Submissions Process and Features

Savage Insider is a magazine dedicated to the Savage Worlds role-playing game, its licensees, and the Savage Worlds community.

Before submitting work, a pitch for one of the features (or corresponding artwork) described on this page must be made and accepted.  Please see Keys to a Good Pitch for guidance. Contributors can review our Contributors Acknowledgement before submitting ideas for contributions. Get on the Call for Submissions list by signing up for the newsletter and choosing the reminder for calls for contributors. To see the latest needs and each outstanding issue’s themes, see the Call for Submissions. See below for feature descriptions, word counts, and rates. Use the contact form in the navigation menu to submit pitches.

Before You Respond to a Call for Submissions for Savage Insider

It’s tempting to see a call for work and, caught up in the excitement, send something in without doing anything else. Please, don’t. There’s a process that makes our lives easier and your work more likely to be published. (Too long, didn’t read version: if you don’t take the time to follow the process outlined here, bet it will be evident making us less likely to work with you.)

  1. Read the magazine. No, that’s not to get us another sale. It’s for you to get familiar with the product where you want your work to appear. Besides it ensuring you’ll be proud to have your name associated with Savage Insider, it gives you the chance to get familiar with the tone and style of the magazine and how the feature descriptions translate to published features.
  2. Read the information that follows this process list. It tells you what features are available, what those features entail, and the word count and pay rate ranges. It also indicates the pay range for illustrations.
  3. Read the Call for Submissions. It tells you the themes for upcoming issues, what features have already been assigned or are still being specifically sought, and the deadlines for pitching and submitting work for each issue. It is updated as we accept pitches and assign work.
  4. Read the Contributor’s Acknowledgement. It outlines how we plan to use your work, when to expect payment, and acknowledges our expectation that what you submit is legally yours to submit and that you are free to sell that work even after it’s been published in SI.
  5. Read the appropriate Style Guides. There is one for writing and editing and one for art.
  6. Once you’ve done 1-5, send us a pitch for the outstanding feature or illustration you wish to produce.

Illustration Rates

In addition to the stated rates, illustrators get a contributor’s PDF of the issue where their illustrations appear. Illustrators retain right to sell illustrations to other entities.

Ranges depend upon level of detail and are decided before assignment. Most images are assigned in B & W. Lower rates may apply for stock images and are determined on a case by case basis.

  • Covers are full-color, 8.5 x 11. Pay is $75.
  • Quarter Page B & W, $5-10
  • Quarter Page Color, $8-15
  • Half Page B & W, $10-20
  • Half Page Color, $15-20
  • Full Page B & W, $20-25
  • Full Page Color, $25-30

Writing Rates

In addition to the stated rates below for each feature, writers can get paid for illustrations submitted with their pieces, if agreed upon in advanced, subject to all the same copyright caveats as writing.  Writers retain rights to sell their work again elsewhere. Compensation includes a contributor’s PDF of the issue where their writing appears.

Here’s a look at the different features that appear in Savage Insider either regularly or on occasion.

Auspicious Archetypes: While archetypes are not actually present in the core mechanics, many characters are built with a specific archetype in mind. Auspicious Archetypes presents a specific archetype for PC or NPC use through detailed description of what the archetype is. This includes a basic archetype template, new Hindrances and Edges to better flavor that archetype, descriptions on how that archetype fits within different genres, a fleshed out NPC, and at least one savage tale for quick play.

[Word Count: 2,000 – 5,000 | $15 – $37.50]

Bountiful Races: While typically meant to be PCs or NPCs, these could also represent monstrous races, showing off the uniqueness of the world. Bountiful Races submissions should include a race description with a racial template and new Hindrances and Edges. Include at least one NPC and give ideas on how to incorporate that race into different genres and one or more short tales for quick play. Races may be humanoid or monstrous.

[Word Count: 2,000 – 5,000 | $15 – $37.50]

Character Gallery: There are three options for submissions for the Character Gallery.

  1. Delve into a single character and present it as a pre-generated PC, potentially in multiple formats to show two different ranks as an NPC.
  2. Make that fuller by providing a list of all Extras associated with the NPC and contains a collection of adventure hooks or mini-adventures.
  3. Create an assortment of characters related by an aspect, idea, genre, or some other theme.

[Word Count: 500 – 2,500 | $5-$25]

Equipment Corral: Equipment Corral presents a new piece of equipment that often can be used in multiple setting and genre types. Whether survival gear, a piece of useful treasure, or a trap, if it’s equipment, this is the place for it.

[Word Count: 700 – 1,200| $5.25-$9]

Esoteric Orders: Many settings and genres incorporate the use of secret societies, government groups, or special factions. Esoteric Orders delves into the description and details of a single group for use across any setting within a specific genre. This includes write-ups of all the order’s members, a listing of the order’s location/headquarters, and at least one savage tale for quick play.

