Kaleidotrope is currently closed to submissions. It will re-open in 2024. If you submitted anything prior to January 1, 2023, and have not heard back, please query.

Kaleidotrope publishes predominantly speculative fiction and poetry—science fiction, fantasy, and horror, but also compelling work that blurs the lines between these and falls outside of neat genre categories. Man does not live on space ships, elves, and ghostly ax murderers alone, after all. We’d suggest looking through the archives to familiarize yourself with the zine, and/or checking out other work by our past contributors, to get a sense of what we’re looking for and what we like.

We are also interested in publishing diverse writers. Kaleidotrope welcome writers of color and other groups, as well as work that represents the diversity of characters we want to see more of.

Reading Periods

Kaleidotrope will be closed to submissions for all of 2023.


We have no minimum or maximum word count but strongly prefer stories over 250 words and under 10,000.


We consider all forms. However, individual haiku, or other very short poems, may be a tougher sell.


We are looking for primarily full-color illustrations to serve as cover art. We currently do not commission new cover artwork or pieces to appear with individual stories and poems. The best way to submit artwork is to email a link to your online portfolio or gallery, though you may also send individual pieces for consideration.


Kaleidotrope does not consider fiction or poetry reprints. This includes work that has appeared on your personal website or in public online forums. We do, however, consider artwork that has appeared in online galleries or elsewhere, provided you own the copyright to the piece and any characters depicted therein. (Sorry, no fan-art.)

How to Submit

Kaleidotrope only accepts electronic submissions, sent by e-mail attachment to (.doc or .rtf file format strongly preferred. Please do not send submissions by Google Docs or Apple Pages.) You may, if you prefer, paste the text of your submission into the body of the e-mail itself — although this is less advisable for longer pieces. In your e-mail subject heading, please indicate if the work you’re sending is Fiction, Poetry, or Artwork.

It is strongly recommended that you generally follow standard manuscript format for all manuscripts. Kaleidotrope prefers Courier 12pt font and double-spacing, but Times New Roman or other similar fonts are fine. Please include your name (and byline if different), email contact, story title, and word count. You do not need to include a mailing address or phone number on your submission. However, a brief cover letter in your email is also welcomed.


For fiction and poetry, we buy First Serial Rights. This means that the work will not have appeared anywhere else, in print or online, prior to publication. For artwork, we buy Digital Reprint Rights.

Work published with Kaleidotrope will remain in our archives as part of the issue in which it first appeared, but all rights will revert to the author upon publication. With the exception of artwork, we ask only that you wait three months from publication to reprint the work elsewhere.


For fiction, we pay $0.01/word (1 cent a word) USD. For poetry, we offer a flat rate of $5 USD per accepted piece. For artwork, we offer a flat rat of $60 for cover art.

Simultaneous Submissions & Response Times

We understand why writers hate to hear this, but Kaleidotrope currently does not accept simultaneous submissions. In exchange for agreeing not to submit the same work to other venues simultaneously, we promise to respond to submissions as quickly as humanly possible. This usually means a couple of days. It can mean several weeks. Please query if you have not heard anything a week after the end of an individual reading period.

Please always feel free to query if anything in these guidelines is unclear.