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Old 05-31-2006, 02:38 PM
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The Sword Review


Submissions Guidelines
Updated 2006-01-09
The Sword Review now in print, too.
If you are reading this, then you must be wondering how you might contribute to The Sword Review and, if you do, what you might expect for your effort. Please read these guidelines carefully and completely to avoid inappropriate submissions. Please adhere to our submission process and formatting instructions.
Content Guidelines Applicable to all Submissions

The purpose of The Sword Review is to entertain, uplift, and enlighten. It is a publication targeted to adult readers, with consideration to readers aged 14 and up. Although not a teen publication, we acknowledge that the fantasy and science fiction genres attract many readers in that demographic. While not all stories and articles will appeal to all readers, it is our intention to provide content that appeals across a wide range of ages.

At the same time, our goal is to provide fiction and articles that expand the reader's mind. Thought provoking prose is highly valued in this publication.

Beyond appealing to a wide range of readers, it is our intention to offend no one. All submissions must be congruent with traditional values and Christian principles. While contributors need not be Christian, familiarity with compatible values will increase the likelihood that your submission will fit. It might be convenient to think of the movie industry's PG-13 rating when considering if your submission is a good fit.

We believe that mature, intelligent themes (e.g. consequences of choices, fulfilling ones calling/purpose, facing death, etc.) can be presented in a manner that does not offend even young readers. We don't worry that a young reader might not understand complex themes and character development. Such a case would be fine. We do, however, insist that the manner in which such subjects are presented be fitting for young and conservative readers.

Genres

While fantasy and science fiction are the focus genres for this publication, any genre will be considered. The majority of what we publish will be either fantasy or science fiction. In addition to fiction, we publish poetry, reviews, and exposition.
Message to Student Contributors

The Sword Review welcomes - encourages, in fact - contributions from students. When completing the Contributor's Profile, there is a place to indicate that you are a student. Our experiences suggest that there are many talented students whose work would be a valuable addition to our publication. Please look at our formatting practices before preparing your manuscripts.
Message to New Authors

We welcome quality submissions from authors, regardless of publication history. Keep in mind, however, that our formatting practices are NOT standard. When submitting elsewhere, be certain to find their formatting instructions, and adhere to them closely.
Publication Format and Rights Purchased

Starting with Issue 10 (January, 2006) The Sword Review is published both as an Internet magazine and a print magazine. Primarily, the print version will include only fiction, poetry, and illustrations. Rarely, essays and other articles will be included, however. In addition, some items are reserved as special BONUS FEATURES for members of our online forum community.

The Sword Review, therefore, will contract with the author to secure rights in a variety of ways. Depending on how a submission will be used, we may ask for:

* one-time Electronic Publication Rights, for publication in the English language. (Internet format)
* Non-exclusive Print Publication Rights, for publication in the English language. (Print format)
* one-time Electronic Publication Rights, for publication in the English language. (BONUS FEATURE format)

Rights may be requested in any one or any combination of the above ways.
Fiction and Poetry Guidelines

Foremost, The Sword Review is a publication of fiction and poetry. Our main criterion for acceptance is simple:

1. Did we enjoy it? Was it interesting?
2. Was it compatible with our values and principles?

However, we especially like works that, besides entertaining, illustrate some point or raise some question about life.

All work must be original. That means original characters in original settings. No "fan fiction" accepted.

Many times, such works depend on evil actions. Depicting such actions within the limitations or our content guidelines can be challenging. However, we believe that the skilled author can show the reader that a person is evil without using graphic or inappropriate language.

One area in this category is sexual content. If your story relies on the depiction of such actions, you will need to delicately describe it. Treatment such as, “Roland found his carnal desires for Caitlin too strong to resist. He gave up fighting and yielded to his temptation” can accomplish the same plot movement as a graphic scene depicting specific actions. If you want a rule, then how about, “If in doubt, leave it out.” We are not interested in exploring any themes relying on homosexual relationships, no matter how tamely depicted.

Another area to consider is violence. Although science fiction and fantasy often rely on combat, there is no point in being excessive in the description. Saying, “The elf wielded his sword deftly, slaying the goblins in his path without breaking stride” is sufficient for moving the plot along. A good, “He ran the beast through and through with the spear” now and then is fine, too. Yet, again, restraint is called for. Gore for the sake of gore is not needed. Focus more on the story and your characters. Last thought: keep in mind that battle scenes, be they in space or on some ethereal plain, are far more interesting to write than to read!

