Tales of the Talisman Writer's Guidelines
Updated, February 2013
Please see the news page for any updates since this posted date.
Tales of the Talisman is not seeking novel-length submissions at this time.
Guidelines for artists are at the bottom of the page
TALES OF THE TALISMAN (formerly Hadrosaur Tales) is a literary
journal published quarterly by Hadrosaur Productions.
The format is a 90-page, perfect-bound, printed magazine.
The hadrosaur talisman logo is inspired by a duckbilled dinosaur called
a tsintaosaurus. These dinosaurs looked remarkably like
early depictions of unicorns. We chose this
blending of the creature of science and fantasy as the symbol of our magazine
and press devoted to publishing the finest
quality speculative fiction.
Needs: Science Fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories
up to 6000 words and poems up to 50 lines. Send only complete manuscripts. Postal
submissions should be prepared in standard manuscript format as described
in most writer reference books such as Writer's Market.
Detailed guidelines for preparing and sending electronic mail submissions
are at the bottom of this document. A submission is one
short story or a packet of five (or fewer) poems.
Artwork: If you are interested in doing
artwork for Tales of the Talisman, contact our art director,
Laura Givens via e-mail at: email@example.com. For more information
about artwork, see the artist guidelines.
When to submit:Our annual reading periods begin
January 1 and again on July 1. We read until a set of issues is
full. Generally that happens within six weeks of the beginning of the reading
period. We will post when we open or close to submissions on our
news page and on our
Submitting when we're closed will only result in a returned, unread manuscript.
Please note, we reserve the right to cancel reading periods if we feel
circumstances warrant such an action.
Tips: Let your imagination soar to its greatest heights
and write down the results. Above all we are looking for thought-provoking
ideas and good writing. Speculative fiction set in the past, present, and
future are welcome. Admittedly, science fiction, fantasy and horror are broad
genres that overlap many other genres. We welcome cross-genre stories,
but they must have some element of science fiction or fantasy. We have
published western/fantasy cross-genre stories, horror/science fiction
cross genre-stories, and more. Because of this, feel free to send cross-genre
stories during any reading period that would fit one or more of the genres of
Do not send: Stories with graphic violence (good horror
is about atmosphere and emotion, not cheap gross outs, and absolutely
do not send us stories with violence to children). Please avoid
clichéd or overdone ideas.
That said, we really like stories that take the conventions of science
fiction and fantasy and stand them on their head, exploring them seriously
and intelligently from new perspectives. Do not send stories or poems
with essentially no science fictional or fantasy elements. That includes the
horror stories; I can read about serial killers in the newspaper, they do
not belong on the pages of Tales of the Talisman. Do not send
stories or poems with copyrighted characters unless you are the copyright
holder. Sex and erotica in submissions are OK, as long as its necessary
to the work and tastefully presented.
Simultaneous and Multiple Submissions: We do not
accept simultaneous or multiple submissions. Please note the definition of a
submission under "Needs" above. If you send a submission to us,
don't send it elsewhere. If you send a submission to us, don't send another
until you've heard a response. We want one story at a time. Often that will
mean you only get to submit one story per reading period. Please make it your
Reprints: We do consider reprints. However, we
prefer to publish original fiction and poetry. If given the choice between
unpublished fiction and previously published fiction of equal quality, we
will go with the unpublished work. However, if you have a fabulous reprint,
feel free to send it and we'll have a look.
Rights: We buy one-time rights for all material.
Please inform us if the story or poem would be a reprint. We like to
credit first publication of material where possible.
Payment: We pay $10.00 per published story and $4.00 per
published poem or the equivalent.
Contributors also receive one copy of the issue in
which their work appears.
Response time: We attempt to respond to all submissions
in a timely manner. If a submission simply doesn't grab us, you may see a
response in a few days. If we like something and we're seriously considering
it, it may take a couple of months depending on where we are in the buying
cycle. Don't take a quick response as meaning your submission was "bad."
We've been selecting stories for over a dozen years, we can spot strong
contenders rather quickly. Also, just because a submission doesn't work for
us, doesn't mean it won't work for someone else. If you haven't heard a
response to your submission in about six weeks, it doesn't hurt to query.
Queries: It is never necessary to query before sending
a submission as long as you follow these guidelines. If you want to ask about
something you have submitted, it is extremely
important to include the following information: When you sent the
submission and to what address you sent the submission.
