These are RBE's general submission guidelines. These are always expected.
Additional guidelines particular to each open title will be found on their respective submission links below. RBE employs the Submittable platform for the entire submission-through-contract process. Submittable offers an excellent FAQ if there are any questions. The exchange of edits on accepted work will happen with MS Word's Track Changes via email.
OPEN STRONG, for you only have 500 words to impress.
RBE begins narrowing selection from the onset. The submission form consists of two sections: The Initial Submission and the Full Submission. The Initial Submission section requires you insert the first 500 words of your tale. We do not want to read unedited first drafts of those 500 words or words that are not your opening or not in the story at all. We are not offering feedback of any kind on these openings. We simply use your opening to determine whether or not we believe your story has the potential to be accepted for inclusion in RBE's next titles. It either does or it does not. Please exercise professionalism and some respect of yourself and our time—deliver your best version of your 500 word opening. We hope it is understood that these opening 500 words set the standard by which we will compare the remainder of a story. DO NOT SHORT-CHANGE YOURSELVES. There is a difference in short story and longer form fiction writing; one of the largest, short stories do not waste time. If your opening grabs our attention, we will read the rest of your story.
The next section of the submission form is called the Full Submission. This is where you provide public appearance history, if any, of your work, your byline and copyright name, and upload the full, complete story, preferably not in first draft. We will only open your file and start your story through our reading queue if your opening 500 excites our interest or gives us hope that the full story meets our ideals of heroic adventure, appropriateness for theme and Rogue Blades, and effective short story writing. If we make an offer to accept your story, you will be sent an additional form under your submission. This form is our electronic contract and will require you to complete some biographical and payment fields as well as agree to publication terms.
- Grammar and format: HELP our First Readers read your submissions! While not easing their reading won't immediately disqualify you, obviously the more consistent and professional you make it, the more competitive you become:
- US English language/spelling
- 1″ margin on all sides
- standard 12-point type font, like the typical default Times New Roman
- double-space the entire text
- single space between sentences
- tabbed opening paragraph sentences—don’t leave an empty line between paragraphs—and please don't use the space bar to indent
- double quotes on dialogue
- mark a change of scene or time with one or two centered ##
- NO text bolded* or all capitalized* or of multiple colors or in wild fonts—*unless of specific purpose in your story, and be advised that it probably won't remain through editing*
- DO NOT use a bunch of special features like design, tables, or even styles available in your word-processing platform PLEASE. This will disqualify even a great story.
- Previously published stories may be submitted, with the expectation that you appropriately inform RBE of past publication history.
- Multiple stories may be submitted, though each must be submitted separately.
- Simultaneous submissions are allowed, with the expectation that you promptly inform RBE of any acceptance elsewhere.
- Rights and payment:
- Unpublished stories will be published under contract as First Time World Volume and Electronic Display Rights exclusive to RBE for 31 days; then shall be non-exclusive for so long as this title shall remain in print and so long as RBE exits.
- Previously published stories will be published under contract as World Volume and Electronic Display Rights non-exclusive for so long as this title shall remain in print and so long as RBE exits.
- Payment for contributors will always include cash, copies, and contributor discount on additional/future print purchases direct from RBE. These are detailed in each open submission.
- Remember: Once you, the author, decide to grant First Publishing Rights on your work (in any print or electronic formats), after your work is published it can only be marketed as a reprint, which severely limits the potential markets that will accept it and the money you'll receive.
- Evaluation criteria: RBE's three most important values when reading your submission:
- Does it deliver quality heroic adventure?
- Does it deliver on the theme?
- Does the storytelling regale? This encompasses much of the 'normal' criteria: hook, plot, theme, pacing, dialogue, character. It's how the story feels; does it make us forget we are not sitting at your feet around a fire?
- Response times: RBE strives to keep folks informed in a reasonable amount of time. Response on the opening 500 words should be a week or less, while response on the entire story submission should be within two months. There are always exceptions, so feel free to contact us if you have not heard from us within those timeframes.
- Questions: Read RBE's genre explanations for any clarifications on what we are seeking. Submit any questions to RBE here or on Facebook at any time.
THANK YOU for your interest in appearing in a RBE title.
We appreciate your enthusiasm for heroic storytelling and hope you enjoy writing to the challenge of theme!