If the content and message of your story is compatible with traditional values and Christian principles, we will be happy to consider it.

While we are very excited by fantasy and science fiction, we are open to works from any genre. We realize that these two genres are broad and oft subdivided. However, we are not trying to force The Sword Review tightly into any particular subgenre. Our standard is simply good stories, interestingly set, having compelling characters that are well told.

Payment

We currently pay 1/2 cent per word up to $25.00 ($5.00 minimum) for one-time electronic rights. Of course, this means poetry will most likely qualify for the minimum. If the work is to appear in print, the author receives one free contributor copy, as well. If the work is to additionally appear as a BONUS FEATURE as well as in print or normal contents, and additionally $5.00 will be paid. If it is to appear only as a BONUS FEATURE, the 1/2 cent per word rate and limits apply.

Reprints

We prefer original works, but exceptional reprints will be considered. The author must be sure they have the right to sell reprints.
Reviews

We are interested in reviews of interest to readers of fantasy and science fiction, primarily. Book reviews, game reviews, movie reviews, or anything that might appeal to our audience are accepted.

Reviews should include comments about rating (MA, PG-13, Teen, etc.) and your estimate of appropriateness of the rating. If you can help a parent decide if a game is suitable for his/her son/daughter, then you have helped.

Book Reviews should include ISBN number in your cover letter.

We are more interested in promoting good works than bashing bad ones. Keep this in mind as you decide what to submit. We urge you to find things you like and promote them.
Payment

We currently pay 1/2 cent per word up to $25.00 ($5.00 minimum) for one-time electronic rights. If the work is to appear in print, the author receives one free contributor copy, as well. If the work is to additionally appear as a BONUS FEATURE as well as in print or normal contents, and additionally $5.00 will be paid. If it is to appear only as a BONUS FEATURE, the 1/2 cent per word rate and limits apply.

Reprints

We prefer original works, but exceptional reprints will be considered. The author must be sure they have the right to sell reprints.
Inspirational, Editorial, and On Writing

Your contribution in these areas should be guided by our adherence to traditional values and Christian principles.

We believe that inspirational essays need not be dogmatic. We are not interested in works proving or disproving controversial idioms of theology. Inspirational essays should uplift and encourage all readers. They should not tear down any group or religion.

This category of contribution might garner submission of items circulated via email. DO NOT submit articles unless YOU are the author.

Editorials are expected to relate to topics of interest to our targeted audience. Editorials bashing government leaders will be less likely to be accepted than once exploring the implications of discovering water on Mars.

Contributions “On Writing” should illustrate concepts of interest to new and developing authors. The publishing/editorial experiences of the contributor will weigh heavily in the acceptance decision. Please include these in the “cover letter” section of the submission tool.

Payment

We currently pay 1/2 cent per word up to $25.00 ($5.00 minimum) for one-time electronic rights. If the work is to appear in print, the author receives one free contributor copy, as well. If the work is to additionally appear as a BONUS FEATURE as well as in print or normal contents, and additionally $5.00 will be paid. If it is to appear only as a BONUS FEATURE, the 1/2 cent per word rate and limits apply.

Reprints

We prefer original works, but exceptional reprints will be considered. The author must be sure they have the right to sell reprints.
Illustrations
We are looking for cover illustrations as well as illustrations for stories. The principles of our content guidelines apply to image art as well.

Cover Art

Covey's rule of “beginning with the end in mind” is a definite must for artists. In its final form, your creation needs to be 6 inch X 9 inch 300 dpi TIFF, JPEG, or PhotoShop file (1800 X 2700 pixels).

HOWEVER, do NOT send such a file in as your submission! Submissions MUST be in JPG format and sized 333 X 500 pixels.

Please state in your cover letter that you are submitting for consideration as cover art.

