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The Castro Prize 2025

The annual River Styx contest awards $1000 prizes in fiction and poetry.

Fall Print Edition

River Styx 108: The Posthuman Issue is a collective attempt at answering the question, "What makes us human now?" Submissions now open.

Online Submissions

We have reached capacity for submissions to our online edition. The portal will close the evening of Monday, May 1st. The portals for our print edition and the Castro Prize contest will remain open.

Submissions are open.

Standard Submission Guidelines

Guidelines for Writers

We are currently accepting submissions for our print edition and for The Castro Prize (River Styx contest).

We are closed for submissions to our online edition.

THE BASICS

  • Please submit your work electronically to the relevant genre or issue portal via Submittable. We no longer accept hard copy or email submissions.
  • Work submitted to River Styx must be previously unpublished in print or online, including social media posts.
  • We will read simultaneous submissions but ask that you inform us of such and notify us immediately if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Translations are welcome if permission has been granted from the copyright owner.
  • All submissions will be considered for our online magazine. Submissions for our print edition should be submitted through the print submission portal. We open the portal twice per year. Follow us on social media for submission period announcements. If your submission is not accepted for the print edition, we will consider it for online publication.
  • Expect up to five months for a decision. Please do not query before five months have passed. Also, we may take longer to consider longform work.

GENRE INFORMATION
We accept fiction, nonfiction, plays, and poetry.

Prose (fiction, nonfiction, scripts, and plays)

  • All prose pieces should be typed, double-spaced, and page-numbered. 
  • For fiction, we consider microfiction, short fiction, and short stories.
  • Please send no more than one short story, essay, or play per submission. Stories of 1500 words or fewer may be sent in groups of up to three. Stories that exceed 1500 words should be sent separately.
  • For nonfiction, we only accept work of 3000 or fewer words. Essays of 500 words or fewer may be sent in groups of up to three.
  • For scripts and plays, we consider all forms and lengths. 

Poetry

  • Send up to five poems per submission.

Important: Our scheduled reading periods for the online edition of the magazine remain open from March 1st - June 30th and September 1st - December 31st or until we reach capacity. Our scheduled reading periods for the print edition vary by issue.

We do our best to keep our listings up to date on Poets & Writers, CLMP, and Chill Subs. Duotrope maintains its own listings. Therefore, we advise writers interested in submitting to our magazine to check our website for the most accurate, up-to-date submissions information.

RS108: The Posthuman Issue

In his treatise on the interconnectedness of all things, The Ecological Thought, Timothy Morton writes, “Being a person means never being sure you’re one” (Morton). What makes us human now? That’s the question we’re asking ourselves at River Styx. How do we locate and nurture our humanity in a world that feels increasingly posthuman? We are surrounded by—entangled with—climate change, AI, pandemics, genocide, cultural erasure, and the threat of total war. Yet, for all that doom, there are reasons to hope …aren’t there? Intrepid leaps in space exploration, medical research, nanotechnology, quantum computing, and food production are a few that come to mind. 

For River Styx 108, we want to read about these hopes, about what it means to be—and continue being—human in a posthuman landscape. Send us your stories, poems, essays, short plays, and art about the earth and our relationship to it, about identity, about spirituality, about violence, about love in a world increasingly out-of-love with humanity.

The Castro Prize

Learn more about the Prize here.

Guidelines for Visual Artists
  • We accept a range of visual art and multimedia, including photos, videos, interactive graphics, multimodal and mixed media work, and more. For submissions that cannot be easily uploaded, you may submit a URL and screengrabs to Submittable or contact us for assistance using our Contact Form.
  • For cover art we seek a single, striking color image, 5.5" x 8.5", that can be wrapped around the block. Cover images should be horizontal/landscape orientation (or able to be cropped). Be mindful of where the spine will fall, and which portion of the image will be visible on the front cover.
  • If your work is a part of a series of images, please submit up to 12 images. We like having choices.
  • Graphic stories may run as long as they need to tell the story. Page length is limited only by how long they keep our interest.
  • If submitting a multi-page artistic work, such as a graphic short story, please submit only one at a time.
Payment

All writers and artists whose work we publish will receive compensation.

For poetry, we pay $25 per page and a maximum of $100 per writer.

For prose, we now pay $100 per accepted piece.

For multimedia, we pay $25 per individual piece and a maximum of $100.

For scripts and plays, we $100 per play up to 80 pages; for works longer than $80 pages, the payment is $200.

Contributors are paid upon publication of their work.

Rights

We purchase First Serial Rights. Once the work has been published in River Styx, the author retains the copyright and the authority to reprint the work elsewhere. We only ask that you credit River Styx magazine with first publication.

Open to fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, plays, and visual art.

River Styx 2024-25

Editorial Calendar

Below is a rough calendar of our submission periods, deadlines, publication dates, and more.

July 24, 2024
EVENT: Michael Castro: A Life & Legacy
Learn more.

September 2024
Rollout begins for September online publications.

September 30, 2024
The Castro Prize contest closes.

October 1, 2024
River Styx 108: The Posthuman pub date.

December 2024
Rollout for December online publications.

January 1, 2025
The Castro Prize winners announced on the River Styx website, Facebook, Instagram, and via our newsletter.

March 26, 2025
River Styx 109 print issue pub date.

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