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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG


Fiction Guidelines

by Ken Newquist / June 10, 2006
  1. About Nuketown
  2. About our fiction section
  3. What we're looking for
  4. What we aren't looking for
  5. Story length
  6. Simultaneous submissions and reprints
  7. Payment and acquisition of rights
  8. Formatting requirements
  9. Style guides, pseudonyms, and other issues
  10. Submission process
  11. A few words of advice

Please Note: Nuketown is presently closed to fiction submissions.

1. About Nuketown

Nuketown is a speculative fiction webzine published on a monthly basis. It publishes short stories as well as movie, Web site, book,magazine, zine and game reviews. We have been publishing regularly since 1996.

Nuketown's philosophy is pro-individual, pro-reason, and pro-science. When it comes to economics, we're pro-capitalism.

The site averages 14,000 user sessions (which roughly equates to visitors) a month, and 18,000 page views. If you like "hits", we average about 36,000 a month. Our newsletter has 300 subscribers and is sent out on a weekly basis.

2. About Our Fiction Section

Nuketown's short stories are published in our `Library'
section. We publish 2-3 stories a month, and while we can be picky about what we run, we often try to work with writers to tweak their stories into something our readers would like to see.

If you are looking for highly-detailed critiques of your stories, consider joining the folks at, which is a speculative fiction writers group.

3. What We're Looking For

Please note that we are presently closed to submissions, and will not be re-opening any time in the foreseeable future.

We want science fiction, fantasy and horror short stories with heroic overtones. This doesn't mean we're just looking for spandex-clad superheroes running around with shining teeth and ray guns (although we wouldn't mind some classic pulp
fiction), but we do want stories with characters you can look up to.

Aside from heroic stories, we're also looking for stories that have a positive outlook on the future and/or technology. We are interested dark future stories with a strong hero -- a la David Brin's The Postman or the movie The Matrix -- but he/she needs to be heroic in the conventional sense of the word (no post-modern anti-heroes).

If you're not sure whether or not we'll like your story, query us first, outlining what the story is about and why you think we might like it. If we're interested, we'll ask you to send in the story.

As you might have guessed from reading Section 1, Nuketown has a decidedly libertarian bent and we are actively seeking science fiction, fantasy and horror short stories with libertarian themes.

4. What We Aren't Looking For

If the basic outlook of your story can be summed up as "life's a bitch, then you die" or "life's a bitch, you get eaten and THEN you die", or some other variation on that theme, then we're probably not going to be interested in your story.

Please do not send us stories that are overloaded with scientific technobabble (like a bad episode of Star Trek) or paranormal gobbledygook (like a bad episode of The X-Files). In short, don't let the special effects get in the way of your story.

We also do not want sex for the sake of sex, violence for the sake of violence, and profanity for the sake of ... well, you get the idea.

We don't ban these things from Nuketown, but we dislike stories (and movies for that matter) that throw in sex scenes for no apparent reason, while its characters spew profanity in a vain attempt to build depth.

5. Story Length

We want short stories in the 1,000-to-4,000 word range, We are also interested in flash fiction and short-short stories (stories less than 1000 words)

We're also interested in longer short stories that can easily be broken into multiple parts, as well as serialized fiction. The cap on long fiction is 12,000 words.

Each section should run between 3,000 and 4,000 words and only completed serials will be considered for publication. Do not send us episode 1 if you haven't written episode 3.

6. Simultaneous Submissions and Reprints

Nuketown's open to simultaneous submissions, but please note in your initial e-mail if you've submitted it elsewhere.

We will consider reprints, but only stories that haven't appeared in print or on the Web in the last year (we don't mind if a story is archived on another site; it just can't have been featured in an edition of that site in the last 12 months).

7. Payment and Acquisition of Rights

We pay $10 per short story (or, in the case of a serial, per section). We acquire first electronic rights and the right to archive your story in our webzine.

We also require that your story not appear in another webzine for three months after its publication in Nuketown. Once your story has been accepted to Nuketown, we'll mail you a contract for you to sign.

We pay $5 per story for reprints.

8. Formatting requirements

All stories should be submitted according Nuketown's variation of the standard manuscript format. You do not need to include your Social Security number but must include an e-mail address where you can be reached. If you do not have a permanent e-mail address, we suggest getting one via an online service such as Hotmail.

This formatting is critically important and will saves us a great deal of time. The format is as follows:

Starting in the upper left-hand corner:

Writers Guidelines

by Ken Newquist / June 10, 2006

Nuketown is always looking for like-minded individuals interested in contributing commentary, reviews, links, and hoax debunkings to the site.

We are not a paying market at this time, but we do offer a chance to gain exposure and experience. Case in point -- I started publishing Nuketown in 1996. The experience I gained writing for the ol'thermonuclear burg helped me get freelance assignments for, Knights of the Dinner Table and SF Site. Will you see similar results writing for Nuketown? That's impossible to say ... but the practice can't hurt.


by Ken Newquist / June 10, 2006

Editor & Publisher

Ken Newquist has been publishing Nuketown since its beginning in 1996. He's also its most frequent contributor. He's a 1994 graduate of Lock Haven University, and spent several years working in newspapers (first as a reporter, then as an online editor) before moving to become the webmaster at a small liberal arts university in New Jersey.

He is a frequent contributor to's Science Fiction Weekly webzine and writes the monthly "Summon WebScryer" column for Kenzer & Co.'s Knights of the Dinner Table Magazine. He has also written for Inside Mac Games, SF Site, and Uncle Bear.


by Ken Newquist / June 10, 2006

Nuketown receives approximately 45,000 visits a month and represents an excellent opportunity for advertisers to get their message in front of a diverse audience. Nuketown's readers come to the site for a variety of reasons -- some for the editorials, some for the game reviews, and still more for the hoaxes and urban legend debunkings. Advertising helps to defray Nuketown's hosting costs and (eventually) start publishing short fiction again.

We offer two kinds of advertising: webzine and newsletter.


    by Ken Newquist / June 10, 2006

    Nuketown is a speculative fiction website that's been published continuously since 1996. It's part-blog, part-webzine, and is written almost entirely by its editor, Ken Newquist (but it doesn't have to be -- we're looking for non-fiction contributors).

    It's primary focus is on publishing articles, reviews and editorials about science fiction, fantasy, and horror with heroic and/or libertarian overtones. It covers a variety of topics within the spec-fic genre, including games, movies, soundtracks, books and Web sites.