Submission System (Powered by Duosuma & E-mail)

Our magazine uses the Duosuma platform to accept individual submissions from authors/artists interested in submitting to Free Radicals. For those who wish to submit their artwork/writing via e-mail, you can do so by sending all submissions to Free Radicals‘ Editor-in-Chief at editor@freeradicalsmagazine.com.  If you experience any problems, in sending your submission (either via  Duosuma or e-mail), please feel free to reach out to our  Editor-in-Chief, G. Michael Rapp, at editor@freeradicalsmagazine.com.

Submission Guidelines

Free Radicals is looking for speculative fictions (with literary twists). We are also looking for speculative nonfictions. Starting with Issue 003, we will be including roleplaying game content as well. At the heart of speculative writing (and gaming) is often a “What if?” question. The numerous sub-genres that meet this need include, but aren’t limited to horror, science fantasy, fantasy, science-fiction, hard science-fiction,  social science-fiction, space opera, grimdark fantasy, urban fantasy,  cyberpunk/post-cyberpunk, solar/hope punk, etc. For speculative nonfiction, it can be extrapolating current trends to understand the murky future. It could also be counterfactual speculation as to what might have happened if (say) Napoleon died in battle, and exploring the consequences of such an event within the context of historical research,  etc. Free Radicals is open to submissions from all artists and authors. Submissions are published on the basis of talent, content, and editorial needs for Free Radicals.

Guidelines. We are always looking for speculative writings (short-form) that are between 500 and 20,000 words in length.  We are also looking for speculative fiction-themed artwork/photography for each issue.

Submission(s) Checklist. The following list is meant to help ensure your submission is taken seriously and properly understood by our editorial staff.

  • Send your best (i.e., polished) work.
  • For those submitting fiction pieces, please use the industry-standard formatting as seen on William Shunn’s Official Website.
  • For those submitting artwork/photography, please ensure your  pictures are print-quality. That means images/artwork need to be 300  dpi.
  • Make sure you include a readable (and professional) cover letter,  introducing yourself, your submission(s), and your experiences. The  cover letter should include contact information, including a mailing  address. This information will be used to send your contributor copies  if you are accepted for publication.
  • Offer a fifty-word biography in the third person. Keep it short and engaging.
  • Send polished work to our Duosuma page or e-mail editor@freeradicalsmagazine.com. We also have a page on Duotrope’s Duosuma, which can be used for submissions.

Submission Terms

Views. Free Radicals serves as a creative outlet for speculative fiction authors and artists. Consequently, the views expressed in Free Radicals do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints and/or opinions of Free Radicals’ staff as a whole.

Limitations. The Scope of These Submission Terms.  All rights not expressly granted by the Artist/Author reside exclusively with the Artist/Author. Any rights that may be developed in the future shall reside with the Author/Artist. Further, the Artist/Author does not transfer any rights in the Work(s) (i.e., their submission) to the  Publisher (i.e., Free Radicals, Free Radicals Quarterly, or Free Radicals Magazine) except what is specifically set forth in these submission terms. These terms do not transfer the copyright of the Submission(s)/Work(s) in question.Rights. All artists/authors, along with Free Radicals, have guaranteed rights outlined in this section of the Submission Terms. Upon accepting Free Radicals’ offer to publish submitted work, Free Radicals acquires: 1)  worldwide rights to publish an artist’s/author’s accepted contribution  (i.e., artwork, essay, flash fiction, short story, etc.) in an upcoming print, eBook/PDF, and/or Web edition of Free Radicals and any Free Radicals-affiliated media; 2) exclusive worldwide rights, for print, eBook/PDF, and/or Web editions, for a period of 180 business days from the date of Free Radicals’ first publication of the submission(s) in question; 3)  non-exclusive perpetual rights to republish, store, syndicate, and/or distribute the submission(s) or portions of the submission(s) in  English; AND 4) the right to use the contributor’s name and likeness in a fair and dignified manner and to publish information about the contributor in connection with the advertising and promotion of Free Radicals and of the submission(s) in question. 5) When exclusive rights expire after 180 business days, the artist/author is free to seek publication elsewhere, but Free Radicals requests that it be credited in all subsequent publications of the submission(s) in question. 6)  All rights granted by this agreement are granted in perpetuity and applicable in all media, including, but not limited to, all electronic media, Internet, wireless or mobile platforms, whether now known or hereafter created. 7) If an artist/author wishes to withdraw their submission from Free Radicals they can do so within sixty (60) business days prior to the publication of the applicable issue of Free Radicals. Requests to withdraw content can be directed to the Editor-in-Chief, G. Michael Rapp, at editor@freeradicalsmagazine.com. 8) Artists/Authors retain the copyrights of their respective submissions to Free Radicals. 9)  For the avoidance of doubt, the rights granted to the Publisher under this paragraph are rights only to the publication or dissemination of a(n) print and/or electronic replica of the Work as it is incorporated in the Magazine in its print, Web-based and/or eBook/PDF form, and not to any other publication, dissemination or use of the submissions(s). 10)  The Artist/Author agrees not to publish or permit others to publish the submission(s) in the English language in the United States prior to its initial publication in Free Radicals and throughout the exclusivity period granted to the Publisher thereafter without the prior written permission of the Publisher. If the Work is selected for a  “best of the year” or an awards anthology, the Publisher agrees to waive this clause, provided the Artist/Author gives the Publisher prior written notice of the selection by such an anthology. 11) The Artist/Author warrants that, as of the date of executing this agreement, they are the sole creator/author of the submission(s); that they are the owner of all the rights granted to the Publisher (i.e., Free Radicals)  hereunder and have full power to enter into this agreement and to make the grants herein contained; that the submission(s) is/are original and any prior publication of the submission(s) in whole or in part has been fully disclosed to the Publisher and that to the best of the  Artist’s/Author’s knowledge the Work does not infringe upon any copyright or upon any other proprietary or personal right of any person,  firm or corporation. 12) Free Radicals will make no alterations to the submission(s) without the Artist’s/Author’s written approval in e-mail or hardcopy. Artist/Author will be provided with the Free Radicals’ proposed version of the work prior to publication and given sufficient time to review the text. Free Radicals reserves the right to make minor copyediting changes to conform the style of the text to its customary form and usage.

