BFS publications submission guidelines

BFS Journal #15

Guidelines last updated: 24th January 2017.

The BFS currently publishes two periodicals. BFS Horizons is a paperback journal of fiction, poetry and art. BFS Journal is now devoted to non-fiction: interviews, articles, reviews and features. Previous contributors to BFS periodicals include Tom Pollock, Juliet McKenna, James Barclay, Anne Lyle, Lavie Tidhar, Storm Constantine, Ramsey Campbell, Sophia McDougall, Graham Joyce, Lou Morgan, Gary McMahon, Sarah Pinborough, Mark Morris, F.E. Higgins, Michael Marshall Smith and Gillian Redfearn.


Editor: Allen Stroud

Features and non-fiction


BFS Journal is a periodical devoted to non-fiction. We are looking for anything that will interest the members of the British Fantasy Society, in particular interviews, overviews, critiques, biographies, histories, opinions, ruminations, and so on. We do suggest you contact us before writing any substantial article, to check on suitability and word count. Our readers are generally quite knowledgeable when it comes to fantasy, so don’t be afraid to suggest topics slightly off the beaten track. All non-fiction should be sent directly to the editor by email.

Academic articles for the BFS Journal should be between 2500 and 6000 words. We prefer nearer the former, as this is about the size of a conference paper. References in the text should be (Author, Date of Edition) with a full publication listing for the bibliography given for each article at the end. Please don’t use footnotes in your submissions.

Supply any images as separate files. Use letters in the filenames to indicate the preferred order (e.g. a-arrival.jpg, b-conversation.jpg, c-departure.jpg).

Publishers should note that we are always on the lookout for suitable people to interview. We might also be interested in providing our readers with previews of forthcoming non-fiction titles.

Letters to the Editor

We are always interested in publishing correspondence from BFS members, on any aspect of the society, not just the BFS Journal itself.


Fiction and Poetry

Editor: Emma Audsley


Poetry Editor: Ian Hunter

BFS Horizons is devoted to fiction and poetry.

That’s it. Push the boundaries of “la fantastique”! Do you have something which you’d like to see in the BFS Journal, or the idea for a story you’ve been meaning to put to paper? Please send it through! In these turbulent times there’s food for thought and creativity everywhere – whether the purest escapism from economic doldrums, or golden age optimism that this too will pass, or the most incisive agitprop commentary on our 21st century human condition.

We’re looking for stories of 3000–5000 words, but will consider more or less. Stories don’t have to be just from “British” authors, although if there’s an elusive thread linking it however tenuously to these isles that would be great. Genre can be anything you could describe as “fantasy” – past issues have featured stories of magical realism, psychological horror, black comedy, swords and sorcery noir, and even science-fiction. We’d possibly like to receive slightly fewer stories about zombies, but, hey, if it’s the *right kind of zombie*…

Poetry Editor: Ian Hunter


Subject matter as for fiction. Unlike fiction and non-fiction, poems should be included in the body of the email, not sent as an attachment. All submissions must be in English.

Editor’s note: Any form will be accepted with a maximum length of 36 lines. To be honest, rhyming poetry in iambic pentameters will be a hard sell. However, it would be good to see sonnets, Villanelles or the odd Rondeau, or any other form you care to tackle. Tip: before submitting, read your poem out loud. Does it work? Check the metre. Does it scan? Look at your line lengths. Lengthy poems or sagas will be considered, but should follow instead the submission guidelines given above for fiction.


We are looking for artists in all mediums (including photography) prepared to illustrate stories and the front cover. Please email examples of your work to the relevant editor or refer them to your website or online gallery. You don’t have to commit to doing any artwork. We aim to keep a list of interested artists, and approach them when artwork is required.


The British Fantasy Society is a non-profit organisation, and the BFS Journal, being a publication put together by society members for the benefit of other society members, does not pay for contributions, but contributors who are not members do receive a copy of the journal. You retain all rights to your work, allowing us the right to distribute paper and ebook copies of the issue in which it appears.

General notes

We are generally looking for original material, though reprints may be considered.

No simultaneous or (except with regard to poetry) multiple submissions.

Submit manuscripts by email as attachments in rtf or Word format.Do not include your story in the body of the email. We no longer accept postal submissions.

Please give your email a subject line in this format:
BFS Journal submission: A Dim Star Is Born by Howard Phillips

Include your name, email address, address, title and approximate word count on the first page.

Use a hashtag (#) to separate sections rather than asterisks or blank lines.

Provide a brief third-person bio that won’t go out of date. It won’t affect the decision with regard to your story, but it will save on admin later on if the story is accepted.

BFS house style

Title Case for Main Headings, Sentence case for sub-headings.

Double quotes for dialogue, scare quotes, etc. Single quotes only for dialogue within dialogue.

Spaced en dashes – for dashes, unspaced for number ranges (7–9). Em dashes for interrupted dialogue—

Ellipses for trailing off… followed by one space. Ellipses for showing text left out … a space on each side.

Authors’ initials should be unspaced with full stops, e.g. H.P. Lovecraft. Exception: where initials don’t stand for anything, e.g. Russell T Davies.

“Short Story Title”, Book Title, Book Series Name, Film Title, Magazine Title, “Poem Title”, “Song Title”.

ebook, email, internet

Possessives after s: the BFS’s, Doris’s, etc. Go by what you (or the character) would say if reading it out loud.

UK spelling and punctuation is preferred.

For other things: New ODWE

Footnotes and references: MHRA Style Guide

Usage: Fowler’s Modern English Usage