Submissions are now CLOSED for Issue Five: Frontier and the Frontier Essay Contest!

There is a submission fee of $2 for short fiction and poetry submissions to Soft Star (no fee for visual art or nonfiction essay contest submissions). Every cent of these fees goes back into the magazine, primarily in the form of printing and postage costs for contributor copies of the print issues.

If your circumstances prevent you from being able to pay the fee and you feel strongly that your work would be a good addition to the upcoming issue, email me at to let us know, and we can work something out.

What we publish

Soft Star is always open to submissions of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art. We are especially looking for work that falls within the genres of soft science fiction, speculative fiction, slipstream, and futurism. Give us your future-facing, pondering, hopeful, otherworldly words. More on our ethos here, and submission FAQs here.

Soft Star Magazine
Submission FAQs
How does the Soft Star submission + publication process work? Soft Star accepts submissions on a rolling basis — no reading periods! Written submissions (fiction, nonfiction, poetry): If your submissio…
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Though we specialize in "optimistic futurism," that doesn't mean we only want stories with happy endings. We view discoveries as a net positive, and the future has infinite potential for discovery. Don’t be afraid to submit surreal and uncanny stories, or even cosmic horror.

Some things we love:

Alternate universes, first contact, time and space travel, unexplained phenomena, afrofuturism/indofuturism/other culturally-specific futurist settings, philosophical themes, cosmic imagery, the overwhelming vastness of the universe, triumphs of the human spirit

Some hard sells:

Military sci-fi, cyberpunk/technoir (these tend to skew dystopian by nature), heavy technical sci-fi jargon, stories with romance as a core theme. However, there is an exception to every rule. When in doubt, submit anyway.

Current Issue: Frontier

Submissions are closed.

The mission of this issue, to borrow from Star Trek’s James T. Kirk, is “to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

With Issue Five, we hope to uncover these new places in the great unknown of the universe. Stories about discovery, both external and internal; stories about the meeting of alien cultures, and what strange beauty can arise of them; stories about innovation, and things now easily comprehended within our usual frameworks.

That’s not to say that this issue will only be about Trek-style adventures, because there are as many styles of sci-fi and spec fic as there are stars. This is the issue for space westerns about smugglers and outlaws. For UFOs and cryptids and ghost towns, the murk of western gothic. For red rocks, and wide open spaces, and endless skies. We want to see your interpretation of what happens when you plunge into the great unknown of the universe.

Frontier Essay Contest

We would love to explore more nonfiction than we have in previous issues—essays, creative nonfiction, reviews, interviews, and more. To this end, we’re also pleased to announce Soft Star’s first essay contest! Submission fees are waived for nonfiction participants. The winner will receive a $20 prize, and all entries will receive automatic consideration for publication in the magazine.