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Help SFPA achieve non-profit status and expand its goals in promoting the speculative poetry community!

Eye to the Telescope 54, Outlaws, will be edited by Melissa Ridley Elmes.

Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy, Belle Star, Wyatt Earp, Bonnie and Clyde … Robin Hood, Aladdin, Zorro, Jean Valjean, the Joker, Villanelle … Malcolm Reynolds, Zoe Washburne, Peter Quill, Gamora, Han Solo, Sam and Dean Winchester … outlaws have a perennial hold on our imaginations, equal parts romanticized and demonized, revered and reviled, admired and loathed, depending on whose side you’re on. Outlaws are anti-heroes. They destabilize existing systems of power, erasing the illusion of control in societies. They bring with them and leave in their wake disorder, chaos, violence, destruction, loss, and death. But on the other hand, they also point to possibilities—of throwing off the shackles of propriety and authority; of living life on their own terms and according to their own ethical codes, standards, and values; of the possibilities that exist beyond established socio-political and cultural structures. I’m looking for your take on outlaws, defined broadly—give me your space cat renegades, your dryad anti-government environmental activists, your fed up monsters ready to throw down against the powers that be, your alien mercenaries, your dynamic lover-robbers, your charming assassins, your child-thieves: make them loud, make them stealthy, make them in-your-face, make them subtle, make them violent, make them pacifist, make them winners or losers, lovable or loatheable—whatever you do, just make sure it’s in verse form, memorable, vivid, and speculative.

Submission Guidelines


  • Use the form at to submit.
  • Please submit 1–3 unpublished poems in English (ideally, attached as .docx or .txt) and include a short bio. Translations from other languages are acceptable with the permission of the original poet (unless public domain).
  • Inquiries only to with “ETTT” in the subject line.
  • Deadline: September 15. The issue will appear on October 15, 2024.

Payment and rights

  • Accepted poems will be paid for at the following rate: US 4¢/word rounded up to nearest dollar; minimum US $4, maximum $25. Payment is on publication.
  • The Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association normally uses PayPal to pay poets, but can also send checks.
  • Eye to the Telescope is an online publication. Therefore, First Electronic Rights (for original unpublished poems) are being sought.

Who can submit?

Any human writing speculative poetry. Please no AI-generated works or AI-human collaborations. Note SFPA’s new AI policy:

What is Speculative Poetry?

Speculative poetry is poetry which falls within the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and supernatural horror, plus some related genres such as magic realism, metafiction, and fabulation. It is not easy to give precise definitions, partly because many of these genres are framed in term of fiction rather than poetry.

A good starting point is “About Science Fiction Poetry” by Suzette Haden Elgin, the founder of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. Despite its title, this article is applicable to all forms of speculative poetry.

Tim Jones, editor of Issue 2, had a go at defining science fiction poetry on his blog, in two parts (These blog posts date from 2009, and the Voyagers anthology has since been published. These posts do refer specifically to science fiction poetry, rather than the broader field of speculative poetry.):

What Is the Science Fiction & Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA)?

As the SFPA says on its website at, “The Science Fiction Poetry Association was founded in 1978 to bring together poets and readers interested in science fiction poetry. What is sf poetry? You know what they say about definitions—everybody has one. To be sure, it is poetry (we’ll leave that definition to you), but it’s poetry with some element of speculation—usually science fiction, fantasy, or horror. Some folks include surrealism, some straight science.”

See the SFPA site for lots more information—and please consider joining.

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Interested in editing an issue of Eye to the Telescope? See the Editors’ Guidelines for information and requirements.