[Word Count: 2,000 – 5,000 | $15 – $37.50]

Expanded Mechanics: Expanded Mechanics delves into a particular mechanic and expands upon it by providing alternate uses or additions to make it more comprehensive.

[Word Count: 2,000 – 5,000 | $15 – $37.50]

Game Prep: Game Prep can be directed at the beloved GM, vital players, or both. It can showcase tips, tactics, options, ideas, and whatever else may be useful to a GM for preparing, setting up, and running their games or the player who wants to be as ready as possible to contribute to the game.

[Word Count: 2,000 – 5,000 | $15 – $37.50 ]

General Interest: Sometimes articles don’t fit neatly into one of our established features. When that’s the case, they may be best described as general interest pieces. Before submitting a pitch for General Interest, please be extra sure it doesn’t fit anywhere else.

[Word Count: 1,000 – 3,500 | $7.5 – $26.25 ]

Great Adventures: Role-playing games are all about the experience of going on an adventure or running through a scenario, allowing the players to lead the story and determine its ultimate ending. Great Adventures are flagship articles presenting standalone adventures. If submitted by a licensee, it can be placed within their setting, otherwise it must be setting agnostic. It is okay to reference settings where the adventure might work well, but not to use someone else’s intellectual property. (E.g.: You could say a jungle adventure would work well with Tunse’al, but using The Footlands or Korrin in your adventure would not be permissible.)

[Word Count: 2,000 – 5,000 | $35 – $87.50]

Mechanics Wise: At the heart of every role-playing game is the mechanics that power the system and keep the action moving forward. Mechanics Wise is a discussion of a single mechanic of Savage Worlds (such as a particular skill or situational rule) and how to better use it across different setting and genre types.

[Word Count: 1,500 – 5,000 | $11.25 – $37.50]

Product Spotlight: Fans and potential fans love to learn more about the settings or products produced for Savage Worlds. Product Spotlight is a series of small articles that highlight specific products through review or preview (previews from the IP owner only). Product Spotlights are excellent ways to share a bit more about the products in circulation.

[Word Count: 400 – 1,200 | No fee as it is either fan-based or licensee promotion.]

Random Encounters: Battle maps* are an excellent visual tool for games when the action begins. Random Encounters revolve around a specific battle map and the various encounters involved. This includes a write-up leading to the encounter, a bit of text regarding the important character(s), and all applicable NPCs and Extras.

*Maps may be made available to you  as a muse, or if you are a map-maker, your pitch should include that fact. If accepted you’ll be compensated for your map as well.

[Word Count: 1,500 – 4,000 | $15 – $40]

Stories to Inspire: These are short fiction pieces meant to inspire game ideas. More than a tale, they should either be adaptable for game play or be of a nature that someone could see using it as the impetus for an adventure.

For example, in Steve Dean’s story, Hearts and Minds in Savage Insider: Rebirth and Reinvention, a character with artificial intelligence starts behaving as if that intelligence isn’t so artificial after all. Given the plot and action involved, a GM could convert that into a one-shot session where the PCs are the story’s characters charged with capturing the AI, use H & M as an adventure seed where it’s the back story to why the party is now pursuing a scientist and her creation, or just take some aspect of the story and run with a whole other angle conceived while reading.

Stories to Inspire can be any genre so long as they are in keeping with the specific issue’s theme.  They should not be based in a published setting unless submitted by the setting’s legal publisher. For example, Morne Schaap’s Salvation in the Sewers in Savage Insider: Taking Action is set in his Winter Eternal world, but if someone not acting on his behalf or with his written authorization were to have sent that in, we couldn’t have used it.

[Word Count: 2,000 – 4,000 | $15 – $30]

Surveyed: Surveyed details a single city, town, village, or fortification and key people that inhabit it. It also provides a number of adventure hooks or a mini-adventure.

Maps may be made available to you  as a muse, or if you are a map-maker, your pitch should include that fact. If accepted you’ll be compensated for your map as well.

[Word Count: 2,000 – 5,000 | $20 – $50]

Non-category Submissions: Not all submissions will fit into one of the aforementioned categories. Those wishing to make a submission outside of the listed categories are welcome to send us a one-page pitch for that must include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Brief overview
  2. Purpose (Why would someone be interested in this content?)
  3. Full description
  4. Estimated word count

[Word Count: 2,000 – 4,000 | $15 – $30]

Obatron Productions (OP) requires the right to publish accepted submissions in various formats and file types where applicable such as, but not limited to, PDF, print, and .mobi, and the right to republish submissions in Best Of and similar anthology-style editions.The copyright of all licensed material is retained by the licensee with the acknowledgement that the submitted content can be republished by OP or the licensee. If previously published material is submitted, Obatron Productions must be made aware of such before sending the material. Any exceptions to rights requirements must be agreed to in writing by the author and Obatron Productions. By submitting content to OP, you attest to the fact that you are the copyright holder and have the legal authority to grant rights for publication.