Switchblade is an outlaw fiction print anthology featuring authors writing in the hardboiled/noir genre, and nothing else. So think Richard Stark, Ross MacDonald, Jim Thompson, Don Winslow, 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.
**Submissions are closed for 2019**
Submissions will reopen again in April 2020
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 $7.99 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 Revised Drafts: The first draft you submit (upon selection) is the draft we print. So proofread your work before you submit.
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 three weeks 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
Follow us on instagram: switchblademagazine
Don't bother looking for us on Facebook. We don't associate with social media platforms that censor advertisements or posts.
*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...SWITCHBLADE: STILETTO HEELED. Noir written by all women, about women.
*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.
Rough riders, gangsters, hitters, stick up men, boxers, and box crushers. From the west side all the way back east; featuring the bar flies, cheap motels, and day-old diner coffee in between…From the A-bomb to the B-word (Betrayal) and it’s all about Zulu Time. It’s another motley crew of unusual suspects grinding out yet another set of premium gutter noir...
Tim V. Decker
Paul D. Marks
Glenn A. Bruce
View the entire Switchblade catalog here:
Now Available: Switchblade Merch
Switchblade just launched an apparel line featuring logo tee shirts for ladies and men. Available in two styles: Outlaw Fiction, and Outlaw Culture. All tees are 100% preshrunk ring spun cotton with an athletic fit. They only come in one color: noir. Check out our online store: http://www.switchblademerch.com/