Books for review: If you would like your book reviewed in
Tales of the Talisman please email
firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about it. If we agree to review the
book, we will send instructions telling you how to get it to one of our reviewers.
We assume no responsibility for unsolicited review copies.
Sample copies: Sample copies of Tales of the
are available for $8.00. Make checks payable to "Hadrosaur
Productions." Sample copies are also available from our website at:
c/o David L. Summers
P.O. Box 2194
Mesilla Park, NM 88047-2194
For e-mail submissions:
Important instructions and updates for e-mail submissions:
Unfortunately, spam advertisers and hackers who propagate viruses have
forced us to implement the following guidelines for e-mail submissions:Embed your work in the body of the e-mail and format
stories as plain text with a blank line between paragraphs or send your stories
as an RTF attachment. All other attachments will not be read.
Do not send Microsoft .doc files.
All submissions should include a physical, mailing address in the
body of the e-mail. This is very helpful in the event that your internet
service provider goes down and we can't get a response to you via e-mail.
Also, if we accept your story, we need the address to ship contributor
copies and payment.
Don't forget to include the word count for story submissions.
(Not necessary for poetry submissions.)
If your e-mail looks like SPAM, it's likely I'm going to delete it.
Please include the words "Talisman submission" in the subject line
to help us recognize your e-mail as a submission.
Like postal mail, e-mail can be mis-routed and even lost. E-mail
submissions are done at the author's risk.
As a general rule, we will no longer comment on email rejections. We
provide email submissions for the convenience of authors because postal rates,
especially international postal rates, are quite high. Tales of the
Talisman's mission is to provide the best fiction and poetry to readers,
not to be a critique service to writers.
Tales of the Talisman Artist Guidelines
Updated, May 2006
Please direct all art inquiries to Laura Givens at
After a story has been assigned, I must see a rough sketch or a written
description before you start on the final illustration. If you work
digitally, please send a first draft before going into too much detail.
Please keep all illustrations to a PG-13 rating. Interior illustrations
will all be in Black & White and must be in a form that will reproduce well.
Any medium is acceptable as long as it conforms to these standards. Covers
will be in full color. All story submissions should be directed to David
Lee Summers at email@example.com
For more information about writing submissions, please see the
I would like a classy feel for our artwork. Personally, I prefer a polished
look that evokes some part of the story assigned. Scratchy works tend to
reproduce poorly. Pencil art often loses a lot of its charm after a couple
of scans. Markers can easily look splotchy and messy once scanned. However,
if you can pull off a scratchy illustration done with intricate pencil shading
and big areas of black marker, and knock my socks off, I will accept it in a
heartbeat! These are guidelines after all, not hard and fast rules.
It has become advisable with our present printer, to maintain a high level
of contrast and avoid dark grays as they will come out a muddy dark mess.
Ultimately, it's your call, but use caution.
The Hard and fast Rules:
All artwork is to be sent to me at
Upon receipt, I will evaluate the artwork and consult with the artist if
any adjustments are required for publication.
All digital artwork should be produced at a minimum of 300 DPI in J-peg
format. First drafts should be reduced to 150 DPI and sent to the above
address. Final art should be sent at 300 DPI.
All finished pieces in other media must be converted to 300 DPI, in J-peg
format, after scanning and sent to the above address. Roughs may be sent at
All finished assignments are due within 6 weeks of when they are
If you foresee any problems with this, please notify me at once and we will
discuss the situation. All artists should sign their finished work.
Cover art... 8.75" X 11.5"
Final trim size will be 8.5" X 11"... Color
The upper 1/3 should contain no essential elements thus leaving space
for the logo.
Full Page Illustrations... 6.656" X 8.874"... B&W (with a .75" neutral space at
the top for text)
OR ... 6.656" X 8.135"... B&W (with no neutral space at the top)
Half Page Illustrations... 6.656" X 4.5"... B&W
Flash Fiction Illustrations... 3.125" X 4.5"... B&W
Cartoons and Spot Illustrations... 6.656" X 2.5"... B&W
Payment for art is $10 upon receipt of the work and one copy of the issue
you will appear in. You also have the option of ad space in that issue instead
of the cash payment and you will still receive a copy of the issue. Please
inform me when you turn in your art which option you would like.
Advertising alternative for artists:
For one illustration, we do a 3" tall by 3.125" wide ad. It should be sent as
a 300 dpi J-peg image. For two illustrations, it would be a half-page ad:
4.5" by 6.656"