The original guidelines for Scifaikuest date from 2003, updated in 2006. These guidelines supersede all previous Scifaikuest guidelines, and are effective as of December 2009.
WHAT IS “SCIFAIKUEST”?
“Scifaikuest” is actually two magazines–one online and one print–specializing in scifaiku and other minimalist poetry forms forms, notably senryu, taibun, and tanka, as well as cinquains, fibonacci, etc. Both online and print magazines feature poetry and articles. Both magazines are published quarterly by Alban Lake Publishing [previously they were published by Sam’s Dot Publishing], on the first days of February, May, August, and November. Both magazines are edited by Teri “Sakyu” Santitoro. Our first issue was released on 1 August 2003.
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:
Scifaikuest publishes original scifaiku, haibun, senryu, tanka, and horrorku and other minimalist forms, and articles about these forms. We also publish original black-and-white illustrations, and original cover illustrations for the print edition and for the online door.
We’re going to divide these guidelines into sections for each poetry form, for the articles, and for the illustrations. That’s for your convenience of reference as well as our ease of organization.
Guidelines for scifaiku [and for horrorku]:
Scifaiku is a lot like haiku. The 17 syllables or 5-7-5 syllable guideline is NOT a strict requirement, but what IS required, is that the total ku doesn’t read like a sentence. The captured moment should strike the reader with a flash of realization or surprise–if you’ve read something, and suddenly “get it” and you subconsciously think “Ah-hah!” or “oh wow!” that’s what scifaiku is supposed to do to you. As in haiku, punctuation and capitalization are not usually used in scifaiku, so no unnecessary punctuation or caps. In addition, scifaiku usually include a season, an action and a subject, whether actual or implied
Guidelines for haibun:
Haibun is another form of poetry which combines a prose paragraph and a haiku/scifaiku. The prose paragraph may explain the “ku” which follows it, or the “ku” may complement the paragraph, or together they may tell a story.
Guidelines for senryu:
A senryu is a haiku-like poem of humorous or satirical nature dealing with human matters, rather than nature. Remember, however, it must be SF or horror in theme.
Guidelines for tanka:
Tanka are typically 5-7-5-7-7 syllables, and are haiku-like in nature, although the syllable count will not be strictly enforced. Again, these must be SF or horror themed, and should adhere to the scifaiku rules
Guidelines for articles:
We’re looking for articles related in some way to one or more of the poetry forms we publish, or related to similar forms such as sijo. We’d like them under 1000 words. We’d like them written with the uninitiated reader in mind [okay, look at it this way: in order for the forms to continue to flourish, we must teach the next generations to appreciate them. Wakarimasu ka?]. And yes, we’ll consider longer articles. If in doubt, submit. As to content–for example, we’d love articles about the history of the forms, or short biographies of famous poets, or “how-to” compose. If you have another topic related to something within the scope of the magazine, submit it, please.
Guidelines for illustrations:
We want illustrations and covers that reflect the meditative mood of the poetry. For black-and-white, simple pen-and-ink works well for us. We’d prefer stark, simple illustrations to those with lots of gray shading. If the illustration accompanies a poem, that’s even better.
Special note: at most we will be accepting four b&w illustrations and two color covers/doors.
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR WORK:
Poetry: submit all poems in the body of the e-mail. No attachments! None. Don’t do it. Hey, why annoy the editor who is going to make a decision regarding your work, right? Submit no more than ten poems at a time. Please do not overload us. We will probably accept no more than two poems from any single composer for each of the two zines. Just send us your ten [or fewer] best, and let us do our job. [Note: if your poems require italics, please indicate the word[s] to be italicized with underscores, like _this_].
Please be sure to include your name and your snailmail address in the e-mail. Please include a short bio…tilted more toward you and less toward where you have been published. Please note that if you have never been published before, we don’t care! If we like your work, we’ll publish it. If we don’t, we won’t. Life is simple, sometimes.
[Note: It is important that you include your snailmail address with your submission. Not only is it professional, it keeps us from having to spend time asking for it, and it helps to assure that we have your current mailing address].
Please be sure to include SCIFAIKUEST and the type of submission (scifaiku, senryu, haibun, tanka) in the subject line of your e-mail. Otherwise, your submission might be misrouted to one of our other magazines, and lost. Send your submissions to: email@example.com
Articles: submit your articles either in the body of the e-mail or as RTF attachments. If you submit in the body of the e-mail, be sure to indicate italics with underscores, like _this_. Submit one article at a time. Please be sure to include your name and your snailmail address in the e-mail. Please include a short bio…tilted more toward you and less toward where you have been published. And once again, please note that if you have never been published before, we don’t care! If we like your work, we’ll publish it. If we don’t, we won’t.
Please be sure to include SCIFAIKUEST (and ARTICLE) in the subject line of your e-mail. Otherwise, your submission might be misrouted to one of our other magazines, and lost. Send your submissions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Illustrations and art: submit your illustration or cover as a JPEG attachment. Please do not send anything larger than 200KB. Send only one illustration at a time. Note that we only buy a very limited number of artpieces per issue. And once again, please be sure to include your name and your snailmail address in the e-mail. Please include a short bio…tilted more toward you and less toward where you have been published. And please note that if you have never been published before, we don’t care! If we like your work, we’ll publish it. If we don’t, we won’t.
Please be sure to include SCIFAIKUEST (and ART) in the subject line of your e-mail. Otherwise, your submission might be misrouted to one of our other magazines, and lost. Send your submissions to: email@example.com
We pay on publication. As indicated earlier, we offer minimal pay for now. As we grow, so will the rates. Right now, the rates are as follows:
Scifaiku: $1.00 each
Tanka: $1.00 each
Haibun: $2.00 each
Joined Poetry: $2.00 each
One-Breaths: 50 cents each
Kanshi: $2.00 each
Cinquains: $1.00 each
Fibonacci: $1.00 each
Other Poetry Forms: $1.00 each
Featured Poet: $15.00 total for all featured work
Articles: $6.00 each
Illustrations: b&w, $4.00 each; color cover or door, $12.00 each.
If your work is published in the print edition, you will also receive a contributor’s copy. If your work is published either online or in print, and you wish to purchase a subscription to Scifaikuest, you will receive a modest discount.
Please heed the guidelines. When in doubt, submit, or at least query. And please be patient…everyone involved here–you, me, the publisher–everyone has day jobs. We’ll try like heck to keep our response times down to one month. If it runs to two months, you might drop us a line. That number once again is firstname.lastname@example.org.