The Overcast

A Speculative Fiction Podcast, Featuring Breathtaking Stories from the Pacific Northwest and Beyond.
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About the Overcast    Submissions Guidelines

Dec 27, 2016

Episode 45: Images Across a Shattered Sea by Stewart C. Baker.  Featuring an afterword by the author.    Read by J.S. Arquin    #ScienceFiction  #TimeTravel


Stewart C. Baker is an academic librarian, speculative fiction writer, and occasional haikuist.  His fiction has appeared in Writer's of the Future, Nature, Galaxy's Edge, and Flash Fiction Online, among other places.  Stewart was born in England, has lived in South Carolina, Japan, and California (in that order), and currently resides in Oregon with his family - though if anyone asks, he'll usually say he's from the internet.  You can find him online at  and on Twitter @stewartcbaker.

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Dec 13, 2016

Episode 44: Razorhands by Derrick Boden.  Featuring an afterword by the author.  Read by J.S. Arquin.  #ScienceFiction #Cyberpunk

Derrick Boden's fiction has appeared in numerous online and print venues, including Daily Science Fiction, Flash Fiction Online, and Perihelion.  He is a writer, a software developer, a traveler, and an adventurer.  He currently calls New Orleans his home, although he's lived in thirteen cities spanning four continents. He is owned by three cats.  Find him at  

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Dec 13, 2016

The Overcast is currently OPEN to submissions.  

We accept submissions four times a year, during the months of January, April, July, and October.  


What We Want

We are interested in speculative fiction, whatever that means to you, be it Science Fiction, Fantasy, Steampunk, Magical Realism, Slipstream, or an as-yet-unnamed genre.  Anything that looks at the world and life from an unexpected angle.  We want the original vision of William Gibson.  The magic and beauty of Erin Morgenstern.  The uncompromising voice of Margaret Atwood.  The technical brilliance of Ted Chiang.  We want to read stories that transport us to places that we've never imagined.  We want to still be thinking about a story days after reading it.  Be original.  Be amazing.

We are based in Portland, OR, and shine a spotlight on writers hailing from, living in, or connected in some way to the Pacific Northwest, as loosely defined by the bioregion of Cascadia.  We feel there is an exceptionally strong talent pool of speculative writers in Cascadia, and we want to celebrate and promote them to a larger audience.  Roughly half the stories we publish are by PNW writers.  That said, we are not exclusive, and the other half of our stories come from authors all over the globe.  So no matter where you live, send us your stories.  If they make us laugh, cry, or turn cartwheels of astonishment, preferably all at once, we will find a place for them on The Overcast.

This is an audio format publication.  We feel that stories of around 20-30 minutes in length are the best fit for our podcast.  While we will consider submission between 1,000-5,000 words, we read at around 100 words per minute, so the sweet spot for submissions is 2,000-3,000 words.  If it comes to a choice between two stories of equal merit, we will generally choose the one that is closer to the sweet spot.

Reprints are welcome, so long as they have not been previously produced in an audio format.

What We Don't Want

Fan Fiction

Generic settings or characters we've seen a million times before (lithe elves, dour dwarves, charming vampires, etc)

Horror.  Dark, gritty fiction is fine, but straight horror really isn't our thing.

What We Pay

Our authors are the soul of our podcast. We strongly believe that creators should get paid for their work.  Period.  We would love to pay pro rates, but alas that is beyond our current financial reach.  We currently pay a semi-pro rate of $0.01 per word.  We hope, however, that our podcast will soon bring us fame, fortune, and success beyond our wildest dreams, as well as the ability to pay pro rates.  We'd also like a pony.  A genetically modified pony with six legs that runs 100mph and urinates a rich, tasty stout.  

All payment made via Paypal.

(Our rates are directly tied to our Patreon funding goals. As we reach our goals, our rates will go up.  Simple!  If you want our authors to get paid more, please help spread the word!)

How To Submit

Please attach your story in standard manuscript format to a brief email containing the following information:  Story Title, Word Count, and what, if any, connection you have to Cascadia.  Please DO NOT include a bio or list of credits.  We do not care how many degrees, awards, or publications you have.  We want your fiction to speak for itself.  If we love your story, we will ask for a bio upon acceptance.

Send your stories to: 

Please make the Subject line: "Submission: (Story Title)"

We do not accept multiple submissions.

If you have not heard back from us by the beginning of the submissions period following the one in which you submitted your story, please query.

For some reason, we have had numerous problems responding to submissions from AOL users.  Most of our responses get bounced back as undeliverable.  To prevent future frustration on all sides, please do not send submissions from AOL mailboxes.  Thank you. 


We purchase first worldwide exclusive audio rights, as well as the right to keep the episode in which your story is produced available in our archives for as long as The Overcast remains in operation.  We do not own your story, nor do we wish to.  You are free to publish and sell it elsewhere in any other format.  

Dec 13, 2016

The Overcast is a speculative fiction podcast featuring breathtaking stories from the Pacific Northwest and Beyond.  Every other week we produce short stories in an easy to digest audio format, perfect for listening to while driving, biking, jogging, riding a unicycle, or striding across the land perched atop your giant killer robot.  Listening while swimming is not advised.  




J.S. Arquin  

J.S. Arquin

Host, Narrator, Editor, Producer, Publisher, Benevolent Dictator, Intern #3

J.S. Arquin is a writer, actor, musician, stiltwalker, and renaissance man.  Or maybe he just likes wearing tights.  He has performed, traveled, and lived in strange, inspiring, and disturbing places all over the world, and currently makes his home in Portland, OR, where he gleefully rides his bicycle in the rain year round and sometimes writes about himself in the third person.  His narrations have been featured on Escape Pod, Cast of Wonders, and Starship Sofa, and his fiction has appeared in Plasma Frequency, Digital SF, Acidic Fiction, and elsewhere.  He hopes you enjoy listening to the Overcast as much as he enjoys making it.  If you do, he hopes you will help him make it better by becoming a supporter.


