Illumen is a print magazine of speculative poetry edited by Terrie Leigh Relf. It is published biannually by Alban Lake Publishing [previously it was published by Sam’s Dot Publishing], on 1 April and 1 October, in perfect bound digest format. It contains speculative poetry, illustrations, articles, and reviews.
I. What we seek:
Speculative poetry is one result of the application of imagination to reality. In speculative poetry, one’s “vision” often is taken from a different angle, from another perspective, perhaps even from another time and place. Speculative poetry is usually tinged with one or more of the genres. Thus, in speculative poetry you find hints of science fiction, fantasy, folklore, myth, the surreal…and yes, even horror. Good speculative poetry will awaken a sense of adventure in the reader.
That’s what we’re looking for: good, original speculative poetry. Yes, we will consider reprints, but we’ll probably publish no more than two per issue. As regards length, we don’t want to cramp your style, but poems of 100 lines or less probably will snag most of our attention.
Illustrations should complement the speculative aspects of the poetry. We’re looking for 2 or 3 pieces each issue that reflect this. We use both color and black and white illustrations, both interior and on the cover. We suggest a minimalist approach to illustrations: less is more. Greatly detailed illustrations can distract from the poetry. We’ll consider both original and reprint illustrations.
Those who submit articles for consideration have a loose rein on the topic. All we ask is that the article address some aspect of speculative poetry. We like to see articles between 800 and 2000 words. Probably we’ll accept no more than two articles per issue. We prefer original articles, but we will consider reprints.
We like to see reviews of collections of speculative poetry. Because such reviews are usually “dated,” we consider only original reviews of current or upcoming publications. We like to see reviews between 800 and 1200 words. Probably we’ll accept no more than two reviews per issue.
No angst, please. No adolescent laments. Perhaps Life has sliced and diced you, but we’d rather not hear about it here.
About speculative horror poetry: making twisty-squeakies of one’s intestines is great fun at parties, but it really doesn’t belong in speculative horror poetry. Speculative horror poetry evokes moods, often dark and spooky ones. It should not make you upchuck. Remember: twisted is an attitude, not an action.
1. Poetry: 2 cents per word for original poems [minimum payment $3.00]. 1 cent per word for reprints. $1.00 for scifaiku and related forms.
a. Featured poets will be paid a flat $15.00 for their poetry in the issue in which they are featured.
2. Illustrations: $5 for original illustrations. $3 for reprints. $12.00 for cover art.
3. Articles: $12 for original articles. $5 for reprints.
4. Reviews: $7 for reviews.
5. Each contributor also receives one contributor’s copy of the issue in which her/his work appears.
III. How to submit:
The e-mail address for all submissions and queries is: illumensdp at yahoo dot com. You’ll have to combine this address to use it properly.
All submissions must include your snailmail address. Don’t make us come looking for you just to pay you.
Please indicate italics by underscores, like _this_. Please indicate bold text by asterisks, like *this*. If your poem/article/review requires special formatting, such as centering or unusual tab spacing, please tell us in your e-mail. If your poem/article/illustration has been published previously, please tell us where and when it was first published. If your submission is a reprint, you must hold all the rights to it.
1. Poems: submit poems in the body of the email. Please submit no more than three poems at a time.
2. Illustrations: submit illustrations as jpeg attachments of less than 500KB. Please submit no more than one illustration at a time.
3. Articles and reviews: submit your article or review in the body of the e-mail. No attachments, please. And please submit one article or review at a time. If you submit a review, be sure to include information about where and how our readers can order a copy of the work under review.
Response times: Illumen is a biannual publication. We ask that you be patient with us. Probably we will not determine our final line-up for an issue until one month before publication. Although you might hear from us sooner, please do not expect to receive a decision from us until March or September. In other words, our response time could be up to four months. To compensate for the possible long wait, we will acknowledge your submission within 72 hours of receipt, so that at least you will know that we have received it and are considering it. Still, if you feel you must query, query.