Our Style & What We’re Seeking

Acircus-poster-the-eighth-wonder-of-the-worldt this time, we’re seeking short fiction for publication in See the Elephant Magazine by both new and established writers. Styles include literary, fantastic, slipstream, visionary, weird, magical realist, supernatural and metaphysical.

We are especially interested in publishing works by women, people of color, indigenous, LGBTQ, writers from non-mainstream cultures, and international writers.

More about the content we’re seeking:

  1. Stories by writers from a variety of cultural and philosophical traditions and perspectives. American culture has for too long been dominated by a narrow world-view. This magazine is for writers and readers working to expand cultural horizons.
  2. Stories with well-rounded, complex characters and engaging plots.
  3. We appreciate textures of darkness and light, evocative beauty and transcendental pain. We like work that pushes boundaries, transgresses, and challenges without being didactic. We like irreverence and satire, fairy tales, symbolism, nature, and mythology. We require both entertainment and art.
  4. Stories that contain an ontological dilemma, or as the Turkey City Lexicon calls it, a riff “suggest(ing) that our deepest and most basic convictions about the nature of reality, space-time, or consciousness have been violated, technologically transformed, or at least rendered thoroughly dubious.”
  5. Stories about characters struggling within a culture that opposes, violates or fails to recognize their deepest and most basic convictions about the nature of reality, spirituality, humanity, or culture.
  6. Genre elements are welcome. We adore magic, ghosts, and strange happenings, but these tropes should be used to explore cultural or metaphysical aspects of the human experience, and handled in a way that is fresh. To put it another way, it’s not enough for something to happen (weird, horrible, magical, or strange), the story should in some way explore or imply the significance of the happenings. (Not that it must be spelled out or tied up neatly; radical ambiguity is cool too.)
  7. Literary fiction that explores the mysterious, spiritual or metaphysical in subtle ways is also welcome, as long as the work features active characters and an engaging style.
  8. Our interest in horror is mainly psychological or supernatural rather than blood and guts.
  9. Work must be professionally written, formatted and proofed before submitting.

Content we are NOT seeking:

  1. We are not seeking space opera, high fantasy, romance, children’s literature, gore, violence for its own sake or Nihilistic endings (dark is fine, as long as the aim of the story is to light a candle).
  2. We are not seeking “middle-aged white guy encounters the Other (gender or culture) and is baffled/annoyed/enraged/has sex with it,” (unless it’s a satire of this kind of story, which might actually be awesome).
  3. We are not seeking philosophical discourses or meditations. The metaphysical or spiritual must be explored through compelling characters and/or lively plots. PK Dick’s Valis: yes. His Exegesis: no.
  4. We are not seeking stream of consciousness, pure surrealism, or highly experimental styles.

If this describes the fiction you read and write, check out our short fiction submissions page or book review submissions page for information. We would love to see your work.