Conditions of Use

We couldn't say it better than the wonderful people at Escape Pod.  You can find their clear, common sense Condition of Use page HERE.

Our conditions are exactly the same as theirs, except you must replace "Escape Artists Inc" with "The Overcast".  Frankly, we're too lazy to do this ourselves, and we don't want to piss them off by copying and pasting their content.  But if you're the type of person who needs to see things in clear print to believe them, any word processing program can accomplish this with a simple find and replace search in about three seconds.  Or you can just use your imagination.  That's what we do, and it's even faster than the word processor.

The bottom line is, we're all adults here and we're really not trying to offend anyone.  Besides, if you did decide to sue us, all you'd end up with is our soul-destroying pile of unpaid credit card bills, and you're welcome to those.  So let's just play nice and enjoy some amazing stories together, shall we?



Send questions, comments, and unforgettable cookie recipes to: 



Nov 26, 2016

Love in the Time of Markov processes by Megan Arkenberg.  Read by J.S. Arquin.  #ScienceFiction

Megan Arkenberg lives in Northern California, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in English literature.  Her work has appeared in Shimmer, Lightspeed, Asimov's, and nearly fifty other publications.  She procrastinates by editing the fantasy e-zine Mirror Dance, and was recently the nonfiction editor for Nightmare's Queers Destroy Horror! special issue.  You can visit her online at


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Nov 13, 2016

Episode 42: Solo by J.S. Arquin.  Read by J.S. Arquin  #ScienceFiction


J.S. Arquin is a writer, actor, musician, and stiltwalker and renaissance man.  Or maybe he just likes wearing tights.  He has performed and lived all over the world, in places as diverse as New Jersey, San Francisco, and Greece.  He currently lives in Portland, OR, where he gleefully rides his bike in the rain year round, and sometimes writes about himself in the third person.  His narrations have been featured on Starship Sofa, Cast of Wonders, and Escape Pod, and his fiction has appeared in Plasma Frequency, Acidic Fiction, and Digital SF, just to name a few.  He hopes that you enjoy listening to the Overcast as much as he enjoys making it.

Oct 26, 2016

Episode 41: A Promise Kept by Candle Flame by Kelly Sandoval.  Read by J.S. Arquin. #Fantasy #MagicRealism #Ghosts       

Oct 10, 2016

Episode 40: The Humpback's Wardrobe by Timothy Day.  Read by J.S. Arquin  #MagicalRealism

Sep 22, 2016

Slug Time by Mary E. Lowd.  Featuring an afterword by the author.  Read by J.S. Arquin.  #ScienceFiction

Sep 7, 2016

The Galaxy's Cube by Jeremy Szal.  Read by J.S. Arquin  #ScienceFiction


Aug 20, 2016

Moon at the Starry Diner by Tina Connolly.  From her collection, "On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories".  Read by J.S. Arquin   #Fantasy



Aug 3, 2016

Chasing A.I.M.E. by Sean Patrick Hazlett.  Read by J.S. Arquin.  Featuring an afterword by the author.   #ScienceFiction  #ArtificialIntelligence  #Economics

Jul 16, 2016

Heart Box by J.N. Powell.  Featuring an afterword by the author.  Read by J.S. Arquin.  #Fantasy

Jul 3, 2016

Episode 34: Stand Up by Josh Roseman.  Read by J.S. Arquin  #Superhero #Autism

Jun 18, 2016

Episode 33: Daddy's Girl by Eleanor R. Wood.   Featuring an afterword by the author.  Read by J.S. Arquin   #ScienceFiction #Robotics  #ArtificialIntelligence

Jun 6, 2016

Not Even a Whimper by Dusty Wallace.  Read by J.S. Arquin.  #Apocalypse #Science Fiction

May 17, 2016

Episode 31: A Twist of Fate by Holly Schofield.  Read by J.S. Arquin.  Featuring an afterword by Holly Schofield.  #Superhero #Fantasy

May 4, 2016

Episode 30: Blink Twice by Rebecca Birch.   Read by J.S. Arquin.  Featuring an afterword by Rebecca Birch   #Science Fiction #Time Travel #Apocalypse

Apr 20, 2016

Drink Deep and Long the Circean Poison by Deborah Walker.  Read by J.S. Arquin.  Science Fiction.

Apr 5, 2016

Our one year anniversary episode!  We're honored to feature the fantasy story Elections at the Villa Encantada by Cat Rambo.   Read by J.S. Arquin.

Mar 19, 2016

Stitched Wings by Beth Cato.  We bring you a healthy dose of steampunk, fairies, and magic in this beautiful fantasy story.  Featuring an afterword by the author.  Read by J.S. Arquin.

Mar 2, 2016

The Bohemians by Alexei Collier.  Read by J.S. Arquin.  Featuring an afterword by the author.

Feb 15, 2016

Start With Stones by B.Morris Allen.  Read by J.S. Arquin.  Featuring an afterword by the author.

Feb 2, 2016

Episode 24: Free Love (With Every Purchase)  by Angela Brett.  Featuring an afterword by the author.  Read by J.S. Arquin.

Jan 20, 2016

The Ghost Lottery by Ian Rose, featuring an afterword by the author.  Read by J.S. Arquin.

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