Guidelines

Do we expect you to read copies of our journal? It would be great if you did, but no, we don’t. Maybe you could read some story excerpts. But if not, please at least read these guidelines. Following them will greatly improve your chances of our publishing you.

Jump to:   Submission Specs   Photography   Translations   Responses   Withdrawals   Payment   Rights

Orca accepts submissions of short fiction and photography. Orca is fee free for up to 100 submissions a month, which is what is covered in the Submittable plan we pay for. After that we charge the standard $3, which helps us pay our published writers. We encourage writers who can afford the fee to support those who can’t by selecting the pay option. The deadline to submit for our next issue (to be released in October) is August 31. Submissions for our first issue closed May 7.

Subscribers can submit to us for free, even when the free portal is closed, by emailing. Please include your subscriber number.

We are open to any topic, as long as it’s written in a literary style. We are open to all writers, without prejudice or preference. We seek work that is high concept: imaginative, thoughtful, even speculative, open to possibilities. Give us deep, diverse characters. Blend genres. Connect seemingly disparate ideas. Keep it entertaining, but make us think. Originality will help your submission. If your story regards a topic that’s been published a lot, it’s probably not for us.

We love flash, and short stories, and not-so-short stories, and we accept submissions up to 8000 words. For anything longer, you’re welcome to query.

We abhor polemics, or anything that even hints at a polemic. Fiction is an exploration, not a screed. Fiction asks questions (the right questions, as Chekhov said), and is not about providing a single or simple answer. In good fiction, answers are complex and often ambiguous. Good fiction allows readers to discern their own truth.

Simultaneous submissions are expected and encouraged!

Submission Specs:

Unpublished fiction only: Up to 3 flash fictions of less than 1000 words each in one document, or 1 short story up to 8000 words. Please use a readable serif font in 12 points. Double space. Indent paragraphs. Minimum one inch margins. Author name and email, and a word count on the top of the first page. Start the story about halfway down the first page, with the title and byline centered above it. Title and page numbers on subsequent pages in the header. Via our Submittable portal only. No email or postal submissions please.

Please submit only once per issue. Authors whom we have published should wait one year before submitting again.

submit

Photography:

We are mostly interested in fine art images, or images of the Northwest. However, we’ll consider out of area work as well if it’s really good. We select one image for our print issue cover (it will also be featured on our website), and a variety of images to illustrate the stories published in each issue (online only). Please submit via email to orcalitphotos@gmail.com. Attach a comp file in jpg or png at 72 dpi. If your work is selected for the cover, we’ll need an image of no less than 6 inches horizontal by 9 inches vertical, at 300 dpi min. If your work is selected for the website, we’ll need an image of no less than 1200 pixels horizontal.

Translations:

We will consider submissions of translations, provided you can show us written authorization of the translation by the original author, along with the author’s contact information. (Not that we don’t trust you, but we have to be careful when it comes to copyright.)

Responses:

Fee-free Submissions: We’ll respond at the end of the submission period.

Paid Submissions: We’ll respond as soon as we can, usually within a month.

If the story is not for us, you’ll get a form rejection (it’s a nice one, though). If we thought the story had merit, but it didn’t make the cut, we’ll probably write a personal note. We hold up to two dozen stories until the final editorial decisions are made. Feel free to contact us at orcaliterary@gmail.com and ask if you haven’t heard from us by the deadlines above.

Withdrawals:

Should you need to withdraw a full submission, please do so using your Submittable account. If you are only withdrawing a part of your submission (such as a single flash piece from a multi-story document), email us at orcaliterary@gmail.com and let us know.

Payment:

Payment for publication in Orca is $25, plus one contributor’s copy. We are working to increase the monetary amount. We prefer to pay via PayPal, so it helps if you have an account.

Rights:

Upon acceptance, Orca requests first North American Serial Rights and First Digital Publication Rights. All rights revert to the author upon publication.