Audio Rights. Where applicable, the Author grants to the Publisher worldwide non-exclusive audio rights to the Work, solely for use in Free Radicals’ audio/podcasting program, provided that those rights are exercised within six months of publication of the Work in Free Radicals.  The grant of rights to the Publisher in the previous sentence is subject, however, to the following limitation: after one (1) year from the date of initial publication, the Author may terminate the grant of non-exclusive audio rights and ask the Publisher to remove the Work from the magazine’s audio archives found on https://freeradicalsmagazine.com (and/or other electronic archives associated with Free Radicals Magazine), and the Publisher agrees that it will comply within 30 days of such request.

Contributor Copies. All contributors are to be given two (2) contributor copies before, on, or after the applicable publication date. Contributor copies serve as compensation for work submitted to Free Radicals Magazine. Additional contributor copies can be requested via e-mail request. These copies are free for the contributor, i.e., the Author/Artist, so long as the Author/Artist does not request an excessive number of copies. Subsequent contributor copies must be postmarked within sixty (60) days of the e-mail request submitted by the Author/Artist.

Magazine Closure. If Free Radicals ceases operations, the Publisher must inform the Author/Artist via e-mail or  via a publicly displayed Website and/or social media posting. These announcements must come within ten (10) business days of the magazine ceasing all operations.

All questions pertaining to publishing rights should be directed to the Editor-in-Chief at editor@freeradicalsmagazine.com.

Payment. Free Radicals does not pay contributors for submissions of any kind, at this time. This is likely to change in the future. All contributors receive two (2) free copies of  Free Radicals. If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact Free Radicals’ Editor-in-Chief at editor@freeradicalsmagazine.com.  All proceeds from subscription sales and/or individual issue sales pay for printing and shipping, and these proceeds will be added into a future fund that will be used (hopefully someday soon) to support artists and writers who submit to this magazine.

Simultaneous Submissions. Free Radicals gladly accepts simultaneous submissions in the fiction and photograph/art categories. We simply ask that you inform the  Editor-in-Chief, G. Michael Rapp (editor@freeradicalsmagazine.com) in a timely manner if any of your pieces have been accepted elsewhere, so that they may be removed from consideration.

Artist’s/Author’s Biography. When entering a  submission, please include a fifty-word biography to be printed alongside your piece in the event that it is accepted for publication.

Submission Periods. We accept submissions at any time.

Deadlines. We read submissions all year round. For print consideration, we have the following (rough) deadlines:

  • July/Summer – June 10
  • October/Fall – September 10
  • January/Winter – December 10
  • April/Spring – March 10

Response Times. If you have not received a personal response from our staff within 120 business days, please send a query e-mail to Free Radicals’ Editor-in-Chief, G. Michael Rapp, at editor@freeradicalsmagazine.com.

Publication Cycle. Free Radicals is published (in print and eBook/PDF form) four times per year. Publication on our Website will occur once every month to once every two months, depending on the magazine’s needs.