PodCastle is a short story podcast that specializes in the fantastic. We’re looking for short stories in all sub-genres of fantasy, from magical realism to urban fantasy to slipstream to high fantasy, and everything in between. We hope to publish fiction reflecting the full range of settings and tropes found in fantasy fiction. We’d particularly like to see more stories set outside America, and stories that feature characters who represent a range of backgrounds and ethnicities. Please see the detailed guidelines in the individual submission portals below before submitting.

We are always interested in hearing from potential new readers. We live and die by our variety and strength of the voices we use.

As of November 2015, PodCastle pays narrators for their work. Standard rates are $15 for flash-length stories (under 2000 words) and $30 for short stories between 2000 and 6000 words. Pay rates vary for full-cast readings and for longer works.

Narrators interested in more paid work may also consider auditioning with Strange Horizons, which also compensates readers.

How to Audition:

To audition, please fill out the following survey and attach an audio sample of yourself reading a piece of fiction, 5 minutes or less. Please include a pronunciation of your name in your recording. If you are proficient with any foreign languages or accents, feel free to include them in your demonstration. Our preferred technical specs and reading tips can be found here.

What to expect next:

We will review your recording, and offer you feedback if it's not quite what we're looking for, so you can audition again with a different setup or equipment later. Then your information goes into our narrator database to be used when we are looking for a reader.

Your contact information will also be shared with our sister podcasts (Escape Pod for science fiction, and PseudoPod for horror), as they share our narrator database. Narrations with them are still done on a volunteer (unpaid) basis, but narrator pay will be rolled out with them in the very near future.


When we find a story we'd like you to narrate, we send you a query letter with the text attached and give you a chance to read it and reject it if you're not interested or don't have the time. We try to do this at least 2 months before the due date, although there can be last minute rushes (which you're free to reject).