Updated July 1, 2022

To the Stars…

James Gunn defines science fiction as “the literature of change” and states that it “incorporates a belief that the most important aspect of existence is a search for humanity’s origins, its purpose, and its ultimate fate.” A tall order but a worthy goal.

Our editorial vision for James Gunn’s Ad Astra calls for raising our eyes above the horizon and not limiting the scope of speculative fiction. It is in this spirit that we welcome great stories that range from the near-reality to the far reaches of the what-if.

Suggestions about what we’re looking for can unnecessarily constrain writers. That said, we can offer this advice: Be sure your story actually tells a story. And be sure it requires your speculative element in order to hold together.

Beyond that, the sky (the stars, the edge of the next universe over) is the limit.

Submission Guidelines

We are seeking original fiction for print and online publication from established and new writers. We plan to publish our next issue in the winter of 2022.

  • Original work: Submissions must be original and previously unpublished. Don’t send us fan fiction or stories based on others’ creative/intellectual properties. Note that works on websites and web publication count as previous copyright/publication.
  • Length: We’re most interested in short stories up to 7,500 words. Flash is a hard sell. We will consider stories of novelette length, but this is generally a harder sell.
  • Rates and terms: $50 (U.S.) per story. This grants Ad Astra one-year exclusive print/electronic rights and non-exclusive reprint rights thereafter.
  • Format: Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or rich text (.rtf) files in proper manuscript format, modern edition (see William Shunn’s exemplar) or download our Word example here.
  • Turnaround: We will make every effort to respond to all stories within a month, but it may take longer. Please do not query until three months have elapsed, after which you may contact us at  [email protected].
  • No simultaneous submissions (sending the same story to us and to other publications at the same time). We’ll get an answer to you soon.
  • No multiple submissions (sending us more than one of your stories at the same time). Please wait until we’ve made a final decision on one submission before sending us a new story.
  • Withdrawing your submission: If you must withdraw your submission for some reason, please email the fiction editors. We discourage this but understand that it is necessary sometimes.


James Gunn’s Ad Astra is a publication that aims to show visions of the future for all readers. We are not interested in stories that perpetuate existing systems of discrimination, i.e. stories that demean women and other marginalized groups.

We welcome stories that show underrepresented groups flourishing and submissions from authors who might not always see themselves represented.

Ready to Submit?

Complete the submission form here.

For Poetry Submission Guidelines, Go Here

For Scholarly Article Submission Guidelines, Go Here