FIYAH is a quarterly speculative fiction magazine that features stories by and about Black people of the African Diaspora. This definition is globally inclusive (Black anywhere in the world) and also applies to mixed/biracial and Afro-appended people regardless of gender identity or orientation.
Upcoming Themes and Submission Schedule
The 2023 submissions schedule is as follows:
January 2023 and April 2023: UNTHEMED – September 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022
Write to your heart’s content! Just follow the submission guidelines on this page. Keep it respectful, keep it speculative, and keep it Black.
July 2023: CARNIVAL – February 1, 2023 – March 31, 2023
It’s Carnival time! Bring us your colorful stories centered on the mystique and pulsating energy of the bacchanals, the festivals, the soca fetes, and jamborees from all across the globe, time, space, and even the multiverse. We want intoxicating merriment, daring mischief-making, and chaotic melodrama fueled by the riotous revelry of the Carnival.
October 2023: BELONGING (in collaboration with the Othering and Belonging Institute (OBI) at UC Berkeley) – June 1, 2023 – July 31, 2023
For this Belonging issue, we are looking for stories highlighting why, where, and how Black folks belong across the diaspora and multiverse. Imagine a moment in time or another universe where Black people aren’t forced to question our right to be ourselves. We want to see courageous narratives about forging new relationships for the betterment of all, including the planet/land, whether among the diverse peoples of our global community or with beings from faraway worlds. We are looking for fun and dynamic adventures that give rise to a sense of belonging and showcase the importance of community.
FIYAH now accepts submitted reviews of long-form fiction (novellas and novels) from Black and Indigenous readers.
General Submission Guidelines
Below you will find specific guidelines for each of our areas of submission. The following guidelines apply to all areas of submission and will be take into consideration regardless of medium.
We are open to receiving work around many themes but we will immediately reject work that feature any of the following without providing feedback:
- Graphic depictions of rape or sexual assault
- Needless brutalization of women and children
- Depictions of brutalization or abuse of people with disabilities
- Graphic abuse of animals
Additionally, we reserve the right to reject and not provide feedback on work we believe may be harmful to our readers. Like our staff, our readers come from a variety of backgrounds and work that has elements of homophobia, fatphobia, colorism, ageism etc. that go unchallenged will not find a home with us.
- We only consider unpublished work, and we do not consider reprints (work that has been published in another magazine or on your blog or other social media) or fan fiction.
- We do not accept multiple submissions for fiction, so please wait until you have heard a response to a submission before submitting again.
- We do not accept simultaneous submissions.
- Please do not resubmit previously rejected stories or poems in a new submission period. Resubmissions are by editorial solicitation only.
- We are only accepting submission from authors from the African diaspora and the African continent because #BlackWritersMatter. This is an intersectional definition of Blackness, and we strongly encourage submissions from women, members of the LGBTQIA community, and members from other underrepresented communities within the African diaspora.
Writers previously published in an issue of FIYAH must wait 1 year or 4 issues to submit work again. Works submitted before that time is up will be automatically rejected.
We accept submissions of short fiction 2,000 – 7,000 words and novelettes up to 15,000 words.
We are looking for brave works of speculative short fiction by authors from the African continent and diaspora that reject regressive ideas of blackness, respectability politics, and stereotype. Please submit your bravest, blackest, most difficult to sell stories to us. We want to read them.
We want stories that are well written, of high quality, and generally easy to read on a screen.
What we want in speculative poetry is verse that struggles, reveals, instructs, comforts, and fights back. We are looking for weird, complex, honest and challenging work with a clear speculative element from Black authors. You can check out this post from our Poetry Editor for more on what we’d like to see in your poetry.
Additionally, poetry submissions should be no more than 1,000 words.
Nonfiction Issue guidelines
For works appearing in the issues of FIYAH Literary Magazine
We’re looking for writing that examines the figurative over the literal, from a distinctively Black lens. Give us your best on theory, cultural myths, craft, the supernatural, afro-futurism, afro-gothic….again, your best. Think outside of the box—which is where speculative fiction lives. At this time, We’re not looking for stories centering Black trauma. Submissions are not required to fit the theme of the upcoming issues. Essays must be between 800-1200 words.
Using the form, submit a one page query including the synopsis for your piece in .doc/.docx. In the space for a cover letter please include a link to any writing samples or previous writing. Blog posts are also considered previous writing. Only two pitches may be submitted per period.
Nonfiction Web guidelines
For works featured on the FIYAH Blog
We are seeking creative nonfiction essays, criticism, and analysis related to Black SFF. We want to explore the contribution of Black thinkers to the speculative – in prose, in poetry, in music, in theatre, in film, in television. Any medium a Black creative has expressed themselves through SFF, we want to see responses. We want to see the scientific discoveries and mythic histories of Africa and the diaspora given the spotlight. We want to think about the past, the present, and the future of Black SFF.
Submissions do not need to match the issues theme though we are looking for work that fits the theme as well.
Using the form, please submit a pitch of 100 words for a short read and up to 200 words for a long read. This pitch should clearly outline the concept of your article and any inspirations, if relevant. You may submit up to one short read and one long read per submission period.
FIYAH is currently OPEN to portfolio submissions for consideration for 2023’s issue covers. Commissions pay $400.00 USD for original artwork and we purchase rights to First Use and six months exclusivity.
Artists should submit portfolios or work samples which illustrate an understanding of composition, and which feature fantastical elements and/or can be categorized as fantasy, science-fiction, horror, and their related subgenres. Standard portraiture and/or still life will not be a good fit for us.
In keeping with our mission, we prioritize Black creators as the face and content of our magazine.
We are using a simple form to collect submissions for prose and poetry. We understand the use of a form may not be accessible to disabled users. If you require an alternative means of submission for your work, please contact us at team[@]fiyahlitmag.com and we will arrange one for you. You will see a confirmation message when the form is completed, indicating your submission was successfully received. You will not receive an e-mailed confirmation.
- Click here to learn more about how to write a professional cover letter.
- Submissions should be submitted in proper short story manuscript format with your name, email address, and the story’s total word count on the first page. For our purposes, you do not need to include a mailing address or phone number. Click here for an example of proper short story manuscript format.
- For poetry, you may submit up to four (4) separate poems, one (1) poem per form submission.
- All submissions should be in .doc/.docx format
Payment + Rights
Our payment schedule for 2021 is as follows (all amounts USD):
Short stories (2,000 – 7,000 words): .08/word
Novelettes (<15,000 words): .08/word
Poetry: $50 USD
FIYAH is a SFWA-qualifying market as of 2021. Works of prose published with us count toward SFWA membership.
FIYAH will publish accepted stories in a quarterly ebook magazine format, as well as archiving them on our website. Thus, FIYAH will claim first world electronic rights, nonexclusive archival rights, and nonexclusive anthology rights to your story.
This means that we are buying the rights to publish your story on FIYAH’s website and in electronic issues of our magazine. This also means that you can only publish your story as a reprint after it appears in FIYAH, and it cannot appear anywhere else online or in print prior to submission, or for 180 days after we publish it. After that it can be reprinted online, in a magazine, or in an anthology.