Podcasts That Want Your Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Short Stories
Listening to all those writing advice podcasts last month during my road trip to North Carolina made me realize I should submit more of my fiction to short story podcasts, not just traditional print and online magazines. So, I spent this morning scouring the internet for new places to send them, then finished off the list with some of my old favorites. Enjoy!
Levar Burton Reads – Many people grew up watching Levar Burton on the show Reading Rainbow. I loved him as Geordi on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Either way, he has a fabulous fiction podcast that is soliciting science fiction, fantasy and horror stories between 2,800 and 5,200 words. The Big Catch: Submissions are only open during the month of August 2021, as part of the podcast’s first (but hopefully not last) writing contest. The prize is $500, so hurry up, polish that piece, and submit before it’s too late!
Drabblecast – This podcast is on the lookout for offbeat, funny, eclectic science fiction, fantasy and horror. Pays 6 cents a word, up to 4,000 words.
Gallery of Curiosities – This podcast of “retropunk audiofiction” features all things weird. Payment is 3 cents a word. Their next submission window opens in September, and the theme is “Weird West.”
The Overcast– This podcast takes speculative fiction of all types. Based in Portland, Oregon, editors mention that they like to “shine a spotlight” on the Pacific Northwest region and its local talent, but half of their stories are from writers worldwide. Payment is 1 cent a word, up to 5,000 words.
The No Sleep Podcast – This is a horror podcast that does not have an upper limit for story length. Editors say they are interested in seeing more script submissions. Payment is 100-$125. Make sure to read formatting guidelines; documents with tabbed indents will be automatically rejected!
StarShipSofa – Science fiction of all stripes is welcome here, with particular interest in stories that take place or are by writers outside the U.S./Angle sphere. $50 per piece for stories between 3,000 and to 7,000 words.
The Other Stories – The creators of this podcast are looking for horror, science fiction, thriller and “WTF” tales, capped at about 2,000 words. Pay is 15GBP. Current theme is Video Games.
The Breakroom Fiction – Is open for submissions of strange fiction. There is no word limit. Payment is $10 a piece.
Manawaker’s Flash Fiction Podcast – Fiction as short as 250 words and as long as 800 will be considered by this podcast. Its editor has a soft spot for science fiction and light-hearted stories, but all genres welcome. Payment is at a half-cent a word.
My Favorite Speculative Fiction Podcasts (with Pro-rates):
PodCastle – I love listening to this award-winning fantasy podcast every week, so it’s a natural place for me to send my fantasy stories. Payment is 8 cents a word for stories up to 6,000 words. Simultaneous submissions are permitted (yay!), just disclose it in your cover letter. Open to submissions now.
Escape Pod – A sister podcast to PodCastle, Escape Pod focuses on short works of high-quality science fiction. Payment is 8 cents a word for stories 1,500 to 6,000 words. I’ve appreciated that the editors have sometimes offered feedback on stories, instead of just a boilerplate rejection email. Opens to submissions on Sept 1, 2021.
Cast of Wonders – Features YA fiction, with a preference for science fiction, fantasy and “wonder tales.” Open to submissions from young writers until August 15, 2021. Opens to general submissions Nov. 1. Payment is 8 cents a word, with a story limit of 6,000 words. I’ve only submitted one story to this podcast because I don’t normally write YA, but the editors gave unusually detailed comments that really helped me understand what wasn’t working with the piece. I followed their suggestions and the story immediately sold to the next publication I sent it to.
PseudoPod – Another sister podcast to Escape Pod/PodCastle/Cast of Wonders, this one specializes in horror and dark, weird fiction. Simultaneous submissions are allowed with disclosure. Pays 8 cents a word for stories between 1,500 and 6,000 words.