Illustrations

We buy illustrations for selected stories and poems. Submissions should clearly indicate which work they are meant to illustrate and submitted as a JPEG approximately no larger than 500 pixels wide or tall. Final images need to be usable within a 5 inch by 8 inch page layout

Payment (Covers and Illustrations)

Currently, we are paying $10.00 US for the right to publish your art on the cover or within The Sword Review. If used as part of the print version, the artist will also receive one contributor copy.

Reprints

We prefer original works, but exceptional reprints will be considered. The author must be sure they have the right to sell reprints.
Formatting Guidelines (not illustrations)

Except as noted below, manuscripts should be in standard format. All submissions should be in English and follow standard grammar rules. Artistic departure from standard rules should be minimal. If grammar problems, intentional or otherwise, detract from the enjoyment of the contribution, then it will be rejected.

Except as noted below, manuscripts should be in standard format. If you are such a good writer that you need not follow standard format, at least create the illusion. Double space your manuscript and indent your paragraphs. This, coupled with using Courier 12 pt font might be enough to garner some tolerance.

Except as noted below, manuscripts should be in standard format. The potential contributor may, by virtue of the redundancy, guess that this is a problem area with a considerable number of submissions.

Standard Manuscript Format Exceptions

* Format your contribution as you would like to see it in print. If you want something in italics, put it in italics. If you want something to appear in bold, put it in bold.

* Use the em dash properly. You may use the em dash character or two hyphens. Our style conforms to Chicago Manual of Style, which calls for NO spaces before or after the em dash--just type the last word of the first section, two hyphens, and the next word.

*
* Font? Nothing really crazy. Courier 12 pt is standard, and is fine. We will change the font before we create the final files for the site.

* If your word processor does not support "headers" do NOT use a running header. Word® supports headers and footers. Do NOT manually insert running headers. This obfuscates the process of setting the manuscript up for final publication.

For Reprints -- if your work is a reprint, AT THE END of the work, include any necessary reprint information, such as "First Appeared in XYZ, May 2004."

When you are done, save it. (Perhaps you want to “save as” and preserve your original manuscript….)

One more step....

Save in RTF (Rich Text Format). If you use Word®, it will not change the way it looks, but the coding “under the hood” will be different.

We only accept text contributions in RTF format.
Global Guidelines and Submission Process

We rely on on-line submissions. The process is fairly easy.

1. After you have registered for the Forums, log in.
2. Click on the “Author - Artist Tools” link. That will take you to a page that allows you to manage your profile.
3. Once you have updated your profile for the first time, you will see a button labeled “Add a new Submission.”
4. Click the “Add a new Submission” and complete the following form.

Submission is easy. Just format your contribution (SEE "Formatting Guidelines" ABOVE), click the “Add a new Submission” link from the Author-Artist Tools menu, and follow the instructions.

No simultaneous submissions. If we accept your submission, we expect to be able to publish it. If you have submitted to more than one publication and are accepted in more than one place, then what? If you have submitted elsewhere, wait for a response before submitting here.

Payment upon acceptance. We are buying electronic rights to publish your work on the www.theswordreview.com website.

We have no word length requirements. Tell your story, then stop. Since our medium is electronic, word length is not a limiting factor. Keep in mind that the longer your work, the more riveting it will need to be.
Editorial Process

A pool of editors will review your submissions. Most likely, you will get some remarks about your manuscript in an email, if rejected. We do not promise to read the whole thing. For example, if the grammar is prohibitively flawed, we might just remark on a couple of paragraphs and send it back to you by email. We will note clearly if we want you to revise and resubmit.

Liking something is in the eye of the beholder, so just because we don't like it, does not mean it is bad!
Publication Process

The Sword Review Internet magazine features rolling content. About twice a week, a new work is added to the contents and the oldest feature rotates off. The print version becomes available mid-month of each issue, and can be purchased through our printing and distribution vender. (Authors and illustrators receive one free contributor copy.)

Submissions will generally be in the contents from between six to eight weeks. Once submissions have rotated out of contents, they become part of our archives. The archives will be a searchable list of all articles that have appeared in The Sword Review. Authors may request that works be removed from archives by contacting the editor.
Sponsorships

The Sword Review actively seeks sponsors for each work published. Money collected from sponsorships is divided evenly between the author, illustrator, and publisher.

Contents

Hebrews 4:12 New International Version (NIV)

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

http://www.theswordreview.com/guidelines.php

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