What is Pulp?
According to Wikipedia, the pulp “magazines were best known for their lurid and exploitative stories and sensational cover art. Modern superhero comic books are sometimes considered descendants of ‘hero pulps’; pulp magazines often featured illustrated novel-length stories of heroic characters, such as The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Phantom Detective.”
Pulp magazines, and the self-named pulp fiction which appeared in them was often seen as low quality, run of the mill literature. Literature for the masses.
In the context of Crimson Streets, Pulp is not a genre. It is not to be confused with Hard Boiled Detective fiction or Noir Fiction, although these themselves may be considered pulp.
Crimson Streets is looking for fiction with a focus on action and atmosphere over characterization. Stores can fall into the adventure, aviation, detective/mystery, fantasy, hard-boiled, gangster, horror/occult, masked vigilante, noir, railroad, romance/spicy, and war genres. We publish everything that could fall under the banner of pulp with the exception of Science Fiction and Westerns. Science Fiction and Westerns are special cases and deserve their own homes. That’s not to say that stories from other genres couldn’t have Science Fiction or Western elements, after all where would Dick Tracy be without his wrist radio or a mad scientist be without his planet destroying device?
The central conceit of Crimson Streets, is that it is being published not in today’s world, but in a darker, grittier version of the 1930s or 40s. Where possible, language should reflect the time period.
We are looking for stories from 800 to 6,000 words. We are not interested in poetry, fan-fiction, or stories that fall outside of the broad umbrella of pulp. (If you think your fiction could win an award or be taught in an English class, then it’s probably not suited for Crimson Streets.) A work of fiction should be a quick read. While publishers of a more literary bent intend to be the “art house cinema” of the short fiction world, we intend to be the “action movie at the cineplex.”
We may be interested in serializing longer works such as novellas, but these only accepted if complete, and then broken down for publication.
In addition to fiction, Crimson Streets will also publish a limited number of articles on topics related to the pulps. Ideas that come immediately to mind are on “Law Enforcement in the Pulp Story” or “A Guide to 1930s and 40s Slang”. Any article that would help an aspiring author of pulp stories may be of interest to us.
We do not accept print submissions. Every submission should be accompanied by query letter in which you briefly describe your submission in one or two paragraphs. Be sure to provide your address, phone number, and email address. Please send your submission in either a Microsoft Word (.doc) file in Rich Text Format (.rtf).
Crimson Streets is a web now/print later publication. When stories and articles are accepted, they first appear on the web site at www.crimsonstreets.com in the new fiction feed. From time to time anthology editions of Crimson Streets will be printed that collect the stories and articles from the web site.
Our standard rate is 1 cent per word of final, edited length to be paid on posting to the new fiction feed. Payments are made by PayPal where possible. Payment is made within 30 days of acceptance and delivery of final copy.
Art, with the exception of one-shot cartoons and covers, is commissioned specifically for each article. We maintain a file of portfolios from artists who are interested in working with us. We refer to the file when we have an article that requires illustration. The goal is to match the article with the artist whose style is best suited to the task.
We do our best to make illustrating Crimson Streets an interesting job for the artist. Rather than dictate specific illustrations, we try to provide several possible scenes from which the illustrator can choose. We also welcome illustration suggestions from the artist. Our belief is that a work you wish to create is going to be much better than one you are ordered to create.
Art should be delivered electronically via email, DropBox, Google Drive, or like service.
As mentioned, one-shot cartoons are the only work that we purchase straight from submissions. We pay the stunning rate of $10 for single panel cartoons under the same terms as articles and stories. Cartoons can deal with any subject linked to noir, hardboiled detective, masked vigilante, pulp adventure, or associated genres.
Admittedly, the cover is the glamour spot for artists. Covers are contracted a little differently than interior illustrations. Let us know if you are interested in being considered for cover work. Usually, we will ask to see some samples of your work and perhaps a rough sketch or two. Covers should be provocative, at least by the standards of the 1930s and 40s with a cover-much but hide-little aesthetic.
For black and white illustrations, our standard rate is $40 for full page, $20 for half-page and $10 for spot illustrations. Rates for color work are negotiable. We usually pay around $100 for cover art.
Please do not send us original work unless you already have a contract with us. Your portfolio should contain a representative sampling of your style or styles. The majority of the illustrations in Crimson Streets are black and white, but we do also use limited color work. Please include samples of both, though you may wish to emphasize the monochromatic pieces. We look not only for overall quality in a portfolio, but also consistency.
By sending your submission to Crimson Streets you are offering us the right to first publication of the work in any format; perpetual rights to publish the work thereafter across multiple editions, formats, and media either singularly or in combination with other works; and exclusive rights to the work for eighteen (18) months from date of first publication.
The best avenue to reach us is firstname.lastname@example.org.
℅ Roger & Janet Carden
7120 Apple Mill Road
Efland, NC 27243
Again, we would like to thank you for your interest. For us, working with our contributors is one of the greatest rewards of publishing a magazine. We look forward to seeing your work soon.