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.
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!
Not every hero survives. All heroes pay a cost, some the ultimate sacrifice. We're examining that theme of ultimate sacrifice as key to heroism. Not only the willingness to sacrifice all, but the act of sacrifice for the greater 'cause,' whatever that may be. These are tales of loss. Death can be a cost of heroism--but it might not be the greater loss come story's end. Heroes die. And they lose things greater than life: Family. Freedom. Innocence. Faith. Ideals. Drastic change must happen to your hero by story's end. But this is not just a book of dead heroes. Death does not have to mean defeat. Loss does not always equal failure. We want stories across the spectrum, stories of apotheosis and of nihilism and of what lies between. Heroes die and legends are born. Or nothing changes and it is all moot. A battle is won, while a war lost . . . or a battle lost to win a war.
This is character-driven storytelling, and we want to read it in all the 'Sword-and-' genres: Sword & Sorcery, Sword & Planet, Sword & Sandal, Sword & Soul, Sword & Six-gun. 11 week submission period. We will be accepting 13-15 stories, and stories should be 2k-9k words in length. Nothing shorter will be read, and our sweet spot is in the 5k-7k range. Publication is intended for Christmas 2020. Payment of $30 flat per story shall be rendered after publication, and authors will receive electronic copies and permanent discount on print purchases from RBE.
Cover photography from Peter Gnas. As inspired by and foreword to be written by David Pitchford. Click the cover to enter the RB Submittable platform.
Super-powered pulp heroes. Supers with a single power who fight crime or villains. Good folks versus bad folks, no gray areas, no amorality, no Byronic heroes. And no non-powered heroes. So think of characters like Doc Savage, the Rocketeer, Zorro, The Phantom, and Flash Gordon, but with powers and ideals like Superman and Wonder Woman (in their earlier renditions). Sorry, this means no Punisher, Logan, or even The Batman. It also means no Superman or Wonder Woman with those surplus of powers. Blatantly heroic original-to-the-author-only characters with no ambiguity in their pursuit of stopping villainous behavior. Super Beings & Wondrous Entities only.
Current or alternate or future world settings. No rules on how superpowers exist (they can be the result of science, magic, disease, aliens, mutation, etc.) or on how they are employed (inherent, learned, bequeathed, device-driven, etc.). 11 week submission period. We will be accepting 13-15 stories, and stories should be 2k-9k words in length. Nothing shorter will be read, and our sweet spot is in the 5k-7k range. Publication is intended for Christmas 2020. Payment of $30 flat per story shall be rendered after publication. Authors will receive electronic copies and permanent discount on print purchases from RBE.
Cover art from Logan Whitney. Click the cover to enter the RB Submittable platform.
(or just head to RBE's Submittable page)