PLEASE NOTE: The Phoenix loves and needs fantastic content and we do read every submission. Unfortunately as we get so many submissions we are not able to contact you unless we are considering taking your pitch further. And even if we love your idea we will still be very slow responding.
We know this isn’t ideal, but we’re a tiny team and putting out a 32 page advert free comic every week takes a huge amount of time and energy, so we’re grateful for your understanding and patience. All the best, Team Phoenix.
At The Phoenix, we love great stories. As stories come in all shapes and sizes we consider all submissions for publication, provided they meet the requirements as outlined below. Before you submit anything, please read as many issues of The Phoenix as you can to get a sense of the type of comics we publish*. You can read a free digital sample on our website. Or even better, subscribe! Demographics:
- We are an all-genres anthology comic.
- Stories MUST be suitable for boys and girls aged 8-12.
- Fictional self-contained shorts (1 – 4 page). Examples: Star Born, Emilie’s Turn. This are a good place to start if you’ve not worked with us before. A number of our longer serials evolved out of these 1-4 page shorts.
- Fictional serials (1 – 4 pages per week, ongoing). These are ongoing stories with recurring characters, but self-contained episodes (or sometimes mini-plots that conclude in two or three episodes). Examples: Star Cat, Bunny vs Monkey, Gary’s Garden, Evil Emperor Penguin, Kit and Clay, Haggis and Quail, Useleus. This is our most common story format, and a good balance between story and convenience of reading. It’s also possible to slowly introduce story arcs, or expand these serials into series with longer storylines over time (eg: Troy Trailblazer)…
- Fictional series (2 – 4 pages per week, 2+ weeks). These are series with on-going storylines, which carry over from one episode to the next, and finish with the conclusion of the plot, or at the end of a “season”. Examples: The Lost Boy, Pirates of Pangaea, Simon Swift, Zara’s Crown, Long Gone Don, Cora’s Breakfast. Please note that there is a lot of time and work involved in pitching, planning and editing series like these, and we only commission a few of them a year.
- Non-fiction spreads or serials (1 – 2 pages). These are either self-contained exciting and inspiring centre-spreads that have large illustrations and a lot of visual impact (think Incredible Cross Sections), or non-fiction comics. Examples: How to Make Awesome Comics, Secrets of the Universe, Corpse Talk. If you are an artist without a script, we currently have a number of these non-fiction spreads requiring artists.
- Short little funnies (1/4 to 1/2 a page). Examples: Phictionary, Lucie, Planet of the Shapes.
- Fictional, self-contained prose stories (1-3 parts per story, 700-800 words per part). These appear on double-page spreads of The Phoenix called “Tale Feathers”, along with three or four illustrations per part. Examples: Phictionary, Lucie, Planet of the Shapes. If you are an artist without a script, we sometimes need to find illustrators for these prose stories. If you are a writer, it helps if you pitch these with an illustrator attached, or at least a style in mind.
- Or, feel free to innovate… The Phoenix includes a number of creations that do not fit into any of these categories (eg: Board Games, Von Doogan, The Hunter’s Desk, Blimpville), and we’re always looking for new and innovative material. If you have an unusual idea that you think would suit The Phoenix, we’d love to hear about it!
What to send us:
- Complete synopsis or outline. The former if you are proposing a series.
- Lettered rough/thumbnail and script of the first episode. (For longer serials, further scripts are welcome.)
- Sample of finished artwork and lettering as you’d like it to appear (to give us a sense of how the comic will look – a single or half page of an episode is a good place to start.)
- Anything else you can think of that will visually stun and amaze us.
If you are an artist without a script who is interested in appearing in The Phoenix, send us a small selection of your best work and we will add you to our files. We’ll contact you if we have a commission for you. If you are a writer without an artist, please bear in mind that we prioritise pitches that come with both art and story attached. How to send it:
- Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, including the following:
- The details (names, email, website) of all artists and authors involved.
- The title and format of your submission in the email subject and a one or two sentence summary of the concept.
- Any synopses, scripts or other text documents provided as email attachments.
- Any artwork provided as download links, either hosted on your website, or using an upload service like Mailbigfile, Dropbox or WeTransfer (please make sure these links remain accessible).
- Please make sure that all finished artwork is in full colour.
- For comic pages or roughs, please use the templates found in this dropbox folder.
- Full specs as follows:
- Page Size: 210x297mm
- Bleed Top: 5mm
- Bleed Bottom: 5mm
- Bleed Left: 14mm
- Bleed Right: 14mm (this extra bleed on the sides is to accomodate
- Safety Margin (no text or vital images to go within this measurement of the edge of the printed page): 13mm
- Colour Profile: CMYK
- Resolution: 300dpi or over (400dpi is ideal, 600dpi if possible).
- Alternatively, post physical copies of the same to The Phoenix Comic, 29 Beaumont Street, Oxford, OX1 2NP. Please do not send original artwork, as we cannot guarantee return of any posted material.
_____________ *A few specific things to notice about us as you read: The demands of short story or episodic story writing are very different to those of long-form comics. It’s important to bear in mind that on any given episode of your story, new readers may be jumping in and old readers may be leaving, so slow paced stories, or complex plots that require readers to recall incidental details from earlier episodes are not well suited to the comic. That’s not to say that subtle story telling or decompressed pacing is impossible, just very challenging to do well in this format. Each of our creators handles this challenge in a different way, so please pay close attention to the kinds of solutions which appeal to you. Four pages is generally the maximum extent of an episode or story in any given issue (although we often publish serials in two to three page instalments) and serials usually last around four to fifteen episodes. Please make a note of what types of stories we’re currently running. If we are in the middle of a serial about a cheese-eating zombie named Michelle we will be unable to consider a submission about cheese-eating zombie named Steve, no matter how good it is… or a comic about a hummus eating zombie named Aphrodite for that matter. In any case, please read carefully. It’s best to find out whether or not your work is right for us before you submit. _____________ Finally, to allow us to show our appreciation for coming this far and taking the time to read our submissions guidelines so thoroughly… please quote the code phrase ‘Detective Dinosaur Ballerina with a Jetpack’ in the body of your email or cover letter. Extra points will be given for creative usage!