Switchblade is a no-limit outlaw fiction print anthology featuring authors writing in the hardboiled/noir genre, and nothing else. So think Richard Stark, Ross MacDonald, Jim Thompson, Ken Bruen, James Ellroy, Lawrence Block, Iceberg Slim, Max Allan Collins, Christa Faust. (just to name a few) We don’t do cozies. We don’t do procedurals. We’re not a literary magazine, and we don’t do other genres. That said, we will consider noir/crime fiction ranging from the early twentieth century up to present day. Aside from that, we are a no limit hardboiled fiction journal—we publish the kind of stories no one else will consider. Back in the day there was a Nynex yellow pages ad campaign that went like this: if it’s out there, it’s in here—that’s how we feel. The world is filled with deviance, and good hardboiled fiction reflects that. We like strong characters, and good story telling, and we will not reject anyone based on mainstream morality. Amoral protagonists are encouraged. We will not however, publish masturbation fodder for masochistic pedophiles. We’re not interested in torture-porn erotica. But if you’ve got a deplorable protagonist, and there’s a good story—we’ll print it.
We are no longer accepting submissions
The reading period for Issue 6 will be posted in May
Content. Rural noir is fine (very popular right now) but we love urban noir too. Urban being the setting.(not a reference to the racial demographic--any racial demographic is fine) We do mob stories. And not just Russian mob stories. Got a tight piece of fiction about the Sicilian mob in Jersey—we’ll look at it. Anyone who thinks the Italian Mafia (LCN) in America evaporated into thin air after the John Gotti trial, hasn’t spent any time in Philadelphia. That said—if it reads like a Sopranos script or Goodfellas fan fiction, it’s going right into the trash bin. Make it original. If I open up a story about an Irish mob guy from Chuckytown (Charlestown), and his name is Blackey—it better be one hell of a story.
Just like the other guys, we’re not interested in clichés. Serial killers are boring to me. Heist plots are also going to be a tough sell. We like Michael Mann’s “Heat”, and Stanley Kubrick’s “The Killing” as much as the next guy, but as I’ve stated, we’re looking for originality, first and foremost. We love suspense. We like tension, and we like tightly written, gritty fiction with a twist (or two). If you really want to know what we're all about, and to see what kind of stories end up in the pages of Switchblade, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of our latest issue. For $6.99 it's a real steal.
Formatting. Our motto is quick and dirty: we’re looking for short fiction: 2,000 to 4,500 words. We’re also seeking flash fiction with a maximum of 1,000 words. Please put “fiction submission” and the title of the story in the subject line. Include a cover letter in the body of the email as well as a brief (100 word max)third-person biography.
No simultaneous submissions. Address your cover letter to “Dear editor at Switchblade…" We’re not the big five, but we expect some professionalism. Please wait 30 days after the submissions deadline before querying about the status of a submission.
Please set tab indentations for paragraphs at .25” Response time: We don't send out "received" emails. Please allow up to a week after the end of the posted reading period before querying about the status of your submission. Send your story in standard manuscript format, double spaced as an attached Microsoft Word document (.doc or .rtf) to switchblademagsubmissions (at) gmail (dot) com
Payment: We're now upping the ante. (a little) Each selected contributing author will now receive a payment of $15 (via Pay Pal)we are no longer including contributor copies as payment. Payment is per contributor, not per story. So whether we print your story, or poem, or both, you will receive a one time payment of $15. Payment for artwork will be $15 per page*(with a maximum of 4 pages)
Artwork: Please put "Artwork Submission" in the subject line of the email. We are currently seeking gritty-themed artwork featuring urban blight, femme fatales, juvenile delinquents, enforcers, shady characters, choppers, hotrods, and of course switchblade knives. Artwork should be submitted either as a link to your online portfolio, or as an attached JPEG file (at least 200 DPI)
Poems: We are also seeking noir poems (no more than a page) Please include "poetry submission" in the subject line of the email.
Rights: Switchblade claims the following publication rights: First English-language Rights, English-language Periodical Rights, World Periodical Rights, and Electronic Distribution Rights. All rights revert back to the author six months after initial publication. Should Switchblade choose to create an anthology of previously published work, new rights will be negotiated.
Reprints: We are not accepting any reprints at this time.
Find us on twitter: https://twitter.com/SwitchbladeMag
(Please do not submit fiction through twitter)
It's been said the noir/hardboiled genre is a boys club.
Although Switchblade has gotten some tight tales from female crime writers in the past, we never really went out of our way to welcome the ladies. Now we're doing just that...from now until September first, 2018. we're taking submissions for SWITCHBLADE: STILETTO HEELED. Written by all women, about women. Even the editor is a woman* Ladies, take your time--you've got all Spring and Summer. Why are we being so nice? You know why. You know what we want. Give us your best hardboiled/noir, female protagonist-driven crime fiction. Include **SPECIAL ISSUE** in the subject line of your submission. All other guidelines/pay are the same as regular issues.
*Lisa Douglass, the newest member of our editorial team, will be the Managing Editor for Switchblade: Stiletto Heeled. We welcome Lisa's writing experience and editing expertise. Lisa is an LA area author, film maker, and song writer. Her first appearance in Switchblade was Switchblade Issue Four.
Switchblade returns with another lethal dose of outlaw fiction. Featuring fourteen new choice cuts, and the poetry of Lisa Douglass.
And Featuring the poetry of
Switchblade T-shirts will be available soon. With many styles for ladies and men, T-shirts are just the tip of the stiletto: Switchblade is developing an apparel line, as well as ancillary products: T-shirts, hats, and stickers are all on the way.
Author Ashley Erwin holds out our very first logo Tee, Switchblade: Outlaw Fiction.
Switchblade Live at Book Show: 2/23/18