Beyond the Outer Realm: Changes to Submissions

Happy Friday Realmers!

Welcome back as I peel back the curtain for you to get a good honest look at the inner workings of Aphotic Realm.

In the last edition of Beyond the Outer Realm, I expressed our gratitude and excitement at seeing all of your submissions come in. I also explained that sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

I had a lot more to say in that one, so if you haven’t read it, be sure to pause here and jump over and read that first.

General Submissions

General Submissions queue has been weighing heavily on us. It’s been a point of stress and at times, a little anxiety. We took a break for the Christmas/New Years holiday and despite turning out a bunch of content in December, we only put a dent in our queue.

When we returned, we quickly became swamped with putting the final touches on Shadows of the Mind, assembling Tales from the Realm Vol 1, and Classified. Meanwhile, Chris Martin was doing everything he could to keep the General Submissions at a manageable level.

Once we finished those projects, our plates still weren’t freed up because with Grimdark Grimoires, Dystopia, and Issue 5, we changed our format slightly which in turn has required a little more work up front to prepare–we’re hoping it shows and pushes these upcoming issues/anthologies over the top.

All in a day’s work right? That’s right. It’s definitely what we ALL signed on for–including our newest recruit, Mike Durst–and we are genuinely happy to do the work.

However, in our opinion it’s not fair to those of you that have been waiting.

Part of that delay has been built in from the beginning. We knew, as a “for the love” publication can be a hard sell for some folks. As writers, we all want to–and deserve to–get paid for our work. However, in such a competitive market, it can be hard to find a home for your story and so very few publications gave any feedback on your story at all–so, naturally we decided we’d offer up our editing experience.

It worked great. We saw a lot of rough stories come our way that we were able to work with the writer through a revision process to get it ready to publish. That did backfire on us a bit because revisions take time. Valuable time away from reading the next submission or the next submission after that. I do believe, after a little more than a year of doing this, that we have found the line we will be walking from this point forward. We’re still going to work with you guys on your stories but depending on how rough the first revision is that we receive, we will proceed as follows:

  1. Give the author a list of suggestions to work on for their next revision, encouraging them to resubmit afterwords.
  2. Give the author a redline/Track-changes/line edit with necessary/suggested corrections before publication.

Step one is the change here. Before, if a story had promise, we would squeeze a diamond out through revisions.

Submission Periods

I said ALL that to get to the meat and potatoes of the announcement here. We are moving away from the year round open status we had for General Submissions. Instead, we will announce/schedule open periods for General Submissions, followed by an expected reading period. They will continue to NOT have a theme.

As of Today, Friday July 6, 2018 at 11:59 PM EST, we will close General Submissions for the first time since we opened back in April 2017.  We have a lot to catch up on still but hope to whittle it down and get to everyone in a timely fashion.

Important To Note

While we are closing General Submissions for FICTION, we will remain open for Reviews, Interviews, & other Non-Fiction work as well as Comics, Artwork, and Video.

Upcoming Fiction Submission Opportunities

As per tradition, we will announce the THEME for Issue 5 in the back of Dystopia.

In addition, I will be announcing a new anthology (similar to Grimdark–that’s all of the hints you get!) in the next few days. Stay tuned for that!


Are you guys still with me? Can I make one last announcement?

We are moving away from using the Shunn format. We found that there were certain things that we always change every time we work on a document–all things that were specifics of the Shunn format. We will be asking that you use the following guidelines when submitting to Aphotic Realm from this point forward. I will be updating the Submissions page shortly and I’ve included the specifics below.


That’s all for this edition of Beyond the Outer Realm! Stay Strange!